Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make secret visit to the Queen in Windsor

Harry and Meghan have secretly flown into the UK to see the Queen at Windsor, the Mail can reveal.

It is the first time that the Duchess of Sussex has set foot on UK soil for two years after she and Harry acrimoniously quit as working royals and left the royal family reeling with their score-settling Oprah interview in which they accused an unnamed senior royal of racism.

She last saw the Queen at an awkward Commonwealth Day service on March 8 2020 but has claimed since to regularly speak to her on the phone and over video calls.

Harry, 37, has not seen his grandmother in person since Prince Philip’s funeral last April when he flew over briefly from their new home in the US. But their contact would have been limited because of Covid restrictions.

He has since launched a High Court legal action against the Home Office claiming it is too dangerous to bring his family to the UK after being stripped of his official Metropolitan Police protection.

It is not known how the couple arrived – whether they took a private jet or flew in commercially – but their presence is the talk of locals on the Windsor estate, the Mail understands.

They arrived incognito on Wednesday and are believed to have stayed at Frogmore Cottage, the home they have kept on despite quitting the UK where Princess Eugenie and her family currently stay, overnight.

They are not believed to have their children, Archie and Lilibet with them.

Meghan last saw the Queen at an awkward Commonwealth Day service on March 8 2020 (pictured) but has claimed since to regularly speak to her on the phone and over video calls

It is the first time that the Duchess of Sussex has set foot on UK soil for two years after she and Harry acrimoniously quit as working royals and left the royal family reeling with their score-settling Oprah interview in which they accused an unnamed senior royal of racism

Harry and Meghan have secretly flown into the UK to see the Queen at Windsor, the Mail can reveal

Last night a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed that they had been to Windsor to see the Queen 

Hilariously, given their efforts to keep the visit secret, Harry and Meghan, 40, were spotted walking over to Windsor Castle early yesterday (Thursday) morning by a coach of excited churchgoers arriving for the Royal Maundy service

Harry, 37, has not seen his grandmother in person since Prince Philip’s funeral last April when he flew over briefly from their new home in the US

Hilariously, given their efforts to keep the visit secret, Harry and Meghan, 40, were spotted walking over to Windsor Castle early yesterday (Thursday) morning by a coach of excited churchgoers arriving for the Royal Maundy service.

It is believed the couple were on route to the Queen’s official residence to see not only the monarch but Harry’s father, Prince Charles, who was at the residence with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to stand in for the Queen at the service for the first time.

Harry and his father have spoken only rarely over the last two years and he heavily criticised Charles in last year’s tell-all Oprah interview for failing to support him and allegedly cutting him off financially – claims roundly disputed by supporters of the future king who say he has been left desolate by his younger son’s rejection.

He is also said to be deeply concerned about Harry’s forthcoming memoirs due to be published later this year which he fears will be further used to settle scores.

The couple are understood to have left Windsor yesterday afternoon and are now more than likely in the Netherlands.

Harry was heavily criticised for not attending last month’s memorial service for his late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died a year ago last Saturday.

But at the time his spokesman said he hoped to see his grandmother ‘soon’.

The couple have flown to Europe to attend the prince’s Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style event he set up for wounded service personnel, at The Hague which opens on Saturday.

There has been intense debate as to whether he – and Meghan – might use the trip as a chance to see the elderly monarch, who will celebrate her 96th birthday on Thursday.

It would have been considered an egregious snub had he not.

But many had wondered whether it could harm his High Court claim if he did set foot on a British soil.

Harry is suing the Home Office after he was stripped on his round the clock taxpayer- funded police protection after quitting the UK.

He has since told the High Court that he is willing to pay for it himself when in the UK as he does not believe he and his family are safe in this country as his own privately-funded civilian team of US bodyguards cannot carry arms and will, he argues, not be kept updated of the relevant intelligence.

Last night a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed that they had been to Windsor to see the Queen. 

It comes after it emerged that Harry and Meghan are expected to take a Netflix camera crew with them for a private meeting with the Ukraine team as they head to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands this weekend.

Netflix will follow the Duke and Duchess of Sussex throughout the trip as part of the couple’s $100million deal with the media giant, who are making a documentary about the Paralympic-style games for military veterans.

The film crew will be given exclusive access to the couple in The Hague and are expected to film the behind closed doors meeting between Harry and Meghan and the Invictus team from the war-torn country.

Meanwhile security teams were seen today around The Hague with sniffer dogs and police officers as a ring of steel was put in place before the royal couple jet in from California for the opening ceremony on Saturday.

Harry and Meghan – who have been given so-called VVIP (very, very important person) status by the Dutch authorities – will also be filmed being feted by competitors and their families throughout their trip.

Critics though have accused the couple of cashing in on the games by allowing the Netflix cameras into private meetings. And royal experts believe the VVIP status given the couple will allow Netflix to portray the couple – heavily criticised for failing to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial – in a particularly favourable light.

It comes after sources close to the couple revealed that Harry and Meghan will be given the ‘VVIP’ status in the Netherlands, affording them top-level local protection – which will be seen as an attempt to justify their non-attendance at Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey last month over security concerns. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured in 2018) are off to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands which start on Saturday

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague is stepped up today, two days before the start of the Games

Police, military personnel and security guards patrol the Zuiderpark in The Hague in the Netherlands today

‘The Netflix film crew will most certainly favourably capture Harry and Meghan,’ said Talk Radio royal commentator Charles Rae.

‘It will look as if they are still members of the royal family when they are private citizens. That will be the whole aim to show people they are still considered very important people. It will no doubt make great play of the ‘VVIP’ status they have been given by the Dutch authorities.’

