Charles found out about Queen’s health just before public

King Charles only found out about his mother’s deteriorating health hours before the public when he heard ‘footsteps running in the corridor’ at Dumfries House, a royal editor has claimed.

Senior royals dashed to be at the Queen’s bedside last Thursday amid the news her health was ailing, with sources previously saying it was only Charles and Princess Anne who were able to make it to the royal estate before her death.

Now Newsweek’s Chief Royal Correspondent Jack Royston has revealed how the King heard the news while at his Scottish home of Dumfries House with his wife Camilla.

Speaking to The Royal Beat, he told how Jenna Bush Hager had earlier this week revealed Camilla was supposed to sit down with her for an interview when they heard ‘footsteps’ in the  corridor.

He went on to repeat Hager’s description of events – and how King Charles was only told about the downturn in his mother’s health shortly before the news became public.

King Charles only found out about his mother’s deteriorating health hours before the public when he heard ‘footsteps running in the corridor’ at Dumfries House, a royal editor has claimed

Senior royals dashed to be at the Queen's bedside last Thursday amid the news her health was ailing, with sources previously saying it was only Charles and Princess Anne who were able to make it to the royal estate before her death

Senior royals dashed to be at the Queen’s bedside last Thursday amid the news her health was ailing, with sources previously saying it was only Charles and Princess Anne who were able to make it to the royal estate before her death

He explained: ‘Charles and Camilla were in Dumfries House. Camilla was actually about to record an interview with Jenna Bush Hager, who said she heard footsteps running in the hallway. 

‘Charles took a call, everything was silent, and they were asked to be silent. Then the next thing she knew, Charles and Camilla were in a helicopter. 

‘And that was at 12.30 [on Thursday 8th September], so that was around exactly the same time that we were told. 

‘So they didn’t wait, they didn’t give Charles an hour or two hours [before telling the public].’

Speaking to The Royal Beat, Newsweek's Chief Royal Correspondent Jack Royston said that King Charles was only told about the downturn in his mother's health shortly before the news became public

Speaking to The Royal Beat, Newsweek’s Chief Royal Correspondent Jack Royston said that King Charles was only told about the downturn in his mother’s health shortly before the news became public

The royal editor has revealed how the King heard the news while at his Scottish home of Dumfries House with his wife Camilla (pictured)

The royal editor has revealed how the King heard the news while at his Scottish home of Dumfries House with his wife Camilla (pictured) 

After Charles raced across to Balmoral to be by his mother’s bedside, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall – now Queen Consort, as Elizabeth II requested earlier this year – was driven over by car to join him.

It is understood that the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was already with her mother as she had been undertaking engagements in the area.

King Charles’ thorny relationship with the Queen – and how he became closer to his ‘Mummy’ in their final years together 

In 1952, when Charles was just four, The Queen and Prince Philip left him and Princess Anne, then two, for six months while on a tour of the Commonwealth, while they took another six month trip a year later.

Deciding the gruelling schedule was too long for the young children, Her Majesty left the young royals at home in care of The Queen Mother and nannies, with Charles previously crediting his nannies for his early care.

Last year, a royal expert claimed  Charles ‘wasn’t parented’ by the Queen and Prince Philip, and instead had a ‘Victorian style upbringing with nannies’.

Speaking to Channel 5’s Charles & Harry: Father & Son Divided, royal author Tom Quinn said: ‘Charles didn’t receive any parenting.’

‘His parents were away when he was very young, he was left with nannies in that very Victorian way.’ 

Charles was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, both of which his father attended as a child. He later spent a year at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. 

Prince Harry has since said Charles ‘suffered’ because of his upbringing by the Queen and Prince Philip, and that the Prince of Wales had then ‘treated me the way he was treated’, calling it ‘genetic pain’. 

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976.

In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer, with whom he had two sons: William and Harry.

In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana died as the result of a car crash in Paris the following year. And in 2005, Charles married his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles. 

During the Channel 4 documentary Queen Elizabeth: Love, Honour and Crown, Clive Irving argued that the Queen ‘never really understood’ her eldest son Charles and was ‘puzzled by him.’ 

