This has been a year of firsts for us all but, for the Royal Family, it’s been nothing short of historic – and not just because of the pandemic.
- Royal biographer Duncan Larcombe told our sister publication Woman that the Queen wants Harry and Meghan home for Christmas.
- Duncan says that the Queen would be willing to compromise to be close to her grandson again – even if it means them representing the royal family in Los Angeles.
- This royal news comes after it was revealed that there’s one huge milestone Prince Louis is yet to reach.
From Prince Andrew’s fall from grace to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit from The Firm, 2020 has been a tough pill for the monarchy to swallow.
Now, we can reveal that all the Queen would like for Christmas this year is her ‘favourite’ grandson to return home from LA with his wife.
‘Very few people would disagree that the Queen will regret the events of the past year,’ royal commentator Duncan Larcombe tells us. ‘Yes, she’s got the Prince Andrew problem that hasn’t gone away, but first and foremost in her mind will be the question of Harry and Meghan and the world that they have created – will it work, will it not?
‘There is a degree of nervousness because the Queen is over a barrel,’ he adds. ‘All she wants is for them to come home for Christmas.’ So could the Queen get her wish?
It’s long been speculated that Prince Harry is the Queen’s favourite grandchild. As royal author Robert Lacey confirms to us, ‘The Queen has an immense fondness for Harry, a special soft spot.’ He adds, ‘Last March, she had a private lunch with him at Windsor, in which she made absolutely clear that he was welcome back any time.’
Duncan agrees that Her Majesty would love to have Harry close again. ‘The Queen isn’t averse to moving with the times, and maybe the “woke” couple in the heart of Los Angeles representing the Royal Family unofficially is precisely the future for the Royal Family. But I wouldn’t mind betting it gives her a few sleepless nights whether or not that is true,’ he tells us.
‘I really think that, although certain things have evolved this year that haven’t helped, he’d still be welcomed back by the Queen.’
‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.’ This was the famous line Prince Harry is rumoured to have blurted out to royal staff when he discovered his wife-to-be was denied the tiara she wanted to wear for their upcoming wedding in 2018.
What happened next has always been uncertain, but Robert reveals to Woman how the Queen stepped in and said that the duchess ‘cannot have whatever she wants’ and could not wear the tiara. It seems this is the moment the relationship between the Sussexes and the monarch became strained. ‘The Queen can be a very firm woman,’ he tells us.
Robert explains in his book Battle of Brothers how the Queen felt that she had to say no to Meghan’s first choice because it was said ‘to have come from Russia’. This was code for it being of sensitive origin, meaning it had found its way into the family through ‘undefined’ channels.
The final word
‘There was scandal attached. Unfortunately, Harry’s ignorance of both history and family tradition meant that he had no understanding of this subtlety,’ Robert writes in his book. ‘Not for the first time, nor sadly the last, the word ‘no’ pushed a button inside him, and he flew into a rage.’
The Queen’s word, however, was final. On their wedding day in May 2018, Meghan wore a tiara which had belonged to Queen Mary.
Robert adds to Woman, ‘Meghan had arrived expecting a starring role and discovered that, in terms of royal precedence, she had been allotted a walk-on part.
‘The Queen has a very clear vision of what the monarchy stands for, and she was not going to accept what seemed to be the commercialisation that the Sussexes were heading for.’
Less than two years later, Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family and relocated to America, no longer working royals.
In the space of just a few years, Meghan and Harry have managed to go against many royal protocols, including failing to ask the Queen’s permission to market merchandise under their own royal trademark. Robert explains this as ‘examples of Meghan and Harry’s priorities and ignoring the priorities of the Queen.’
Trouble between Meghan and the Palace intensified when Harry and his brother Prince William split households in early 2019.
Robert explains, ‘When Harry and William split, [Meghan and Harry] didn’t get their own office or their own courtiers, so they had to operate out of Buckingham Palace. That meant operating with the Queen’s very conventional courtiers, who didn’t get on well with Meghan.’ He adds, ‘She then brought in her own American advisors and started listening to them.’
This has permanently damaged Meghan’s relationship with the Palace. Robert says, ‘It would seem that the courtiers remain an obstacle to any sort of reconciliation. They have a dislike and a mistrust of Meghan and Harry. They don’t think – perhaps quite rightly – that they will fit in with the existing royal system.’
No going back?
Robert says the Queen was ‘delighted that Harry was in a loving relationship’ when he first met Meghan in 2016.
Duncan adds, ‘Let’s not forget the Queen extended a hand of friendship to Meghan. She took her on solo engagements, they were photographed together at several events those first few months of married life. She was embraced by the Royal Family.’
So it’s no wonder that the Queen has undoubtedly been left feeling hurt by the modern couple’s ‘aggressive’ way of doing things. As Robert says, ‘The couple had been so hustling and aggressive. In other words, they had shot themselves in the foot.’
The Queen’s feelings were perhaps made apparent in her annual Christmas speech in 2019, when she failed to mention the Sussexes. While a photo of the couple was present in her 2018 speech, a year later, it had disappeared despite the fact that Harry and Meghan had welcomed their son Archie that year. Tellingly, the only mention the Queen gave them was to say, ‘Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great-grandchild into our family.’
And Robert thinks that, after the drama of 2020, the Queen will change her Christmas speech completely this year to dodge any speculation. He tells us, ‘I predict that she will not give her broadcast at the desk, in order to avoid the issue of whose photographs are present. I would predict that we will see her standing beside a Christmas tree instead.’
The nation will be watching with interest.