Meghan and Harry 'will have a tough week' in UK says host
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be returning to the UK for the first time with their children to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with the rest of the Royal Family this week. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex briefly visited in April ahead of the Invictus Games but had not stayed for a long period since they briefly returned in March 2020 to mark the end of their royal career. The pair have been warned they face “a tough week” because of intense public scrutiny as a poll showed a dramatic drop in their popularity across the UK.
Culture reporter Thomas Mitchell told Today Extra: “It’s hard to empathise with Harry and Meghan but I do feel like they’re in a position where they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.
“If they make a big fuss about coming over, they’ll be accused of stealing the limelight.
“And if they keep their heads down then it’s like, ‘they don’t care about the family.’
“They’re going to have a tough week and it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out.”
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An Ipsos Mori poll of 1,039 British adults found the Duke of Sussex’s popularity was well below the rest of the Royal Family at 11 percent, with Meghan shortly behind at six percent.
The Queen raked up 86 percent of support, followed by Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship with some members of the Royal Family has been branded as rather “frosty” before the pair decided to step down from their roles two years ago.
Prince Harry’s bond with his older brother Prince William is believed to have taken a particularly harsh hit.
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The pair had been dogged by persistent rumours of a rift long before the Duke announced he would take a step back from the Royal Family.
Royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claimed in their book Finding Freedom that Prince Harry had not appreciated alleged attempts from Prince William to advise him on the speed of his relationship with Meghan Markle.
The feud was further exacerbated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with talkshow host Oprah Winfrey.
The royal couple made a series of controversial allegations throughout the interview, suggesting the Palace had failed to provide them with psychological support.
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Prince Harry also claimed he had been financially cut off by Prince Charles, whom he said had stopped taking his phone calls before he stepped down.
The Duke briefly reunited with his father and brother at Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, and later with Prince William to attend the unveiling of a statue in honour of Princess Diana.
The Queen has been seen as attempting to broker peace as she invited Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the Jubilee celebrations.
She however announced the couple would not be appearing with her on the Buckingham Palace balcony, opting instead to have only working royals by her side.
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