Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to ‘keep it simple’ during their visit to England for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and avoid carrying out any of their own engagements, sources claimed today.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will fly without any senior staff, only come with a small security team and leave their most trusted staff back home in California, according to people with knowledge of their travel plans.
The couple will stay at their Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage along with their two children Archie and Lilibet – who celebrates her first birthday on Saturday – but will be without any senior staff, the sources told ITV News.
Harry and Meghan are expected to attend the Service of Thanksgiving with the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday morning – as well as the BBC’s Party at the Palace the following evening, the report claimed.
But the sources added that the Sussexes will not conduct their own programme of events while in Britain to avoid overshadowing the four-day weekend of celebrations for the 70-year reign of Harry’s 96-year-old grandmother.
Meanwhile, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Markle said ‘the door is wide open’ for her to privately reconnect with their father Thomas Markle if she wants to, adding that he is ‘rebounding remarkably well’ after suffering a stroke.
Speaking about their 77-year-old father, Samantha, 57, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘He loves all of us and he’s been bashed in the media for always speaking out to extend an olive branch to reach out to her. He is her father so he has a right to reach out to her. He has been very honest and open in those feelings and the door is wide open.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are flying over from the US with Lilibet and her brother Archie (pictured last December)
Harry and Meghan, joined by her mother Doria, show Archie to the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on May 2019
Harry and Meghan will fly to the UK this week and are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage, their home in Windsor
Princes Harry and William, pictured with their wives Meghan and Kate, in March 2020 after a service at Westminster Abbey
‘She’s always had his phone number – it hasn’t changed – and his address, so any suggestion that she doesn’t know how to get hold of him and that she wanted to be private is somewhat ridiculous on the grounds that, if you want to reach out to your father privately, you know how to do it.’
In addition, Meghan’s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr told GB News last night that she needed to ‘show some support for your dad’ who is in hospital in San Diego, California – having initially planned to visit London and attend the Jubilee celebrations.
Meghan Markle’s make-up guru jets in early
The Duchess of Sussex with make-up artist Daniel Martin
When Harry and Meghan arrive in the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the eyes of the world will be focused on them – So it’s little surprise that the Duchess of Sussex intends to look her best.
Indeed, it appears that her trusted make-up artist and close friend, Daniel Martin, has arrived in London from the US ahead of her arrival this week.
He has also met up with her UK-based hairdresser, George Northwood, and one of her oldest friends, Lindsay Roth. Mr Martin was responsible for Meghan’s make-up at her 2018 wedding to Harry.
He has been friends with the duchess since she was filming Suits in Canada in 2011. He said they both had an ‘instant connection.’
‘It was one of those things where she looked at herself in the mirror and was like, ‘Oh my God, this is what I always wanted, but I didn’t know how to get there’ he told beauty website Into The Gloss.
Before the Sussexes left the UK, Mr Martin would frequently jet in to do her make-up for big occasions, and he joined her in the Netherlands in March during filming for the couple’s Netflix documentary.
Celebrity hairdresser Mr Northwood was responsible for Meghan’s hairstyle at her private wedding reception. Miss Roth, one of the duchess’s best friends from her days at Northwestern University in Illinois, lives in the UK with her husband and children. She accompanied Meghan to Wimbledon in 2019.
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, who stepped down as senior royals more than two years ago, are due to arrive in the UK any day now along with Archie and Lilibet after receiving an invitation from the Queen.
Although they have been barred from joining the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday following Trooping the Colour, they are expected to attend the St Paul’s service and Palace pop concert.
Sources have suggested they are likely to bring Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, with her and stay at Frogmore Cottage, on which they are reported to have taken another year’s lease after making clear they intended to keep it on for the foreseeable future.
The home was where the couple spent their final period as working royals before moving to north America, and last month they extended the lease on a 12-month rolling arrangement, The Sun newspaper reported.
