Meghan Markle and Prince Harry not bringing Archie to the UK is ‘spiteful and inconsiderate’ because his great-grandfather Prince Philip ‘won’t be here much longer’, Queen’s former press secretary claims
- Harry has returned to UK for final engagements with Meghan expected to follow
- Sussexes are reportedly not intending to bring baby Archie who turns one in May
- Ex-palace secretary Dickie Arbiter says Meghan is ‘taking the lead in everything’
- Says there’s ‘not excuse’ not to bring him and will be a ‘great pity’ if they don’t
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choosing not to bring baby Archie to the UK for their final royal engagements would be ‘spiteful and inconsiderate’, a former palace press secretary has claimed.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, is currently in Britain and embarking on his final week of official engagements, and is about to move into a post-royal career similar to his mother, the late Princess Diana following her separation from Prince Charles in 1992.
He has been staying at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s home on the Queen’s Windsor estate.
Meghan is due to join him for the Endeavour Fund Awards tonight, which recognises wounded, injured or sick military personnel and veterans who have gone on to use sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choosing not to bring baby Archie (pictured as a family in South Africa last year) to the UK for their final royal engagements would be ‘spiteful and inconsiderate’, a former palace press secretary has claimed
As yet the duchess is yet to arrive in the UK – and she is expected to be without Archie, who turns one in May.
Dickie Arbiter, a press spokesman for the Queen from 1988 until 2000, said it would be a ‘great pity’ if the couple didn’t bring their son to spend time with his family.
‘I’m sorry, there isn’t an excuse for not bringing him. After all, he’s got to meet his family, his family are not going to get a chance to see him for quite some time, because Harry and Meghan are going to be in Canada or the United States,’ he told Nine News Australia.
‘There’s always the excuse, “Well he’s too young to fly”; babies fly all the time, they flew Archie down to Southern Africa in October for that visit, so it wasn’t too far to take him there, so I believe that they should bring him.’
Harry, pictured with Archie in Canada over Christmas, has been staying at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, while in the UK for his final engagements
Dickie said it would be a ‘great pity’ if the couple didn’t bring Archie to spend time with his family including the Queen and Prince Philip
Asked if it was ‘spiteful’ not to bring him, Dickie replied: ‘Well it is spiteful, it’s inconsiderate as well, and the Queen is going to be 94 in April, she’s not going to be with us much longer.
‘Prince Philip is going to be 99 in June, he’s not going to be here much longer. You’ve got to be practical, he was in hospital at Christmas, he looked pretty frail when he came out, and he’s up at Sandringham, nobody’s seen him, and he is frail.
‘People do get frail at that age and it would be a great pity if Archie wasn’t brought over so that his great-grandparents could see him.’
Philip, 98, was last pictured being driven onto the Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk for a shooting party in January.
Meghan and Harry announced they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family in January, and are now planning to split their time between the UK and the US.
Given Meghan and Harry (pictured in January) brought Archie with them to South Africa, Dickie said there is ‘no excuse’ not to bring him to the UK
Dickie said Prince Philip, pictured leaving the King Edward VII Hospital in London just before Christmas, is ‘not going to be here much longer’ after he was seen looking ‘frail’
Dickie said Meghan is ‘certainly taking the lead in everything’, while Harry is ‘following along’.
The Sussexes will also attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, which see the Royal Marines showcase their musicianship and pageantry.
The festival takes places over two days – March 6 and March 7 – at the venue in London, with Harry expected to attend the Saturday evening performance.
This event will also be Harry’s last engagement as Captain-General of the Royal Marines, before he loses this title as he steps down as a senior royal.
Meghan is expected to undertake an engagement to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, although no specifics have yet been revealed.
William and Kate (left) with Harry and Meghan (right) at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2019
Meghan and Harry are set to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey the following day, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen.
It will be the first time the Queen has seen Meghan since November last year when the couple travelled to Canada during their six week break.
At last year’s event, Harry and Meghan were seated beside Prince Andrew, who has since left his royal duties after an interview about his paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein.
What are Harry and Meghan’s engagements for the rest of March?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend the Endeavour Fund Awards in London tonight (March 5) in one of their final engagements before stepping down as senior royals at the end of the month.
Harry and Meghan will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges over the last year.
The following day, Harry will be at the official opening of the Silverstone Experience with motor-racing champion Lewis Hamilton.
The couple will also attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall on March 6 before Meghan undertakes an engagement for International Women’s Day on March 8.
They will both attend the Commonwealth Service at the Royal Albert Hall the following day, where they will be reunited with Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate – who are currently on tour in Ireland.
Despite quitting a senior royals, Harry is expected to attend the London Marathon in April in his capacity as patron. The Duke and Duchess will also attend the Invictus Games in Holland in May.
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