Between the lines

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s jubilee agenda

Sussexes told not to ‘overshadow the Queen’ but Netflix may ‘not have got the memo’

Speculation is mounting over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s plans during their visit to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this week.

The visit comes little more than a year since Meghan told Oprah Winfrey her life in England made her suicidal, and the couple accused an unidentified individual within the Royal Family of making a remark about the skin colour of their then unborn son.

The ‘Harry and Meghan show’

The “Harry and Meghan show is packing up and coming to town”, wrote Hilary Rose in The Times, “on parade in the UK for the first time in two years”.

Rose said the “order from the very top” is that “the week must be all about the Queen and nothing, not even the rebel royals, must overshadow her”. However, added Rose, whether Netflix, for whom the couple are making a docu-series, “got the memo remains to be seen”.

The couple are expected at the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday and the pop concert at Buckingham Palace on Saturday evening.

The Palace had already announced that Harry and Meghan would not be joining the Queen on the main balcony after the Trooping the Colour parade on Thursday.

However, Her Majesty is expected to meet Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet for the first time on Saturday. The 96-year-old monarch, who Lilibet is named after, is likely to miss her favourite sporting event, the Derby at Epsom, for the “little one’s birthday”, said the Daily Mail.

She will meet her great-granddaughter at her first birthday, set to take place at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where Harry and Meghan will be staying.

There has been speculation that the couple may also try to have Lilibet christened in the private chapel at Windsor Castle, where their son Archie was christened in 2019.

‘Stick to the script’

Royal aides are hoping the Sussexes will “stick to the script during their visit here and not go off piste”, said ITV News. However, an unnamed source told The Times that the couple will attend “at least” one other public engagement during their visit.

Netflix will “not be given any privileged access to royal events”, wrote Rose, “but there is nothing to stop their cameras lining up with other broadcasters, or Harry and Meghan being wired for sound”.

ITV added that the couple will arrive with their two children but a scaled-down team. They are leaving their most trusted members of staff in the US and will travel with just a limited number of security personnel.

‘Back on good terms’

The Sun photographer Arthur Edwards, who has covered the Royal Family for more than 40 years, wrote an open letter to the couple, asking them not to “steal the limelight” during the celebrations. “Please, Harry and Meghan, don’t let Her Majesty down and, for once, take a back seat,” he wrote. “Let the real star of the Jubilee shine.”

Princes William and Harry have been “healing their feud” with weekly online messages and face-to-face chats ahead of jubilee week, said the Daily Mirror. It looks like the brothers “are trying to repair their strained relationship ahead of their grandmother the Queen’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee”, said Cosmopolitan.

But Piers Morgan, who has taken a long-standing interest in Meghan and Harry, said that the “privacy demanding, poverty preaching carbon-conscious couple will fly 5,000 miles, spilling 1.5 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions” to join the jubilee celebrations.

Speaking on TalkTV, Morgan said he is “already shuddering at how this fame-hungry duo will hijack the headlines from the woman [The Queen] who should be given them purely to cement their rival royal brand”.

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