Before the pandemic even took hold, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were giving the royal family a headache.
In 2021, sources say the couple want to cause less waves and promote more harmony – a move that’s sure to please the Her Royal Majesty the Queen.
In January, the Sussexes broke away from the royal family, opting instead to forge a life of their own in Meghan’s home country of the US.
They moved, tongues wagged, and the year has reportedly been a series of frosty Zoom calls across the Atlantic.
In comparing it to divorce, what Harry and Meghan have actually entered into is like a trial separation – the royal ties have not been completely severed.
They entered into a “half-in, half-out” 12 month trial; a deal the press dubbed ‘Megxit’, which allows them to retain their royal patronage but earn their own money.
The trial is due to expire on March 31, but sources say they’ll be seeking a further 12 months to test the waters on their new life as non-working royals in the United States.
Harry and Meghan’s departure from the royal family was unprecedented, and added to the Queen’s headaches surrounding Prince Andrew’s ties to the late Jeffrey Epstein.
Royal biographer Andrew Morton told British press this week the relationship between Harry and his grandmother isn’t nearly as sour as some would have us believe.
He told The Sun he believes Harry regularly has video calls with the Queen, which Meghan could occasionally join, as they update her on Archie’s progress and their day-to-day lives.
As the virus vaccine rolls out, the Windsors are preparing for a big year in milestones.
The Queen turns 95 in April, Prince Phillip clocks 100 (will he get a letter from his wife?) in June, and in July a statue of Harry’s mother Princess Diana will be unveiled, to commemorate what would have been her 60th birthday.
“Although they will do some of it by Zoom, Harry wants to meet face to face to tie it all up. Things seem to have calmed down,” Morton told The Sun.
“Harry has been in contact with the Queen more often than you would think. But certain things you need to be there in person to sort.
“They will need a few weeks. That could be done after April, depending on COVID.”
It’s pretty likely Meghan and baby Archie will join Harry on the trip to UK.
Harry and Meghan are settled in a home in California, where they are running charity organisation Archewell.