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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Zoe Forsey

How Harry and Meghan's relations with royals fell apart in 2022 - secret trip and 'b***end' dig

Royal watchers thought Prince Harry's relationship with his family hit rock bottom in 2021 when he and Meghan Markle sat down for a tell-all interview Oprah Winfrey. But 2022 saw the rift grow even deeper, with the Sussexes making even more allegations about their treatment during their time as working royals.

While they were reunited with King Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate for the first time since quitting the UK and moving to America, any potential moves towards a reconciliation have likely been shattered by the Sussexes' Netflix docuseries.

The couple spent more time with the royals this year than they have in the previous 24 months, with three visits to the Duke's homeland, and they also introduced their daughter Lilibet to her great-grandmother and royal grandparents.

However just weeks later, Harry accused his brother of "screaming and shouting" at him while Meghan described the royals as formal behind-the-scenes.

As 2022 draws to a close, we look back at some of the most defining moments of their troubled relationships from the past 12 months.

Meghan and Harry reunited several times during 2022, including as they came together the mourn the Queen (PA)

A secret visit to the Queen

Harry and Meghan stunned tourists in Windsor back in April when they made a secret visit to see the Queen on their way to Holland for the Invictus Games.

They stayed at their old home Frogmore Cottage and sat down for "clearing the air" meetings with the Queen and Charles.

However they weren't able to see Prince William and Princess Kate, who was believed to be on a skiing holiday with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

It was the first time Meghan has returned to the UK or seen her in-laws since making a series of shocking allegations in her bombshell Oprah interview.

Senior royal sources described Meghan and Harry's meetings with the Queen and Charles as "incredibly warm and good natured” with another saying they were "very cordial”.

A source close to the Sussexes said: "Both the Duke and Duchess are very mindful that the Queen is getting older and has had health issues associated with her great age in recent months.

"They have made it clear they're certainly planning to return to see the Queen with their family in the near future.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Her Majesty they would return with their children Archie and Lilibet. They were good on this promise and the Queen got a chance to meet her great-granddaughter during the couple's Jubilee visit.

An awkward Jubilee?

The late Queen marked 70 years on the throne this year, celebrating the milestone with four-days of royal engagement and parties.

Meghan and Harry returned to the UK to be part of the fun, bringing Archie and Lilibet with them. Their daughter celebrated her first birthday during their visit, later sharing photos from a private birthday party they had at Frogmore Cottage on the day.

The couple weren't involved in the majority of the official Jubilee events and weren't invited onto the Buckingham Palace balcony with the rest of the royal family.

Meghan and Harry only made one public appearance during the Jubilee, but it looked a bit awkward (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

However they were behind-the-scenes at some of the events which gave them time to catch up with members of the royal family.

They were seen watching Trooping the Colour through a window from a building overlooking Horse Guards Parade, with Meghan pictured playfully shushing some of the younger royals.

Later that day n on-working royals gathered on the roof of St James' Palace to watch the flypast, as documented on Princess Eugenie's Instagram account, before several of them joined together to for lunch.

But according to a report by royal expert Camilla Tominey in the Telegraph, Harry and Meghan did not join the likes of Princess Beatrice, Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips for the flypast and lunch - and instead hot-footed it back to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor before the Red Arrows appearance.

The publication reports that the cousins had planned to go to Windsor to see Harry and Meghan later that day at their UK home - but the "celebratory" lunch carried on much longer than planned.

An insider said: "It was quite boozy and went on well into the early evening, by which point there was no time to get to Windsor to see the Sussexes."

Mike Tindall, the husband of the Queen's oldest granddaughter, Zara, did little to hide his feels about Harry and Meghan, with a body language expert picking up on his unusual behaviour.

TV footage showed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approach Mr Tindall and his wife Zara, the Queen's granddaughter, following the ceremony on June 3.

Mike appeared to visibly avoid speaking to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by staring into the distance and then speaking to other royals.

Speaking about the clip, body language expert Judi James told the Express : "With Mike’s closeness to William in mind it also appeared to have created a bit of a dilemma as Harry stepped out into Zara’s group as they waited for their transport.

"Zara looks happy to chat and even turns fully to talk to Harry here, who is looking anxious and keen to get into his own car.

"Mike though remains facing forward, looking about and holding his order of service up with a look of awkwardness.

"In the end he talks to Viscount Lindley, who turns his own back on Harry, cutting the two men off from Zara’s conversation with Harry.

"This doesn’t appear to be Mike’s normal style of behaviour as he usually looks too easy-going and too tough to get involved in politics and it could be that his attention was taken arranging the right cars, but there are no signs of any farewell from him, either.”

The following day, a source overheard the former English rugby player referring to Harry's behaviour as that of a "b***end".

Reunited for Granny

The previously dubbed 'Fab Four' reunited publicly for the first time since Megxit in the days following the Queen's death.

Harry and Meghan travelled back to the UK following her passing, and William offered his younger brother a last minute invitation to join them to view floral tributes left outside Windsor Castle.

The two couples arrived together in the same black car, followed closely by security. They were all dressed in black and spent time reading cards left by mourners before heading over to the waiting crowds to say hello.

Meghan rubbed Harry's back reassuringly before linking arms with him.

At the end of the brief outing, the brothers got close and started talking to one another as they walked to greet some of the well-wishers. But they then went separate ways and went to speak to people on different sides of the road.

Meghan, Camilla, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Kate, Princess of Wales during the Queen's funeral (Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

According to body language expert Judi James, William appeared the leader of the group and offered a touching gesture to Meghan.

She told the Mirror: "There were moments of communication between the four and it was obvious that this was William’s decision and instigation.

"He led the choreography and he was the one to hold out an arm to gesture Meghan to join the group and be introduced to their host."

The appearance also marked Harry and Meghan's first public walkabout in the UK since quitting as senior royals in 2020 and setting up a new life in California. And Judi noted they did appear a little apprehensive at first but managed to relax into their roles.

She added: "Meghan and Harry used some mutual signals of reassurance and support. Harry placed an arm around Meghan’s back and rubbed it with his thumb and Meghan returned the gesture when they chatted to the crowds.

Harry joined his cousins for the Grandchildren's Vigil while the Queen's coffin was Lying-in-State (Getty Images)
It was an extremely emotional event (Getty Images)

"Both looked a little cautious about those crowds and it was unusual to see Meghan instigating a handshake by sticking her hand out first rather than responding to hands already offered.

"Harry grew more comfortable and relaxed as he heard the love from the fans and something of the old Harry returned, including grins and more active chatting as he reached into the crowds to touch hands."

Harry's book announcement

The publishers of Harry's memoir released the first official details of the book, including its title and cover.

The name Spare - is a nod to the phrase 'The Heir and Spare', which was used to describe Harry and his older brother Prince William based on their positions within the line of succession.

A description of the book, due for release on January 10, 2023, from publisher Penguin Random House claims it will take "readers immediately back to one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror".

It adds: "As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is his story at last.

"With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief."

The book hits shelves in the first few weeks of January 2023 (Penguin Random House)
Meghan and Harry made a number of red carpet appearances this year (Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

The 416-page book, which has a striking cover image of Harry, will cost £28 for a hardback, with the audio book, voiced by Harry himself, priced at £20.

Penguin Random House said the memoir will be available in English in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Canada, while the book will also be published in translation in 15 additional languages, including Spanish, Italian, German and Chinese. The Spanish language version will carry the even more telling title Spare: In the Shadow.

Insiders told The Mirror it's unclear whether Harry picked the book's name or the publishing company.

The Mirror's royal editor Russell Myers said: "Royal sources have said it demonstrates 'yet another confrontational attack on the family after claiming a desire for privacy'.

"Palace lawyers will be on standby in the new year, waiting to see what is in the book.

"Regardless of the content, which will no doubt be explosive given the title, there will be little chance of this acting as a vehicle to reconciliation for Harry and Meghan."

Meanwhile, a description under the heading "about the author" reads: " Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is a husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. He resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his family and three dogs.”

The statement also confirmed where money raised from the book will go, revealing much of the cash will be split between charities.

Harry has donated $1,500,000 to Sentebale and £300,000 to WellChild, which he was patron of during his time as a working royal.

Harry & Meghan - the Netflix show

More than two years after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed a $112m deal with Netflix, their highly-anticipated docuseries about life in the royal family and beyond finally dropped in December.

Split into two volumes, the six-part series featured emotional reality TV-style confessionals, unseen photos and a behind-the-scenes look at the couple's private lives.

But the series would have made uncomfortable viewing for King Charles and the rest of the royal family, as well as Palace staff who held crisis talks over the weekend on how to respond.

Harry claimed the royals asked why Meghan should be "protected" from media speculation, alleging he was told it was something all royal women - including Princess Diana and Kate - have to go through.

The couple made a number of shocking claims during the six-episodes (Netflix)

He said: "The direction from the Palace was don't say anything. But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well.

"So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like 'my wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?'

"I said 'the difference here is the race element'"

Meghan adds: "It was horrible, but I continued to hold the line and say nothing. "

Harry also took aim at Charles by claiming he has friends in Botswana who "literally brought me up".

He talks about his love of Africa and the charity work he has done there, his late mother Princess Diana and how he wanted to carry his mum's "torch and try to keep her legacy alive".

Diana died when Harry was just 12 with parenting duties falling to his father.

The show then cuts to an old clip of Harry where he declares: "Botswana is a country very close to my heart. The fact that I spend more time here than at home worries my father a lot."

They also shared countless personal photos from their post-royal lives (Netflix)
Fans were delighted by the behind-the-scenes insight (Netflix / BACKGRID)

And in a new interview, he adds: "I've got a second family out there. A group of friends that literally brought me up.

"For me, it's always been quite special. So it was absolutely critical to share it with Meg."

In what was seen by many as a dig at Princess Kate, Harry said there was a temptation in the royal family to marry someone who "fits the mould".

Speaking in the first episode of the Netflix documentary, he said: "I think for so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould as opposed to somebody who you perhaps are destined to be with.

"The difference between making decisions with your head, or your heart. And my mum certainly made most of her decisions - if not all of them from her heart.

"And I am my mother's son."

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