After nearly two years living in the US, speculation over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s return to the UK this year has been growing. Fans had eagerly expected that he would fly back to support his grandmother the Queen at Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month, before returning again for the Platinum Jubilee in June.
But last week it was confirmed that neither Prince Harry nor Meghan would be coming to the memorial, due to be held on 29 March. The couple’s attendance had been hanging in the balance since it emerged last month that they were taking legal action, after the Home Office refused to provide him and his family with automatic security when entering the UK, as Harry “did not feel safe” in Britain.
However, Harry – who shares Archie, two, and Lilibet, nine months, with Meghan – is set to attend the Invictus Games next month in The Hague, a city in The Netherlands, less than an hour’s flight from London. And last week the Prince shared a video featuring himself dressed up in the country’s national colour of orange.
Now royal biographer Duncan Larcombe – who wrote Prince Harry: The Inside Story – says he believes Harry is purposefully choosing not to return the UK, and that in the future he will deeply regret not being there to support the Queen, 95. He also fears that cutting himself off from his family and friends could be an indication that all is not well in his relationship with Meghan.
Duncan says, “In my opinion, the security issue is a total excuse. Harry has returned to the UK since moving to the States, for Philip’s funeral and for his late mother’s memorial service, and there hasn’t been a security threat. What more threat will there be in the UK than there will be in The Hague? I think he’s honestly probably more fearful of being booed by the British public and of facing his family.
“But I think he should be there to support his grandmother on what will be an emotional day for her. The Queen is also yet to meet Lilibet, and has barely spent any time with Archie. So it’s a shame he’s missing out on this precious time with her.”
Duncan adds that Harry’s recent behaviour and self- isolation from loved ones may indicate trouble in his relationship with Meghan. He recently surprised fans when he attended a rodeo championship in Texas, something which fans suggested could upset animal rights activist Meghan. And when he was pictured at the Super Bowl in LA last month, it was his cousin Princess Eugenie, not Meghan, by his side.
Duncan adds, “Harry’s recent appearance at the Texas Rodeo was totally bizarre, almost as if he was trying to immerse himself in American culture. It was especially bizarre as it so clearly goes against Meghan’s animal rights beliefs. And Meghan’s absence from the Super Bowl was baffling too.
“From what I hear, Harry has cut out many of the people who ever loved him from his life. His family, his old school friends, the list goes on. I think one of the biggest signs of a relationship not going well is that one or both of you become very isolated from the friends and family and people who love you and who you grew up with. And this is what has happened with Harry, since being with Meghan. It’s worrying, as he’s more alienated than ever now – which shows things aren’t going well.”
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, have been embroiled in a bitter feud with the royals since their move to the US in 2020 – with the couple taking shots at
them in a series of scathing interviews. The couple made accusations of racism within the royal family, as well as claiming during an interview with Oprah that Meghan’s mental health struggles had been overlooked.
And in a podcast with actor Dax Shepard, Harry criticised his father Prince Charles’ parenting, saying that his father passed down a “cycle of pain” onto him.
But the most shocking statement came when it was announced Harry would be writing a tell-all memoir, as part of a multimillion-pound deal with a publisher. Set to “tell his truth,” it is thought it will be released this autumn.
Prince William – whose once close relationship with Harry is believed to have broken down – was said to be “livid” over last year’s comments. And now the brothers are reported to have limited contact, with his wife Kate Middleton reportedly acting as a peacemaker.
And Duncan says that Harry not attending the memorial is an indication that his relationship with his family has deteriorated.
He says, “I thought the rift was bad this time last year, but that things have really deteriorated since last August when Harry announced he was doing this memoir. With the threat of that book hanging over the royal family, a return to the UK would just be incredibly awkward and emotionally charged.
“I would be really surprised if he and Meghan come back for the Platinum Jubilee in June. I’m sure in years to come he’ll regret missing it, but I just can’t see how he can come back and stand with his family with a smile, while there is the threat of his tell-all book.”
Harry and Meghan also signed multimillion-pound deals with the likes of Netflix and Spotify since moving to the States, but have barely produced any content since. Reports last week claimed that Meghan would be releasing a podcast in the summer, and there’s also been reports of a Netflix documentary centred on the Invictus Games in the works.
And Duncan adds, “Harry and Meghan will be under an increasing amount of pressure to deliver. If this Invictus Games documentary and Spotify podcast aren’t world-loved, award-winning programmes, they could be in trouble.”