Prince Harry and Meghan Markle never wanted to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, a friend of the pair has claimed.
Omid Scobie, who penned a biography on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, says the Harry had discussed the possibility of not being present for Trooping the Colour at the Mall in London on June 2 with Her Majesty.
He said despite this the couple are ‘very keen’ to be part of the arrangements in the coming months, including the Thanksgiving celebrations at St Paul’s Cathedral.
This comes after a sensational statement from the Queen last week stating the pair – along with Prince Andrew – would not be invited onto the balcony for Trooping the Colour, the spectacular start of her long weekend of commemorations.
Following that the Sussexes released a statement that they would still fly from California with their two children – Archie, three, and Lilibet, 11 months – in June.
Writing in Yahoo! News, Scobie said the news that the pair would not be appearing on the balcony with Her Majesty should not come as a surprise.
A friend of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has said the couple never wanted to go onto the balcony with the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June
The pair, pictured here on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty in 2018, are said to be ‘very keen’ to take part in some of the Platinum Jubilee arrangements
‘As is often the case, the reality is much less severe when you hear that Prince Harry had already spoken with his grandmother about the possibility of not attending Trooping the Colour long before last week’s announcements,’ he wrote.
He said the pair were ‘very keen’ to be part of the Jubilee celebrations, but that ‘both sides’ thought it would be more appropriate not to have the Sussexes on the balcony.’
He added that despite not wanting to appear on the balcony, Harry and Meghan did want to attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
And last week there were suggestions that despite not appearing for Trooping the Colour, the pair could make an appearance as part of a second balcony appearance.
The Monarch is joined on the Buckingham Palace balcony by members of the royal family for the Jubilee in 2019. Prince Andrew, who was at his mother’s left hand that day, has also been excluded
There will be a fly-over of Buckingham Palace by the Red Arrows as part of the celebrations, similar to those for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, pictured here
The Queen’s decision is unlikely to fall comfortably with all Royal Family members – particularly Prince William – who have been left deeply hurt and angered by Harry’s behaviour. But sources said there was little doubt that all would put their feelings to one side for the sake of the monarch.
‘At the end of the day it is about celebrating the historic achievement of a truly remarkable woman. No one would want to disrespect the Queen by continuing hostilities in public,’ said one.
Another said: ‘Despite what has happened in recent years and what may be yet to come given that Harry’s memoirs have yet to come out, family members will accept the Queen’s olive branch in the spirit it was extended. The body language will be fascinating, mind you.’
Harry and Meghan could still appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, despite the Queen sensationally imposing a ban
Harry to return after being ‘reassured’ over security arrangements
Prince Harry’s return to the UK for he Jubilee celebrations comes after he was ‘reassured’ about arrangements for the security of him and his children.
Sources recently told the Daily Mail that the prince appeared mollified at the plans put in place when he and Meghan visited the Queen at Windsor last month.
The couple brought over their own private bodyguards from the US but stayed on the Queen’s Windsor estate and received a Special Escort Group (SEG) detail when travelling outside.
The SEG provides mobile armed protection to both royals and government ministers.
This ‘hybrid’ model is now likely to be offered to Harry, Meghan and children, Archie, three, and, Lilibet, ten months, when visiting.
It would be funded by taxpayers as the Home Office have made clear that they cannot agree private financial arrangements with anyone receiving Met Police security.
Harry, 37, is taking legal action against the Home Office after being stripped of armed police protection.
He says he does not feel safe under current security arrangements bringing his family to the UK and has offered to pay for British police bodyguards himself.
The duke’s barrister, Shaheed Fatima QC, previously told the High Court that Harry considers the UK ‘is and always will be his home’ and says he is keen to return to visit family and friends – although the prince this week said in a TV interview that home ‘is in the States’.
A well-placed source told the Mail: ‘Harry was fairly pleased with the way the operation worked [when he and Meghan came to Windsor] and the liaison between his security team and the Met. He believes it means a workable solution can be found, allowing him to come over with his children as early as the Platinum Jubilee.’
The source said they believed Harry would now row back from his legal action.
There are those who will view their keenness to be seen alongside the rest of the Royal Family – who just last year they accused of racism and abandoning them, both emotionally and financially – as part of an attempt to emphasise their links with the monarchy and strengthen their bankability.
This comes after it was revealed the first major project in their multi-million-dollar deal with Netflix has been scrapped by the streaming giant.
However a palace source said: ‘They are much-loved members of the family and [the Queen said] they would be invited to family events. We’ve always made that clear.’
Following Trooping the Colour, 18 family members will be on the balcony: The Queen; Charles and Camilla; William and Kate with George, Charlotte and Louis; Edward and Sophie and their children Louise and James; Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.
But Prince Andrew’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, will not. Andrew has stepped down from public duties and only weeks ago paid millions out of court to settle a civil sexual assault case.
But it is understood the Queen is making a special effort to include his daughters – of whom she is extremely fond – in every other aspect of the jubilee celebrations.
