The royal family is still fine-tuning their plans to commemorate the September anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, but royal expert Gareth Russell cannot imagine Prince Harry will be part of the occasion.
“We don’t know if the invitation was sent out. I would be quite surprised if [Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle] would’ve accepted it,” Russell exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, August 10, while promoting his new book THE PALACE: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of British History at Hampton Court. “We know that they had declined the invitation [to visit] when Elizabeth was still alive. So, I can’t imagine them saying yes to an invitation now for no other reason than nothing really has changed in the dynamic in this family.”
The author added: “Prince Harry allegedly still wants and expects a full apology [and] ‘Recollections may vary,’ continues to be the royal’s perspective on things as much as we can tell. So no, I suppose we’ll find out one way or the other someday, whether they were invited, but I would be stunned if they had said yes and went to it.”
A source previously told Us on Wednesday, August 9, that King Charles III and Prince William were still planning how they’ll mark the anniversary of Her Majesty’s death. “The wounds still feel fresh and it’s been hard for them to find a way for a celebration that will match the gravitas the queen exuded,” the insider said. “On September 8 there will be some acknowledgment or event, [but] the details are still being ironed out.”
The source added that Charles, 74, would likely “reflect in solitude” with wife Queen Camilla, and that, if there was an official event, Harry, 38, and Meghan, 42, were unlikely to attend.
Buckingham Palace announced in September 2022 that the late queen had died at the age of 96. Following a mourning period across the United Kingdom, the royals came together for her state funeral later that month. Charles, who assumed the throne immediately after Elizabeth’s death, was joined at the service by his three siblings: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. The king’s two sons — William, 41, and Harry — both attended and even walked side-by-side in the official funeral procession. Charles’ two children with late ex-wife Princess Diana have been at odds since 2020, shortly before Harry and Meghan chose to take a step back from their duties as senior royals.
Harry and Meghan have since detailed their royal drama in their self-titled Netflix docuseries and the duke’s Spare memoir. Harry’s book, which was published in January, featured several bombshell allegations about Charles, Camilla, William and Princess Kate.
While the royals have not publicly addressed any of the allegations, a second source exclusively told Us in January that the Firm’s relationship with Harry has been “torn to shreds.”
“I don’t think we’ll see a great deal of interaction between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family for quite some time,” Russell noted on Thursday. “I can’t think of a really big royal event that’s coming up in the next couple of years. There’s obviously no coronation, no wedding — as far as we know — [and] no christenings. Even those really big events were not enough to completely reunite the family. We didn’t see all of the Sussexes at the coronation.”
While Harry attended his father’s crowning ceremony in May, Meghan and their two children — Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2 — stayed home to celebrate Archie’s birthday. Harry even left the coronation, which fell on Archie’s big day, shortly after the ceremony ended.
“The next time we see all of them together could be when there is a big attempt at a successful bridge building, or really unfortunately, the next time we could see them all together is another funeral,” Russell added.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi