It is the first time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have seen the British monarch in person since stepping back from their royal roles.
With the recent easing of pandemic restrictions making travel easier for separated families around the world, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were able to make a secret visit to Queen Elizabeth II today, as they stopped in England on their way from California to the Netherlands.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes confirms to that the couple spent Thursday morning, April 14, in Windsor, England, with the queen after more than two years apart.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex went virtually unnoticed as they were driven from their Frogmore Cottage residence to nearby Windsor Castle on a day that much of Britain’s royal press was gathered outside the estate’s St George’s Chapel, where Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were standing in for the monarch at a traditional coin-giving ceremony known as Maundy Service.
Meghan and Harry are understood to have also met with Charles and Camilla for the first time since March 2020.
Buckingham Palace aides and senior royal sources tell that they did not learn of the couple’s reunion with the monarch until after it took place. However, Harry and Meghan’s visit didn’t go completely missed. Eagle-eyed pensioners on a bus after the church ceremony—which saw “Maundy coins” given to 192 pensioners for their contributions to the community—told Britain’s The Sun that they spotted the couple as they left the palace.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw who it was,” an onlooker told the newspaper. “We waved and they waved back. They looked happy and relaxed and waved to everyone on the bus.”
In February, a representative for the Sussexes told that while Harry would be unable to attend a March 29 memorial service for Prince Philip in London, he was hoping to visit his grandmother “very soon.”
Harry and Meghan are now in The Hague, Netherlands, for the Invictus Games. Tomorrow, April 15, they will attend two receptions marking the start of the games: one for friends and family of the competitors taking part, and another for dignitaries.
On Saturday, the couple will join spectators at the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, a test of skill and precision that will decide the first medals of the Invictus Games. In the evening, the Sussexes will attend the sporting event’s official opening ceremony, where they are expected to speak.