Frogmore, a Grade-II listed property owned by the Crown Estate, was a gift from Harry’s grandmother the Queen and is reportedly being used by Princess Eugenie and her husband who are said to be out of the country.
There is further speculation the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are moving to the area to be closer to the Queen and potential schools for their children.
Harry and Meghan have established a new life for themselves in the celebrity enclave of Montecito in California, buying a multi-million pound home and launching a non-profit foundation.
The couple have also signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth well over £100million, with Spotify and Netflix that have given them the capital to pursue their new lifestyle and public goals.
With the Queen expected to pace herself over the four-day bank holiday weekend, extended so the nation can celebrate the jubilee, there is speculation she will not travel to Epsom racecourse for the Derby on Saturday as she does not have a runner, although another of her thoroughbreds is entered in a race.
The day could be the perfect opportunity for the royal family to gather to celebrate the christening of Lilibet at Windsor Castle on the child’s first birthday.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment on the reports and said: ‘Frogmore Cottage remains the UK home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.’
The Mail revealed on Saturday that the Queen is set to spend time with the family on Saturday to celebrate Lilibet’s birthday.
She has never met her great-grand-daughter and not seen Archie in person since he was a baby and taken by his parents to Canada and then the US.
There has also been speculation that the couple may try to get Lili christened while they are here in the private chapel at Windsor Castle, where Archie was also christened in 2019.
May 29 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with Archie, were photographed barefoot at a BBQ after a polo match in California on Sunday, Meghan wearying a £995 ship-design dress by one of Kate’s favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead
May 29 – Prince Harry was playing in a polo match on Sunday at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in California
May 26 – Meghan leaves flowers last Thursday at a memorial site for the victims killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
The couple are expected to arrive any day now having spent Sunday in California at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club where Harry was playing in a match.
Another royal couple quit Britain! Princess Eugenie moves to Portugal
Princess Eugenie and her family have moved to Portugal after using the Sussexes’ Frogmore Cottage home for the past year.
The younger daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York is dividing her time between an exclusive golf resort near Lisbon with her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and 16-month-old son, August, and London for the foreseeable future.
Princess Eugenie pictured with her husband Jack Brooksbank
Harry and Meghan are to return to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage.
Eugenie and her husband have set up home at the CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club, an hour from the capital, for Mr Brooksbank’s new sales job with property tycoon Mike Meldman.
Mr Meldman’s estate will boast 300 homes and an 18-hole golf course, a spa and an equestrian centre. Eugenie will continue working as a director for London art gallery Hauser & Wirth.
A source close to Princess Eugenie confirmed that the family moved ‘for the time being for Jack’s job and are splitting their time between London and Portugal as required for work’.
The couple only used Frogmore for weekends, and will keep Ivy Cottage in Kensington Palace upon returning to the UK. This may spark questions about why it isn’t being let out or used for staff given the time they will be abroad.
The princess, who is 12th in line to the throne, is to return alongside her family to mark the Queen’s Jubilee this weekend. They will not join the Queen on the balcony for the Jubilee fly-past as their father, Prince Andrew, is no longer a working royal.
The couple, along with Archie, were later photographed barefoot at a post-match BBQ, Meghan wearying a £995 ship-design dress by one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead.
The picture of Meghan was taken by the couple’s friend Delfina Blaquier, who is married to Harry’s polo teammate Nacho Figueras and shared it on her Instagram page.
Sources yesterday confirmed that no crew from Netflix has been officially accredited to film the couple as part of the jubilee weekend media arrangements.
Some had speculated the couple could try to bring a team over with them, although well-informed sources had always dismissed this.
Other members of the Royal Family will travel to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the extended Bank Holiday weekend, with the main Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place in London.
On Saturday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend rehearsals for a special concert at Cardiff Castle, meeting acts including Bonnie Tyler and the Wales Youth Choir for Good.
They will also view the technical production underpinning the show, including lighting, sound and visual effects, before helping with some of the final preparations for the concert.
