Prince Harry will travel to London on May 8 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games but according to royal author Tom Quinn, he won’t meet his school and army friends

Prince Harry will likely spend “a great deal” of his time in the UK alone as his army and school friends have become distant, a royal expert has claimed.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, will travel to London next week to mark 10 years of his highly successful Invictus Games. The ceremony will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 8. It has been claimed Harry will check into a hotel room alone in London during his trip instead of staying at a royal residence or visiting friends.

Royal author and expert Tom Quinn claims it is possible that he will not meet any of his old friends from school and the military since they are “a part of the old pre-Meghan world” that Harry “hates to revisit”. During an exclusive chat with The Mirror, the expert said the Duke’s army friends felt “betrayed” by the way he wrote about military service in his memoir, Spare, and now they feel like they have “nothing in common” with him.

Prince Harry
Harry will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games 
Image:
AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Quinn told us: “Harry has a few friends from the army and from his days at school, but they are a part of the old pre-Meghan world that Harry hates to revisit, so he will indeed spend a great deal of his time in the UK alone. His military friends feel he has betrayed them by writing about his military service in such an un-military way and his old Etonian friends don’t like the new ‘woke’ Harry. Conservative with both a small and a big C, they see the new Harry as a tree-hugger with whom they have nothing in common.”

He also claimed that many of Harry’s old friends “don’t like Meghan” and blame the Duchess of Sussex for transforming the duke into what one of them called “Harry the Hippy”. The expert added that one or two old clubbing friends have suggested meeting up with Harry but he is said to be “reluctant” as he is “aware” of how much he has changed.

Mr Quinn went on to say: “The truth is that Harry has reinvented himself in a way that just doesn’t work for his family or for friends from the past when he was a very different character, so he will spend most of his time in the UK alone in a hotel, but constantly on the phone to Meghan.” The author did not mention which friends Harry might meet or avoid meeting while in the UK, but last year royal expert and correspondent Rebecca English said some people in the Duke’s friendship circle are “genuinely disgusted” that he dished on his family.

Speaking on the Daily Mail’s royal show Palace Confidential, she explained: “From what I hear, there are a lot of people who are genuinely disgusted by what he’s done since leaving the Royal Family. They feel very hurt by some of the revelations that he’s made. As they were growing up, William and Harry created a very close-knit circle of friends around each other.

“There was almost a kind of omertà between them. There are people who said: ‘We’ve been very loyal to him over the years and we don’t feel that loyalty’s been repaid’.” It’s unclear how close Harry is to his UK circle of friends, who he went to school with and completed Army training together. But Harry has hinted that some pals and family friends were perplexed by his criticism of the royals.

He admitted in his tell-all memoir Spare that he fell out with some of his old pals after he attacked the Royal Family on television in his and Meghan’s infamous tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey. Harry wrote in his book: “Several close mates and beloved figures in my life, including one of Hugh and Emilie’s (van Cutsem) sons, Emilie herself, and even Tiggy (former nanny), had chastised me for Oprah.

Harry and Meghan attend the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023
Harry and Meghan attend the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 
Image:
Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)
“How could you reveal such things? About your family? I told them that I failed to see how speaking to Oprah was any different from what my family and their staff had done for decades – briefing the press on the sly, planting stories.”

Back in 2021, a former army comrade of Harry said his friend would “regret” his decision to step back from his Royal Family responsibilities. Martyn Compton, who has known Harry for nearly 20 years, was badly burned in Afghanistan in 2006 and was previously seen alongside the Prince at various social events.

He said: “As Prince Harry’s friend and someone who has served alongside him, I’m shocked and amazed it’s all come to this. I genuinely hope the interview with Oprah Winfrey and all that goes with it is worth it to him as this is a very high price to pay.”

Prince Harry speaks to Martyn Compton in 2016
Prince Harry speaks to Martyn Compton in 2016 

Image:
Getty Images)
And last summer, Harry missed his close friend and “real” best man’s wedding. Jack Mann, who was photographed in Prince Harry’s ‘band of brothers’ when he married Meghan Markle in 2018, was initially believed to have been one of the ushers at the event. But afterwards it was suggested that Jack was his “real best man” rather than his brother Prince William.

Jack married Isabella Clark at St Peter’s church in Stutton, Suffolk in July 2023 and guests included Harry’s friend Thomas van Straubenzee, the godfather of Princess Charlotte. Jack and Harry first met at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and used to play polo together as their friendship grew.

Harry with Jack Mann at Ascot in 2015
Harry with Jack Mann at Ascot in 2015 
Image:
Jabpromotions/REX/Shutterstock)

The pair served with the British Army for tours of Iraq and Afghanistan and both were commissioned into the Blues and Royals. It is unclear how close the pair are today as the Duke admitted in his tell-all memoir Spare that he fell out with some of his old pals after he attacked the Royal Family on television.