The Royal Family is on the cusp of a new era as Prince William is set to host his first solo reception tonight – while his brother jets to Canada to be with Meghan and Archie.
It is another stepping stone for William in the long preparation for him becoming king and will showcase the royal family’s new order post-Harry, with the Duke of Cambridge supported by his wife Kate, Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne welcoming 21 African delegations to the Queen’s London home.
The Queen and Prince Charles will not be in attendance at the reception to mark the start of the UK-Africa Investment Summit and Prince Harry is expected to fly to Vancouver imminently, in order not to overshadow his brother’s big night.
The start of the event comes just hours after The Duke of Sussex met African leaders in Greenwich, south east London, earlier today, in a series of private meetings, before a 20-minute audience with Boris Johnson.
Harry had agreed to attend today’s summit before the Sussexes sensationally quit 11 days ago, and prior to quitting, he would almost certainly have been there to support his older sibling, who for the first time was asked by the Queen to host a major state occasion.
Today it was claimed the Queen and Prince Charles decided not to strip Prince Harry of their HRH titles and Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank to avoid looking ‘petty’.
Prince William greeted African leaders, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame pictured, on his own today, so his brother Harry’s sensational decision to quit his role didn’t overshadow the event at Buckingham Palace
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge receives Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, at Buckingham Palace today
The Duke of Cambridge sits down with President Akufo-Addo in his first solo Buckingham Palace reception since ‘Megxit’
In happier times Harry would almost certainly have been there to support his older sibling (pictured with President Kagame), who for the first time was asked by the Queen to host a major state occasion, but Harry’s presence would have overshadowed William’s big night, royal sources say
Last night Harry told an event for his HIV prevention charity Sentebale he had ‘no other option’ but to quit his role.
Her Majesty is said to have considered stripping the couple of their most prized titles and instead referring to them as the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton – putting them at the same level as Edward and Sophie, Earl and Countess of Wessex.
However, the Queen and Prince Charles are believed to have felt preventing the couple from using ‘HRH’ in public and for commercial use – while still officially retaining the title – was a sufficient enough change.
A source told the Evening Standard: ‘The Sussex title is one of the ancient royal dukedoms given to him ahead of his wedding to Meghan, along with other titles. Removing it was seriously considered and discussed at the highest level.’
Today, Harry was at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in Greenwich for a number of private meetings with heads of state in one of his final events as a senior royal this morning.
After the prince hosted meetings with the presidents of Malawi and Mozambique and the prime minister of Morocco he posed with Mr Johnson.
The VIPs then rushed to a private room at the Intercontinental Hotel for an informal ‘catch-up’ chat – but unusually they insisted no No 10 or Palace aides were present to ensure the talks were kept private.
While brother William separately met with Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at Buckingham Palace earlier today.
MailOnline understands Harry has no more official engagements in his diary after today and is expected to fly to Vancouver imminently to be reunited with Archie and Meghan, who he has not seen for almost a fortnight.
It is not known when he will return but a Sussex source told MailOnline there is ‘more to come’ in Britain for the prince before the spring.
During a visit to Prospect House in Wroughton, the Duchess of Cornwall broke her silence on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as royals, saying the couple would be missed.
Camilla, 72, was asked for her thought on Mexit during a visit to the Prospect Hospice in Wroughton, as she helped to celebrate the facility’s 40th anniversary year.
While meeting hospice staff, the wife of Prince Charles was asked by a reporter: ‘Will you miss Harry and Meghan?’. Camilla smiled and replied: ‘Of course’.
Harry was supporting Boris Johnson at today’s UK-Africa Summit in London today where the prince and the PM held private one-to-one talks for the first time since Harry quit
Details of the talks were kept private and all aides were banned as Harry prepares to leave for Canada for the foreseeable future
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, arrives to attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London today with a move to Canada now imminent
‘The only person having a good time is MEGHAN’: Royal experts say ‘sadness’ of Prince Harry and The Firm over him leaving is clear
Arthur Edwards, a photographer who has captured more than 200 royal tours across 120 countries, told ITV’s This Morning that Meghan ‘seems to be having a good time’.
He said Harry’s sadness at the situation came across yesterday in his first public speech since the couple’s decision to quit, at the Ivy Chelsea Garden in London.
Fellow royal expert Duncan Larcombe also spoke today, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the Queen has effectively told Harry: ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it.’
They were both interviewed today after Harry told how he and his wife were standing down from the Royal Family with ‘great sadness’, but there was ‘no other option’.
Harry said they had hoped to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military associations, without any public funding, but this was not possible.
Mr Edwards said: ‘From that speech last night, Harry’s sadness came over. Harry’s sad, the Queen’s sad, Prince of Wales is sad, I’m sad, but they’re still going ahead with it.
