Wednesday, 27 Sep 2023

King ‘will not mark Prince Harry’s birthday publicly’ after change in tradition

King Charles III mentions Prince Harry and Meghan in speech

King Charles is not likely to address Prince Harry’s 39th birthday this Friday (September 15) publicly, due to rules that were enforced after he ascended to the throne.

Royal expert Christine Ross, of Royally Us, told Express.co.uk that this move will “eliminate any uncertainty” over whether any of the royal social media accounts will share a message of birthday wishes for the Duke.

However, whether they will privately exchange texts or calls is unclear given the ongoing feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm, with contact between them understood to be at a minimum.

Ms Ross explained the rules surrounding royal birthdays: “Although we have seen warm happy birthday wishes for Prince Harry in the past, the recent trend on social media is for the Royal Family to only share a birthday post for the main working members of the family.

“This creates a clear, easy boundary for the social media posts and eliminates any uncertainty on who will or won’t be wished a happy birthday.”

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“I expect calls or texts will be exchanged between Prince Harry and his family on the day, but the Royal Family is clearly trying to keep their relationship and interactions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex private and behind closed doors for the time being.”

Last year the Royal Family did not publicly send well wishes to Harry – the first time they have failed to do so – but it is likely because his birthday fell during the mourning period of the late Queen Elizabeth. His birthday fell four days before her state funeral.

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are currently in Düsseldorf in Germany for the 2023 Invictus Games, which will conclude on Saturday, meaning they will mark Harry’s big day together at the tournament.

Before flying to Germany the Prince briefly stopped over in the UK for a night to attend the WellChild Awards in London, before privately paying a visit to Queen Elizabeth’s grave on the anniversary of her death.

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However while in the country he did not meet up with either his father or his brother Prince William, who marked the day at separate remembrance services in Scotland and Wales respectively.

Even if he does not hear from the rest of his family on his birthday, Meghan will be sure to give him a “meaningful” gift, an expert has claimed, as she understands how difficult the occasion can be for him.

Harry’s 13th birthday in 1997 came just a couple of weeks after the death of his mother Princess Diana in a car accident, and only nine days after her funeral.

The King will celebrate a big birthday himself this year, as he turns 75 on November 14, an occasion that will be marked with a special royal tradition that is now quite rare.

On his birthday the bells at Westminster Abbey will ring out in celebration, something that was once commonplace on royal birthdays, but is now only reserved for the four most senior members of the Firm – the King, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate.

This means the bells only ring for royal birthdays on four days of the year: January 9 for Kate, June 21 for William, July 17 for Camilla and November 14 for Charles.

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