It’s been two years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially stepped down as working royals, but it appears relations between them and the royal family are still tense. Harry recently announced that he would not be going home for Prince Philip’s memorial service and some are calling it a “slap in the face” to Queen Elizabeth.
Harry Blows Off Memorial Service But Plans A Trip To The Netherlands
The late Prince Philip’s service of thanksgiving will be taking place later this month, but his grandson Harry will not be in attendance. To add insult to injury, Harry reportedly told the queen that he wouldn’t be coming just 15 minutes before making the announcement public.
In addition to that, Harry’s team announced just a few days later that he would be journeying to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games. Many see this as a slight towards Queen Elizabeth, including some vocal royal experts.
The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English said, “Within a couple of minutes of announcing that he would not be attending the Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving, Harry’s team also announced that he would be attending the Invictus Games in the Hague in April, just a few weeks later.”
“This has obviously surprised a lot of people,” she continued. “To travel to Europe to go to that, but not to his grandfather’s memorial service has, to use a well-worn phrase, got people’s goat. They feel it is a slap in the face to the Queen and, again, another PR disaster as far as many people in the UK are concerned.”
Charlotte Griffiths, the Mail on Sunday’s Editor at Large, echoed those statements, saying, “There is that feeling that this could be one of the last chances he gets to see some of the older members of the family. It just feels so insensitive and so vitriolic and so pointless.”
Why Harry Won’t Go Back To The UK
The prince has previously said that he fears for the safety of himself and his family when he is in the UK due to insufficient security. He is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against the British government over whether or not he and his family would have a security detail while traveling in England.
The British government has said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not entitled to government-funded security because they are no longer working royals. However, Harry argues that the threat level against his family is high. Harry’s decision not to attend such an important memorial service for his grandfather is clearly not going over well with some, despite his seemingly reasonable explanation.
Announcing a trip to the Netherlands that will take place just a few weeks after the service of thanksgiving definitely didn’t help, though it’s likely that his security situation in the Netherlands is significantly different than back in his homeland of England. While Harry was once one of the most popular royals, his repeated snubbing of his family — especially Queen Elizabeth — has made many change their opinion of the prince.