As concern for the Queen grows, is Harry heading home at last?

·4-min read
A new clip of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who�s pregnant with their second child after Archie, during their bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey after quitting their Royal Job, shows Meghan, Duchess of Sussex finally feeling free and ready to talk about being blocked from having her voice by royal aides. The clip aired on CBS This Morning ahead of premiere on US network on Sunday night. (Photo by DPPA/Sipa USA)
Harry is said to be 'in panic mode' after news of the Queen's hospital stay. (PA)

It's been a dramatic few years for the royal family. From Harry and Meghan's US move to the death of Prince Philip, new babies, and COVID-19 – not to mention Prince Andrew's well-documented problems –the soap opera has remained unmissable.

Throughout, the Queen has been steadfast as ever, and since her return from Balmoral in September, has embarked on a packed programme of events and meetings. Earlier this month, however, she was seen walking with a stick, and last week she spent a night in hospital.

She cancelled her planned trip to Northern Ireland, and will no longer travel to the climate conference COP26 next week – instead, Prince Charles will give a speech.

While updates on her health remain uncertain, reports suggest that Prince Harry is very worried about his grandmother. He has not visited the UK since June, when he briefly attended the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue at Kensington Palace before flying home to California.

Watch: What did Prince William say about brother Prince Harry at Princess Diana statue reception?

His five-month paternity leave, granted by his and Meghan's company Archewell, has only just come to an end and apart from an appearance at Global Citizen Live in New York in September, the couple have remained at home with Lilibet, five months, and Archie, two. 

The Queen has never met her great grandchild, Lilibet, and despite rumours of a Windsor christening, increasingly, this looks unlikely.

Now, however, Harry could be heading home. According to reports, other royals have rallied around the Queen this week, sending flowers and visiting her at Windsor Castle where she is resting. 

Prince William and Kate's children, George, Charlotte and Louis, have all sent hand-drawn cards. By contrast, however, Harry is feeling "helpless", a source has claimed.

The insider told Us Weekly: "The royals went into a state of panic when they heard the Queen was admitted to hospital and are taking turns to call her daily and visit her at Windsor Castle.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II seen using a walking stick as she attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd at The Senedd on October 14, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen seen walking with a stick in Cardiff, earlier this month. Getty Images)

Harry went into "panic mode" after hearing the news that the Queen was in hospital, the source went on. 

"He felt helpless being 5000 miles away in Montecito and has been checking in non-stop with her."

According to the unnamed source, the Prince "feels guilty about not saying goodbye" to Prince Philip and said he "would never forgive himself if the same thing happened with his beloved grandmother".

They claim that Harry is keen to come back to Britain with Meghan as soon as possible, so the Queen "can finally get to meet Lilibet and see Archie again". 

Read more: Prince William's nod to Prince Harry at Princess Diana statue reception

Harry has been back twice since the move in 2020, for Prince Philip's funeral and for the statue unveiling. 

Reports suggest that he and Prince William are still barely speaking after the Oprah interview given by Harry and Meghan last Spring.

They told the legendary TV interviewer that a senior member of the royal family had questioned Archie's skin colour before he was born, and implied that racism was a factor, while Harry also claimed that Prince Charles had 'cut him off.'

On a podcast later in the summer, he told host Dax Shepard that the royals were 'trapped'.

Harry and Meghan gave a very controversial interview to Oprah. (Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan gave a very controversial interview to Oprah. (Getty Images)

Before his marriage, it was generally thought that Harry and the Queen had an exceptionally close relationship – "a very warm and jokey grandmother-grandson rapport", according to one source.

In line with the family policy of 'joke-only' Christmas presents, he once gave her a shower cap with "Ain't life a b**ch" written on it – she reportedly found it "hilarious". 

Royal author Katie Nicholl has said that "exceptionally close to her grandson, the Queen trusts Harry". 

She also insisted that rather than being concerned about his relationship with Meghan, contrary to reports, told him: "'This is your wedding, this is your day. Plan it as you want it."

Read more: Why Prince Harry is the baby bedtime book king - and the other royals love a story, too

Speaking to Oprah about the fall out of 'Megxit', Harry later insisted, "I never blindsided my grandmother, (with the news) – I have too much respect for her." 

The Queen and Harry have kept in touch via Zoom – they talk "all the time", and Nicholl recently said: "She is in touch with them, she knows what is going on in their lives, they discuss their plans with her. Harry has always seen his grandmother as a mentor. While he might be in LA, that has not changed."

Royal watchers are now urging Harry to 'get on a plane' and come and see the Queen – with or without the rest of his family. 

Watch: Royal feud may heighten as Meghan and Harry don't plan a UK christening

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