Meghan and Harry Reportedly Make Plans to Visit the Queen for the First Time Since Royal Exit
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly made plans to head back to England and visit Queen Elizabeth II for the first time since March 2020—when they officially stepped down from their roles as senior royals.
On January 10, the Sunday Times reported that—should COVID-19 restrictions allow—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will return to the U.K. to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday in June, as well as the coinciding Trooping the Colour parade. Though the couple is scheduled to attend, the royal family is reportedly prepared to downsize the event to adapt to coronavirus guidelines.
The queen has seemed sympathetic towards Prince Harry’s decision to step down, reportedly urging other members of the royal family “not to obstruct Harry and Meghan’s aspirations for a new life.”
Though the last time Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were seen in public with Prince William and Kate Middleton was at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Service in March 2020, royal reporter Katie Nicholl recently told Entertainment Tonight that the brothers have reconnected virtually over the holidays. (The families also reportedly swapped presents).
“There were phone and video calls over the Christmas and New Year holiday, and the Sussexes sent presents to the Cambridges and vice versa,” Nicholl said. “It was an opportunity in an otherwise very busy and chaotic year for both of the families to come together and connect, albeit virtually.”
Apparently, the two brothers were able to move past an awkward period in their relationship. “Things are a lot better between William and Harry. If you go back a year at this stage, these brothers were barely on talking terms,” Nicholl continued, adding that Prince William had been “so angry” with his brother following their royal exit announcement last year. “He couldn’t even face going to that lunch with the queen. He only went for the meetings, such was his frustration and feeling of disappointment about what his brother had done and how Harry was handling the situation.”
However, Vanity Fair recently reported that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s stepping-down announcement in January 2020 was somewhat unintentional.
“Harry and Meghan had put a great deal of thought into trying to create something that would work for both sides, but that was all blown when their plans were leaked to the press,” royal historian Robert Lacey told Vanity Fair in an article published on January 7. “Harry was trying to get Charles, William, and the queen to approve a plan, which they wanted in writing. Harry wanted to talk face-to-face because he was worried it would leak. Reluctantly, he did put it in writing, it did leak, and that led to the Sussexes making the announcement.”
Hopefully, all of this will soon be water under the bridge.