It will be the first time the Windsors have appeared on the balcony since the Queen’s official birthday parade in 2019.
It comes as a number of royal experts warned that Harry and Meghan’s mere presence back in the UK threatens to overshadow the festivities.
Tom Bower told MailOnline: ‘They have been forced to accept a downgraded role – grouped with all the other VIPs – but are clearly desperate not to be excluded. If the Palace is not remarkably careful, the Sussexes will milk the celebrations for their own benefit.
‘Hopefully, the Sussexes will be kept firmly in check to avoid their selfish interests dominating the celebration of the Queen’s awe-inspiring service to Britain.’
Royal author Angela Levin said the Queen had made a ‘great decision’ to restrict the balcony to working royals, adding: ‘It will have such a different positive atmosphere if there are working royals who support Her Majesty.’
On the Sussexes’ decision to attend other events she said: ‘The focus will be on them and how they behave, which the Jubilee shouldn’t be about’.
Richard Fitzwilliams, another commentator, added: ‘There was [a danger] in the run up to it if this hadn’t been settled. I expect there will be an element of this in the US coverage.
‘However though there will still be a lot of speculation about what they will attend and what they will do, this is about one person. It is the Queen’s wish that they attend.
‘Although when they planned to do the Oprah interview they didn’t know Prince Philip would be ill, they nonetheless went ahead. That won’t be forgotten.
‘But the Queen wants the family to put on a united front. A huge amount has gone on behind the scenes to achieve this.’
Palace sources suggest the outcast couple could make a starring appearance at the pageant finale alongside other senior royals, possibly even as part of a second balcony appearance
The Queen’s decision is unlikely to fall comfortably with all Royal Family members – particularly Prince William – who have been left deeply hurt and angered by Harry’s behaviour
The 96-year-old monarch’s decisive action to only include royals carrying out official public duties, such as Harry’s father and brother, for the Buckingham Palace parade was taken by her ‘after careful consideration’ – yet there are exceptions for some of Harry’s fellow grandchildren and some of the Queen’s great-grandchildren including George, Charlotte and Louis.
A palace spokesman said: ‘The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday June 2 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’.
But it is understood the Sussexes have been invited to other jubilee events – likely to include the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday June 3. Andrew is also expected to be there.
Left to right: Zenouska Mowatt, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Thomas Kingston, Lord Frederick Windsor, Sophie Winkleman, Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Lord Nicholas Windsor and Louis Windsor will not appear. However, Prince Louis, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, the Duches sof Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Princess Anne have secured a spot alongside the Queen. Absentees, will include Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle. James, Viscount Severn, but there’s no place for Isla Phillips, Savannah Phillips, Peter Phillips, his ex-wife Autumn Phillips or Lyla Gilman. Lady Louise Windsor will be present. However, the following have also been ousted: Lady Helen Taylor, Flora Ogilvy, George Gilman, Lady Rose Gilman, James Ogilvy, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Duchess of Gloucester, Alexander Ogilvy. Sylvana Palma Windsor, Countess of St. Andrews and George Windsor, the Earl of St. Andrews
1. OUT: Zenouska Mowatt
2. OUT: Lady Gabriella Windsor
3. OUT:T homas Kingston
4. OUT: Lord Frederick Windsor
5. OUT: Sophie Winkleman
6. OUT: Princess Michael of Kent
7. OUT: Prince Michael of Kent
8. OUT: Lord Nicholas Windsor
9. OUT: Louis Windsor
10. IN: Prince Louis
11. IN: Prince William
12. IN: Prince George
13. IN: Princess Charlotte
14. IN: Duchess of Cambridge
15. IN: Duchess of Cornwall
16. IN: Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence
17. IN: Prince Charles
18. IN: Prince Edward
19. IN: Princess Anne
20. IN: Queen Elizabeth II
21. OUT: Princess Eugenie
22. OUT: Prince Andrew
23. OUT: Prince Harry
24. OUT: Meghan Markle
25. IN: James, Viscount Severn
26. OUT: Isla Phillips
27. OUT: Savannah Phillips
28. OUT: Peter Phillips
29. OUT: Autumn Phillips
30. OUT: Lyla Gilman
31. IN: Lady Louise Windsor
32. OUT: Lady Helen Taylor
33. OUT: Flora Ogilvy
34. OUT: George Gilman
35. OUT: Lady Rose Gilman
36. OUT: James Ogilvy
37. IN: Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
38. IN: Duchess of Gloucester
39. OUT: Alexander Ogilvy
40. OUT: Sylvana Palma Windsor, Countess of St. Andrews
41. OUT: George Windsor, the Earl of St. Andrews
42: IN: Sophie Wessex
43: IN: Princess Alexandra
43. OUT: Princess Beatrice
44: OUT: Edo Mapelli Mozzi
45: OUT: Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
45. OUT: Jack Brooksbank
46. OUT: August Brooksbank
47. OUT: Mia Tindall
48: OUT: Lena Tindall
49: OUT: Lucas Tindall
50: OUT: Mike Tindall