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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have flown to the UK to visit the Queen on their way to the Invictus Games in The Hague. Harry and Meghan, who have not been in the UK together since they quit as senior working royals more than two years ago, are also believed to have met with the Prince of Wales.
It is understood the couple were at Windsor Castle on Thursday. The trip to the UK comes after Harry was absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London last month.
Harry is bringing a claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the same degree of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself. The duke wants to bring his children to visit, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, his legal representative has said.
A spokesperson for Harry confirmed earlier in March that he would miss the service for his grandfather, but that he hoped to visit the Queen soon. On Thursday night, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed they visited the Queen ahead of their appearance at the Invictus Games which open this weekend.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, described it as “a very welcome if long overdue move” on the part of Harry and Meghan. Earlier this week, Dai Davies, a former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, told the PA news agency that the idea Harry is unable to come to the UK due to safety concerns is “sheer unadulterated nonsense”, adding the duke is “not an expert in security”.
Speaking about the likely security arrangements in The Hague, Mr Davies said: “The truth is I have no doubt that he will be protected, whether he takes his own team or whether the Dutch authorities give him some kind of VIP status. The truth is, if there’s a risk both countries – ours and the Netherlands – have sophisticated systems of determining risk.
“This country has determined he is no longer at risk. That may or may not be true, but people far better qualified than I am now can make that decision and they never make it lightly.”
He said the Ministry of Defence is involved in looking after royals in the Netherlands, and while there is a royal protection squad he said it is not as big or as experienced as the UK’s squad.
Meghan’s attendance at the Invictus Games, which will be for the first few days, was confirmed by a spokesperson for the couple on Monday. Her trip to the UK and the Netherlands is her first to Europe since she quit as a senior working royal back in 2020.
The couple are expected to make an appearance on the “yellow carpet” at a friends and family reception at the Invictus Games on Friday. A film crew is expected to be joining the couple at the games as part of filming for a Netflix series called Heart Of Invictus.
The Invictus Games was where Harry and Meghan chose to make their first public appearance together almost five years ago. Meghan made her first appearance at an official engagement attended by Harry on September 24 2017 when she attended the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada, although the pair sat about 18 seats apart. The following day, the pair emerged hand in hand to make their first official public appearance together at the wheelchair tennis.
Harry founded the games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.
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