Why Harry and Meghan flew back to the States before the Platinum Jubilee ended

It's thought they left before the pageant started.

Harry and Meghan jubilee
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's thought they left before the pageant started.

It's been a big weekend for the Royals - four full on days of Jubilee celebrations later and it's fair to say Prince Louis on the balcony stole the show.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew to the UK for the weekend with children Archie and Lilibet, marking the first time Lilibet has met her great-grandmother and namesake.

It was headline news for weeks prior to the celebrations as to whether the pair - who flew in from California where they now live for the occasion - would stand on the balcony with the other working royals. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 03: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at St Paul's Cathedral to attend Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, United Kingdom on June 03, 2022. Millions of people in the UK are set to join the four-day celebrations marking the 70th year on the throne of Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, with over a billion viewers expected to watch the festivities around the world. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

They didn't, but did appear at Friday's National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s and were further pictured watching Trooping the Colour and inside Buckingham Palace shortly before working royals such as Charles, Camilla, Kate and William took to the balcony.

And now, it's been reported that they left the UK before the Platinum Jubilee celebration had even wrapped up yesterday.

As per The Sun, Harry, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet - who are three and one respectively - flew home before The Queen surprised fans by appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a second time.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 03, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Dan Kitwood -WPA Pool/Getty Images)

It's reported that they left Frogmore Cottage, where they stayed for the weekend, and flew from Farnborough Airport around lunchtime.

The Sun further reports that an insider shared: "There was no fanfare, they just went."

Why the pair jetted home with their family so early is unknown, but given their attempts to keep a low profile across the weekend, some have suggested that it could have been to make sure they didn't overshadow the closing ceremony or celebrations.

This was the first time they'd officially appeared alongside the royal family since stepping down as senior royals two years ago.

It's fair to say that they weren't spotted an awful lot across the weekend, keeping a low profile and avoiding the "Sussex-bomb" some royal experts and aides feared may happen.

Speaking to Sky News, Royal Editor at Hello! Emily Nash said: ‘There was some concern that Harry and Meghan arriving might overshadow things, just because of the scrutiny that would be on the family and the dynamic between them."

"But they kept a very low profile, they haven’t attended some of the major events, and yet they will have had the chance to spend some time with the Queen."

"That’s great for [the Queen]. Family is everything to her, so I’m sure she’ll have been really heartened to see them again."

More as we have it.

Ally Head
Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.