Irving also claimed: ‘All those around the Queen never measure up to that at any point. Her own family has not measured up to that. Charles never measures up to that.’ 

However in one of her final public speeches, the Queen gushed over Charles and Prince William for carrying on her late husband’s work to protect ‘our fragile planet’. 

At Cop 26 in November 2021, the Queen said: ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them.’ 

And earlier this year, Charles gave a warm, emotional and often witty speech in praise of his mother at the close of the Jubilee Concert.

Just his opening word – ‘Mummy’ – earned him rapturous cheers from the crowd.  He described how ‘you laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us’ in a moving, personal tribute. 

He added: ‘You have met us and talked with us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these 70 years. You pledged to serve your whole life – you continue to deliver. That is why we are here. That is what we celebrate tonight.’

Charles reflected on the Queen’s every-growing family, which now stretches to 12 great-grandchildren, and on her dual role as sovereign and royal matriarch. He said: ‘Your family now spans four generations. You are our Head of State. And you are also our mother.’

And in a touching moment, Charles spoke of his ‘much missed’ late father the Duke of Edinburgh, calling him ‘My Papa’ and saying the Queen’s late husband Philip was there ‘in spirit’.

Following the Queen’s death, King Charles III paid tribute to his ‘darling Mama’ the Queen and vowed to ‘renew’ her ‘promise of a life of service’ as he delivered a deeply revealing and personal first address to the nation.

The monarch, holding back tears, said, ‘To my darling Mama, thank you, thank you’, as he hailed Elizabeth II as an ‘inspiration and an example to me and to all my family’ following her death at Balmoral on Thursday aged 96.

In a moving speech that was screened at a service of prayer and reflection at St Paul’s Cathedral, the King spoke of a ‘time of change for my family’ while praising his ‘darling wife Camilla’ who becomes Queen Consort ‘in recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago’.

In his speech, the King said of his ‘beloved mother’ the late Elizabeth II: ‘We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example’.

He added: ‘To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.

‘Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May ‘flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’.’

The King pledged to dedicate his whole life to serving the nation just as the Queen did at her accession, saying: ‘That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today’.

Staff hurriedly arranged for a jet to collect the Queen’s other children – Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York – as well as the Countess of Wessex, whom the Queen adores and treats like a second daughter – and bring them up to Aberdeen.

Her grandson, Prince William joined them. His wife Kate remained with their three children, who have recently started a new school.

The sombre family group arrived in Scotland at 4pm, sweeping through the gates at Balmoral in a Range Rover driven by William at 5.06pm. Although Buckingham Palace has not confirmed the time of death, it is thought that they were unable to see their much-loved matriarch before she died.

By coincidence the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – now sadly estranged from most family members – were in Britain from their home in California and due to undertake a charity engagement in London before flying back home to their children.

There was confusion when their spokesman initially said that both Harry and Meghan would fly up to Balmoral to join the family, which caused surprise as spouses would normally be unlikely to join close relatives at a time of personal grief.

But it was later confirmed that Harry would travel alone and he finally arrived at his grandmother’s home at 7.52pm. He was still in the air when the death was confirmed.

The Queen’s death was finally announced at 6.32pm in a short black-edged statement from Buckingham Palace which read simply: ‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. 

‘The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.’

After the Queen’s death, Charles paid tribute to ‘cherished Sovereign and much-loved Mother’ Queen Elizabeth II in a movement statement. 

The statement ‘from His Majesty The King’ came just half an hour after the ‘peaceful’ passing of the Queen was announced.

His statement read: ‘The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

‘We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.

‘I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

‘During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.’

Jack’s comments come after interviewer Jenna opened up about the dinner she had with Prince Charles the night before he became King Charles III in the wake of the Queen’s death.

The Today host was in Ayrshire, Scotland, last week to interview Camilla, the former Duchess of Cornwall, who is now Queen Consort, about her online book club, The Reading Room.

Bush Hager was supposed to meet with her on Wednesday ahead of their sit down, but Charles ended up taking her place after her British Airways flight was delayed.

‘It was a lovely meal,’ she told Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin on the Today show Monday morning. ‘He first said, “My darling wife was so sad [not to make it].’ And I just love [that].’

