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The Daily Mail have reported that Lilibet, named after her grandmother Queen Elizabeth, will meet the monarch during their trip to the UK for the Queen's platinum jubilee celebrations. This will be the first time the great-grandmother-of-twelve will meet Harry and Meghan's youngest child.
The occasion will mark not only the Queen's jubilee, but also Lilibet's first birthday. The According to Daily Mail, the monarch will miss her favourite sporting event, the Derby horse races at Epsom, and spend the day with her great-grandchild.
The little lady's first birthday is set to be celebrated at Frogmore Cottage. It is technically still Harry and Meghan's UK residence but is now inhabited by Princess Eugenie and her family. Daily Mail reports they have vacated the Cottage ahead of the Prince's return. This is their first trip to the UK since a fleeting visit last month for an audience with the Queen.
The Queen loves her family but, family comes hand-in-hand with duty. Duty has taken precedence at the Trouping the Colour even on Thursday 2nd June. Her Majesty has stated that only 'working royals' will be given a spot on the balcony this year. This event includes the famous 'flypast' that provides a perfect opportunity to capture the Royals all out on the balcony together. Not this year.
Those invited will only include the Queen herself; her son, Charles and wife, Camilla; William, Kate and the three Cambridge children; Edward and Sophie plus their children; the Princess Royal; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. No space this year for Andrew, Sarah nor their girls, Eugenie and Beatrice. And no space for Harry, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet.
According to the Guardian, a Buckingham Palace source said: “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional trooping the colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2 June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen.”
Harry and Meghan are invited to other jubilee events, it seems, after the palace confirmed that 'family members would be invited to the jubilee events'.
The Guardian reports that a spokesperson for the couple said: “Prince Harry and Meghan are excited and honoured to attend the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations this June with their children.” It will be their first 'whole family' visit to the UK since leaving for the US.
Earlier this year, the Daily Mail stated that Harry and Meghan Markle, on their way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, took a pitstop at Windsor Palace to visit Harry's granny.
The Sussexes had not before travelled to the UK over a debate on security. The secret visit - with remarkably no leaks anywhere - allowed the couple to provide their own security: the power of incognito.
It is also said they met with Prince Charles, Harry's father. Could this be a positive step towards family reconciliation? Harry seemed to shun the royals when he did not attend his grandfather's memorial service earlier on in the year.
Due to increasing fears over Harry's safety in the UK, Harry did not attend Prince Philip's poignant thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey on March 29th.
Earlier in the year, the Mail reported that Prince Harry was 'unlikely to come back to the UK this year'. It seems certain that he will, but what is still feuding between the royals?
Tom Bower, a royal biographer, has claimed that Harry will find it hard to 'face his family ahead of his upcoming memoirs.' The writer is currently putting together a biography of Meghan Markle; and he anticipates a strong reaction to the memoirs Harry will release in the autumn.
Harry will be publishing his memoirs later in the year and it is anticipated he will 'bare-all', laying his life out for the world to see in plain text. The Mail describes the possible reaction as 'explosive'. What certainly is explosive, however, is the price tag. Harry will receive a staggering £14.7million ($20million) to sell his full story to the publishers.
Bower said, according to The Mail,
"That book will have a lot of casualties and cause a lot of hurt. It will really deliver, as Harry knows it has to, to justify the money he’s been paid to do it. How can Harry come back and pretend it’s all fine? The worst of what he will say is yet to come," he added.
For this visit, the exiled Duke and Duchess of Sussex still need to be careful not to take too much attention away from the Queen's incredible achievement. The upcoming memoirs might well cast another shadow over this momentous year.
Prince Harry has been back a few times since leaving for the US in 2020. Most notably for the unveiling of his mother's memorial and the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Phillip.
The jubilee could be the perfect event to extend the olive branch and try to mend bridges. Maybe the royal family can put behind them the very public and bitter events that lead to Harry and Meghan’s exit to the US, but are they willing to forgive all that is to come?
Harry went to the UK with Meghan joining him. This was the duchess' first trip to England since the couple left their official royal commitments behind them. What type of public welcome might the duchess expect if she returned in broad daylight?
Prince Harry and Meghan lost UK taxpayer-funded security when they officially stepped down from their senior royal roles in early 2021.
In California, the royal couple pay for their own security team but, in the UK, they feel that they can not have the same level of protection. The couple have stated that they cannot return home as much as they would like to.
Prince Harry had apparently offered to pay out of his own pocket for continued protection by police in the UK, but his request was not approved by the UK Home Office. They say he (like everyone else) is not allowed to privately pay the police.
Harry was seeking a judicial review against the Home Office to question their decision. The Daily Mail reported, however, that the Home Office ‘will not back down’. If Harry wins the chance to have his review heard, the case will be brought before the High Court.
The only goal for Prince Harry has always been very simple, to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK, so that his children can get to know his home country.
Prince Harry's legal representatives said in a statement that he "inherited a security risk at birth, for life."
Even though the prince left the country, they say, "he remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats. While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family."
The statement added that "the UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in. With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes that his petition – after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK – will resolve this situation."
The Express quoted royal commentator, Richard Eden, in saying that Harry "is trying to have his cake and eat it at the expense of hard-pressed taxpayers in Britain."
As Eden alleged, Harry "moved to America to earn a lot of money and it was made very clear to him at the time that would involve giving up your security and now you have to pay for it yourself."
The Express also detailed an exclusive interview with another royal commentator, Marlene Koenig, who said, despite ‘bring fond of the pair’, that "even if he wants security or the police, they would still inform him if there was such a threat. They won’t stay silent, I don’t buy that. Something else is going on. What are these threats? Is it a way of saying: 'I’m not coming.’”
But, if we have learned anything over the past 70 years, it is that the queen will be professional and put the needs of the country above all else. Happy jubilee year, your majesty.