The sixth in line to the throne will almost certainly travel to see his family for the first time since the couple acrimoniously quit as working royals alone, multiple sources have told the Daily Mail.
Insiders stress that the couple’s plans have yet to be finalised and much depends on the pandemic and whether travel restrictions remain in place at the time.
But their understanding, at this time, is that Harry, 36, will fly to the UK to see the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William – along with his niece and nephews – without Meghan and, probably, their son Archie.
Prince Harry is expected to fly back to the UK over the summer – depending on Covid-19 travel restrictions – though it is not known whether he will be joined by his wife and son
In June and July there are some important dates on the royal calendar that Meghan might miss
Sources were at pains to stress that Meghan’s tentative decision not to accompany her husband is for ‘personal and practical’ reasons and is not in any way being construed as a ‘snub’. But if she decides not to travel it will save royal officials something of a diplomatic headache
Sources were at pains to stress that Meghan’s tentative decision not to accompany her husband is for ‘personal and practical’ reasons and is not in any way being construed as a ‘snub’.
But if she decides not to travel it will save royal officials something of a diplomatic headache.
The couple had been expected to attend key royal events in June, including Prince Philip’s 100th birthday celebrations and Trooping The Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s 95th birthday.
Harry is also due in the UK in July for the long-awaited unveiling of the statue that he and William commissioned in memory of Diana at Kensington Palace.
But there has been widespread, quiet concern that the couple’s involvement in the larger family events – and the inevitable public and media furore that would surround their appearance – could detract from the significance of such key occasions.
A source said: ‘It should be strongly stressed that there is still an element of uncertainty about this because of the unpredictable Covid situation, but the understanding is the duke is more than likely to come back on his own.
‘This is a personal and practical decision by the couple, but it would certainly help officials navigate what is likely to be a fairly tricky situation.’
Meghan, pictured here with her husband and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, may miss the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday, Trooping of the Colour and the unveiling of a memorial to Princess Diana
Prince Harry helps to launch new online mental health service for first responders in Australia set up by Invictus Games co-founder
Prince Harry has helped to launch a ‘critical’ new mental health tool in Australia for frontline workers.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, joined Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to assist in launching the Peak Fortem, which is based on a successful UK model, and is an online resource for first responders and their families to help work through stress and trauma.
In a statement released to support to tool, which was set up by Invictus Games co-founder David Wiseman, Prince Harry referenced his experience in the military, and said: ‘Our mental fitness is one and the same as our physical fitness.
‘Serving in the military, I saw first hand how critical it is to train your mind as a muscle – not only to endure challenges and stresses but to excel, grow and build resilience in all aspects of life.
‘Peak Fortem is the product of teamwork, dedication and a commitment to supporting and strengthening communities of all kinds – values upheld by Australia’s first responders.’
It comes after the royal worked alongside the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence and spearheaded a mental fitness tool aimed at helping the military with their well-being in April last year.
Another added: ‘Her Majesty made very clear when they left the UK that Harry and Meghan were still much loved members of her own family and would be very welcome to attend family events. That still holds true.
‘Practically, however, it comes with the need for a certain amount of diplomacy. There is still a great deal of distance between Harry and many family members, particularly his brother. No one wants a repeat of the Commonwealth Service.’
This refers to the Sussexes’ final official engagement at Westminster Abbey last March, which saw Harry and William barely acknowledge each other, such was the depth of their rift, which is far from healed.
It will be the first time Harry has seen any of his family since quitting royal duties to pursue lucrative business deals abroad.
Harry, Meghan and Archie have been living in North America, first Canada and then California, since November 2019.
While the couple returned to the UK in early March for a last round of official engagements and meetings, Archie – who will turn two in May – did not accompany them.
He has not seen any of his British relatives since he was six months old.
Harry and Meghan have since made clear they have no plans to return to the UK in any meaningful way – as revealed a year ago by the Mail.
They have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito in California, bagged multi-million-pound deals with companies including Netflix and Spotify and set up an office and non-profit foundation, Archewell.
A third source confirmed they had also been told Harry was likely to return home alone.
‘Harry wants to come back for The Queen and Prince Philip’s big birthdays. But it looks likely it will be just him,’ they said. ‘If Meghan comes back, the feeling is that it would overshadow the occasion. People would only be looking at the ‘drama’ of it all.
‘Of course she would be welcome, but a decision not to come would postpone that headache for a while at least.’
The prince is expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage at Windsor, the home he and Meghan decided to keep as a UK base.
The prince is expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage (pictured) at Windsor, the home he and Meghan decided to keep as a UK base
The couple have temporarily lent it to Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank.
A spokesman for the Sussexes did not respond to a request for comment.
The pair are said to have had a ‘painful’ year since Megxit after the couple’s nanny moved back to the UK and the pandemic left them feeling ‘alone,’ the authors of Finding Freedom claimed earlier this month.
Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, who co-wrote the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell biography, alleged that moving to LA brought difficult changes for the couple who stepped back as senior royals in March last year.
‘To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success,’ said Omid Scobie, writing in Grazia. ‘But it’s taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful.’
Omid Scobie added that since making the move to LA the couple have been ‘eager to contribute to the community,’ particularly in regards to the Covid-19 response, and are keen to put the ‘focus back on what mattered’.
Writing in Grazia, Caroyln Durand said a friend of the couple told her the couple felt ‘alone’ after their nanny left
It comes after it was reported that Prince Harry was refused permission for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday on his behalf, in another possible sign of a family rift.
The Duke of Sussex, who spent ten years in the armed forces, made the personal request to Buckingham Palace, but was refused due to the fact he had left royal duties in March, The Times reported last November.
