Prince Harry said it was “amazing” to see Queen Elizabeth II during a secret meeting about wife Meghan Markle’s first return to Britain since stepping down from royal duties.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with the king last week, days before his 96th birthday, and reportedly also saw Prince Charles’ father and Camilla’s stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall.
It is the first time Meghan has come face-to-face with a senior working royal since the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey brought down allegations of racism against a mysterious and unknown family member.
Prince Harry was asked about the encounter during coverage of the Invictus Games sporting event for injured former military personnel, which is currently taking place in The Hague, Netherlands.
He told the BBC on Monday, 18 April: “She [the queen] has a lot of messages for the England team which I have conveyed to most of them.
“No, good to see him, I’m sure he would love to be here if he could.”
Oprah’s interview airs on CBS on March 7, 2021, while Prince Philip is in hospital after minor surgery.
The Duke of Edinburgh died a month later, on April 9, and his funeral on April 17 was Harry’s first return to England since the couple’s last royal job in March 2020.
Meghan’s visit to the UK comes after speculation among royal commentators that she may never set foot on a British beach again.
Tom Bower, whose books about the rich and famous are typically scathing, is writing an illegitimate biography of the royals and told The Sun in February: “Actually, I suspect Meghan no longer cares whether she is accepted into London. She has no intention of to return.”
Royal writer Phil Dampier also told the newspaper in January that a lawsuit Prince Harry filed against the UK Home Office over his police protection could prevent the royals’ return to the country.
He said: “I don’t think Meghan will ever return to this country and I think this is a very good reason not to come back – I don’t think realistically (Harry) expects to win this case.”
However, in the end, it was The Sun who learned of last week’s secret meeting, which was not officially made public by the nobles.
Elsewhere in Harry’s BBC interview he paid homage to Ukraine’s Invictus team for making the game in the midst of the Russian invasion.
He said: “I think what people need to remember, or maybe don’t even know yet, is that most Ukrainian teams serve in some form or form.
“So they take off their jerseys, put on their team jerseys, jump on the coach, come here, sleep for a few days, try to decompress, and then just do it.
“And then they have to come back. So, I think, having them here is great.”