Bush Hager said she turned to her husband, Henry Hager, who was also at the dinner, and asked: ‘Will you call me “darling wife” from now on?’

Charles also told her that Camilla ‘can’t wait to sit down with you tomorrow.’

‘We had a wonderful evening filled with conversation that felt joyful,’ the former first daughter added.

Looking back at the dinner, she believes the concerns for Queen Elizabeth’s health the next morning came as a ‘surprise’ to the family.

‘We had a terrific conversation, which I’m going to keep to myself,’ she said. ‘He loves his parents, both of them, and has spoken in great admiration of his family and his mother and his father.’

Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died of old age on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99. 

Bush Hager, who had been planning the interview with Camilla for about a year, explained that she and her crew were also caught off guard by the turn of events. 

‘The next morning, we were setting up the interview,’ she said. ‘We were at their house. It’s called the Dumfries House — they actually bought it, redid it, and then gave it to the people of Scotland.’

‘The interview was supposed to start around 2 or 2:30,’ she continued. ‘I was supposed to meet with the now-Queen Consort around 1:30. At 12:30, we heard sort of running up and down the halls.’

Bush Hager said they were ‘about 30 minutes away from sitting down together’ when she was told that Camilla and Prince Charles — who is now King Charles III — had flown to Balmoral Castle to be with his mother, Queen Elizabeth, after doctors became concerned about her health. 

‘They came in and said, “Can you please be quiet? There’s a call,”‘ she recalled. ‘We were right by then-Prince Charles’, now King Charles III’s, office. They said, “He’s on a call can you please be quiet.” Then, all of a sudden, we heard a helicopter.’

Bush Hager was then told that Camilla had to postpone the interview.

They said, “The Queen is ill, and they have gone and rushed off to be with her,”‘ she explained. ‘We just said our hearts are with them.’

She admitted she was disappointed at the time because she was looking forward to talking books with Camila, but it was surreal to be there at that moment, saying: ‘It was living history.’

‘Our hearts are with not only their family but also all of those that have loved this Queen for decades and decades,’ she said. ‘As you all know, she is a beloved figure. She’s worked with 15 prime ministers. She’s just been this cornerstone of steadiness, not only for this country but for her family.’ 

‘My heart breaks, too,’ she added. ‘In so many ways, we see her as this incredible political figure, but she’s a mother, she’s a grandmother, she’s a great-grandmother, and now she has her family by her bedside.’

‘Public grieving is a really difficult thing. The whole UK’s heart is breaking for this family,’ Bush Hager said.

 ‘I think so many times we see them as this institution, you know, as the royals, but as I spent time with Prince Charles, he’s much more. He’s a man who I’m sure is hurting terrifically today.’

Since the Queen’s death last Thursday, King Charles and his wife Camilla have faced a grueling schedule of public mourning. 

Yesterday marked the sixth official day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, and King Charles had vigorous schedule which started just hours after the death of his mother on 8 September.

He addressed the nation the following day in a speech where he held back tears while thanking his ‘darling Mama’, hailing Elizabeth II as an ‘inspiration and an example to me and to all my family’.

In a moving speech that was screened at a service of prayer and reflection at St Paul’s Cathedral, the King spoke of a ‘time of change for my family’ while praising his ‘darling wife Camilla’ who becomes Queen Consort ‘in recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago’.

On Saturday King Charles was officially proclaimed the monarch in a historic ceremony at St James’s Palace alongside Prince William and Queen Consort Camilla.

Just this week the new King has been to Edinburgh to walk with mother’s coffin to St Giles’ Cathedral where it was to lie-in-rest, before heading to Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, then heading back down to London where he formed part of the cortege which returned the Queen to Westminster Hall.

The royal couple were seen landing in Camilla’s estate in Reybridge near Lacock, Wiltshire at around 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon, landing in a field alongside the Queen Consort’s home, Ray Mill House.     

And today, King Charles III will be greeted with cannon-fire as he sets foot on Welsh soil for the first time as monarch today and Cardiff welcomes the former Prince of Wales – its longest-serving in history.

