Queen Elizabeth may meet her Sussex great-granddaughter Lilibet for the first time on her birthday, which falls on Saturday, it has been reported.
British tabloid The Sun reported on Monday that anticipation is mounting that Her Majesty will be the guest of honor at Harry and Meghan’s daughter’s first birthday party on June 4.
The Queen has never met Lilibet, who was born in America and has never visited the UK. At the time of her birth, there was controversy surrounding the child’s name, which is identical to the Queen’s childhood nickname. Harry and Meghan suggested they had obtained the Queen’s blessing to use the name, but official sources at the Palace then informed the BBC the Queen was not asked for permission in advance to use the name. Harry and Meghan then threatened to sue media outlets they say distorted the narrative surrounding the child’s naming.
All of that seems to be in the past, however, as the royals were looking to form a united front in the days to come, and the Queen attending Lilibet’s birthday party would certainly give a clear indication in that direction.
The Queen has apparently told her family that she expects them to get together without confrontation or drama during the anniversary.
That Daily mail reported a source who said she wanted it to be “an occasion for the country, including her own family, to come together,” and an “insider” added, “Her Majesty is usually keen that the platinum.” -Jubilee is a celebration not of itself and its own longevity, but of the institution of the monarchy and the people who support and uphold it. It is also a chance for people to come together after a very difficult time for this country. She doesn’t want anything to overshadow her — and that includes family issues.”
As part of this unity initiative, Meghan and Harry have reportedly agreed to only hold official and centrally sanctioned events and appearances. It has also been reported that William and Harry are back on “buddy terms” after a series of weekly FaceTime calls.
Harry, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet are expected to fly to the UK in the next few days and are believed to be heading to their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, where the Sun also reports that they recently signed a rolling lease, dispelling rumors that they intend to give up their UK base. The house was extensively renovated at taxpayer expense to become the official home for Harry and Meghan, who subsequently repaid the renovation costs after retiring from public life.
It was loaned to Harry’s cousin Eugenie for over a year while the Sussexes lived in America.
It is understood Lilibet’s birthday party will be held at Frogmore Cottage, where the Sussexes will be based for the duration of their stay in the UK, with Eugenie and her family reportedly having temporarily moved out.
Reports that the Queen may be planning to attend the birthday celebration come after growing speculation that she will miss Saturday’s derby. The famous horse race remains one of the few major prizes the Queen has never won and she has no runners in the running this year.
However, The Daily Beast understands that is not the main reason the Queen is not in attendance, but because the Palace believes the long day of public scrutiny could wear her out.
Palace sources have told The Daily Beast that they are “cautiously optimistic” that the Queen will make a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace on Thursday and attend a special service with all her family on Friday.
Sources have told The Daily Beast that there is a hope Saturday’s calm might mean the Queen might be strong enough to personally watch the final event of the jubilee, a procession through central London called the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
As preparations for the Jubilee draw into its final days, it is believed the Queen was being repaired at Craigavon Lodge, a small house on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.
She is believed to be staying there to gather her strength for the celebrations.