Queen and Philip heartbreak: Balmoral reunion with great-grandson Archie Harrison delayed
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Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 35, relocated to the USA in March following their withdrawal as senior royals. They have since settled in Santa Barbara with their one-year-old son Archie Harrison and are expected to remain thee for the foreseeable future.
Ahead of the pandemic, Prince Harry was understood to have accepted an invitation from his beloved grandparents Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, to visit them with his family during their annual summer break at Balmoral.
However, the coronavirus crisis has put an end to the trip this year.
The Queen has so far received visits from several of her family members since arriving in Aberdeenshire last month.
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex were the first to visit with their Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James Viscount Severn, 12 – who are said to be the Queen’s favourite grandchildren.
She has also hosted her granddaughter Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank in recent weeks
Over the bank holiday weekend, she welcomed her great-grandchildren Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, who visited with their parents Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
While Meghan and Harry returned to the UK to announce their royal step down in January, their son Archie hasn’t been in Britain since last November.
The Sussexes travelled to Canada for the Christmas break and left Archie behind in the care of close friends as they flew back to Britain to drop their royal bombshell.
There was speculation Archie might join his parents when they returned to the UK in March to wrap up royal duties.
However, the little one was left behind with a nanny amid mounting fears about the spread of COVID-19.
The Queen and Philip will not have seen Archie in person since last year and it is not yet clear when they might see him next.
Last week Prince William and Harry released a rare joint statement confirming plans to unveil a new statue to honour their late mother, Princess Diana.
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The statue will be revealed in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on July 1, 2021 – the date on which Diana would have turned 60.
Given Prince Harry’s involvement in the project and enduring love for his mother, he is expected to return to Britain for the poignant event and Meghan and Archie could come with him.
Royal expert Omid Scobie who is the co-author of new book Finding Freedom about Meghan and Harry’s royal stepdown, recently claimed the Sussexes could return to the UK for an “extended period” next year.
Speaking on ABC’s HeirPod, Mr Scobie said: “It’s great to see the two brothers coming together to issue a statement like this while they may be on different paths in their lives and both in very happy places in their lives.”
Mr Scobie added: “The one thing that will always bring them together is continuing the legacy and the memory of their mother who of course means so much to them that will be a very interesting time.
“In fact, I would not be surprised if we saw the Sussexes spend an extended period of time in the UK next year.
“In March, we have the Invictus Games and that’s taking place in The Hague.
“In June we have Trooping of the Colour which I imagine Harry and Meghan would like to still be at.
“In July, we have the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue.
“There are many reasons for them to be based here in the UK for at least that period depending on whether travel will be completely back to normal.”
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