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Prince Harry is unlikely to visit the Queen for her 96th birthday despite being in Europe around that time for the Invictus Games, according to a royal expert.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, who is currently living in a $14million mansion in Montecito with wife Meghan Markle, having stepped back from royal duty in 2020, is set to travel to the Netherlands for the Games soon.
The event, an international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, will take place from April 16th – 22nd. Meanwhile, her Majesty will celebrate her 96th birthday on April 21st.
However, Robert Jobson, co-author of Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, told the Mirror he believes the Duke of Sussex, 37, will not ‘pop over to Britain’ because of family tensions.
Prince Harry, 37, (pictured here at a wedding in 2019) shared a close bond with his grandmother the Queen before leaving his role as a senior member of the royal family
‘The reality is it is highly unlikely, given the schism he has caused in the family.’
Jobson also raised the issue of security, noting Harry’s legal challenge against the UK Home Office, which he launched after he was told that he would not be provided with the same protective security he received as a working royal, despite offering to pay for it himself.
The royal author questioned the Duke’s assertion that he doesn’t feel safe coming to the UK with his family under the current security conditions, suggesting this is ‘just another excuse’.
He believes the main reason Prince Harry is staying away from the country is likely due to the tension around his upcoming biography, adding that he expects the tome to ‘tackle [Prince Harry’s] tricky relationship with the Duchess of Cornwall’.
‘Can you imagine how excruciating it would be over dinner if somebody was to ask what’s in the soon to be published Random House book about them?’ he explained.
Although the duke (pictured here in New York in 2021, with wife Meghan Markle) will be in Europe during the Queen’s birthday week, an expert has predicted he won’t make the UK trip
Prince Harry’s book, which many believe will contain explosive details about life in the Firm, netted Harry an advance of £14.7million ($20million). It is due to be published in the autumn.
The Royal Family is thought to be deeply concerned about the book, described by his publishers as ‘the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’.
Her Majesty, Prince Charles and Prince William are said to have been completely blindsided by Harry’s shock announcement that he has been secretly working on his as yet untitled memoirs for more than a year now.
Should Prince Harry fail to visit his grandmother for her birthday, it will not be the first event he’s skipped recently, citing security concerns.
The prince failed to join his family at Westminster Abbey for his late grandfather’s remembrance service on March 29th, after claiming he felt unsafe bringing his family over from the US.
But his safety fears were branded ‘pathetic’ by Richard Griffin, who spent 14 years as a royal protection officer for Prince Philip.
He said: ‘Prince Philip was their grandfather so William has obviously had a great training from him and is going to learn examples from him. I just hope Harry gets some of these things in his mind.
Some royal commentators have predicted that Prince Harry may be avoiding his family ahead of the release of his autobiography, suggesting it may ‘tackle his tricky relationship with the Duchess of Cornwall’ (pictured at the memorial service for Prince Philip on March 29)
‘It [Harry not being here] was a big disappointment for everybody. People were talking about it. Certainly around where I was people were saying he should have been here.
‘All this nonsense about how he couldn’t get protection, as far as I’m concerned that was a pathetic excuse. He should’ve been here to honour his grandfather.
‘At the end of the day, if he was that worried about security, he could’ve stuck with his brother and father who have got wonderful security and he would have been more than safe.’
Author Tom Bower, who is currently working on a biography of Meghan Markle, also believes Harry’s claims around security could be ‘an excuse’ he has used to avoid visiting the UK, and has suggested he knows that it’s likely to be difficult to maintain friendly relations with his family following its release.
Despite his once-close relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured, right), Prince Harry (left) failed to return to the UK for his memorial service, citing security concerns
Speaking to Closer magazine last month, Bower said the prince is facing the ‘ultimate dilemma’, having to decide whether he should visit his beloved Grandmother knowing that he’s being paid to bare his soul for the much-anticipated book.
He said: ‘I think Harry won’t come back because he knows he cannot face his family, and be pleasant with them, knowing what he’s written about them in that book.
‘That book will have a lot of casualties and cause a lot of hurt. It will really deliver, as Harry knows it has to, to justify the money he’s been paid to do it. How can Harry come back and pretend it’s all fine? The worst of what he will say is yet to come.’