HARRY and Meghan’s brief visit to Windsor Castle on Thursday was almost certainly planned well in advance.
Unlike the churchgoers on the bus who first spotted the Duke and Duchess, the Queen will have been well prepared to see her grandson and his wife.
Her Majesty’s long life has been scheduled for her from the moment she was born.
Very little comes as a surprise. So much so that if things go wrong the Queen rather enjoys a digression from what is expected of her in her tightly organised schedule.
And she certainly doesn’t need any more surprises from Harry and Meghan.
When Harry spoke to the Queen about his planned trip to Europe for the Invictus Games, she knew he would stop over in the UK.
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The long-haul flights from Los Angeles nearly always land at Heathrow or Gatwick.
Nothing in royal life is left to chance and Harry knew this when he asked his grandmother to see him.
The timing worked. The Queen was in her castle and so was his father who had been distributing Maundy money at St. George’s Chapel.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex needed a sprinkle of royal gold dust and they got it.
What could be better than filming for Netflix right after they had been to Windsor Castle as part of their documentary on the Invictus Games.
Cynics have rightly suggested they desperately needed this for brand Sussex.
They do, but they also needed to offer an olive branch to both the Prince of Wales and the Queen, who celebrates her 96th birthday next week.
I doubt if Harry’s forthcoming biography was mentioned or even the accusations in the Oprah interview. Neither needed to be. This was about forgiveness.
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The Queen can convey everything with a look. If Harry couldn’t analyse it, Meghan certainly could.
All that was expected for the moment at least, was a reconciliation between the fragile monarch and her complex grandson. I hope it worked.