“I’d say the rift very definitely hasn’t been healed,” royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, May 3. “That, I’m afraid, is quite clear.”
The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, made a quick trip to England last month while they were on their way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands. An insider told Us at the time that the former military pilot and the Suits alum, 40, were “very excited” to reunite with the monarch, 96. The visit marked the duo’s first return to the U.K. as a couple since their final event as working senior royals in March 2020.
The duo have had a rocky relationship with the royal family over the past two years, and Fitzwilliams believes there’s more work to be done before everyone can move past the tension. “It really is an extraordinary situation,” he told Us.
The Archewell cofounder and the Bench author are set to return to England for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates her 70 years on the throne. The four-day event will kick off with Trooping the Colour, which is the official parade to mark the sovereign’s birthday. On the following day, St. Paul’s Cathedral will host a service of Thanksgiving for Elizabeth’s reign.
“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honoured to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children,” a spokesperson for the couple told Us on Friday, May 6.
A Buckingham Palace rep, however, noted that the duo will not stand on the balcony with Elizabeth during the parade. “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Fitzwilliams, for his part, believes that the Sussexes may also attend the Thanksgiving service. “It’s not thought that they will attend other events, but who knows?” he added.
The Invictus Games founder told Hoda Kotb that he had a “great” visit with his grandmother, but Fitzwilliams noted that there’s another potential source of drama on the way: Harry’s memoir, which is due out later this year.
“It will again be a source of very, very substantial discord,” the royal observer told Us. “Whatever he writes, if it’s published this year, it’s going to cause problems.”
The BetterUp CIO announced the book’s publication in July 2021, calling it a “wholly truthful” account of his life.
“I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become,” Harry said in a statement at the time. “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story — the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned — I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi