Prince Harry is currently in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded and sick servicemen and women founded by the Duke of Sussex eight years ago. Until Monday, Harry was joined by his wife Meghan Markle, who chose to fly back to Los Angeles early to be reunited with their children – Archie Harrison, who turns three next month, and Lilibet Diana, who turns one in June.
The Duchess confessed that she was missing her children during a reading to a group of 12 children in a private event held in the Zuiderpark.
Ahead of their trip to the Netherlands, Harry and Meghan made a secret visit to the UK to see the Queen.
The Duke, who met his grandmother at Windsor Castle, told the BBC on Monday that it was “great to see her”.
Whether the Sussexes would return to the UK had been a topic of speculation since their decision to skip Prince Philip’s memorial service last month.
The royal couple were criticised for their absence and one royal expert has claimed that Harry and Meghan’s absence “sent a message” to Britain.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Richard Fitzwilliams said: “The way he [Harry] has handled things – of course, he has this case against the Government on security issues here – but I think it’s extraordinary that neither he nor Meghan attended the Thanksgiving service for his grandfather, of whom he was very fond.
“I think it sent a message to Britain, which has been clear for a long time, that they don’t much care what people here think.”
The Sussexes had not returned to the UK since their shock exit from the Firm in 2020.
Their visit on Wednesday was said to have been kept secret – even from some of the Queen’s closest advisors.
Meghan and Harry also reportedly met with Prince Charles during the visit, as he was at Windsor Castle standing in for the Queen at the Maundy Thursday service.
There has been speculation of a rift between Charles and his son, after Harry criticised his father in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year.
Harry claimed that Charles and William are both “trapped” in the Royal Family, adding that he feels “really let down” by his father.
According to royal commentator Richard Kay, the Duke and Duchess’s visit to the UK “will almost certainly have determined their long-term status within the Royal Family”, but said that their meeting with Charles, in particular, was “the most important”.
In a report for MailOnline, he described it as a “crucial first step” in “reconciliation between the father and son”.
Mr Kay continued: “In many ways, this was the most important of the two meetings.
“Harry and his father have been barely speaking in recent months.”
The Sussexes’ visit to Windsor has been described as an “olive branch” ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Ingrid Seward, the author of Prince Philip Revealed and editor-in-large of Majesty magazine, told the Telegraph: “The Queen is all about forgiveness – look at Fergie and Andrew – and she would certainly be happy to have Harry and Meghan around her for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
“Their meeting at Windsor on Thursday shows the olive branch has been offered to them and she will be hoping they accept it.
“She wants to present a united family on an occasion like the Jubilee, because an occasion like that certainly won’t happen again.”
It is understood that the Queen wishes to see her family reunited and for the Sussexes to appear with her on the palace balcony for the Platinum Jubilee.