The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were on Monday set to make their first appearance in Britain since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee amid continuing “sadness and disquiet” in the royal family over their rift.
The couple arrived from California on Saturday on a commercial airline ahead of Monday’s visit to Manchester, where Meghan will make a speech to hundreds of delegates at the One Young World 2022 Summit.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Norway retreat
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Organisers said Harry and Meghan will also spend time with young people doing “outstanding work on gender equality”. The appearance is part of a whistle-stop charity tour, which will see the couple heading to Dusseldorf tomorrow for an Invictus Games event before attending Thursday’s WellChild Awards in London where Harry will make a speech.
The tour has caused trepidation in royal circles, coming days after Meghan used a US interview to suggest she had been restrained in previous remarks about the Palace.
She told The Cut magazine: “I think forgiveness is really important.
“It takes a lot more energy to not forgive. But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything. I have a lot to say until I don’t. Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”
She has previously accused the royal family of racism, and the couple have both said Buckingham Palace failed to help her when she felt suicidal.
During their visit, Harry and Meghan will be based at Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle, just minutes away from Adelaide Cottage where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have set up home with their children. However, it is not believed they will meet William and Kate, Prince Charles or the Queen during their time in the UK.
Meghan Markle: The Duchess of Sussex and The Queen
The Queen, who has been suffering “mobility issues”, is staying 500 miles away at Balmoral, where she is due to meet the new prime minister tomorrow.
Informed sources told the Standard: “Her Majesty has to pace herself. Those who have seen her recently say she was looking a little frail but she is focused on the job in hand.
“What matters to the Queen is fulfilling her role to the best of her abilities and she will be doing that.”
Another source said: “Obviously, all that has happened with the Sussexes has caused disquiet in the family. There has been sadness. But the Sussexes remain loved members of the family.”
It was reported today that private security will handle the event in Manchester rather than the police, with Harry still in dispute with the government over who pays for their protection on UK soil. The prince launched legal action after he was told he would no longer be given the “same degree” of personal protection after stepping back from the royal family in 2020.