Later this year, if coronavirus-related travel restrictions are lifted, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to make a trip back to the United Kingdom for the first time since their royal exit.
Royal author Phil Dampier says the Sussexes' first face-to-face meeting with Prince William and Kate Middleton will probably be "very awkward."
"From what I am told the rift is not a lot better at the moment—they are not talking a lot," he explained.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle haven't been back to the United Kingdom since they completed their final engagements as senior working royals last spring. After their royal exit, the Sussex family relocated to Meghan's home state, California, to start their next chapter and, because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, they haven't been able to visit the rest of the royal family since the big move.
Like many people who have been separated from loved ones for an extended period of time because of the pandemic, Harry and Meghan are reportedly hoping to plan a trip back to visit Harry's side of the family this year—and to be present for some big royal events that are (tentatively, at least, in light of the ongoing pandemic) scheduled for 2021, like the Queen's annual birthday celebration and Prince Philip's 100th birthday.
When the Sussexes are able to travel back across the pond, however, royal experts say the first trip back might not be completely perfect. Specifically, Harry and Meghan's first face-to-face meeting with Prince William and Kate Middleton might be a bit, well, awkward AF.
“I think it’s going to be very awkward if they do meet up," royal expert Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words explained, according to Express. "From what I am told the rift is not a lot better at the moment—they are not talking a lot."
Publicly, however, Dampier expects the brothers to put their feud behind them for one big event planned for 2021: The unveiling of a statue in honor of their late mother, Princess Diana.
"I think they will put on a united front for the unveiling of Diana’s statue and I’m sure they will put on a united front for the birthday celebrations but behind the scenes I think there’s going to be a lot of tension," he said.
Here's hoping that any awkwardness is over with quickly though and that the Fab Four are able to put their differences behind them and move forward to a happy next chapter.
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