They secretly visited the queen in April and this Wednesday they traveled almost furtively to England. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, joined the opening ceremony of Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in central London on Thursday, having landed in the British capital the day before with their two children, Archie and Lilibet. The couple attended the traditional ceremonial parade for the monarch’s official birthday, the colorful Trooping The Colour, as high-ranking guests, but without the obligations and privileges of active members of the royal family. Her father Carlos, accompanied by his aunt Ana and her brother William, had the honor of reviewing the troops and greeting the military commanders on behalf of the queen.
They were also unable to witness the deployment of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It is a tradition that Harry has assumed countless times since he was a child and until he resigned from monarchical functions, in March 2020. Date on which he tried his fortune, along with his wife and Californian actress, among the elite of the United States. Joined. But, on this occasion, the queen limited access to the famous balcony, during the symbolic acts of the festivities, to her relatives on the official payroll. “There is talk of celebrations, but really the focus is on the status of the royal family. It is the first time in two years that Meghan and Harry have met the rest of the family at a public event, it is also the first time that The two brothers come together without the shadow of death, whether it be that of their grandfather Felipe or the anniversary of their mother Diana, and it will probably be the last time we see the queen in such a public way, “says Omid Scobie, journalist and biographer of the Sussexes.
For the author of Finding Freedom (Meghan and Harry. In freedom), the return to England of the rebellious marriage is an important step towards family reconciliation. On his previous visit to the queen, in a fleeting private meeting at Windsor Castle, the duke promised to return to his children so his grandmother could meet them. Archie, 3 years old, was born in London, but his sister is of American birth.
Lilibet turns one year old on Saturday and it is rumored that her baptism could take place in the vicinity of the Jubilee. It seems safer to present the girl to the queen, with whom she shares a name, at a family gathering on the same day as her name day. The appointment would take place in the private apartments of Windsor, where Elizabeth II has established residence since the coronavirus pandemic, or in Frogmore Cottage, the mansion that the Sussexes occupy within the same monarchical complex. Cousins and nephews are expected at the little girl’s birthday party. The most conspicuous absentees will be William and Kate, who will be visiting Wales as part of the program of national activities in recognition of the 70-year reign of the octogenarian monarch.
Megxit shook the royals, divided the population and angered the British tabloids. The marriage’s popularity plummeted and continues to plummet. The latest polls, published this week, give Harry a negative net popularity of 26 points and the approval of 27% of those consulted. Meghan scores even worse: minus 42 net points of unfavorable opinions and 22% of positive support, according to surveys by JL Partners and YouGov. Only Andrés, with the crisis of allegations of pederasty hanging over his head, is more unpopular than the Sussexes. The queen, William and Kate top the popularity chart, with 81%, 74% and 73%, respectively; while Carlos and Camilla trail behind, with 46% and 42% support.
“Meghan and Harry’s decision to go to America fueled the feeling that they were turning their backs not only on the country, but also on the queen and the royal institution. I don’t think they are capable of making up lost ground and, in fact, we have “I’ve seen polls in the newspapers asking readers if they plan to boo the couple. The tabloids hate them deeply and anything they do on this visit will be negatively amplified,” Scobie told a meeting with members of the London Foreign Press Association ( FPA).
Instead, the sixth-in-line to the throne’s relationship with his relatives has improved, according to the Sussexes’ biographer. “Harry maintained good relations with his grandmother after breaking up with the ‘Firm’ and has reestablished contact with his father. He has made as much progress as possible on his visits in recent years. He has laid the foundations, although the ground is still rocky and the couple will keep a distance from the institution,” he says.
Brotherly friendship is the missing piece in the puzzle of relationships destroyed since Megxit. “There is very little communication between the brothers, but these types of trips are propitious occasions to take positive steps,” argues the Harper’s Bazaar correspondent. Scobie envisions the Sussexes’ upcoming and longer returns to the UK because, as he observes, “Harry is a patriot and very proud of his British roots.” “We haven’t reached that point yet where he’s going to get involved in things here. He’s still wrestling with security issues and he doesn’t feel welcome yet, but that time will come.”
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