The film crew are expected to travel in the same armed police protected motorcade that will take Harry and Meghan to the Zuiderpark stadium where the opening ceremony takes place on Saturday.

They will also film the emotional moment Harry and Meghan meet members of the Ukrainian squad whose presence is tinged with heartache over the loss of four of their former colleagues who died defending their country.

The trip marks a return to the spotlight for Meghan whose previous high profile appearances have been the Oprah Winfrey interview and a much panned appearance on the Ellen DeGenres show.

The Netflix doc series being filmed over the course of a week while the games are staged is called ‘Heart of Darkness.’

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark ahead of the Invictus Games which begins with the opening ceremony on Saturday

Police, military personnel and security guards patrol the Zuiderpark in The Hague in the Netherlands today

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague is stepped up today, two days before the start of the Games

It is the first co-production with the couple’s Archewell Productions and is being made by the Oscar-winning team of director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara.

They were responsible for the widely acclaimed documentary ‘White Helmets’ about first responders during the Syrian conflict.

According to Archwell, the docu-series will ‘ showcase powerful stories of resilience and hope from competitors on their journey to Invictus Games’.

The meeting between the royal couple and the Ukrainian team is expected to be one of the most emotional moments of the week-long games attended by competitors from 20 nations.

Their arrival at Schiphol Airport was tinged with heartache after four members of the squad died defending their country.

Sergey Smilin was killed in service on March 18 while former Invictus competitors Vladimir Motelchuk and Dmytro Oliynyk lost their lives in rocket attacks on March 29, and former trialist Serhii Karajvan died in combat on March 13. 

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark ahead of the Invictus Games which begins with the opening ceremony on Saturday

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague is stepped up today, two days before the start of the Games

Police, military personnel and security guards patrol the Zuiderpark in The Hague in the Netherlands today

‘They were all extremely active in the international Invictus community on the We Are Invictus platform, competing in events over the past year including the virtual London Marathon, and online Rowing championships,’ a spokesperson for Invictus said.

Meghan is expected to arrive with her husband in The Netherlands on Friday and she is expected to stay for four days.

A minute’s silence will be held for those who have died in the Ukraine conflict at the start of the opening ceremony at the Zuiderpark in The Hague on Saturday night.

It will be Meghan’s first overseas trip since quitting the royal family in 2020 and moving to California.

The event has been postponed twice due to the pandemic and it was at the 2017 games in Toronto that the royal couple were seen together for the first time. Months later they announced their engagement.

It is understood Harry and Meghan will not get an audience with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima during their stay and will have to instead spend the night at a hotel in The Hague.

Traditionally, the Dutch royal family hosts stays of foreign royals, but a spokesperson has confirmed no such olive branch will be extended to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The couple have been given VVIP status by the authorities and will be protected by members local police and their own private security team.

Royal experts today suggested that Harry and Meghan will use their VVIP status in the Netherlands in his dispute with the Home Office where he is demanding full police protection when he visits the UK.  

The Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague today, which is hosting the Invictus Games event this year

Security at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark ahead of the Invictus Games which begins with the opening ceremony on Saturday

Harry was absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London last month amid a claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the same degree of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.

The duke wants to bring his children to visit the UK, but he has said the family is ‘unable to return home’ because it is too dangerous, a legal representative claimed.

Royal author Phil Dampier said the couple will attempt to use the level of protection they receive in Holland to prove to UK authorities that they should have same on their visits.

‘Harry and Meghan are no longer members of the royal family and have said they are private citizens until it comes to security,’ said Mr Dampier.

‘They are not deserving of the VVIP status as they are no longer members of the royal family. I suspect the Dutch authorities have given them the VVIP status to appease them.

‘It is nonsense to say they would not have been given full security had they bothered to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service. They would have been in the royal bubble and had full security for the duration of the trip.

‘The security or lack of it was an excuse. The real reason for the no show was the huge rift with the rest of the family.’

Harry and Meghan to make first public appearance together outside US at Invictus Games meet and greets

By Paul Thompson in The Hague 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will make their first public appearance together outside of the US at two meet and greet events at the Invictus Games, it has been announced.

The couple will be joined by friends and family of the 500 competitors at the stadium in The Hague where the week-long event is taking place.

They will also join civic dignitaries at an afternoon function hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

It will be the couple’s first high profile appearance since quitting the royal family in 2020.

A Netflix camera crew will be following their every move for a docu-series on the Invictus Games.

Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions signed a £100m deal with the streaming giant and the series is the first co-production.

The couple are due to arrive in the Netherlands on Friday morning after a surprise visit to the UK where they met the Queen and Prince Charles.

In the Hague security has been ramped up at the Zuiderpark stadium where most of the events for 500 military veterans will take place.

Anti-terror barriers to prevent a car bomb attack have been installed at the entrance while all those entering the park undergo a search and pass through airport style scanners.

On the first day of the games Harry and Meghan plan to attend a driving challenge arranged Jaguar and Land Rover, one of the sponsors of the Invictus Games.

Competitors will be tested on their driving skills behind the wheel of a Land Rover as well as navigational ability.

The event represents the first medals of the week long games which had been postponed twice due to the Pandemic.

Later on, Saturday evening they will both attend the opening ceremony which will include a minute’s silence for fallen soldiers.

The couple have been granted VVIP status for the duration of their visit but are not being hosted by the Dutch royal family.

It is thought the couple will be staying in a private house rather than a city centre hotel where competitors and friends and family are housed.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make secret visit to the Queen in Windsor SourcePrince Harry and Meghan Markle make secret visit to the Queen in Windsor

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