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Royal Expert Reveals The Palace’s Strategy For Dealing With Meghan And Harry During The Anniversary

There was a lot of fuss about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June. Remember, the couple chose to skip Prince Philip’s memorial service earlier this year out of security concerns. We know they paid a secret visit to the monarch shortly after while in Europe for the Invictus Games, but the anniversary marked Harry and Meghan’s first public reunion with the royal family since moving to California—then gave that infamous interview to Oprah Winfrey essentially calls out The Firm for everything from racism to bullying.

Of course, relations between the Sussexs and the rest of the royal family are now tense, with insiders claiming that Harry and his brother Prince William, who were previously very close, may never reconcile (via In style

Prior to the anniversary, which commemorated Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne, it was unclear how much time Harry and Meghan would spend with William, the monarch and the rest of the family.

Signs of tension plagued Meghan and Harry’s visit

The palace had already announced that during the platinum anniversary, only working royals would be invited to participate in high-profile events, such as standing on the balcony for Trooping the Colour. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ended up staying behind the scenes on this occasion. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who had been stripped of his royal titles, announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and avoided any public humiliation as a result.

Then, on Thanksgiving the next day, it looked like Harry and Prince William didn’t even cross paths (via news week

Another sign that the family relationship is at best strained was the seemingly passive birthday wishes for Lilibet being pronounced by the royal family, with Harry and Meghan’s second child turning one while in the UK for the anniversary celebrations. But these weren’t the only moments that made royal viewers cringe as the week’s events continued to play out.

The palace may have anticipated drama

Following the royal family’s lukewarm public reception for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the couple certainly wouldn’t leave Britain without a moment of unity to share with the world. Or not. Fans have never been shown a photo of Queen Elizabeth with her great-grandchild, Lilibet, with conflicting reports suggesting the monarch refused the couple’s requests to take a picture with the child, or that she wasn’t even asked to do that.

Given all this drama, the anniversary was clearly as much about the Queen as it was about Harry and Meghan. This, although at one point it was reported early on that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not want to shake things up and promised to keep the focus on the landmark event. How do they explain the early departure despite criticism of their use of a private jet (via New York Post

And now we learn that the palace may have had a plan to cope with the media storm the controversial former royals had to create by just publicly stepping back into the UK.

The Queen apparently arranged Meghan and Harry’s visit behind the scenes

A royal expert claims none of the drama surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s participation during the Queen’s platinum anniversary came as a surprise to the royal family (via news week† As Richard Fitzwilliams said on the country’s GB News network, “the palace knew who they were dealing with.” He also noted that while it seems the couple has stolen the spotlight in recent years — and tarnished the royal family’s reputation — the monarchy “has lasted more than a thousand years.”

Fitzwilliams went on to explain that the visit was carefully organized by the royal family, with the Sussexs purposefully kept away from Prince William and Kate Middleton during the church service. Instead, they were placed near Eugenie and Beatrice, daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, “whom they apparently get along with.”

Finally, the royal expert seemed to suggest that the lack of photos of Queen Elizabeth’s meeting with Lilibet was also the result of a palace directive.

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