The monarch and the Queen Consort will this morning land in the Welsh capital by helicopter from Highgrove, where Her Majesty’s mourning son has spent the past 24 hours.

Thousands are expected to gather at Llandaff Cathedral and Cardiff Castle to greet the King, who was Prince of Wales for more than 53 years and whose mother the Queen will be buried with her wedding ring – made of Welsh gold – made so she would ‘always carry a piece of Wales’ with her.

But there will also be protests as the royal couple arrive on Owain Glyndwr Day – celebrating the revered and last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales who died in hiding from Henry V of England in 1415 after leading a battle for independence.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her son Charles in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on June 30, 2022

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her son Charles in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on June 30, 2022

A silent demonstration will begin from 1pm at Cardiff Castle, organisers have said, but First Minister Mark Drakeford believes it will not disrupt the visit, claiming it will be a ‘footnote’ to the main proceedings. He said: ‘People have a legitimate right to protest and there are a variety of views’. He also urged South Wales Police to deal with any protests in a ‘proportionate’ way and respect free speech.

Millions of people across the UK are also being urged to fall silent for two minutes during the closing moments of the Queen’s funeral on Monday – as part of a double moment of nationwide reflection honouring Her Majesty.

The two-minute silence will be held at 11.55am on Monday, during the closing chapter of Her Majesty’s state funeral – echoing a one-minute tribute scheduled for 8pm the night before.

Buckingham Palace also confirmed further details of the Queen’s funeral which will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am.

The host said they were 'about 30 minutes away from sitting down together' when she was told Camilla and Prince Charles - now King Charles III - had flown to Balmoral Castle to be with his mother, Queen Elizabeth

The host said they were 'about 30 minutes away from sitting down together' when she was told Camilla and Prince Charles - now King Charles III - had flown to Balmoral Castle to be with his mother, Queen Elizabeth

The host said they were ‘about 30 minutes away from sitting down together’ when she was told Camilla and Prince Charles – now King Charles III – had flown to Balmoral Castle to be with his mother, Queen Elizabeth 

Jenna Bush Hager, 40, was overcome with emotion as she revealed on the Today show Thursday that her interview with Camilla, now Queen Consort, was postponed

Jenna Bush Hager, 40, was overcome with emotion as she revealed on the Today show Thursday that her interview with Camilla, now Queen Consort, was postponed 

Charles, the former Prince of Whales, was seen leaving Dumfries House and heading to Balmoral as he and his siblings raced to be by their mother's side in her final moments

Charles, the former Prince of Whales, was seen leaving Dumfries House and heading to Balmoral as he and his siblings raced to be by their mother’s side in her final moments 

The Queen’s coffin is currently lying in state at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster – the queue for which is currently approximately 4.2miles long with an estimated wait time of at least 9 hours.

A continuous vigil of Her Majesty’s coffin is kept by the King’s body guards which will last until 6.30am on the morning of the Queen’s funeral.

At 7.30pm today, the King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will hold the Vigil of the Princes ceremony like they did in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh just days ago.

The senior royals are expected to replicate the ceremonial act they performed in Edinburgh, where they ‘took guard’ of their late mother’s coffin for 10 minutes.

Each stood on one of the four corners of the oak coffin with their heads bowed as part of the royal cortège known as the ‘Vigil of the Princes’.

It is understood that the ban on Prince Andrew wearing military uniform, which has seen him opt for a morning suit for public appearances this week, will be lifted as an exception for the final vigil held in London.   

During his speech, Charles was sat at an antique polished desk in Buckingham Palace's Blue Drawing Room, one of the grand state rooms, where the Queen would sometimes film her Christmas broadcasts. To the King's left was a framed photograph of his late mother the Queen, smiling broadly and wearing a vivid blue coat and matching hat decorated with a red flower

During his speech, Charles was sat at an antique polished desk in Buckingham Palace’s Blue Drawing Room, one of the grand state rooms, where the Queen would sometimes film her Christmas broadcasts. To the King’s left was a framed photograph of his late mother the Queen, smiling broadly and wearing a vivid blue coat and matching hat decorated with a red flower 

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