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Harry and Meghan have been accused of ‘exploiting the Queen for Netflix’ and making their top-secret trip for ‘clear the air talks’ with the elderly monarch and Prince Charles at Windsor to please American producers of their upcoming documentary.
A royal experts has claimed that the duke and duchess, who have not been in the UK together since they acrimoniously quit as senior working royals more than two years ago, made the secret visit ‘all for their Netflix documentary’.
Netflix is expected to send a camera crew to follow Harry and Meghan when they meet the Ukraine team at the Invictus Games for injured military veterans in The Netherlands for their documentary about the Paralympic-style games.
But critics have accused the royal couple of ‘cashing in’ on the Games by allowing Netflix, with whom they have signed a $100million deal, into private meetings. And royal experts believe the VVIP status given to the couple will allow Netflix to portray the couple in a favorable light, as they deal with the fallout from their bombshell interview with Oprah last year.
Talking about Harry and Meghan’s summit with the Queen and Charles, Mr Bower said last night: ‘I have no doubt it was all done for their Netflix documentary. The Queen’s advisers failed to protect her from being exploited by the Royal Family’s worst traducers, while the Sussexes exploited an old, unwell woman to boost their credibility and coffers.’
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said the visit would have made the Queen very happy despite the couple’s highly publicized criticism of the royals. In their interview with Oprah, they accused an unnamed senior royal of racism.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Harry and Meghan for comment. Other experts suggested that the surprise face-to-face meeting with the Queen, who will be 96 next Thursday and has experienced a series of health problems recently, was an ‘olive branch’ after considerable tension between the Sussexes and royal family.
Harry and his father have spoken only rarely over the past two years and he heavily criticized Charles in last year’s tell-all Oprah interview in California last year for failing to support him and allegedly cutting the duke off financially.
The claims were disputed by supporters of Charles, who say he has been left desolate by his younger son’s rejection. He is also said to be deeply concerned about Harry’s memoirs, due to be published later this year, which he fears will be further used to settle scores.
Miss Seward told The Sun newspaper: ‘It is a wonderful opportunity to clear the air and offer an olive branch. After everything that has gone on it must have taken a lot for Harry and Meghan to go to Windsor. Also Maundy Thursday is a very special day for the Queen as it is about forgiveness. She is not one to hold grudges and I think she would have happily welcomed them with open arms.’
The Sun reported a busload of tourists had seen the couple visiting Windsor Castle, with one telling the paper they ‘couldn’t believe it when I saw who it was. We waved and they waved back. They looked happy and relaxed and waved to everyone on the bus’.
Meghan last saw the Queen at an awkward Commonwealth Day service (pictured) on March 8, 2020 but has claimed since to regularly speak to her on the phone and over video calls.
Harry has not seen his grandmother in person since Prince Philip’s funeral last April (pictured) when he flew over briefly from their new home in the US. And the Queen has not met their baby daughter Lilibet. But their contact would have been limited because of Covid restrictions.
The couple are understood to have left Windsor yesterday afternoon and are now more than likely in the Netherlands to attend the prince’s Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style event he set up for wounded service personnel, which opens tomorrow in The Hague.
It is not believed that Harry and Meghan met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) during their 24 hours on British soil. William and Harry’s relationship has been at rock bottom since Harry pressed the nuclear button on his royal life.
The duke has since launched a High Court legal action against the Home Office claiming it is too dangerous to bring his family to the UK after being stripped of his official Metropolitan Police protection.
He has since told the High Court that he is willing to pay for it himself when in the UK as he does not believe he and his family are safe in this country as his own privately-funded civilian team of US bodyguards cannot carry arms and will he argues, not be kept updated of the relevant intelligence.
Last night a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed that they had been to Windsor to see the Queen.
It comes after sources close to the couple revealed that Harry and Meghan will be given the ‘VVIP’ status in the Netherlands, affording them top-level local protection – which will be seen as an attempt to justify their non-attendance at Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey last month over security concerns.
‘The Netflix film crew will most certainly favorably capture Harry and Meghan,’ said Talk Radio royal commentator Charles Rae.
‘It will look as if they are still members of the royal family when they are private citizens. That will be the whole aim to show people they are still considered very important people. It will no doubt make great play of the ‘VVIP’ status they have been given by the Dutch authorities.’
The film crew are expected to travel in the same armed police protected motorcade that will take Harry and Meghan to the Zuiderpark stadium (pictured) where the opening ceremony takes place on Saturday.
They will also film the emotional moment Harry and Meghan meet members of the Ukrainian squad whose presence is tinged with heartache over the loss of four of their former colleagues who died defending their country.
The Netflix doc series being filmed over the course of a week while the games are staged is called ‘Heart of Darkness.’ Pictured: Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague.
It is the first co-production with the couple’s Archewell Productions and is being made by the Oscar-winning team of director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara. According to Archwell, the docu-series will ‘showcase powerful stories of resilience and hope from competitors on their journey to Invictus Games’.
The meeting between the royal couple and the Ukrainian team is expected to be one of the most emotional moments of the week-long games attended by competitors from 20 nations.