Meghan Markle’s fears over ‘homesick’ Prince Harry

As they prepare to return to the UK, insiders say Meghan Markle fears the ‘bittersweet’ invitation could be a ploy to ‘lure’ Harry back

meghan markle and prince harry

by Lauren Hill-Roger |

It’s been over two years since they broke free to live a life of independence and financial freedom in the states, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have had a turbulent and often bitter relationship with the royal family ever since.

But to the surprise of many, they’ve reportedly had their second invitation in a year from the Queen to visit her at Balmoral. Last week, insiders at the seven-bedroom Scottish lodge used by the Queen for her holidays, and thought to be her favourite retreat – revealed that the monarch, 96, wants Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, to spend time at the royal residence over the summer.

A source says, “Staff have been told to expect the full list of royals, including Harry, Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet. They are preparing for the Sussexes.”

The shock summons by Harry’s beloved grandmother has been seen as yet another olive branch extended to the couple, whose trip back to the UK last month for the platinum jubilee celebrations was undermined by a reportedly frosty reception from the UK public and other senior royals, including Prince William and Kate Middleton.

And while it’s widely believed the Sussexes will fly over from California, as Harry continues to maintain a close and loving relationship with the Queen, insiders tell Closer the prospect of the visit is “bittersweet” for Meghan, as she fears their new life in upmarket Montecito could be thrown into jeopardy by patriotic Harry’s homesickness.

the queen and prince harry
©getty images

The source continues, “It’s a bittersweet invite for Meghan, because on one hand it fuels her and Harry’s confidence that they are very much still part of the family, but after so much time away, she fears Harry will be lured back into the fold and want to return to the UK.

“Meghan doesn’t doubt that Harry is committed to spending the rest of his life in America, but does have certain trepidation over how these types of visits can pull at his heartstrings.

 “She’s been aware of Harry’s homesickness for some time, and she can see just how excited he is to show more of his heritage to their children, without the attention and security fears that surrounded them in London.”

Balmoral Castle
the balmoral estate is the royals' holiday home ©getty images

Their previous visit saw Harry and Meghan attend the Trooping the Colour ceremony, despite being banned by the monarch from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and later introduce their one-year-old daughter Lilibet to the Queen in a brief 15-minute meeting, where photographs were banned.

They poignantly celebrated Lilibet’s first birthday at their former home, Frogmore Cottage, but rather than being the family reunion they had hoped for, the party was not attended by the majority of the royals and Archie, three, and Lilibet were unable to leave the cottage due to Harry’s fears over their safety.

The tense trip came just over a year after the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey – during which they accused the family of bullying, alleged they had ignored Meghan’s cries for mental health support and had left her feeling suicidal, and claimed a “senior royal” had been racist in a comment over Archie’s skin colour. The Palace issued a response saying the claims were “concerning” and would be “addressed by the family privately”. With Prince William later stressing, “We are very much not a racist family.”

prince harry prince william prince charles
At Balmoral as a child with his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William ©getty images

And while Harry’s ongoing rivalry with his brother still rumbles on, the usually stoic Queen is said to be heartbroken over her family’s feud.

Harry came under fire again in April after claiming in an interview with the Today Show that he wanted to make sure the Queen is “protected” with “the right people around her” – despite Prince William and Kate Middleton’s plans to move to Windsor, where their home will be just 10 minutes away from the monarch. However, the source says Harry’s well-meaning wish to spend as much time with his grandmother as possible is a huge driving force behind their visit.

The insider adds, “It goes without saying he wants to spend as much time with his grandmother while he still can, so this offer is a big deal to him and it’s one he’s going to take up with open arms. It’ll be such a treat to spend precious time with the Queen, and Harry would love to enjoy a pint in a British pub and spend time with his family in the countryside. He’s really missed it.”

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Despite their freedoms, the insider also hints that staff at Balmoral have been tasked with keeping a close eye on Harry and Meghan – who royal biographer Tom Bower recently claimed are in a “catch 22” over wanting to reconnect with the family but needing to honour their deals with the likes of Netflix by sharing behind-the-scenes secrets. The source adds, “Members of the Firm will be on hand and watching Harry and Meghan like hawks. That, of course, can’t be avoided.”

And after reports that Meghan felt “excluded” and “unprotected”  in the UK, the source says that despite her feeling “happy” for the chance for both Harry and her children to reconnect with their family and the UK, she has made it clear to her husband that their stay is temporary.

“Make no mistake – Meghan wants and expects her and Harry to spend the rest of their lives in America, but she still wants the best of both worlds too,” the insider explains.

“Provided Harry is on board with that there isn’t going to be a problem. But if he starts pushing to come home full-time or even for extended periods, it’s simply not going to fly
with Meghan.”

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