Charles had ’emotional’ first meeting with Lilibet and reunion with Archie in Jubilee celebration
The Prince of Wales had a ‘very emotional’ first meeting with his granddaughter Lili and a special reunion with grandson Archie during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trip to the UK, a royal source has said.
Heir to throne Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were ‘absolutely thrilled’ to see Harry and Meghan and their children when they travelled briefly from California for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this month.
Harry, who quit as a senior working royal in 2020, has had a troubled relationship with Charles, telling how he felt let down and how his father stopped taking his calls at one stage.
The Sussexes left the monarchy in crisis after using an interview with Oprah Winfrey to accuse an unnamed royal of being racist towards their son before he was born, and the wider institution of failing to help Meghan when she had suicidal thoughts.
But a senior royal source, at the briefing of Clarence House’s annual review, said it had been ‘wonderful’ to have the Sussexes back in the UK at the start of June.
‘It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,’ the source said.
Meghan and Prince Harry pictured at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on the Friday of celebrations, was one of the few Jubilee events that they attended
Pictured: Prince Charles and Camilla at the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral during the Jubilee celebrations. The couple were not pictured talking to Prince Harry or Meghan
‘The prince and the duchess were absolutely thrilled to see them.
‘The prince, of course, hasn’t seen his grandson Archie for a bit of time and so it was very, very, very special to have some time with him.
‘He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.’
Lili had her first birthday during her stay and also met her namesake great-grandmother, the Queen, for the first time.
Meanwhile, it emerged earlier this month that the couple did not spend any private time with Prince William, Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis during the Jubilee, according to Page Six.
The outlet reported that William’s family is unlikely to have met Lilibet at all.
Harry and Meghan celebrated their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday in Windsor while in the UK and hosted a ‘relaxed’ birthday party —with royal second cousins invited to the festivities. Pictured: Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their two children issued in December 2021
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a new picture of Lilibet on her first birthday
An insider said the relationship between the brothers remains ‘fraught’ after the Sussexes’ transatlantic ‘truth bombs’ about the Royal Family on Oprah and friendly podcasts in the US.
Harry and Meghan appeared at the jubilee service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral but sat far across the aisle from Charles and the Cambridges, and did not take part in any other public jubilee festivities.
Kate and William chatted to Prince Charles and Camilla inside the cathedral, but there was no sign of the same rapport with Harry and Meghan who sat in between Lady Sarah Chatto and Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, and were under strict instructions to keep a low profile during the event.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the Platinum Jubilee early – missing the Pageant and the Queen on the balcony – as they flew back in a private jet to California.
It was the first time Harry and Meghan had been on full public view alongside the Windsors since they quit the monarchy for a new life in the US two years ago.
Weeks later, Prince Charles shared poignant photos to mark Father’s Day, including one of himself in happier times with Harry and elder son William – after it was revealed that the brothers’ relationship remains at ‘rock bottom’.
Prince William, Kate, and their three children did not have private time with the Sussexes during the Jubilee weekend, with their relationship remaining ‘fraught’, a source said
The future king, 73, shared three photos to the Clarence House Instagram page, captioning them ‘Wishing everyone a very happy Father’s Day!’ – with a photo of his sons appearing as the final image in the gallery.
The picture shows a laughing Prince Charles, wearing a kilt, hugging his sons during a trip to Birkhall, the home of The Prince of Wales on the Balmoral estate, in the Eighties.
It comes as it was revealed Harry and Meghan are now ‘financially independent’ and paid for their own flights when they visited England at Easter.
Royal officials also said the couple’s decision to repay £2.4million on their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor was a ‘good deal’ for taxpayers.
A royal source said of the Sussexes’ financial independence: ‘Great credit to them. They said they wanted to transition to financial independence and that has now been achieved.’
Harry and Meghan secured multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify after moving to the US.
Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during last year’s interview with Oprah Winfrey
Charles’s bill for the activities of William and Harry and their families, and other costs including capital expenditure and transfer to reserves, has dropped by £1.2 million over two years, with the Sussexes no longer listed in the accounts.
The amount fell from £5.61 million in 2019-20 when the Sussexes were still working royals to £4.38 million in 2021-22 when Charles is no longer funding the couple.
