Queen has ‘soft spot’ for Prince Harry as pair ‘devoted to each other’ despite royal split

Harry and Meghan ‘need association with Queen’ says expert

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Queen Elizabeth II turned 96 this week; she spent the occasion in Wood Farm — a small cottage on her Sandringham estate — which her late husband, Prince Philip, was particularly fond of. On her birthday, Her Majesty was spotted in the passenger seat of a car driving around the estate. But the milestone was properly celebrated this weekend with a tea party with family and friends.

Family is vitally important to the Queen at this time of year, as she celebrates both her birthday and the Christian holiday of Easter. 

She was recently reunited with her grandson, Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle, who stepped down from their roles as senior royals in favour of a life in the US two years ago. 

During a surprise visit to the UK last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stopped-off in Windsor where they met with both the Queen and Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

Their return marked Meghan’s first visit to the UK since their departure, and Harry’s first time back since July last year. 

They later flew to the Netherlands to attend the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, sick and injured ex-military personnel and servicemen and women, which the Duke founded in 2014. 

Harry spoke affectionately of his meeting with the Queen, saying it was “great to see her”. 

According to one royal biographer, Her Majesty is “still very fond of Harry” and is “devoted to him”. 

Robert Hardman, author of the new book, ‘Queen of Our Times’, told the Washington Post that while the Queen is “sad” about her grandson’s exit from the Firm, she is not all-consumed by it. 

He said: “I think she’s sad about it, but I don’t think it’s all-consuming. 

“She’s still very fond of Harry. There’s the family stuff and the business stuff, and the business stuff is non negotiable. 

“You can’t do this, Harry. I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is. And her officials will tell his officials that, and those conversations will happen at arm’s length. 

He added: “But he’s still devoted to her, and she’s still devoted to him. 

“They still talk. I’m told he talks to her more often than he talks to anyone else in the family. 

“He’s still quite cheeky and can get away with things that others possibly can’t. She’s got a soft spot for him.”

Harry opened up on his relationship with his grandmother in a recent interview with NBC’s Today programme host, Hoda Kotb. 

He said: “She is on great form, she always got a great sense of humour with me.”

The Duke also claimed that he was making sure that the monarch is “protected”. 

He said: “I am just making sure she is protected and got the right people around her.” 

Harry’s unexpected return came amid his legal battle with the Home Office over police protection for him and his family while they visit the UK. 

The Duke has said he wishes to bring his children — two-year-old Archie Harrison and 10-month-old Lilibet Diana — to his home country, but has deemed it unsafe to do so without said protection.

His security woes may prevent the prince and his family returning to the UK later this year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Harry was asked about the possibility of attending the celebrations in June during his interview with Ms Kotb.

He said: “I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things: security issues and everything else. 

“So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her [the Queen].”

The Duke’s comments come after reports that he and the Duchess have been invited to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside the Royal Family for the Jubilee. 

As non-working royals, Harry and Meghan would not have “formal roles”. 

Royal aides told The Telegraph that it would take a “leap of faith from both sides” following the reportedly bitter rift, but would “mean a lot to Her Majesty” in such a significant year. 

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