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Blow for Prince Harry as King Charles gives top job to ‘the Bee’ from memoir ‘Spare’

Sir Edward Young was appointed the monarch’s Permanent Lord in Waiting

Kate Ng
Thursday 17 August 2023 10:39 BST
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King Charles III has appointed Sir Edward Young as one of his Permanent Lords in Waiting, in what will likely come as a blow to the Duke of Sussex.

Young, who was a trusted private secretary to the late Queen Elizabeth II and stayed on to help with the transition after her death, stepped down from his role as the King’s private secretary in May after 19 years of service.

His newest appointment will enable Young to represent the King at events that the monarch is not able to attend in person. Charles’s other Permanent Lord in Waiting is the Marquess of Cholmondeley, who lives in a neighbouring estate to the Prince and Princess of Wales’s Norfolk getaway.

But Young’s new role will not come as good news to Prince Harry, who is believed to have nicknamed him “the Bee” in his bestselling memoir Spare.

In the book, Harry refers to three senior courtiers as “the Bee, the Wasp, and the Fly”. According to The Times, the wasp and the fly refer to Simon Case, Prince William’s private secretary, and Sir Clive Alderton, Charles’s private secretary at the time.

He described them as “three middle-aged white men who’d managed to consolidate power through a series of bold Machiavellian manoeuvres”.

“I disliked these men and they didn’t have any use for me. They considered me irrelevant at best, stupid at worst.”

Of Young, Harry wrote: “The Bee was oval-faced and fuzzy and tended to glide around with great equanimity and poise, as if he was a boon to all. He also claimed that he feared the courtiers were “taking advantage of a Queen in her nineties, enjoying his influential position while merely appearing to serve”.

The duke alleged that the trio “fixed” the terms of his departure from the UK, recounting details from the Sandringham meeting that was called to determine his and Meghan Markle’s future in the royal family in January 2020.

The ‘bee’ referenced in Harry’s memoir Spare is believed to be Sir Edward Young (Getty Images)

Harry claimed that “the Bee”, believed to refer to Young, had already pre-prepared drafts of a statement that would announce the couple’s total departure from senior duties “before any discussion”.

He recalled: “Wait. I’m confused. You’ve already drafted a statement? Before any discussion? Announcing Option Five? in other words, the fix was in, this whole time? This summit was just for show?”

After asking “the Bee” where the draft statements were for the other options, including Harry’s preferred option which was to be half-in, half-out model, he was allegedly told that “the Bee” had been unable to print them out because his printer was broken.

Other allegations that Harry brought against the trio of courtiers included that they “lied” to the Queen by claiming they never received the duke’s pleas for support, and that they had promised to act on Harry and Meghan’s concerns over how they were being treated by the press, but never took any action.

After Young’s departure as private secretary earlier this year, a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said he had brought “a vast reservoir of wisdom and experience to bear on helping to deliver the change of reign”.

He was previously appointed as a Lord in Waiting, as well as a peerage and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in honour of his service to the palace.

The new appointment was announced in the appendix to the Court Circular dated 15 August, which read: “The King has been pleased to appoint the Lord Young of Old Windsor to be a Permanent Lord in Waiting to His Majesty.”

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