Hosted by Aled Jones and Shan Cothi, the concert at Cardiff Castle will feature live performances from some of Wales’ best known singers and entertainers, alongside choirs, bands and orchestras.
Large screens in the castle grounds will also allow concert-goers to watch the Platinum Party at the Palace taking place in London later in the evening.
Meanwhile, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will carry out two engagements in Northern Ireland, where they will join members of the public as they celebrate the Queen’s reign and the stories of their local communities over the last 70 years.
Edward and Sophie will meet children taking part in street performances, join in with arts and crafts sessions, and speak to those who are sharing their personal memories of meeting the monarch.
And Princess Anne, accompanied by her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, will visit Edinburgh on Friday.
The couple will start by visiting Edinburgh Zoo, where they will join children for an animal handling session in the Rainforest Room, before a visit to the penguin enclosure.
Anne will then visit HMS Albion, where she will inspect a Guard of Honour before boarding the ship.
On the flight deck, the princess will meet representatives of the Queen’s patronages from across Scotland as well as members of the ship’s company, before cutting a commemorative cake. All members of the Royal Family are expected to attend as many of the official celebrations in the capital as possible.
But there was disappointment yesterday when the Archbishop of Canterbury revealed that he had been forced to pull out of Friday’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral after contracting Covid and ‘mild pneumonia’.
Justin Welby said: ‘I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty’s. I will be praying for The Queen and for us all.
‘As we prepare to celebrate the first platinum jubilee in our nation’s history, may God save the Queen, and bless her with the knowledge of our profound love and gratitude for her service to us all.’
The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, will preach the sermon at the St Paul’s service instead. The Queen is expected to attend the service despite her mobility problems but Buckingham Palace say they will confirm her attendance on the day.
How the nation will mark Queen’s 70 years on the throne: Days of joyous Jubilee celebrations will start with birthday parade, see royals visit EVERY corner of UK and end with 200,000 street parties… so how will YOU celebrate?
** What are you doing to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org **
People across the UK are preparing to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the four-day weekend from this Thursday, with a series of major events scheduled – from Trooping the Colour to a special Pageant.
Britons will also be able to celebrate the nation’s longest-reigning monarch with a series of outdoor parties on Sunday, while there will be a televised concert on the BBC from Buckingham Palace the day before.
The Queen is expected to delight crowds with a double appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony – at the start of celebrations after Trooping the Colour on Thursday, and after the Pageant parade finale on Sunday.
The monarch is also hoping to be able attend the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, with her wider family including – it is expected – Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew.
The Queen, 96, is also set to spend time with the Sussexes, who are bringing their children Archie and Lilibet over from the US – and could meet Lili for the first time as she celebrates her first birthday on Saturday.
On Sunday, thousands of people will gather across the country as more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches and street parties are staged in celebration of the Queen’s record-breaking 70 year reign.
Royal Family members will also visit every corner of the UK over the weekend for official engagements – with William and Kate going to Wales; Edward and Sophie travelling to Northern Ireland; and Anne to Scotland.
Here, MailOnline looks at the programme of events over the four-day bank holiday weekend from Thursday:
TODAY AND TOMORROW
No official celebrations planned, but hundreds of ongoing events are being held across the UK by museums, art galleries and hotels to mark the Jubilee – with a full list of 652 public events before Thursday available here.
The Tower of London’s Superbloom – 20 million seeds planted in the moat to create a spectacular meadow – opens from Wednesday until September and features a family-friendly slide for visitors to shoot down into the attraction.
Trooping the Colour (from 10am, flypast at 1pm)
The official programme for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee begins with the Trooping the Colour military spectacle this Thursday, which is due to begin at around 10am at Buckingham Palace.
More than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division will stage the display on Horse Guards Parade in London, with the colour trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.
Some 400 musicians from 10 military bands and corps of drums will march amid pomp and pageantry.
The Colonel’s Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, at Horse Guards Parade in London last Saturday
The Royal Family will travel from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to the parade ground in carriages at about 10.30am, with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal on horseback.
