How The Queen Reportedly Stopped The Sussexes From Overshadowing Her Jubilee

After months of preparation and tons of anticipation from the British public, the queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations seem to have gone remarkably well. One of the biggest talking points surrounding the historic event was the reunion between royal defectors Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the rest of the family. 

The couple briefly met the queen during a recent stopover on their way to the Netherlands, and Harry caused major controversy when he claimed during a "Today" interview to have a special relationship with his grandmother. Moreover, the duke also expressed a desire to ensure she has "the right people around her." 

Suffice to say, tensions were high going into the long weekend, but, as BBC News points out, the Sussexes notably kept a low profile throughout. Their biographer and friend, Omid Scobie, claimed during an appearance on "BBC Breakfast" that that was always the plan. Per Express, he explained, "For them, being here is all about honoring and celebrating the life and legacy of the queen." 

Although everything seems to have gone well, the queen did have to put her foot down at one point to ensure that Harry and Meghan stayed in their lane.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were prohibited from sharing photos of the queen and Lilibet

Aside from celebrating her historic reign, the queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend also marked the first time the proud great-grandmother met her namesake, Lilibet. In fact, it was widely believed that a photo op might save Meghan and Harry's relationship with the royals, but none materialized. 

And now we know why. An insider informed The Irish Sun, "Harry and Meghan wanted their photographer to capture the moment Lilibet met the Queen but they were told no chance. It was a private family meeting." Likewise, the queen was concerned any pictures that became public would soon find their way onto American news sites.

Lilibet was named after the queen's childhood nickname, and the two meeting for the first time was a huge deal. The Sussexes understandably wanted their private photographer to capture the moment, but it was not to be. 

The celebrity couple did release a photo of the child to celebrate her first birthday, though. Writing for, royal expert Daniela Elser shared that the monarch likely knew that, if a photo of her and the baby were released, it could potentially blow "all other Jubilee coverage out of the water and off the front pages." 

However, as Elser acknowledged, Meghan and Harry dominated the news cycle regardless.

There were major concerns about the Sussexes stealing focus at the Jubilee

In the run-up to the Jubilee, there were major concerns over how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's presence at the event might overshadow the queen. The celebratory weekend marked 70 years of the monarch's reign, the longest in British history to date, and included several huge public parties.

But, even so, experts fretted that the Sussexes could somehow make it all about them. The Mirror noted that Meghan and Harry were banned from accompanying the queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Color since they're no longer working royals, and royal expert Camilla Tominey revealed that palace aides would be working hard to ensure they remained in the background throughout.

"You can include the Sussexes but you don't want there to be some sort of Harry and Meghan sideshow going on when the main event must be the queen," she told The Telegraph. "There will be other members of the royal family who are still doing the daily grind who will resent being overshadowed by Harry and Meghan even if they don't admit it." 

Tominey warned about the media focusing entirely on the Sussexes despite the fact that they were very clearly not the focus of the event. Per the Daily Star, the couple promised that they had no intention of overshadowing the queen and simply wanted to celebrate with her. They seem to have done exactly that, even without their special photo.

The Sussexes' camp confirmed that their reunion with the queen went well

Despite concerns that they would steal focus, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's short sojourn to the U.K. appears to have gone reasonably well. As a source enthusiastically told Hollywood Life, "Their trip was a whirlwind and jam-packed from the moment they landed but it all went beautifully." 

The Sussexes' primary goal was to reconnect with the queen while also introducing her to her namesake great-granddaughter, Lilibet, for the first time. "Archie and Lili totally charmed her," said the source. "Getting to see her with them made the whole trip worth it."

Moreover, the royal defectors relished "being able to celebrate Lili's first birthday with Harry's family and friends." Meghan and Harry are especially thrilled that everything worked out on that front, even though Prince William and Kate Middleton couldn't make it due to commitments elsewhere (they sent their best). 

Naturally, seeing their kids interact with cousins including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis was heart-warming for the Sussexes, too. According to The Sun, Lilibet's first birthday was a laid-back affair with a cake, balloons, and all the typical trappings.

Meghan and Harry the Jubilee left early out of respect for the monarch

Meghan and Harry's abrupt exit from the U.K. caused minor controversy, with the royal defectors leaving before the Platinum Jubilee was fully over. According to the Daily Mail, the Sussexes departed for California, alongside their two young children, before the queen's final appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. 

They previously ditched the Platinum Party, too, opting instead to stay in Windsor and watch the event alongside the queen herself. In fact, true to their word, they spent most of the weekend staying out of the limelight, at Frogmore Cottage. 

That was entirely by design, as a source confirmed to People. Echoing what Omid Scobie had expressed previously, they explained, "They aren't part of the [working] royal family anymore, and that's a decision they have taken — but maybe [the public] hasn't quite accepted that yet. Yes, they were low-key. They paid their respects and went home." 

Just to reiterate the point, the insider stated simply, "They were really here to see the Queen, and they did." Ahead of their visit, Meghan and Harry were said to be cautiously optimistic about returning to Britain, per Hollywood Life