Prince Harry and Meghan pay a surprise visit to the Queen in Windsor

London (AFP) – Prince Harry and his wife Meghan visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, their first joint visit to the United Kingdom since they gave up official royal roles and moved to the United States more than two years ago.

The couple’s office said they visited the 95-year-old Queen, Harry’s grandmother, on Thursday on their way to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games. Harry is the founder and patron of the International Wounded Veterans Athletic Contest.

Harry and Meghan are stepping down as senior members of the royal family and moving to North America in 2020, due to the intolerable pressure of their roles and the racist attitudes of the British media.

The couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, lost their taxpayer-funded police guard when they left, and Harry is suing the British government for refusing to allow him to pay for his police security during his visits to the UK. Lawyers say Harry wants to bring his two children – Archie, who is about 3, and Lilipet, 10 – to visit his home country, but it’s too risky without police protection.

Harry and Meghan are expected to attend a reception in The Hague on Friday for the Invictus Games, which run from Saturday to April 22.

The Queen’s visit came on Maundy Thursday, the day of the week before Easter that the Queen has marked for decades by distributing silver coins known as “monde money” to retirees at church services. This year, the Queen, who has struggled with mobility issues in recent months and contracted COVID-19 in February, did not attend. She is represented by her eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla.

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The King is also expected to miss the Royal Family Mass at Easter Chapel. She continued to perform royal duties, including virtual audiences with politicians and diplomats.

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