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Platinum Jubilee: Queen extends an olive branch to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Queen extends an olive branch to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as she invites them to her Platinum Jubilee – but will they get on the balcony?

  • The Queen has extended an olive branch to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  • They are expected to join the Royal Family in London next summer for jubilee
  • Mail on Sunday understands that Harry and Meghan plan to attend Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday parade, which will form part of celebrations
  • But questions remain whether the couple will appear on the Palace balcony beside the Queen and other senior Royals for the traditional RAF flypast 

The Queen has extended an olive branch to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by inviting them to join the Royal Family in London next summer for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Mail on Sunday understands that Harry and Meghan plan to attend Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday parade, which will form part of the jubilee festivities over four days next June.

But questions remain whether the couple will appear on the Palace balcony beside the Queen and other senior Royals for the traditional RAF flypast.

BEFORE MEGXIT: Harry and Meghan on the balcony with the Royal Family for a 2018 RAF centenary flypast. The Queen has extended an olive branch to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by inviting them to join the Royal Family in London next summer for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. But questions remain whether the couple will appear on the Palace balcony beside the Queen and other senior Royals for the traditional RAF flypast

Previous jubilee celebrations have involved two balcony appearances, but it is understood that Royal aides may seek to limit numbers taking part to working Royals only – which would mean excluding Harry and Meghan.

A source with knowledge of the jubilee plans said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited and I’m sure the Queen is very much looking forward to seeing them there.

‘The balcony moment will be decided much nearer the time but there’s a limit to how many family members should be on it, and I would have thought that working Royals who contribute to the family would be higher on the list than the Sussexes.’ 

Celebrations to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne will last all next year but the centrepiece will be during an extended bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.

Members of the Royal Family traditionally travel in horse-drawn carriages for Trooping the Colour before appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony for a Red Arrows flypast. In a jubilee year there is a second balcony appearance to mark the finale of the celebrations. For the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the balcony was crammed.

Numbers were noticeably reduced for the Diamond Jubilee, with the Queen flanked only by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the then single Prince Harry. Prince Philip did not attend because he was ill.

The move irritated Prince Andrew, who complained that Charles had cut him out of key celebrations. Charles, who favours a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy, is thought likely to push for a reduced presence on the balcony to be repeated next year – but supporters of Harry and Meghan may see a failure to include them as a snub and indicative of the mistreatment the couple claim to have received from the Royal Family.

Previous jubilee celebrations have involved two balcony appearances, but it is understood that Royal aides may seek to limit numbers taking part to working Royals only ¿ which would mean excluding Harry and Meghan. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey

Previous jubilee celebrations have involved two balcony appearances, but it is understood that Royal aides may seek to limit numbers taking part to working Royals only – which would mean excluding Harry and Meghan. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey 

Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the privy purse, said maintenance work at Buckingham Palace ahead of the jubilee events had ‘accelerated’ during the pandemic to ensure ‘it can play a significant part in those celebrations, such as garden parties and of course the balcony appearance at Trooping the Colour’.

A pageant of theatre, music and street parties will take place across Britain during the four days next June. Beacons will be lit across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Overseas Territories as well as in every capital city in the Commonwealth. 

A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral while the BBC will host a live ‘Platinum Party at the Palace’ concert featuring music from each of the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk