Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Upcoming U.K. Trip Could Be ‘Fairly Difficult,’ Expert Says: ‘Their Popularity Has Plunged’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are planning a visit to the U.K. following their appearance at the Queen’s Jubilee. A royal commentator believes the trip will be “difficult” for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, given their low public approval rating and damaged family ties. Here’s what we know about Harry and Meghan’s upcoming trip and what the royal commentator said. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have an upcoming visit to the U.K. in September, make an appearance at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Matt Dunham/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee but didn’t stay long

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and their children Archie and Lilibet recently visited the U.K. to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. The occasion marked the 70th anniversary of the queen’s accession, as well as Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance in the U.K. since 2019.

Although the celebration lasted several days (spanning June 2-5), Harry and Meghan were barely seen at the events. They watched the queen’s annual birthday parade from the Major General’s Office, while the other royals joined Queen Elizabeth on the Buckingham Palace balcony. 

Harry and Meghan’s only appearance occurred on June 3, when they attended a National Service of Thanksgiving honoring the queen.

A royal expert believes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming trip to the U.K. will be ‘difficult’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will return to the U.K. in September to participate in several charity events. Their plans align with their statement in 2020 that they intended to step back (not step down entirely) from their royal duties. The visit will mark the couple’s first joint charity events in the U.K. since moving to the U.S.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Newsweek he believes that Harry and Meghan’s low public approval rating and strained ties to the royal family could make their U.K. visit “fairly difficult.”

“Their popularity has plunged in Britain,” Fitzwilliams said. “They know when they appear that they are at war with the press here, it’s rather like venturing into the lion’s den now because you’ve got the public who are not supportive and you’ve got the press who are ferociously against them – and then you’ve also got the royal family where there’s a rift.”

In May, a YouGov poll showed that the couple’s public approval rating had reached an all-time low. The poll revealed that Meghan had a -42 net approval rating, while Harry had a -26 net approval rating. 

Fitzwilliams also opined that a family reunion would be “unlikely,” considering Harry and Meghan’s rift with Prince William and Kate Middleton. “But,” the royal commentator added, “One can never second guess Harry and Meghan.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a complicated relationship with the royal family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had a strained relationship with the rest of the royal family. In January 2020, the couple announced that they were stepping back from their royal duties, splitting their time between the U.K. and the U.S., and seeking to become financially independent. 

During his interview with Oprah, Harry said (per Marie Claire) that, although the “U.K. is home,” he had to leave due to a “lack of support and lack of understanding” from his family. And in April, the Duke of Sussex told Hoda Kotb on the Today show that he feels most at home in the U.S. “Home for me now, for the time being, is in the United States,” he said (via New York Post). “And it feels that way as well.”

There have been rumors of a feud between Harry and his brother, Prince William, due to the Duke of Cambridge’s treatment of Meghan. Harry’s interviews about the royal family have done little to smooth things over with his brother. 

Harry also has a highly-anticipated memoir coming out that many believe will be a scathing tell-all about the royal family. 

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