For months speculation has been rife as to whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be jetting over from their home in California for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. And last week, the couple finally confirmed that they will be visiting the UK for the four-day event. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said they will also be joined by their two children, Archie, 3, and 11-month-old daughter Lilibet.
But the Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, who served Her Majesty from 1988 to 2000, says that he still has his doubts that the couple will come. “I'll believe it when I see it. Of course the Queen would love to meet [Harry and Meghan’s daughter] Lilibet and see Meghan and Harry, but there’s still a big question mark over that,” he exclusively tells OK!
With the news that Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, has recently suffered a stroke, it’s also a difficult time for Meghan to be so far away from the US.
But if the couple do make it, it will be their first time seeing the wider royal family since they attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020, just weeks before they travelled to California, to settle in their new Montecito home.
Since their move over two years ago, the royal couple have returned to Britain on only a handful of occasions. Most recently, Harry and Meghan travelled to The Netherlands via the UK, in order to have a face-to-face meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle, where they reportedly also saw Prince Charles.
But with the Sussexes so vigilant about their personal protection – amid Harry’s ongoing dispute with the British Home Office over his and his family's security – their potential jubilee visit does raise the question of where they will stay.
Rumour has it that they will base themselves at their former home, Frogmore Cottage, where they lived before stepping back from their roles in the royal family and relocating to the US. It has since become the residence of Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank – who Harry and Meghan are very close to. It is expected that Princess Eugenie and Jack will host them in the guest rooms during their jubilee visit.
The couple would then attend most of the major events of the Jubilee, with the notable exception of the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance during Trooping the Colour, as the Queen has limited the balcony appearance to working members of the royal family only.
“The people on the balcony are those who have supported Her Majesty throughout her 70 years, the working members of the royal family,” confirms Dickie.
But if further rumours are to be believed, the couple may make a “surprise appearance” on June 5, when the Queen will reportedly emerge onto the balcony for a second time with her family members. Watch this space!
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