A former private secretary and confidante to the late Queen Elizabeth II has left the royal fold just weeks after the coronation of King Charles III.
Sir Edward Young served as private secretary to Elizabeth II for five years until the Monarch’s death and was even blamed by Prince Harry for convincing the late Queen to refuse Harry and Meghan Markle the option to remain part-time royals.
As private secretary, Sir Young controlled the Queen’s diary and acted as the primary liaison point for the private secretaries of other royal family members, such as Charles and Prince William.
Sir Young is also believed to have influenced the decision to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their permanent taxpayer-funded police protection when they visit the United Kingdom.
As one of the palace’s “men in grey”, Sir Young will be given a peerage, becoming Lord Young in recognition of his 19 years of service to the crown.
Sir Edward joined the Royal Household as assistant private secretary to the Queen in September 2004.
By the time Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose to step back from royal duties, Sir Young had become the late Queen’s most trusted aide.
According to royal historian Robert Lacey, Sir Young faces personal responsibility for failing to find a “role” in the firm for the Duchess of Sussex, which likely resulted in Harry and Meghan abandoning royal life.
“(Young) lacked the imagination to find a role for the Duchess that she would find fulfilling and that matched her interests,” Mr Lacey told The Times in 2021.
“The buck stops, as it has always stopped, with the private secretary.”
In his memoir Spare, Harry blasted Sir Young by labelling him “The Bee” and alleging that he plotted against the Sussexes.
“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,” the Prince wrote.
“He was so poised that people didn’t fear him. Big mistake. Sometimes their last mistake.”
According to Harry, Sir Young was the main architect of “Megxit” and presented the Sussexes with five options for the future when he and Meghan decided to quit royal duties.
At the time, the couple were hoping to combine a limited royal role with their own commercial interests, an idea which was promptly shut down by the Queen and Sir Young.
Since Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Sir Young has served as joint private secretary to the new King but will retire from the household to take a seat in the House of Lords.
Sir Young’s retirement from royal duties is believed to be on highly amicable terms, reflected in the decision to grant him a peerage – an honour which may sting the Duke of Sussex.