Plans are said to be in place either for the Queen briefly to inspect the troops on the parade ground or from the balcony with the Duke of Kent, or to only appear on the balcony with the royal family for a special flypast afterwards.
If the Queen does delegate her salute duties at Trooping to another family member, it will be the first time she has done so in her 70-year reign.
Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, William and the Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will be on the balcony for the flypast which is due to take place at about 1pm.
The Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, on The Mall during the Colonel’s Review in London last Saturday
The Queen limited the numbers to working royals, meaning the Duke of York and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be there.
But her Cambridge great-grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and her two youngest grandchildren, the Wessexes’ children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, will be present.
A six-minute display by more than 70 aircraft will include the Red Arrows and the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons (from 9.25pm)
On Thursday evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be set ablaze across the UK and the Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen.
The network of flaming tributes will stretch throughout the country, with beacons at sites including the Tower of London, Windsor Great Park, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, and on top of the UK’s four highest peaks.
The first beacons will be lit in Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific, and the final one in the central American country of Belize.
The principal beacon outside the Palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative – will be illuminated by a senior member of the royal family, and images will be projected on to the Palace.
Major General Nick Eeles Governor of Edinburgh Castle lights the Diamond Jubilee beacon at Edinburgh Castle in June 2012
Service of Thanksgiving (from 11am)
A traditional service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London from 11am on Friday.
There will be no ceremonial journey to the cathedral and the Queen, if she attends, will use a different entrance to aid her comfort rather than the steep main steps.
Wider members of the family are expected to be present including possibly Harry, Meghan and Andrew, and the service will be followed by a Guildhall reception for members of the royal family.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the service. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will give the sermon instead.
Justin Welby was diagnosed with mild pneumonia last Thursday and was continuing to work, but after developing symptoms over the weekend he tested for coronavirus.
A full dress rehearsal yesterday for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral which will take place on Friday
Practice marches yesterday ahead of the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral which takes place this Friday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Cardiff Castle to meet performers and crew involved in the special Platinum Jubilee Celebration Concert taking place in the castle grounds later that afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced.
During their visit, William and Kate will view rehearsals and meet some of the acts taking part in the celebrations, including Bonnie Tyler and Owain Wynn Evans.
Hosted by Aled Jones and Shan Cothi, the concert at Cardiff Castle will feature live performances from some of Wales’ best-known singers and entertainers, alongside choirs, bands and orchestras.
During the extended bank holiday weekend, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will carry out two engagements in Northern Ireland while the Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, will visit Edinburgh.
Epsom Derby (from 4pm)
The Queen is no longer planning to attend the Epsom Derby during her Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The 96-year-old monarch is said to want to pace herself during her milestone celebrations, with her daughter the Princess Royal representing her at the racecourse instead, The Sunday Times reported.
The Derby on Saturday June 4 was to be a personal highlight for the Queen during the four days of Jubilee festivities.
The head of state, a passionate horse owner and breeder, was due to be greeted on the course with a special guard of honour including up to 40 of her past and present jockeys.
But the newspaper revealed the monarch is now ‘increasingly unlikely’ to head to Epsom. However the Queen will still have a runner – Just Fine, in the penultimate race of the afternoon.
Saturday is also the first birthday of Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet, amid speculation the youngster could spend the day with her namesake great-grandmother.
The Sussexes are flying over from the US with Lili, who has never met the Queen in person before, and her older brother Archie.
It could be the first time Harry and Meghan have been seen alongside the Windsor clan since Megxit and since they accused an unnamed senior royal of racism during their controversial Oprah Winfrey interview.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are flying over from the US with Lilibet and her brother Archie (pictured last December)
Party At The Palace (from 7.30pm)
In the evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.
The line-up includes Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.
The show will also feature appearances from stars including Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews.
Charles and William are preparing to deliver public tributes at the concert to the Queen, who will be watching on television from Windsor.
