What We Know About Meghan And Harry's Secret Visit To Queen Elizabeth

For many fans of the British royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's break from royal life in 2020 was nothing short of scandalous, and their life since then has been heavily scrutinized as well. Their production deal with Netflix, their interview with Oprah, and the prince's upcoming memoir have all been cast as a slap in the face to the palace (via Newsweek). Every other day seems to bring a murmur about how Harry is breaking the hearts of his family — particularly his dad Prince Charles, brother Prince William, and his beloved granny, Queen Elizabeth. 

Most recently, tongues clucked disapprovingly over Harry's absence from the one-year memorial service honoring his late grandfather, Prince Philip. This left critics wondering if the prince would ever deign to see his family again. Harry did mention that he wanted to see his grandmother soon, according to CNN, but the question left was when that would happen. That question was answered on April 14 in a surprising — and most pleasant — development.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a pitstop to visit Queen Elizabeth

On their way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quietly visited Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Palace, according to the Daily Mail. The couple were spotted walking towards the queen's royal residence just prior to the annual Maundy Thursday church service at St. George's Chapel in the palace. For anyone who doesn't celebrate, Maundy Thursday is part of the Easter celebrations. It is the Thursday before Good Friday, according to HITC, and is usually celebrated in the United Kingdom with the queen helping out senior citizens. 

It's widely thought that Harry and Meghan made the special visit to offer early birthday greetings to the revered monarch, who will turn 96 on April 21. Sources have confirmed that the couple did indeed meet with the queen. However, adds the Mail, Harry and Meghan probably traveled alone, meaning that the queen has not yet met her namesake, 10-month-old Lilibet Diana, in person.

Harry and Meghan may have also visited Prince Charles

The Sussexes may have also broken the ice with another estranged family member. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles stood in for the queen during the Maundy Thursday church service this year, distributing the traditional "Maundy money" coins to selected older members of the church community, per Reuters. This would have offered Harry and Meghan the perfect chance to meet with the future king, and perhaps set the stage for a more formal sit-down in the future.

It's believed that Harry and Meghan spent the night at their former home, Frogmore Cottage, before heading to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games. The event, founded by the Duke of Sussex, brings together wounded service members from all over the world to compete in 10 sporting events and show the indomitable spirit of the military. 

Some eyebrows were raised over the prince's visit to his grandmother, given his ongoing lawsuit against the British Home Office for the right to have a government security detail for himself and his family during trips to the UK (per Us Weekly). However, sources have told the Daily Mail that Harry and Meghan have been given maximum security protection by Dutch authorities for their stay in The Hague for the games.

Still, the fact that the Sussexes made time to visit the queen is a significant move — and it is leaving their supporters hoping that the entire family may yet be able to return this summer to join the royals for the queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration.