Since the Sussexes traveled to Britain to celebrate the Queen's 70-year reign, there have been speculations about how they handled themselves during their visit. Moreover, the monarch refused to take a photo with Lilibet, and it has been alleged that the "men in gray" were behind it.
When the Sussexes, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, visited England in June 2022, they were reported to have been in such a hurry to leave the Trooping the Color ceremony in honor of the monarch's 70-year reign celebration that they missed the flypast altogether.
Amid the prestigious event, the royal couple was said to be on their way back to their Frogmore Cottage to see their brood, Archie and Lilibet.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 03, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess preferred to go home when they could have joined other "non-working" royals on the roof of St. James' Palace for the show by 70 aircraft Typhoon fighters.
Prince Harry and Markle also avoided having a family lunch with royal cousins after watching the parade of pomp and pageantry from the Major General's Office.
Multiple sources revealed that cousins Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Zara Tindall, and Peter Phillips had planned to see the Sussexes at their abode in Windsor. However, the get-together took longer than expected and well into the evening.
LILIBET CELEBRATED HER BIRTHDAY WITH THE QUEEN
Markle and Prince Harry celebrated their daughter's first birthday on June 4, 2022, at their Frogmore Cottage. The duo hosted an intimate garden party for their youngest child with picnic snacks, balloons, birthday cake, and party games.
The birthday girl received a pastel pink VW Beetle ride-on car from Selfridges as a present. Her parents requested the Sussex supporters to donate $100,000 to charity in her honor.
While celebrating her birthday, Lilibet met her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth for the first time. Because the meeting was meaningful, Markle and Prince Harry wanted a picture of the monarch and her namesake taken.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had hoped to bring along their photographer to capture the historical moment, but to their dismay, they were forbidden. The Telegraph later reported that Her Majesty "personally intervened to prevent an official image being taken."
The Queen reportedly advised Markle and Prince Harry against taking photos because she did not want to feature in pictures for public consumption. Moreover, royal aides feared publicizing a private meeting, stating it would be dangerous as there was a possibility the couple could share the images with US networks.
The Duke of Sussex has since made it known that he would like to have an official picture taken of his daughter and his grandmother sometime in the future.
Royal commentator Camilla Tominey later revealed that the royal matriarch avoided taking a photo because she had a bloodshot eye. She wanted to prevent sparking health concerns from the public.
HARRY AND MARKLE 'RAISED EYEBROWS' BEHIND PALACE WALLS
When Prince Harry and Markle attended the ceremony celebrating the Queen, they opted to walk solo down the aisle of St Paul's Cathedral for the service of thanksgiving.
Per The Telegraph, the couple's decision reportedly "raised eyebrows" behind palace walls as they could have walked alongside their cousins with their spouses, who were seated next to them.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the service of Thanksgiving for the Queen on June 3, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
In addition, the Sussexes extended party invites to members of the Royal Family for Lilibet's birthday celebration. However, only Philipps' and Tindall's brood made it to the occasion. A source revealed that some Royal Family members hesitated to go to the event:
"There was a bit of reluctance among the royals to admit to having any involvement in Lilibet's birthday party."
Meanwhile, the Cambridges were also absent as they went along with their children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, on their first official engagement to Wales. They had to carry out duties in Cardiff, and notably, there was no interaction between the royal couples or their offspring.
Markle and Prince Harry later shared a photo of their daughter, marking the first time the public caught a glimpse of her. Lilibet donned a pale blue dress paired with a white bow in her hair. The image was taken while the tot sat on the lawn.
'MEN IN GREY'
While the youngster could not be captured alongside Her Majesty, royal biographer Christopher Andersen stated it must have been difficult for the Sussexes to understand the circumstances.
Andersen made that statement about the fact that the couple's son Archie managed to be snapped with his great-grandmother when he was just two days old in 2019:
"We now know that the Queen, well, the men in grey who handle things, would not permit the Queen's photograph to be taken with Lilibet."
"That spoke volumes; it was a really bitter pill for Meghan and Harry to swallow," the author of "Brothers and Wives" added. Andersen explained that it was royal tradition for royal grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be pictured with Her Majesty, adding this was a different experience.
In the "Royally Us" podcast, Andersen noted that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex flew down to England full of hope. However, things were tense during their presence there.
Moreover, he mentioned that the fact that Prince William and Middleton made no effort to introduce their kids to their cousins was alarming. He said the Cambridges could have at least found a gap within their schedule to introduce their brood to Lilibet.
Andersen revealed that none of the royal couples spoke and that there was tension between them during the Platinum Jubilee Thanksgiving for the royal matriarch.
The royal expert mentioned that part of why the Royal Family members showed discomfort in the presence of the former actress and the prince was that they have a book coming up in which The Firm will feature.
From that standpoint, Andersen explained that, for the Royal Family, it was no use for the Sussexes to play nice while they may go back to square one with their new book following the Oprah Winfrey interview debacle.
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