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All eyes will be on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they travel across the pond for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
In May, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed that they’ll be heading to the UK with their son Archie and daughter Lilibet for the celebrations. The trip will mark the first time Lilibet, who was born in California a year ago, is in her father’s homeland. She will likely even celebrate her first birthday — June 4 — during the voyage.
The news came shortly after Buckingham Palace announced that only senior members of the British royal family will be seen greeting the public on the balcony as part of Trooping the Colour, the reigning monarch’s annual birthday celebration. They stepped back as senior members in 2020.
The queen, 96, is celebrating 70 years on the throne.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 70 years on the throne. (AP)
“I think the household really wants Harry and Meghan, as well as the children, to be part of the family,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News Digital. “As much as this is a big state event, it’s also a family event. It’s a celebration of granny and great granny and all that she’s done as queen. And it’s my understanding that the queen really wanted the Sussex family to be part of this.”
Bullen is an award-winning documentarian who has been making programs about the British royal family for 20 years and has worked closely with Prince Charles for about a decade. While he founded his production company Spun Gold in 2004, Bullen has been producing royal content even before that.
True Royalty TV will premiere the U.S. exclusive documentary titled “The Queen Unseen” on June 1. The film, which is produced by ITV, features rare footage and home movies shot by members and friends of the royal family.
Bullen revealed that while there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the Sussexes being back in England as a family, some members are allegedly nervous about the events that could unfold following their appearance.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be traveling to the U.K. with their son Archie and daughter Lilibet. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)
“There is undoubtedly nervousness about what could be said afterward because unfortunately, every time Harry and Meghan have been with the royal family recently, or over the last couple of years, stories have come out about what went on in those meetings and those moments,” Bullen explained. “Interviews are given. And I know it surprised the household when Harry talked about needing to protect his grandmother during a televised interview. So there is a lot of nervousness about what will be said.”
Bullen pointed out that through the couple’s Archewell Productions, they are said to be working on several projects that will be premiered by Netflix. In 2020, Markle, 40, and Harry 37, announced a multi-year deal with the streaming giant. Their production company is set to make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, among others.
“Will Netflix cameras be around following the whole thing?” said Bullen. “It makes you wonder.”
What is known for certain is that the couple is expected to attend the service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on June 3. Many members of the royal family are expected to attend including Prince Andrew, the queen’s son who is no longer a working royal following his controversial association with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. While Harry’s niece and nephew, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, may attend the ceremony, it is believed his children are too young for the outing.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex won’t appear on the balcony alongside Queen Elizabeth during Trooping the Colour. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Before the service, there is a possibility that Markle and Harry will appear at Trooping the Colour in another capacity, such as participating in a carriage ride as part of the parade.
It has also been reported that the couple plan to “keep it simple.” They plan on staying at Frogmore Cottage, their home near Windsor Castle. While they have agreed not to have their own program of engagements to avoid overshadowing the main Jubilee celebrations, they do plan on appearing at some key events over the weekend, including the star-studded concert in front of Buckingham Palace.
Sources told ITV News that royal aides are hoping the Sussexes “will stick to the script” during their visit.
Leading up to the outings, Bullen said that palace sources told him that the family has been working behind the scenes in trying to make amends. Insiders shared that they want the focus to be on the queen during this joyous time in her reign.
Royal aides said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan “to keep it simple” during their visit. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)
“What I’m told is that the whole family is really trying to repair the relationship with Harry,” he said. “There is a real hope within the family, from the queen, the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Kate Middleton, that the relationships with the Sussexes can be repaired. Because at heart, William and Harry are two brothers who’ve loved and supported each other for so many years. For the Prince of Wales, this is his son whom he loves and supports. For the queen, this is her grandson, someone she loves and adores very much. Everybody wants to repair this relationship for different reasons.”
“All I hear from all the households, whether it’s Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, or Kensington Palace, is that they want to find a way to repair this relationship,” Bullen added.
The celebrations will wrap with the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on Sunday.
Markle, a former American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married the British prince in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 for an explosive televised interview. (Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, California.
In the wake of quitting royal duties, they gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, in which the couple described painful comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth. The duchess talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
Winfrey, 68, and Harry collaborated on the Apple TV+ mental-health series “The Me You Can’t See.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California with their two children. (Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
In June of that year, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother the queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother, Princess Diana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.