As Harry prepares to jet out of London for Canada, it has emerged:
- The Queen and Charles considered stripping Meghan and Harry of their Sussex titles – but decided against because it could have been viewed as ‘petty;
- Sources say the couple hope to make their fortune with a film and television production company – and Netflix have already said they would work with them;
- The Queen said she wanted Harry and Meghan to keep Frogmore Cottage as she feared they could leave the UK – and her family – forever otherwise. They then agreed to pay back the £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money spent on it;
- Royal officials agreed to let the couple keep their HRH titles as they feared if they were stripped of them they would have to curtsey to Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie;
- Harry was said to be ‘deeply upset’ at losing his role as a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, but was persuaded he could still undertake meaningful work with the ‘family of nations’;
- Negotiations over the ‘exit package’ have brought Harry and his estranged brother, William, closer than they have been ‘for more than a year’, sources claim;
- Prince Charles is said to be saddened by what has happened but believes that if his son is going to be happier abroad, then seeing less of him and his grandson, Archie, is a price he will have to pay;
- A host of further details have yet to be ironed out, such as the cost of security and who is paying for it – and whether Meghan will be allowed to call herself a ‘royal patron’ of institutions such as the National Theatre.
- Prince Andrew accompanied the Queen to church in Sandringham as his position in the line of succession was strengthened by Harry’s decision to step back from royal duties;
Harry has defiantly backed an Army charity amid claims he is grieving after the Queen and Prince Charles’ insisted he is stripped of his official military roles for quitting.
He used the Sussex Royal Instagram account to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Walking With The Wounded charity and shared a series of photographs of him supporting them around the world.
Harry must step away from his three official military roles but has vowed to always maintain his links with his fellow soldiers and today praised ‘the resilience and strength’ of those ‘injured in service to their country’.
The emotive Instagram post said: ‘The Duke has worked hard to raise awareness over the years, including an expedition to the North Pole in 2011, trekking across the South Pole with 12 injured servicemen from the UK, the US and the Commonwealth in 2013, and joining wounded veterans for their incredible 1,000-mile walk of Britain in 2015!’
Harry arrived at the summit after giving a bombshell speech last night where he gave his side of the reasons why he and Meghan feel they must quit for Canada (Meghan right in Vancouver last week)
Harry meets Saadeddine Othmani, Prime Minister of Morocco during the UK-Africa Investment Summit at the Intercontinental Hotel in Greenwich – an event he agreed to before quitting
The Duke shakes hands with Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, a country close to his heart as he helps the Government build links with Africa
Harry praises Armed Forces charity on Instagram after being stripped of military titles
The Duke of Sussex has supported the Walking With The Wounded charity over the past ten years – including by trekking across the South Pole with 12 injured servicemen in 2013 (above)
The Duke of Sussex today praised the Walking With The Wounded charity in an Instagram post, two days after giving up his military titles and patronages.
The Duke has supported the charity by going on an expedition to the North Pole in 2011 and trekking across the South Pole with 12 injured servicemen in 2013.
Harry, who announced on January 8 that he is stepping down as a senior royal, also joined wounded veterans for a 1,000-mile walk of Britain in 2015.
In the SussexRoyal post this morning, Harry shared a series of photographs of him supporting the charity for injured British Armed Forces servicemen and women.
The pointed social media message came as an insider alleged that Harry is desperately sad about being stripped of his roles as Captain General of the Royal Marines, the ceremonial head of the Corps; Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
Kensington Palace has refused to discuss Harry’s private schedule, but he is almost certain to fly out to Canada to see his family after today with no more UK events pencilled in and staff being let go at the couple’s Frogmore Cottage home already.
Last night Harry spoke of his ‘great sadness’ at leaving the Royal Family and said he and Meghan had ‘no other option’ than to quit senior royal duties – but vowed the couple are ‘not just walking away’.
The Duke of Sussex was at a formal private dinner at the Ivy in Chelsea for Sentebale, the charity supporting young people affect by HIV and Aids that he founded in 2006, when he made the comments.
Insisting that the UK would always be his home, he maintained that his wife, Meghan, ‘upholds the same values as I do’ and was ‘excited’ and ‘hopeful’ about playing a full royal role after their wedding.
But he said now ‘there really was no other option’ but to step back – a decision which, he said, was ‘not one I made lightly’.
The duke paid a stirring tribute to his grandmother, calling her his ‘commander-in-chief’ and that he was ‘incredibly grateful’ to Her Majesty and the rest of his family for supporting him and Meghan.
He said: ‘Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited. We were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.
‘The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges and I know I haven’t always gotten it right but as far as this goes there really was no other option.’
