LONDON — “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb told Page Six Prince Harry’s love of his grandmother was “palpable” when she interviewed him just months before Queen Elizabeth’s death.
The prince, now 38, spoke openly about the Queen during an interview with Kotb, 58, back in April, as he insisted he wanted to ensure his grandmother’s protection.
“I’m just making sure that she’s, you know, protected and got the right people around her,” he said.
On Monday morning, just minutes before she went live on air to helm NBC’s coverage of the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, Kotb told Page Six that Harry’s love was “was palpable when we spoke about the Queen … it was the most moving parts of the interview — and to imagine the next time time that we would be talking about Harry and his grandmother was today is so poignant.
“A big chunk of the interview was about the Queen, which shows you where she was in his mind.”
She added: “He showed me another side of her, that mischievous side. He delighted in that. I was looking at old videos of them and he would always whisper something in her ear and she would always burst out laughing.
“My heart goes out to all of the royals today. We are seeing it’s a big moment for this country but they lost their grandmother, and anyone who’s lost their grandmother and has lost a grandmother for that long knows what it feels like.”
The interview took place as Harry and wife Meghan Markle made a fleeting visit to the Queen at Windsor before flying to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games in April.
Asked about that visit with the woman he called “Granny,” Harry told Kotb: “It was great, it was really nice to see her. To see her in an element of privacy was nice.” The Duke of Sussex added the he had tea with her and even “made her laugh. We have a really special relationship. We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else.”
When Kotb asked him about his favorite thing about the Queen, he quickly said: “Her sense of humor, and her ability to see the humor in so many different things.”
Guthrie, 50, told Page Six today: “We are all very very privileged and honored today to be here witnessing history. I am struck by the outpouring of emotion by the British public, it transcends generation, it transcends everything.”
Having helmed “Today” from outside Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s death, Guthrie added, “I was struck at Buckingham Palace by the people laying flowers. It was so strangely quiet and respectful
“They loved her — which is not a word that we’re familiar with using for any leader! But love is the word that people most often use.”
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