The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, paid a surprise visit to the UK yesterday.
The couple were headed to mainland Europe to attend the Invictus Games in the Netherlands. Harry is a leading organizer of the athletics event, aimed at veterans that have been injured while serving.
On their way to the Hague, they made a private visit yesterday to Windsor Castle to meet with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. It is understood they arrived on Wednesday, spent the night in the UK, saw the Queen, 95, on Thursday, and then departed.
The visit was not announced beforehand and took the British press by surprise. It was the first time Meghan Markle has returned to the UK in a couple of years, since stepping back from Royal duties in January 2020. Harry visited last July but did not attend a memorial service held last month for his grandfather, Prince Philip.
A spokesperson for the couple confirmed the visit to the press afterward.
The surprise visit has left some quarters of the British media, with its army of Royal reporters, reeling.
Some seized upon the fact the couple apparently did not bring their two children, Archie and Lilibet, with them. Queen Elizabeth has yet to meet Harry and Meghan’s daughter.
Others speculated whether it might undermine the case Harry is currently bringing against the UK Home Office, which has denied him the same level of personal protective security when he brings his family to visit from the US, despite his offers to pay for it.
And some of the tabloids just speculated on what might have been said at this supposed “olive branch” meeting, without any evidence of actually knowing a thing about it.
Either way, many supporters of the couple were delighted they stopped off in the UK and managed to hoodwink the media.
British newspapers (cough Daily Mail) how dare Harry & Meghan not see the Queen. They visit. British newspapers (cough Daily Mail) who do they think they are visiting the Queen. #HarryandMeghan
— Lara Badger (@LaraBadger1) April 14, 2022
When someone puts together an edit of all the royal reporters who said that Harry and Meghan weren’t going to visit the UK on this trip please be sure to tag me. I need the laughs. pic.twitter.com/QbZ40YDd0y
— R.S. Locke / Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) April 14, 2022
👏🏽Good on Harry and Meghan for visiting the Queen on the DL! The media leeches will be so mad👏🏽
Watch them scramble mealy-mouthed, gnashing their teeth on missing this scoop! They’ll start coming up with bullshit speculations next to be relevant. Useless people😂 https://t.co/9ZdOvC1wt6
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) April 14, 2022
I see reporters from newspapers that have been banned by the #HarryandMeghan claiming that the Sussexes also visited Charles. How would you know? Their office does not cooperate with your paper at all. The Sussex spokesperson only said that they met with the Queen. 🧐 pic.twitter.com/F5W5wASNAt
— 🟣 Bea (@italianbea) April 14, 2022
Anti-Sussex accounts melting down when they realize that Prince Harry & Meghan Markle stopped off to visit the Queen this morning.
Best. Day. Ever. pic.twitter.com/bQ1ROld2kx
— Anne Boleyn (Sussex Supporter) (@TudorChick1501) April 14, 2022
Harry & Meghan being able to secretly slip into the UK, visit the Queen, & leave without one royal “reporter” knowing about it goes to show they’re just actually court stenographers whose “reporting” relies on what information the Palace deems fit to slip them.
— Alphabet Fascist 🏳️🌈 (@MvelaseP) April 14, 2022
I love the fact some were camped out at Windsor Chapel for the Maundy ceremony & none of them saw The Sussexes… Yet a group of pensioners on a bus leaving the ceremony did & waved to them….🎉🤣🎉 Harry & Meghan waved back as well 💖💖
— Jacy 💙 (@JacyCraw) April 14, 2022
Broadcaster and weather reporter Alex Beresford, who famously defended Meghan Markle in an on-air spat with colleague Piers Morgan, welcomed news of the couple’s visit.
I don’t care for the details, just happy that it happened and this could be a step in the right direction. #HarryandMeghan
— Alex Beresford (@alexberesfordTV) April 15, 2022
In many ways this will have meant far more to The Queen. So personally I think it’s the right call… (I’m sure Piers will be spitting feathers but who cares)
— Sir willireallyam (@willireallyam1) April 15, 2022
Harry and Meghan are now in the Netherlands, ahead of the start of the Invictus Games on Saturday.