Meghan and Harry secretly flew to London, visiting the Queen, but surprisingly failed to put in some sort of cue for William and Kate.
Oh has become a fly on the wall! What we would see if we were inside the sitting room of Windsor Castle this week when Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, came face-to-face with the Top Lady AKA Her Majesty the Queen AKA Gan Gan and AKA the head of the institution they had spent two years with. last year in public with such aloofness?
Are there finger sandwiches, fluffy little cakes and tea served on fine bone china? Or was lukewarm room temperature tap water poured and left undrinkable when this milestone finally occurred?
Here’s what we know: On Wednesday, UK time, the couple flew to London incognito from their home in California with the tantalizing question of whether they would like to fly a commercial plane or borrow a billionaire chum’s private jet that has so far remained unanswered.
They spent the night at Frogmore Cottage, the million-dollar source of many negative headlines about the couple and for that they paid the $4 million plus the Sovereign Grant dosh used to renovate it.
(Today, the five-bedroom shared is home to her cousin Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, a man whose real job is to be a tequila ambassador. And people say the big royals don’t have real jobs!)
On Thursday, Harry and Meghan visited the Queen at Windsor Castle, news revealed not by a top royal source whispering in the ear of a journalist, but by the many visitors who had been at the castle for Maundy Thursday services and saw the couple.
A viewer told Sun: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw who it was. We waved and they waved back.
“They looked happy and relaxed and waved to everyone on the bus. Charles and the Queen were at Windsor Castle at the same time so they must have met the two of them.
“That’s a nice sight. We knew we might see Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the ceremony, but never believed we would meet Harry and Meghan.”
(Well, that’s a story to eat at the bridge club, if I’ve ever heard of it…)
So secret was the entire operation, that not even the most senior palace aide knew about the Duke and Duchess’s express visit.
Reports also suggest that the Sussexes met with her father Prince Charles who was at the castle for a Maundy Thursday event along with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with the Queen having asked her 73-year-old son and daughter-in-law to do the honors for her in service.
From that meeting, Telegraph reports that Netflix’s most famous employees have “seen” Charles, which doesn’t sound very warm or even as planned. (It was only earlier in the week that it was revealed that Charles would be in Windsor for Easter.)
Everything sounds… perfunctory.
While this is the first time Meghan has set foot on British soil since 2020, it’s not a major rapprochement, a tentative step towards healing a deep wound. Instead it all looks like they’re doing the absolute bare minimum needed to keep the regal nose out of the joint.
Even the Sussexes – the two who last year accused unnamed members of the royal family of racism and painted the palace as an uncaring institution in front of a global audience of 60 million people – cannot escape a trip to Europe and not see Her Majesty without it. cause a very serious offence.
As their office said ITVSussex “dropped in” to see Charles and the Queen.
This all sounds like a half-hearted, obligatory ring kiss, basically. That it’s not about fixing anything but preventing the situation from getting worse.
There’s one key fact here that underlines that this isn’t a big fence fixing exercise, all warm hugs and bonfires and scones are happily shared.
What’s important here is not to focus on who they meet but who they don’t.
In particular: William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
If this trip is truly a serious attempt to repair some of the major damage caused by the events of the past two years, then it should include some kind of gesture, however small, toward Kensington Palace.
Just over a year ago, in early April, Kate was in peacekeeping mode at Prince Philip’s funeral deftly arranging things to get the two royal brothers to speak, all done so comfortably in front of the British press. (Useful right?)
What seems to be missing a lot in the wash these days is that not too long ago, Kate and Harry were friends. giggling right-in-the-back-balcony-scrum-chums. Look at every picture of the duo coming out and about any kind of engagement and there they are, having what looks like an amazing time.
Those days are clearly long – long – gone.
William and Harry might have gotten past a few minutes of civilized conversation at Philip’s funeral and managed to walk and talk for the camera at the unveiling of the statue of Diana last year, without the need for PR, they didn’t seem interested in seeing it. other.
That Harry had not managed to see his brother or his once cherished brother-in-law speaks volumes about the state of affairs between the two families. No one should start worrying about finding a villa big enough for all of them in Greece this summer.
There are other details that just add a certain sting to this quick visit.
First, the fact that all workouts can be measured in a matter of hours.
Furthermore, the fact that Harry and Meghan left their young children in California brings with it a certain bite. Only a masochist would happily sign up for a long haul flight with a nearly three year old and baby in tow, but Sussex son Archie hasn’t seen his British family since 2019. Likewise, last year the two co-opted the Queen’s pet name for their daughter, call her Lilibet. Nonagenarian has never met his first name.
And finally, a Sussex spokesperson confirmed to ITV that they had visited the “Duke’s grandmother.” So… she earned her title with all due respect but she was reduced to just his “grandmother”? It really is rude to eat biscuits.
Realistically, the first trip back for the duo will always be some kind of foot-in-water exercise for all parties, but it ends up being a show that’s more bleak and lackluster than it is.
With less than two months until the Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin, will this glorious ‘stop’ break the ice? Or are we in a prolonged and painful royal ice age?
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with some of Australia’s leading media titles.