Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘are invited to make Buckingham Palace balcony appearance at Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations but will have no formal role’ over four-day bank holiday weekend
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been invited to join the rest of the royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, it is believed.
If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do fly to London from California to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, they will appear at several events, including a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
However, they will not have take part in Trooping the Colour or have a formal role in the celebrations, it is understood.
Aides believe that the Sussexes’ presence would mean a lot to Her Majesty.
However, they have warned it would have to be carefully managed and would involve a ‘leap of faith’ from all sides after a string of damaging claims from Harry and Meghan since ‘Megxit’.
Prince Harry would also have to back down amid a row over his security, after he said he didn’t feel safe bringing his family to the UK following the government’s decision not to provide them with police protection.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes told the Telegraph on Monday that they were not in a position to discuss future travel plans.
Left to write: Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, as members of the Royal Family attend events to mark the centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Invictus Games athletics events. They are said to have been invited to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
The update comes after Harry and Meghan reportedly promised the Queen that she will get to hug her great-grandchildren Archie and Lilibet ‘in the near future’ during a ‘very cordial’ secret meeting.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a flying visit to Windsor last week to meet Her Majesty and Prince Charles for a peace offering, before travelling to The Hague for the start of the Invictus Games in The Netherlands.
The couple flew to London from their home in California, where their two children are believed to currently be.
According to The Mirror, senior royal sources described the meeting as ‘very cordial’ and ‘incredibly warm and good natured’.
Harry and Meghan reportedly opened the door to return from the US for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and told her of their plans to visit again so she can spend time with the children.
The Queen is yet to meet her great-granddaughter, 11-month-old Lilibet, who was named after Her Majesty’s childhood nickname. Archie – seventh in line to the British throne – is now two years old, and reports have previously hinted at the Queen’s sadness at not having the chance to spend more time with him.
News of Harry and Meghan’s promise came after it emerged earlier that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently away holidaying in the French Alps with their children – just as the surprise visit occurred.
Prince William and Kate are understood to be staying in the resort of Courcheval, with a picture circulating online of them watching their eldest son Prince George enjoy a skiing lesson.
Royal correspondent Robert Jobson said that it was ‘significant’ that the couple were not involved in the meeting between Harry and Meghan and other senior royals.
The brothers’ relationship is understood to be at rock bottom since Harry pressed the nuclear button on his royal life.
The ‘very tired’ Queen will limit her Platinum Jubilee appearances to ‘just a few’ events after battling covid two months ago and ongoing mobility problems.
Her Majesty revealed that fighting coronavirus in February has left her ‘exhausted’ in a video call with NHS staff and patients last week.
The Queen´s Platinum Jubilee celebrations programme in full
The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years (Toby Melville/PA)
Buckingham Palace has unveiled the line-up of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the first time.
Street parties, a concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars and a chance to see the Queen’s homes up close are all included in the programme to mark her 70 years on the throne.
Here is a list of all of the events taking place for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee:
– May 12-15: Platinum Jubilee Celebration
More than 500 horses and 1,000 performers will take part in a 90-minute show taking the Windsor Castle audience through history right from Elizabeth I to present day.
Bank Holiday: June 2: Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour)
The colour will be trooped on Horse Guards Parade by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards and over 1,200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division who will put on a display. Sandringham and Balmoral will also be open for residents and visitors to enjoy the celebrations across the Bank Holiday.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons
The UK will join the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories to light a beacon to mark the Jubilee. The Principal Beacon will also be lit in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
June 3: Service of Thanksgiving
The Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
June 4: Platinum Party at the Palace
Some of the world’s greatest entertainers are billed to perform at the concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the most significant moments from the Queen’s reign.
June 5: Big Jubilee Lunch
Street parties are being planned across the UK and neighbours are expected to join together for food and fun to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. It will mark the end of the Bank Holiday.
Platinum Jubilee Pageant
Performers will come together in London to tell the story of the Queen’s reign through a pageant that will include a ‘River of Hope’ section made up of 200 silk flags that will make its way through The Mall, appearing like a moving river.
July: The Royal Collection Trust
Three displays marking the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Coronation and Jubilees will be put on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
She told them: ‘It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it? This horrible pandemic. It’s not a nice result.’
Royal biographer Angela Levin said the Queen’s presence at jubilee events will be limited due to her frailty.
She said: ‘It’s going to be very difficult and I think they will only show her in a few instances, maybe at the service at St Paul’s. That will be very important to her because she is a Christian.
‘I don’t think we’ll see her around and about. Maybe she’ll be well enough to sit and watch horses. It won’t be her, everywhere. But if she is there, she will appreciate the fact the public will be wanting to be there and supporting her.
‘I imagine that the aides are worried that if the public don’t see her, people may think that if she’s not there it’s not worth us going.
‘I’m sure everyone in the Palace hopes that people will turn up to show their respects and say thank you for an extraordinary reign both in length and in breadth’.
The Queen stoically attended the memorial service for her beloved husband Prince Philip’s memorial service. But she asked Prince Andrew to support her as she walked.
Prince Charles is expected attend almost all of the jubilee events, representing the Queen where appropriate if she is unable to attend.
When Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had tested positive at Windsor, it was said that she had ‘mild cold-like symptoms’. While she had her weekly audience with the Prime Minister, she did not appear on scheduled video calls.
Sources told the Daily Mail the cancellations to recent events were made because she sounded ‘croaky’ and ‘full of cold’ and not because her condition had worsened. She also pulled out of the annual Commonwealth Day service, albeit more due to mobility problems.
However it seems that like many who have contracted Covid, the Queen – who is triple-jabbed and likely to have had her second booster injection by now – is suffering from after-effects including extreme exhaustion.
This will no doubt add to the mounting health problems of the last six months, which saw her needing hospital care last autumn and unable to conduct an engagement outside palace walls for six months.
The Queen notably missed the Commonwealth Day Service on Monday, March 14, which was attended in her absence by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The monarch had previously been given rest orders by doctors even before catching Covid, and had been forced to cancel a two day trip to Northern Ireland on October 20 at the last minute.
Other affected events before Christmas included the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on November 1 for which the Queen recorded a video message, the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on November 10 and the National Service of Remembrance on November 14.
She was finally seen in public at the Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving at the end of last month.
While she has also pulled out of this week’s Maundy Service in Windsor for the first time ever due to her mobility and handed responsibility to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, she has stoically continued video calls and audiences.
Four key events are said to be considered as priorities for the Queen to attend in-person, The Express reports, including the state opening of Parliament in May, the Derby at Epsom, the Trooping of the Colour in June and a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral that same month to mark her Platinum Jubilee.
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