A broadcaster called out to Kate and William when they left the London headquarters of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as the organisation announced its fund total for its Ukraine appeal had passed £300million.
Harry appeared to issue a veiled warning to those closest to the Queen when interviewed by a US network, saying he wanted to make sure his grandma was “protected” and had “the right people around her”.
The Duke did not elaborate on whether he was referring to royal aides or members of his own family, but his comments are likely to have deepened the rift with his dad Prince Charles and his brother William.
As the Cambridges stepped into their chauffeur-driven car a female broadcaster shouted: “Sir, does the Queen need protecting?”
Neither Kate nor William responded, as they continued into the vehicle before being driven away.
It came as they pledged to make a second donation to the DEC.
The couple hailed the generosity of the British public, with William highlighting how the huge total was raised during the difficult financial situation many people are facing.
William told staff as they sat at their desks: “We were saying with the background of the cost-of-living crisis you’ve raised £300million in eight weeks – that’s incredible.”
The couple chatted via a video call with senior aid workers from DEC member organisations who painted a grim picture of the situation in Ukraine.
Rachel Cummings, health lead for Save The Children who called in from a roadside cafe between Kyiv and Lviv, told the royals the “scale and complexity of the crisis is challenging”.
Speaking in person to a group of aid workers who had returned from the region, William delivered a sobering assessment.
He said: “We need less disasters in the world."
Saleh Saeed, DEC’s chief executive, said after the visit: “They were very keen to hear how the appeal was going and thrilled to hear that we’d raise over £300million and solidified in their minds the goodwill and the response and the generosity of the British public.”
He added the couple were so “enthused” after their visit they were “planning” on a second donation after giving to the appeal earlier in the year.
Mr Saeed said: “I think people have obviously been moved by what they’ve seen on the news and they want to help and people feel helpless in a way.
“The need inside Ukraine and surrounding countries is huge. So the £300 million is of course a huge amount of money and we’re very grateful for that, but we also have to remember there are other crises around the world.
“And whilst the focus remains on Ukraine for the moment, we still have an Afghanistan appeal open that’s raised £44million, we’re worried about famine in the Horn of Africa, global hunger is on the rise and the World Bank today warned with soaring food prices millions could be pushed into poverty.”
Kate and William on their visit in London today Jeff Spicer
Kate and William at the DEC headquarters Jeff Spicer