The Queen was not thought to have been informed of the request or its refusal, which is said to have ‘deeply saddened’ the Duke of Sussex, the publication reported.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether Prince Harry’s request had been refused.
Last month it was reported that the couple want a 12-month extension to the Megxit deal that would see them keep their royal patronages and head back to the UK to seal the deal in person.
However, sources told Omid that the couple have no such plans, adding: ‘They really haven’t looked back’.
Meghan Markle’s rescue dogs have been a big ‘support’ during Covid and her ‘personal trials and tribulations’ in 2020, CEO of her patronage Mayhew reveals
By Chloe Morgan for MailOnline
Meghan Markle’s rescue dogs have been a big ‘support’ during Covid and her ‘personal trials and tribulations’ in 2020, the CEO of her patronage Mayhew has revealed.
Caroline Yates has offered a glimpse into her relationship with The Duchess of Sussex, 39, and claimed that The Duchess of Sussex, 39, often references how ‘important’ her rescue dogs – a beagle named Guy and a black labrador called Pula – have been.
‘Whenever we talk to the Duchess about the charity, she always references how important her dogs are and what a support they are,’ she said, speaking to Hello! ‘Particularly during everything that’s happened this year, with COVID, and with the personal trials and tribulations she went through this year.’
‘It was really nice to share our experiences with her about how important animals are when things are tough and what a comfort they can be.’
The CEO of The Mayhew Caroline Yates has provided insight into her relationship with Meghan Markle. Pictured, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, hosting a special Time100 talk Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The Duchess of Sussex and Gloria Steinem discuss representation, why each vote matters and how all women ‘are linked, not ranked,’ Pictured, with rescue dogs Guy and Pula
The London-based animal charity, for which the royal is a patron, also had the honour of sharing the festive card in December 2020 on their social media channels.
It featured an artistic rendering of the couple with their son Archie and their pet dogs as they played in the garden of their £11million ($15million) home in Montecito, and read: ‘Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.’
Speaking of the ‘honour,’ Caroline said: ‘We had no idea what it would look like before we got the photo, and when we saw it, we thought, “Oh wow!” It’s very family-oriented, it was really lovely.’
Caroline also went on to say that despite Meghan relocating to America with Prince Harry and their son Archie, very little has changed – adding that the royal still receives regular updates from Mayhew.
This year’s Christmas card featuring Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie (pictured)
She added that the royal is particularly interested in an animal assisted intervention programme named TheraPaws, which aims to promote physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
It comes after the animal charity has revealed in May last year that The Duchess of Sussex had been secretly working with her patronage as it ‘desperately’ struggled with funding amid the coronavirus crisis.
Meghan Markle has been ‘in touch’ with her patronage the Mayhew throughout the crisis, according to the charity’s media officer.
Sarah Hastelow told Newsweek she couldn’t give details of the contact, but explained: ‘She’s been such a champion of animals and animal welfare. It’s always been a passion of hers.’
The charity’s website details that it ‘desperately needs extra funds’ to buy supplies to be able to continue it’s work with animals.
Sarah added that the royal had ‘been in touch’ during the period, but added that she ‘couldn’t say much more than that.’
Meanwhile a source from the Sussexes’ team explained: ‘The Duchess is in touch and working with Mayhew at this time.’
The went on to add that the organisation was ‘more than a classic animal charity’ and that it was ‘supporting so many other people in the community’ during the pandemic.
Meghan, an advocate of adopting rescue dogs, chose animal welfare charity Mayhew as one of her first patronages.
She previously visited the shelter in January 2019, and was introduced to Maggie, a one-year-old Jack Russell who was up for adoption on the charity’s website.
The duchess picked up Maggie when she saw her shivering, and clutched her to her chest as she chatted to Mayhew staff, who told her about the charity’s projects in India and Afghanistan.
And in January, the royal made a surprise visit to the charity in one of her last official outings in the UK before she jetted back to Canada to be with Archie.
Mayhew was founded in 1886 and today sees itself as an animal welfare social worker, keeping cats and dogs, whether family pets or companions for the homeless, safe and well alongside their owners, and supporting communities.
It has a pet refuge service, provides vet services for vulnerable owners, and has a team of animal welfare officers who work with local residents helping local communities.
Minnie the Jack Russell – the dog who stole Meghan’s heart
The Mayhew Animal Home in North-West London took in 13 month-old Minnie, who was an unwanted pet, this month.
The Mayhew Animal Home in North-West London took in 13 month-old Minnie, who was an unwanted pet, this month- seen with Meghan on Wednesday, and she is described as a ‘shy and sensitive girl’ who ‘can be timid around strangers and gets spooked by loud noises’
The female Jack Russell cross is described as a ‘shy and sensitive girl’ who ‘can be timid around strangers and gets spooked by loud noises’.
Despite being anxious, she is said to be much-loved in the home due to her energetic and affectionate nature.
Speaking to Femail, Mayhew revealed that Meghan was immediately drawn to her when she entered the room.
‘When the duchess entered the room she was immediately taken by how sweet and small she is and drawn to her,’ they said.
‘We only put her on the website today but since her appearance with Meghan we’ve had endless calls about her so we don’t expect her to be around for much longer’, they added.
‘It’s a double-edged sword as she’s so popular with staff but we’re also keen to help her find a happy home’.
Minnie is looking for a quiet home where she will be the only pet and will need plenty of attention as well as a daily one-hour off-lead walk.
The site states: ‘Minnie can live with sensible teenagers who are used to being around dogs but she’ll need to be the only pet in the home.
‘Minnie has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and is up to date with flea & worm treatment. She has also been health checked and behaviourally assessed.’