Royal Expert Reveals The Palace's Strategy For Dealing With Meghan And Harry During Jubilee

A big fuss was made over Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration in early June. Remember, the couple chose to skip Prince Philip's memorial service earlier this year, citing concerns over security. We know they paid a secret visit to the monarch while in Europe for the Invictus Games shortly afterwards, but the Jubilee marked Harry and Meghan's first public reunion with the royal family since they moved to California — and then gave that infamous interview to Oprah Winfrey essentially calling out The Firm for everything from racism to bullying.

Of course, by all accounts the relationship between the Sussexs and the rest of the royals is now strained, with insiders contending Harry and his brother Prince William, who were previously very close, may never even reconcile with one another (via InStyle).

Ahead of the Jubilee, which commemorated Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne, it was unclear how much time Harry and Meghan would get with William, the monarch and the rest of the family.

Signs of tension plagued Meghan and Harry's visit

It had already been announced by the palace that during the Platinum Jubilee, only working royals would be invited to participate in high-profile events such as standing on the balcony for Trooping the Colour. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ultimately stayed behind the scenes instead on this occasion. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his royal titles, announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, and avoided any public humiliation as a result.

Then, at the service of Thanksgiving the following day, it seemed that Harry and Prince William didn't even cross paths (via Newsweek).

Another signal that the family's relationship is tension-filled at best was the seemingly-passive birthday wishes for Lilibet expressed by the royals, with Harry and Meghan's second child turning one while in the U.K. for the Jubilee celebration. But these weren't the only moments that made royal watchers cringe as the week's events continued to play out.

The palace may have anticipated drama

After the royal family's tepid public reception for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, surely the couple wouldn't leave Britain without a moment of unity they'd share with the world. Or not. Fans never got to see a picture of Queen Elizabeth with her great-grandchild, Lilibet, with conflicting reports suggesting the monarch refused the couple's requests to be photographed with the child, or that she was never even asked to do so.

Given all of this drama, clearly the Jubilee ended up being as much about the Queen as it did about Harry and Meghan. This, even though at one point early on, it had been reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not looking to stir things up and promised to keep the focus on the milestone event. How do they explain leaving early despite criticism over their use of a private jet (via New York Post)?

And now we're learning the palace may have had a plan in place to deal with the media storm the controversial former royals were bound to create just by stepping foot publicly back in the United Kingdom.

The Queen seemingly handled Meghan and Harry's visit behind the scenes

A royal expert is claiming that none of the drama surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's participation during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee came as a surprise to the royal family (via Newsweek). As Richard Fitzwilliams said on the country's GB News network, "the palace knew who they were dealing with." He also noted that even though it seems like the couple has stolen the spotlight in recent years — and soiled the reputation of the royal family — the monarchy "has lasted over a thousand years."

Fitzwilliams further explained that the visit was carefully orchestrated by the royal family, with the Sussexs being kept away from Prince William and Kate Middleton at the church service purposefully. Instead, they were placed near Eugenie and Beatrice, daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, "with whom they get on apparently."

Finally, the royal expert seemed to suggest that the lack of photography of Queen Elizabeth's meeting with Lilibet was also the consequence of a directive from the palace.