Prince Harry plans UK visit to clinch extension to 12-month Megxit deal
HARRY and Meghan are brokering an extension to the 12-month Megxit deal – and the prince plans to return here in the New Year to seal it.
They want a more permanent agreement to continue as non-working royals in California despite big-money deals with Netflix and Spotify.
⚠️Read our Meghan and Harry blog for the latest news on the Royal couple
They will make friendly video calls to senior royals next month before Harry heads here for face-to-face talks, possibly accompanied by Meghan. Their deal with Buckingham Palace expires on March 31.
Talks are said to be “less confrontational” than at January’s Sandringham summit.
But royal aides will pore over the Netflix and Spotify deals, reportedly worth £100million and £30million respectively, to ensure they meet “the values of Her Majesty”.
Harry and Meghan are said to be keen to hang on to their royal patronages, despite taking on more commercial commitments in the US.
Sources say those roles remain on the negotiating table. And Harry’s military roles — stripped in the bitter Megxit deal — remain vacant and will not be filled until next summer at the earliest, The Sun understands.
A thawing of hostilities is under way. We told last week how Meg and Harry posted Christmas presents to William, Kate and their children.
And royal biographer Andrew Morton said the couple want to return – Covid restrictions willing – for the Queen’s 95th birthday on April 21, the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th in June and the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana on July 1 — what would have been her 60th birthday.
He said: “Although they will do some of it by Zoom, Harry wants to meet face to face to tie it all up.
“Things seem to have calmed down. Harry has been in contact with the Queen more often than you would think. But certain things you need to be there in person to sort. They will need a few weeks. That could be done after April, depending on Covid.”
Harry and Meghan angered royals in January by announcing on Instagram they would “step back as ‘senior’ members” of the Royal Family. A deal was subsequently agreed at Sandringham, including this 12-month review.
While William did not speak with Harry for “many months” after that deal, the “Mextension” will be hammered out by senior royals.
But a top aide warned: “Expect things to drag past March 31. The Sussexes have laid their stall out very clearly.” As for Harry’s military posts, an insider said: “Harry regrets losing those titles and keeping them open for as long as possible keeps that olive branch out.
“Don’t be surprised if they are not filled even after March 31.”
There were calls, too, for them to be replaced as president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. But a spokesman for the charity said Harry and Meghan remain “as committed as ever.”
Meghan was accused of ignoring UK commitments and “abandoning her patronage” at the National Theatre amid the pandemic.
She has not spoken publicly on the struggling theatre, which has cut 400 jobs, since leaving Britain. But a spokesman insisted there were no plans to drop her and she was in “regular contact” with theatre bosses.
The pair have moved on after what Andrew Morton called “a pretty dismal time” in their first few months in Canada and then the US.
He added: “You could see the trauma etched on their faces. They were barely on speaking terms with William and Charles.
“If Harry had a real regret, it was how he handled the announcement of stepping back. He pushed the Queen and his father into a corner and it made the whole thing far more dramatic.
“There was a period when Harry was uncertain, but not any more. He is loving life in the sunshine, the pace of life and lack of formality. This is what he has dreamed of for a long time.
“The rift between the two brothers is healing. It has been a good year and a bad year — court cases, paparazzi and, most difficult, Meghan having a miscarriage. But Covid has brought the family back together and forced Meghan and Harry to slow down and think. They have proved their point. Any conversation will be far more amicable.
“There are no plans to kick them out or get rid of their titles. Harry regrets the hasty statement last January that blindsided everyone.”
Biographer Robert Lacey, author of the royal exposé Battle Of Brothers, added: “Harry is the first ‘spare’ to find a solution to being second-born in the House of Windsor.
They are normally told to get out and make a life of their own. That proved cruel to Princess Margaret and Andrew but Harry has shot back. William opted for duty while Harry opted for love.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
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