'Under pressure' Prince Harry felt heat on last UK trip amid simmering Royal Family rift

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Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back as working members of the Royal Family when they moved from the UK to California in 2020 but less than a year later, made a series of claims against the monarchy during a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. In June this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK together for the first time as they joined the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. 

They kept a relatively low profile and were not present on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping the Colour RAF flyover, but did attend the Queen’s thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Body language Darren Stanton has analysed their appearance then, and while Meghan showed positive signs, Harry “felt under pressure and uncomfortable at times” during the service.

He said: “Harry’s body language, however, is drastically different too that of Meghan’s and we often see a shift in emotion in him when he is in the presence of the public and press.

“He bows his head, a gesture of anxiousness and his face reddens. At the time, it was his and Meghan’s first appearance in the UK since their decision to permanently move to Los Angeles and its clear Harry was concerned about the scrutiny the couple would face.

“It will be interesting to see whether Harry feels more at ease when he returns to the UK next month, following the warm reception he received both from fellow Royals and the British public in June or whether he still has worries about being back on home soil.

“Meghan, however, plays a huge part in boosting his confidence and will no doubt be on hand to offer a supporting hand to Harry at times when his nerves may get the better of him.”

This comes with a royal expert warning there is very little chance of Harry and Meghan reconciling with Prince William and Kate Middleton, with the Duke of Sussex’s upcoming book tipped to make relations even worse.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit the UK when they travel to Manchester for the One Young World Summit on September 5. Meghan, a counsellor for the organisation, will give the keynote address at the opening ceremony.

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They will then head Germany for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 One Year to Go event the following day, before returning to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London on September 8, where Harry will give a speech to attendees.

It falls on the same week the UK new prime minister is due to be announced and asked to form a Government by the Queen.

The 96-year-old expected to return to the capital from her summer break at her Balmoral to conduct head of state duties, meaning Harry could visit her. It remains clear if he will meet his older brother William and wife Kate.

But Phil Dampier, an author and journalist who has been writing about the Royal Family for more than three decades, tweeted: “I can’t see any chance of a reconciliation between the #Sussexes and the Cambridges until Harry’s book is out of the way.

“And it’s likely to make things worse!”

Last year, Harry said the book would be an “accurate and wholly truthful” account of his life, adding: “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become.

“I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story – the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned – I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.

“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a first hand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.”

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