Speed Reads

'olive branch'

Harry and Meghan visit the queen for the 1st time since stepping back from the royal family

On their way to the Netherlands, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to swing by Windsor Castle for a surprise visit to the queen. 

Harry and Meghan visited Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday in what was their first joint visit to the U.K. since they dramatically stepped back from the royal family in 2020, according to The Associated Press.

Plans for Harry and Meghan to visit the queen hadn't previously been announced. They're traveling to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, the competition for wounded servicemen. 

After stepping back as senior members of the royal family and moving to the United States, Harry and Meghan dropped a number of bombshell claims in an infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, including that there were concerns in the royal family about "how dark" Meghan's baby's skin color would be. 

"It is a wonderful opportunity to clear the air and offer an olive branch," Majesty Magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward told The Sun of the visit. "After everything that has gone on it must have taken a lot for Harry and Meghan to go to Windsor." 

The meeting was described by TMZ as "clearly an attempt to smooth things over" with the queen and Prince Charles, whom they reportedly also met with. 

Harry was last in the United Kingdom in July 2021, when he attended the unveiling of a statue for his mother, Princess Diana. He also attended Prince Philip's funeral last year, though he didn't return for a memorial for him in March. 

Recently, Harry has been fighting to pay for his own police protection while in the U.K., and his lawyers have said he "does not feel safe" there because of his current security arrangements.