SEVEN top royals are planning to "rally around" the Queen over the coming months… but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren't among them.
Although the Queen returned to work yesterday, her schedule over the coming months is understood to have been scaled back to allow her to recuperate from recent health scares that saw her pull out of high profile in-person appearances.
With Her Majesty's winter diary understandably reduced Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex are the seven royals who've stepped up to the plate in her absence.
All seven will divide up the Queen's duties between them as part of a "joined up approach" ahead of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year, according to the Daily Mirror.
But two high profile members of the family will be conspicuous by their absences; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are busy lining their pockets in California.
Having stepped down as working royals citing "privacy" concerns, the pair have instead spent the past year airing their dirty laundry on chat shows, making millions through Netflix and Spotify deals and flogging children's books.
And while the Magnificent Seven step up to the plate to help Her Majesty at this difficult time, runaway royals Prince Harry and Meghan won't even be attending the Queen's first Christmas without Prince Philip.
Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest updates…
- John Hall
Meghan & Harry 'may be approached for Oprah top-up interview'
Royal expert Neil Sean has claimed Oprah Winfrey’s team might be keen to do a second interview.
This interview could see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's open up to their responses in their first interview, and explore them more.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, royal expert Neil Sean said: “They’re wondering whether they now need to do a top-up interview.”
He continued to say: “But of course Oprah Winfrey is a very powerful mogul in television, and would no doubt like to get a top-up version; their side of the events as to what’s happened over the last six to nine months.
“This has been discussed at great lengths over in the US with CBS TV and Harpo Productions.”
- John Hall
Prince William was furious after he faced criticism for holiday
The Cambridges' recent family holiday has reminded royal commentators of the time when Prince William found himself in the centre of a media storm.
He missed a Commonwealth Service to go skiing at a Swiss resort in 2017, and was scrutinised because he was the only senior royal to miss the event at Westminster Abbey
.In an interview with the Sunday Times in March 2021, a friend of William's explained the Duke did not take the criticism well: "That p****d him off."
He was leaving home at 5.30am, getting home after dark and saving lives in between, but people were still being critical of his commitment to his [other] job."
- John Hall
Preston granted 'Champion City' status ahead of Queen's Jubilee
The city of Preston has been granted "Champion City" status by the Queen's Green Canopy initiative to celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne next year.
The award was announced yesterday, with 13 cities across the UK selected to play a lead role in planting millions of trees for the Platinum Jubilee.
Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and York are amongst the others chosen to take part in the mass planting, starting during National Tree Week later this month.
- John Hall
Rare doll of Princess Elizabeth goes on sale
A rare doll of the Queen as a toddler that incurred the wrath of her mother because it made her look 'too chubby' has been unearthed as it goes on sale in a collection estimated to be worth £40,000.
The Queen Mother was so displeased with the German-made model of a three-year-old Princess Elizabeth that she refused to give it the royal seal of approval.
As a result the doll never made it into mass production and very few of the prototypes exist today.
The blonde haired and blue-eyed toy was made in 1929 by toy manufacturers Schoenau and Hoffmeister.
The smiling rosy-cheeked doll was dressed in a frilly pink dress and white oil-cloth shoes and socks. It is believed the outfit was modelled on one which was worn by baby Elizabeth.
- John Hall
‘Something must have happened between today & the weekend’
Royal Editor Chris Ship has said “something must have happened” between Thursday evening and Sunday morning for the Queen’s position to change.
He told Good Morning Britain: “Something happened between then and Sunday morning.
“The explanation was that it was a back strain – the reasoning was she was in such discomfort she was unable to make that car journey and also stand up for the 20 minutes or half an hour that she would need to.”
Today’s appearance comes after the Queen gave Prince Charles her blessing to continue with his royal tour despite her health fears.
- John Hall
Will they ever return?
Royal author Adam Helliker has told the Sun that the brood returning to Harry's home country was "imperative for family unity".
He said both sides are "striving for reconciliation" following the fallout from their bombshell Oprah interview.
The Sussexes alleged there were conversations with Harry and a "family" member about their unborn son Archie and what colour his skin would be – and "what that would mean or look like".
He added: "They seem to have very fixed views about the privacy of family occasions.
"I think having the christening in the UK will be putting too much pressure on them.
"And I think Meghan will be putting her foot down and say no we don't want an international circus."
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