Prince Harry now irrelevant to ‘sad and hurt’ Queen’s platinum jubilee plans, says royal expert11/11/2021
Plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year are already well underway, with details of events over the long weekend of June 2 to 5 still being finalised.
But, says royal expert Duncan Larcombe – author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story – the occasion will be ‘a big deal’ for the royal family and one that they won’t want overshadowed by ongoing disputes with Harry.
“The reality is that next year is an incredibly important one for the Queen and everything we’ve been hearing from the palace suggests that this Jubilee is going to be a big occasion with all the bells and whistles,” he says.
“There’s still a question mark over whether Harry and Meghan will be involved in any shape or form. There’s been no particular confirmation or denial from the palace so you couldn’t confidently rule out Harry’s involvement yet.
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He added: “But Harry will not be central to the plans whatsoever. I don’t think that means they’ll just cut him out, but equally I don’t think they’re going to be begging him to make the journey either because it’s not about Harry anymore.
“In fact, the line-ups when they’re finalised are unlikely to include too much of Prince Harry or Prince Andrew for that matter.”
Jubilee events to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne will include a grand pageant featuring 5,000 performers, a trip to one of the Queen’s favourite events The Epsom Derby – a live concert at Buckingham Palace and a full Trooping the Colour featuring more than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians.
Alongside the special June weekend, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will travel around the country taking part in engagements to mark the occasion.
“This is an opportunity for the Queen, the royals and all the men in great suits to really push the message of continuity,” says Duncan.
“So I think we’ll see an awful lot of Prince Charles and Prince William. They will be the two key people seen alongside the Queen because it sends a message and it’s an important one.
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“But I think the broader family will be very much included too, especially as the Queen will be without Prince Phillip for the first time. I expect there to be a three-line whip where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be involved.
“The Jubilee is a celebration of the Queen’s life and you can only really do that if you take into consideration her role not only as a monarch but as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother too.
“We know the Queen is very family oriented and we know the importance she places on harmony in family relationships because she directly referred to the break-up of two of her children’s marriages in her 1992 annus horribilis speech.
“She’s never spoken publicly about Harry but the palace is certainly not trying to play down the fact that she’s extremely saddened by what’s happened. I don’t think she’s angry, I think she’s very sad and hurt by it.”
With Harry’s memoir due to be released sometime next year, Duncan believes this may prove pivotal to Harry’s involvement.
“You sort of hope that between now and June there’ll be a healing of relations but it seems hard to imagine that’s possible when this sort of sword of Damocles book is hanging over all the Royal Family’s heads,” he says.
“Until that book is published I don’t think anyone in the royal family is going to really know where they all stand as a family.
“Will the book effectively see the start of a huge republican movement? Because what Harry and Meghan have already said about the Royal Family is already questioning the legitimacy of them as an institution anyway.
“None of this is the kind of stuff the Queen would want highlighted and discussed in her Jubilee year, quite the opposite in fact.”
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