Harry paid a stirring tribute to his grandmother, calling her his ‘commander-in-chief’ and that he was ‘incredibly grateful’ to Her Majesty and the rest of his family for supporting him and Meghan – but insisted he and Meghan are ‘not just walking away’
The Duke of Sussex was at a formal private dinner at the Ivy, in Chelsea, for vulnerable children’s charity Sentebale, which founded in 2006, when he made the comments
In an emotional speech, the 35-year-old said the royal couple had hoped to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military associations, without any public funding, but this was not possible
The Duke of Sussex was wearing a grey blazer, black trousers and blue suede shoes as he attended a charity event at The Ivy Chelsea Garden on the King’s Road
On Sunday evening, the Duke of Sussex met popstar Lewis Capaldi who performed at the event in London, at the Ivy
Harry and Wills’ ‘secret talks’: Princes ‘heal their rift in man-to-man discussions as brothers’
The two-year quarrel stopped after they realised it was ‘now or never’, with Harry (pictured with his brother in 2018) expected to fly to Canada to rejoin wife Meghan Markle and baby Archie
Prince Harry’s rift with William has been repaired but he is still at odds with Charles following the Duke of Sussex‘s dramatic exit from royal life, it was claimed today.
The two-year quarrel stopped after they realised it was ‘now or never’, with Harry expected to fly to Canada to rejoin wife Meghan Markle and baby Archie.
A source told the Sun: ‘William and Harry have spent time together privately away from the official Sandringham Summit working on their relationship and discussing their future.
‘It has been ground-breaking in terms of saving their bond as brothers and has been totally driven by them.
‘But Kate and Meghan, who was in Canada, did join in with some of the talks on more than one occasion — which is another sign of a real thaw in their relationship. Things are better.’
They added: ‘Given Harry is now permanently moving away, there was a realisation if they didn’t sort things out now, they never would.’
It comes after last night’s statement from the Queen that Harry and Meghan will ‘not use their HRH titles’, as they look to forge a new life in North America.
As well as returning the £2.4 million spent on a lavish refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, they will pay a commercial rent – estimated at up to £360,000 a year – to retain it as their British home.
The Duke of Sussex added: ‘What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.
‘Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding.
‘Unfortunately that wasn’t possible. I’ve accepted this knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a peaceful life.’
The deal hammered out at Sandringham on Saturday stipulates that the pair, who will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will cease to be working members of the Royal Family from this spring and will not perform any official duties on behalf of the Queen – effectively leaving ‘The Firm’ completely.
By quitting their senior royal roles, they will be told to stop using their HRH titles.
Last night, Harry said the couple would continue to lead a life of service and were taking a ‘huge leap of faith.’
He added: ‘I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.
‘Together you have given me an education about living and this role has taught me more about what it right and just than I could ever have imagined.
‘We are taking a leap of faith so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.’
He told the audience: ‘It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes.
‘It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you and to feel your excitement for our son Archie – who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!
Duke and Duchess of Netflix? Harry and Meghan plan to set up a production company… and streaming giant already wants to work with them
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, pictured at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in LA yesterday said the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan hope to make a fortune with their own film and television production company after their dramatic break from the Royal Family, sources have revealed.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to make a living by providing voiceovers and producing documentaries on ‘worthy’ issues such as mental health and climate change.
And they have received an early boost after a senior Netflix executive yesterday said the streaming giant would like to work with them.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards yesterday the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan, adding: ‘Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.’
Meghan has already signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity.
The couple plan to continue marketing themselves under the ‘Sussex Royal’ brand for the time being, even though they have agreed not to use their HRH titles in the future, it is understood.
‘I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander-in-chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.’
The duke also praised former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas – who is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with HIV – for changing the way people think about the virus.
Harry added: ‘I can’t not mention my dear friend Gareth Thomas – who in my mind – has quite literally changed the way people think about HIV – so thank you bud.
‘By being here tonight, every one of you are helping to fight that stigma and helping a generation of children and young adults to becoming the generation that ends it.
‘There’s a lot to do, but it’s only possible by working together and receiving support from people like yourselves and like Lewis Capaldi, who has so generously flown here directly from Malaysia, via Dubai, taking tonight out as a detour on his way to the Grammys in Los Angeles – where he is nominated for best song.
‘Lewis, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us this evening. We are all incredibly grateful.’
The Duke of Sussex, was wearing a grey blazer, black trousers and blue suede shoes as he attended a charity event, and was joined by his son’s godfather Mark Dyer – who donned a blue suit – and a group of minders.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a stone’s throw away from Mr Dyer’s pub in Fulham, where Harry dined with friends on Friday.
Mr Dyer, 53, who comforted Harry after Diana‘s death in 1997, was revealed as baby Archie’s godfather earlier today alongside the Duke’s former nanny Tiggy Pettifer.
Harry’s grandmother the Queen issued an emotional statement on Saturday, saying she recognised the ‘challenges’ the couple had faced over the past year.
Unusually, she used the first names of her grandson and his family in a public message.
Lewis Capaldi performs as Sentebale held an event on January 19, 2020, hosted by The Caring Foundation, to raise funds for Sentebale’s vital work supporting young people affected by HIV in southern Africa, in London
The 35-year-old was at a formal private dinner for his children’s charity Sentebale, which he founded in 2006