An artist’s impression released earlier this month of the stage outside Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace
Big Jubilee Lunch
Millions of people are expected to sit down with their neighbours at street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 200,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK on the Sunday afternoon,
Camilla, patron of the Big Lunch, will join Charles at a flagship feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex will meet people creating the ‘Long Table’ down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.
The celebration also coincides with this year’s Thank You Day – originally set up to pay tribute to those who helped people through the pandemic.
Celebrities Ross Kemp, Gareth Southgate, Prue Leith and Ellie Simmonds have urged people to throw the biggest thank you party for the Queen.
A Jubilee street party on June 3, 2012 on the bridge that connects Goring in Oxfordshire and Streatley in Berkshire
The Platinum Pudding, Scotch eggs and fruit platters will feature on a six-metre felt creation by artist Lucy Sparrow which is to be viewed by Charles and Camilla at The Oval. It will be given pride of place in the Grand Entrance of Buckingham Palace later this year.
Members of the local community, 70 volunteers who have been recognised as Platinum Champions through the Royal Voluntary Service’s Platinum Champions Awards, celebrity ambassadors and various charity representatives will be among the guests at the cricket ground.
The royal couple will also present the Platinum Champions with certificates and pins, before cutting a Big Jubilee Lunch cake.
More than 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches are being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond – from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.
Revelers on the Mall in London on June 5, 2012 during the four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration for the Queen that year
Edward and Sophie will join Berkshire residents for their special lunch on the Long Walk, not far from Windsor Castle.
The Long Walk is being reinvented to create ‘the Long Table’ in celebration of the jubilee. This royal pair are also set to meet groups of street performers.
Charles and Camilla will also celebrate with the residents of Albert Square in an EastEnders special. They will be seen attending a Big Lunch in a June 2 episode of the BBC soap.
The Big Lunch is an annual event aimed at celebrating community connections.
Jubilee Pageant (from 2.30pm)
The finale on June 5 is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London.
Set to be watched by up to a billion people across the globe, more than 10,000 people have been involved in staging the £15million procession.
Puppet corgis, a giant 3D wire bust of the Queen and the Gold State Coach are just some of the sights set to feature in the 1.8-mile (3km) parade.
Stars including Idris Elba, Sir Cliff Richard, Courtney Love and Slade’s Noddy Holder will take to open-top buses in a through-the-ages tribute to the culture and music of the 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
Royal Navy and the Royal Marine Corps of Drums personnel during a rehearsal for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant at HMS Collingwood, in Fareham, Hampshire, yesterday
A peloton of 300 cyclists, riding vintage bikes from across the seven decades of her reign, is to travel down The Mall led by Sir Chris Hoy and cycling golden couple Dame Laura and Sir Jason Kenny.
Olympic champions Sir Chris, Dame Laura and Sir Jason will be among six ‘hero cyclists’ who race towards Buckingham Palace ready to complete a 360-degree circuit of the Queen Victoria Memorial on Sunday.
Some 205 vehicles will appear as part of the parade, including 11 Morris Minors, seven Land Rovers, 20 vintage Minis including one in the shape of an Outspan Orange and seven original James Bond vehicles.
Ice cream vans, JCBs, Del-Boy’s Only Fools And Horses three-wheeled Reliant Regal Supervan III, 15 Sinclair C5s, and seven open-top double-decker buses decorated in images of the decade they represent will also head down The Mall and past the palace.
It is hoped the monarch will make a final appearance on the Palace balcony to round off the weekend to see a musical finale of Ed Sheeran singing the national anthem with a choir made up of nearly 200 celebrities.
The pageant is split into four acts:
- For Queen and Country with a military parade;
- The Time of Our Lives progressing through seven decades of culture, music and fashion;
- Let’s Celebrate telling the story of the Queen’s life in 12 chapters with corgi puppets and carnival creations; and
- Happy and Glorious musical spectacle starring Ed Sheeran and close to 200 celebrities.