It has not been detailed what proportion of this related to the Sussexes.
Charles had carried on supporting the duke and duchess with a ‘substantial sum’ until summer 2020 following ‘Megxit’, despite Harry claiming his family ‘literally cut me off financially’.
This year’s accounts showed the heir to the throne’s annual private income from the Duchy of Cornwall was £23 million.
It increased by £2.6 million or nearly 13% from £20.4 million in 2020-21 as the Duchy’s profits rebounded after the pandemic.
As heir to the throne, Charles is entitled to the surplus generated by the Duchy’s vast portfolio of land, buildings and financial investments.
Charles spent £3.3 million – a quarter of a million more than last year – on non-official expenditure for himself and his family, including salary costs of personal staff and a proportion of costs of gardeners and estate workers and the cost of Highgrove in Gloucestershire and Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.
Official costs of Charles’s London office and official residence Clarence House came to £107,000, while his official travel by air and rail was £892,000 – with both amounts funded by the taxpayer through the Sovereign Grant.
Charles and Camilla’s official travel costs rose by £640,000 with overseas royal tours getting under way again as Covid restrictions eased.
The prince paid nearly £5.9 million in tax.
The private Duchy of Cornwall landed estate was created in 1337 by Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.
It extends across 23 counties in England and Wales and includes the Oval cricket ground and 67,000 acres of Dartmoor.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Platinum Jubilee weekend
The Sussexes land in Britain on a private jet. The Queen sent three of her own protection officers, her royal Land Rover and a bullet-proof VW people carrier to meet the family at Farnborough Airport, taking them to Frogmore Cottage.
A Range Rover with a modest escort swept them in to Central London and onto Whitehall, where they took up position in the Major General’s Office overlooking the parade ground ready for the other royals to arrive.
Among the first to greet them were Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edo, as well as the queen’s grandson Peter Phillips.
Meghan was seen kissing his elder daughter, Savannah, 11, as his younger daughter, Isla, 10, held Zara and Mike Tindall’s younger daughter Lena, almost four.
Meghan, wearing a large wide-brimmed navy and white hat, put her finger mysteriously to her lips as the girls mimicked her, laughing.
Her husband, Prince Harry, 37, who looked tanned in a lounge suit rather than military uniform, was also seen later entering into the spirit of things, apparently urging Lena to ‘shush’.
The couple were later seen chatting to the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, 86, before he left the family gathering to join the monarch at Buckingham Palace, where they took the returning military salute together.
The couple went to St Paul’s Cathedral for the morning’s service celebrating the Queen.
The couple arrived after the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and their two children, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie along with their husbands.
Harry and Meghan held hands and were smiling broadly as they walked up the steps of the cathedral, while cheers and some boos could be heard from the crowd.
The Duke of Cambridge and his wife Kate sat on the front row alongside Prince Charles and Camilla, who were representing the absent Queen at the Service of Thanksgiving for her 70-year reign.
But Harry and Meghan were placed on the opposite side of the aisle, half-way down a second row of seats, along with other lower-ranking, non-working royals.
There was no chance for the once-close siblings to talk as William, 39, and Kate, 40, were part of the main party.
They arrived after Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, were seated and left before them in order to attend a post-service reception at the nearby Guildhall.
Notably, the California-based Sussexes were the only members of the extensive royal party who were absent from the second event.
Instead of attending the concert at Buckingham Palace, Harry and Meghan celebrated their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday in Windsor on Saturday with a ‘relaxed’ birthday party —with royal second cousins invited to the festivities.
The little girl’s birthday party was open to Zara and Mike Tindall’s three children, Mia, eight, Lena, three, and Lucas, one, as well as Savannah, 11, and Isla, 10, daughters of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly.
The Queen was also rumoured to have been invited – but it is claimed that she met her great-granddaughter for the first time on Thursday or Friday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their children reportedly flew out of Farnborough Airport at 1.30pm yesterday, an hour before the Jubilee Pageant began.
The California-based couple are believed to have been driven from Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where they were staying, at lunchtime.
They landed in the US at around 5pm, LA time.