Was Harry and Meghan’s meeting with the Queen really an ‘olive branch’ or just a cynical plotline for their Netflix doc?


MEGHAN and Harry’s surprise visit to the Queen in Windsor Castle seems to have been perfectly orchestrated by their Hollywood advisers.

It appears the Sussexes are focused on retaining their credibility in America as senior members of the Royal Family to enhance their income from Netflix and Harry’s forthcoming memoir.

Meghan and Harry’s surprise visit to the Queen in Windsor Castle seems to have been perfectly orchestrated
They needed to be seen with the Queen to retain their credibility in America as senior members of the Royal Family

Harry offered an ‘olive branch’ to Her Majesty and Prince Charles

In order to achieve that, they needed to be seen with the Queen.

Most people would have thought that after their appalling denunciation of the royals in the Oprah Winfrey interview last year — laced with many untrue allegations against Prince Charles, Kate and their former staff — they would never be welcomed again in Britain.

But critics were proved wrong. Added to that outrageous performance, many were shocked by Harry’s refusal to attend last month’s memorial service to Prince Philip.

Blaming inadequate security, Harry seemed to suggest he would not be safe as he walked from his chauffeured car into Westminster Abbey.

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Few believed his security was a genuine excuse for staying away from honouring his grandfather.

Persuading the Queen to meet Meghan would not have been easy and will likely have involved lengthy negotiations. But in the end, Harry offered an “olive branch” to Her Majesty and Prince Charles.

One can only wonder whether this “clear the air” meeting truly was an authentic attempt to work things out, or merely a dramatic plot line for their all-important Netflix documentary.

According to witnesses, the couple were spotted walking through Windsor Park towards the castle on Thursday.

Cameras were not allowed during the meeting but it’s not hard to imagine syrupy commentary over moody footage of them en route to the talks.

Many will now wonder whether the couple will return with their two children for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

Did last week’s visit prove that Harry has sufficient protection?

I don’t believe they will return. As private citizens, they’re unlikely to gain access to Buckingham Palace’s balcony or parade through London on a horse drawn carriage.

Instead, they would probably be relegated to the VIP stands. The “optics”, as Meghan would say, would not be good.

On their insistence, in America they are treated as senior members of the Royal Family.


That’s the same family which they betrayed not only in the Oprah show and in the Apple TV interviews, but also by selling their name to commercial enterprises.

Using his royal status to earn money was banned by Harry’s “divorce” agreement with the Queen at the Sandringham summit in January 2020. Yet he and Meghan continue to be introduced as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

For the Sussexes, it is seemingly all about money and status. But for the Queen, Charles and William it has become a family tragedy — and an existential crisis.

Harry’s refusal to welcome the Queen’s announcement that Camilla could one day be Queen Consort was worse than hurtful.

His silence was a portent of horrors to come in his memoir and the Netflix documentary.

He blames Charles for his unhappy childhood and blames Camilla for wrecking his parents’ marriage.

Having spectacularly busted up with her father, Meghan seems to be happy for Harry to drift apart from his own father.

They reportedly met Charles at Windsor before meeting the Queen — and undoubtedly their encounter was civilised. Yet it is hard to believe the Sussexes apologised for all the hurtful untrue allegations.
They see no reason to retract anything.

If the Sussexes had wanted to forge a genuine rapprochement, they would have introduced their children to their grandfather.

And, more importantly, for the first and as heartbreaking as it is to say, possibly the last time, to their great-grandmother. But their children were in California.

The elephant in the room is what Harry intends to say in his memoir about William and Kate. Despite the ugly allegations made to Oprah, the Cambridges appeared friendly to Harry at Prince Philip’s funeral.

But the pretence cracked when William and Harry unveiled their mother’s statue at Kensington Palace last July. It seemed as if both brothers were impatient to get the ceremony finished.

Pertinently, neither William nor Kate were at Windsor last week. If the Sussexes had genuinely wanted to end the feud, Harry would have surely urged the Cambridges to be there.

How else, it can be asked, could the Sussexes be welcomed at the Platinum celebrations in June if the family dispute remains unresolved?


The answer surely is that the Sussexes have no intention of mending their relationships with the Cambridges. And as they basked in the spotlight yesterday at the Invictus games in Holland, the Queen and Charles may have rued the folly of becoming props to the Sussexes’ apparent PR exercise.

Their focus is undoubtedly Netflix — the corporation whose series, The Crown, has grossly distorted their family’s lives to earn gargantuan profits.

Harry’s hugely expensive lifestyle depends on Netflix. Meghan, of course, has shown no loyalty towards the Queen and the Royal Family. The notably ambitious actress has always been focused on her own fame and fortune.

Once they return to their £12million home in Montecito, they can count another victory. As can their Hollywood advisers. Together, they have humiliated the Windsors. Again. The tragedy will be compounded if the Queen’s advisers fail to cut off the Sussexes from further exploitation of their titles.

Their presence at the Platinum celebrations would be a disastrous diversion. Harry’s memoir will undoubtedly damage Charles and Camilla, and destabilise Charles’s coronation and reign.

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His book and documentary will undermine William and Kate’s attempt to modernise the monarchy.

The Royal Family’s advisers have limited time to restore the monarchy and the Commonwealth. They should start tomorrow morning.

Tom Bower is a writer known for his investigative journalism and biographies of famous people
Persuading the Queen to meet Meghan would not have been easy