The Queen Reportedly Doesn’t Want to Be “On Tenterhooks” Waiting for the “Next Nuclear Bomb” to Drop from the Sussexes

It’s unclear if the couple will see Her Majesty while in the U.K. this week.

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially back in the U.K. (after flying commercial, per The Mirror), their first time there since the Platinum Jubilee in June, marking the Queen’s historic 70 years on the throne. And, speaking of Her Majesty, The Independent is reporting that she doesn’t want to be “on tenterhooks” all the time while waiting for the “next nuclear bomb” to drop, and that it remains unclear (but seemingly unlikely) that the Sussexes will see the Queen during this trip, as she remains at her summer home in Scotland, Balmoral.

Harry and Meghan’s most recent trip to the U.K. comes right on the heels of Meghan’s wide-ranging interview for The Cut, where she said, in part, that “just by existing” she and Harry were “upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy” before stepping down as working members of the royal family in January 2020. Sunday Times’ royal editor Roya Nikkhah cites a royal source in a recent piece who says it is hard to see what Harry and Meghan are doing “would equate to the values of the Queen, who has never encouraged people to discuss deeply personal family relationships in public.” (In addition to her interview for The Cut, Meghan’s new podcast, “Archetypes,” is a weekly look into parts of her life, as well; this, combined with Harry’s forthcoming memoir and the couple’s upcoming docuseries with Netflix, puts more of a focus on the personal lives of members of the royal family than has maybe ever been seen before.)

Sunday Times also quotes a source—one who is said to know the Queen well—who says Her Majesty “doesn’t want to be on tenterhooks all the time, waiting to see what the next nuclear bomb will be—that will take its toll.” (For their part, when Harry and Meghan stepped away from their roles as working royals, they promised that “everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.”)

A royal source told Sunday Times that the couple’s “star power” requires an association with the royal family, “and the fuel on those flames is the family discord.” Another source says “ultimately, they are bashing the institution that has put them in the position they’re in. The longevity of that strategy is not sustainable.”

Tomorrow, Harry and Meghan are off to Manchester for the One Young World Summit, where, according to The Sun, she will make her first speech in the U.K. since her step back from royal life. On Tuesday, the couple will fly to Dusseldorf, Germany, to kick off Invictus Games 2023. Harry will appear at his first press conference since leaving royal life, where he will deliver remarks but will not take questions from journalists. Finally, on Thursday, they will attend the WellChild Awards in London, where Harry will deliver a speech. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.