The nation’s hearts dropped when it emerged that the 95-year-old Queen had tested positive with Covid last week, the first time she’s contracted it since the pandemic began.
Reports claimed that despite catching the virus, the monarch was only suffering with “mild symptoms” and would “carry on with light duties” but cancelled two events she had previously hoped to go ahead with.
World leaders – including Boris Johnson, the Australian Prime Minister and the US President – sent good wishes to the Queen, and her son Prince Charles thanked members of the public for a flood of get well cards she’d received.
Her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton also stepped up to support the Queen. While Prince William stood in for her royal duties – such as handing out honours at Windsor Castle last Tuesday in her absence – Kate went on a solo royal trip to Denmark to represent the Queen and met with researchers for her Early Years Foundation children’s charity.
But there was seemingly no word from the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry, who left the royal fold for a new life in California in 2020 and hasn’t publicly sent a message to his grandmother.
Since leaving the UK, Harry and wife Meghan, 40, have launched a series of scathing attacks on his family, accusing them of mental health neglect and racism during an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, and later criticising the “trapped” nature of the royal family on a podcast.
But Harry, 37, has maintained that he and Meghan have a strong and loving relationship with the Queen, with the couple naming their daughter “Lilibet” after her childhood pet name, and reportedly keeping in touch with her through regular FaceTime chats.
Harry has only returned twice, and only for a few days at a time, since he left for the US two years ago – once for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral, and again for the unveiling of his late mother Princess Diana’s statue in July. Meghan has not returned.
But despite Harry describing spending time in the UK as a “trigger” for him, there’s speculation that he’ll return home this year. Not only has his family not yet met Lilibet, nine months, but this year sees the celebration of 70 years on the throne for the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee in June, set to be four days of festivities. There’s also been talk that he’ll return for Prince Philip’s memorial service next month.
A visit seemed even more likely for Prince Harry and his family when it was reported he was embroiled in a legal battle against the Government over his security over his demand to be able to pay for Met Police protection, should he return.
But last month, royal biographer Tom Bower – who is writing Meghan’s biography, due out in the autumn – says he believes Meghan “has no intention whatsoever to return to the UK”, saying she views it as “a lost cause”.
Now Tom tells Closer he believes this year will present Harry with the “ultimate test” – as he’ll be forced to choose between his grandmother and his new life in LA.
Check out: 35 celebrity couples you definitely forgot about 🤯
35 celebrity couples we forgot about SLIDER
1. Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
Jennifer and Owen dated for a short time in 2008 after filming Marley & Me together.
2. Sandra Bullock and Matthew Mcconaughey
Sandra Bullock and Matthew Mcconaughey became a couple after starring in A Time To Kill together. Despite the fact they looked SUPER CUTE together with their matching glossy curls, their relationship lasted less than two years.
3. Seal and Tyra Banks
Before Seal married Heidi Klum and started throwing THE BEST Halloween parties of all time (seriously, if you don't know, check them out), he briefly dated model and 'smize' enthusiast, Tyra Banks.
4. Johnny Depp and Kate Moss
We don't want to be dramatic, but Kate Moss and Johnny Depp were probably the hottest couple OF ALL TIME.
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss
Seriously, just look at them. That hair! Those cheekbones! PHWOAR!
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss
The couple met in 1994 - when Johnny was 31 and Kate was just 20 - and dated for four years and were reportedly even engaged.
5. Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal
Brace yourselves, ladies, for you're about to witness pictures of dreamboat Jake Gyllenhaal looking TOTALLY besotted with another woman. The woman in question is, of couse, Kirsten Dunst, who he dated from 2002 - 2004.
Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal
Look, here he is gently cupping her face as he stares adoringly into her eyes...
Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal
And here they are snogging each other's faces off in a doorway. JEALOUS!
6. Kate Bosworth and Orlando Bloom
Long before he went naked paddle boarding with Katy Perry, British actor Orlando Bloom dated super-chic actress Kate Bosworth.
7. Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere
Wow, these two REALLY looked great together. Just look at them! Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere first met in 1987 when Cindy was just 21, and wed four years later. Sadly their huge 17-year age gap proved fatal, and the couple divorced just four years later in 1995.
8. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling
Yes, much to everyone's surprise, Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock were once a 'thing'. Briefly.
9. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin were married for nine years and have one child - Ireland Baldwin - together. Sadly, their relationship ended in a bitter divorce in 2002.
10. Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
Long before Blake was ultimate #CoupleGoals with hubby Ryan Reynolds, she made Gossip Girl fans' dreams come true by dating her GG co-star Penn Badgley. Sadly the couple broke everyone's hearts by splitting up three years later, but we think we can all agree it was for the greater good.
11. Natalie Portman and Moby
Yes, Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman briefly dated the much-maligned musician (and fellow vegan), Moby. Strangely, the only image we could find of them was this one where they're posing with Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots and even more inexplicably, Natalie's holding a cake. GO FIGURE.
12. Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson
Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson's relationship may have been short (it only lasted about a year), but it had HUGE ramifications - mainly because Ted was married at the time and his affair with Whoopi resulted in his second divorce. Gulp.
13. Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt
Can we all just take a moment to remember just how great Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt were together. Look - they even had matching hair! The couple, who were together from 1994 - 1997 met when Gwynnie was just 24, and were even engaged. Talking about the relationship years later, Oscar winner Gwyneth admitted: "I f----- that up, Brad!" REGRETS!
14. Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck
Who do you possibly date if you've just broken up with Brad Pitt? Well, if you're Gwyneth Paltrow, that answer's Ben Affleck. The couple dated on and off till 2000.
15. Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans
Let's take a trip back to 2007, when Sienna Miller had everyone asking, 'WTF does SHE see in HIM?' when she began dating super-scruffy Welsh actor Rhys Ifans (yes, we know he's probably got a great personality, but COME ON!).
16. Kim Kardashian and Nick Cannon
Back when Kim Kardashian was BFFs with Paris Hilton and still had most of her real face (circa 2006), she was doing the dirty with Nick Cannon - aka. Mariah Carey's baby daddy.
Kim Kardashian and Nick Cannon
And look, here they are posing with a topless woman who's carrying a snake. Good times!
17. Ashton Kutcher and January Jones
Before we all knew her as Betty Draper in Mad Men, January Jones dated Ashton Kutcher. The couple dated from 1998 - 2001, but sadly, despite the fact they look seriously happy in this snap, it turns out Ashton was a bit of a jerk. Talking to GQ in 2009, January admitted: "He was not supportive of my acting... He was like, 'I don't think you're going to be good at this."
18. Kiera Knightley and Jamie Dornan
Long before he was dark and brooding and Christian Grey, Jamie Dornan was the dark, brooding boyfriend of Kiera Knightley. Lucky girl!
19. Chris Evans and Jessica Biel
Yes, Jessica Biel (who's now happily to married to Justin Timberlake) used to date Captain America! Sorry, we mean, Chris Evans. Who knew?
20. Madonna and Sean Penn
Madonna's dating history is long and varied - from legendary artist Jean Michel Basquiat to, er, Vanilla Ice - but let's take a minute to remember that her first husband was none other than Sean Penn. The couple were married from 1985 - 1989, and although they weren't suited in many many ways, they certainly looked great together.
21. Jennifer Lopez and Wesley Snipes
J-Lo has had some hot, and seriously famous, O/H's (hiya Diddy, Marc Anthony, Ben Affleck!), but did you know she briefly dated actor Wesley Snipes in the mid-90s? No, neither did we!
22. Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin
And the award for the cutest celeb couple of all time is... Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin. Seriously, just look at them! We. Can't. Cope.
23. Winona Ryder and Matt Damon
Winona Ryder and Matt Damon met in 1997 after being introduced by Gwyneth Paltrow (who was dating Matt's mate Ben Affleck at the time). The couple became official in 1998, but broke it off just two years later in 2000.
24. Owen Wilson and Sheryl Crow
Owen Wilson dated All I Wanna Do singer Sheryl Crow from 1999 - 2001. Here they are having a red carpet snog which Sheryl doesn't look 100% comfortable with. Eek!
25. Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton
Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton dated for an impressive (in Hollywood terms, at least) six years. Following their split in 1995, Courteney said: "It's the most important relationship I've ever had, and I think he's the most wonderful person I've ever met." Awww!
26. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn
Remember when Jennifer Aniston dated Vince Vaughn? The couple started dating after filming The Break Up together (which was possibly a bad omen) because, as you can see from this snap of them not enjoying each other's company, it wasn't really #CoupleGoals
27. Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morissette
Does Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morisette strike anyone else as a bit of an odd coupling? Yes, we know they're both Canadian, but still. Anyway, the couple dated for five long years after meeting at Drew Barrymore's birthday party in 2002 (IMAGINE!), and were even engaged to be married.
and Alanis Morissette
Sadly they never made it down the aisle, but they did manage to get in A LOT of PDAs before splitting in 2007.
28. George Clooney and Lucy Liu
George Clooney's dated more gorgeous women than we've had hot dinners, but we were particularly into his short-lived fling with Charlie's Angels star Lucy Liu.
29. Cameron Diaz and Jared Leto
Look at these cool kids! Yep, Cameron Diaz and Jared Leto dated from 1999 - 2003 and were reportedly even engaged. We think they looked pretty great together tbh.
30. Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz
Despite the fact that Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz dated for two years (2003 - 2005) and were even engaged, the only photos we could find of the pair was this seriously awkward encounter with Nicole's hubby Keith Urban.
Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz
Like, REALLY awkward. Let go of her hand, Lenny!
31. Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
Yes, that is Robert Downey Jr. And yes, he dated Sarah Jessica Parker - for an incredible seven years in fact! We love this snap of them looking seriously cute and gawky back in 1990!
Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
And here they are at the London premiere of SJP's film LA Story shortly before their split in 1991.
32. Whitney Houston and Ray J
We LOVED Whitney, but she really did have awful taste in men. At the time of her death the legendary singer was dating Ray J (of Kim Kardashian sex tape fame).
33. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake began dating after meeting at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2003 (proof that love can strike any time, any place). The couple dated for almost four years, and appeared to spend much of their relationship looking loved-up at sports events. Here they are staring lovingly into each other's eyes at a charity basket ball game...
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
And here they are having a cheeky snog at a Lakers game. As you do.
34. Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan
Before Brad, Jennifer Aniston dated Tate Cooper- who you'll probably know as Jimmy Cooper, Marissa's hot dad in The O.C.
35. Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz
And finally, who can forget the time that Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz began dating and everyone REALLY hoped they'd get married and double barrel their names #Mems
Tom says, “The next few months will be the ultimate test for Harry, the ultimate dilemma. He insists he adores his grandmother, so will he come back to support her at Prince Philip’s memorial service, and will he come back to support her and celebrate her reign in the Platinum Jubilee? These are milestone moments and, sadly, time is running out.
“If he doesn’t come back, it’s a clear statement of where lies his loyalty and his own interest. He’s had many opportunities to return home and spend time with his family – and hasn’t – but this really will show where his and Meghan’s mindsets are. And if they don’t come back soon, and Lilibet doesn’t meet the Queen and Harry doesn’t celebrate her life and reign with her, it could be something he comes to regret forever.”
Jaws dropped when, last autumn, it emerged that following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interviews last year, Harry would be writing a tell-all memoir out later this year, which he’s said will be “wholly truthful” and “written as the man I have become”.
The book deal was signed with Penguin Random House, which is said to have paid Harry around £14m in advance.
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And Tom now says that he believes it will be so explosive, it’s part of the reason Harry is reluctant to come home to the UK and face his family.
Tom says, “I personally think he won’t come back this year. I think the notion that he’s worried about his own security and needs the Met Police is an excuse, and that, sadly, we won’t see him or Meghan back in the UK anytime soon. And I think Harry won’t come back because he knows he cannot face his family, and be pleasant with them, knowing what he’s written about them in that book.
“That book will have a lot of casualties and cause a lot of hurt. It will really deliver, as Harry knows it has to, to justify the money he’s been paid to do it. How can Harry come back and pretend it’s all fine? The worst of what he will say is yet to come.”