It’s been nearly a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited the U.K., but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are *finally* planning their next trip across the pond. Prince Harry and Meghan, who stepped down as senior royals last year, haven’t been able to venture back to the U.K. from their new home base in California since March, largely due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Prince Harry and Meghan are hoping to travel to London by June, as Queen Elizabeth has invited the Sussexes to Trooping the Colour, the annual military parade that celebrates the monarch’s birthday, according to the Sunday Times.
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Prince Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito with their son, Archie, last summer, and while they had previously planned to travel between the U.K. and the U.S. a bit more, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Sussexes to cancel any visits over the past several months.
Trooping the Colour is both an official royal event as well as a special family occasion, so Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to attend, per the Sunday Times. The U.K. is currently under a third lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems the Queen is optimistic about the future. A royal aide told the newspaper that at the moment, the plan is for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday parade to “go ahead in London as normal, with the acceptance that it may need to be adapted or scaled back depending on what guidelines are in force at the time.”
Trooping the Colour is traditionally held on the second Saturday of June, in honor of the Queen’s “official” birthday, with all the senior royals in attendance. It includes a huge parade with hundreds of soldiers, a carriage procession and the flypast of the Royal Air Force and the Red Arrows, with huge crowds that usually come out for the event. Last year’s Trooping the Colour was scaled down significantly; it was held at Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace, and the Queen was the only royal in attendance.
While it appears the royals are hopeful that they’ll be able to see Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie this year, as well as hold Trooping the Colour, it all depends on the state of the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen did, after all, recently cancel all of her annual garden parties for 2021, and all the royals are currently following lockdown stay-at-home orders at their respective homes.