The sixth in line to the throne will almost certainly travel to see his family for the first time since the couple acrimoniously quit as working royals alone, multiple sources have told the Daily Mail.
Insiders stress that the couple’s plans have yet to be finalised and much depends on the pandemic and whether travel restrictions remain in place at the time.
But their understanding, at this time, is that Harry, 36, will fly to the UK to see the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William – along with his niece and nephews – without Meghan and, probably, their son Archie.
Sources were at pains to stress that Meghan’s tentative decision not to accompany her husband is for ‘personal and practical’ reasons and is not in any way being construed as a ‘snub’.
But if she decides not to travel it will save royal officials something of a diplomatic headache.
The couple had been expected to attend key royal events in June, including Prince Philip’s 100th birthday celebrations and Trooping The Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s 95th birthday.
Harry is also due in the UK in July for the long-awaited unveiling of the statue that he and William commissioned in memory of Diana at Kensington Palace.
But there has been widespread, quiet concern that the couple’s involvement in the larger family events – and the inevitable public and media furore that would surround their appearance – could detract from the significance of such key occasions.
A source said: ‘It should be strongly stressed that there is still an element of uncertainty about this because of the unpredictable Covid situation, but the understanding is the duke is more than likely to come back on his own.
‘This is a personal and practical decision by the couple, but it would certainly help officials navigate what is likely to be a fairly tricky situation.’
Another added: ‘Her Majesty made very clear when they left the UK that Harry and Meghan were still much loved members of her own family and would be very welcome to attend family events. That still holds true.
‘Practically, however, it comes with the need for a certain amount of diplomacy. There is still a great deal of distance between Harry and many family members, particularly his brother. No one wants a repeat of the Commonwealth Service.’
This refers to the Sussexes’ final official engagement at Westminster Abbey last March, which saw Harry and William barely acknowledge each other, such was the depth of their rift, which is far from healed.
It will be the first time Harry has seen any of his family since quitting royal duties to pursue lucrative business deals abroad.
Harry, Meghan and Archie have been living in North America, first Canada and then California, since November 2019.
While the couple returned to the UK in early March for a last round of official engagements and meetings, Archie – who will turn two in May – did not accompany them.
He has not seen any of his British relatives since he was six months old.
Harry and Meghan have since made clear they have no plans to return to the UK in any meaningful way – as revealed a year ago by the Mail.
They have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito in California, bagged multi-million-pound deals with companies including Netflix and Spotify and set up an office and non-profit foundation, Archewell.
A third source confirmed they had also been told Harry was likely to return home alone.
‘Harry wants to come back for The Queen and Prince Philip’s big birthdays. But it looks likely it will be just him,’ they said. ‘If Meghan comes back, the feeling is that it would overshadow the occasion. People would only be looking at the ‘drama’ of it all.
‘Of course she would be welcome, but a decision not to come would postpone that headache for a while at least.’
The prince is expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage at Windsor, the home he and Meghan decided to keep as a UK base.
The couple have temporarily lent it to Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank.
A spokesman for the Sussexes did not respond to a request for comment.
The pair are said to have had a ‘painful’ year since Megxit after the couple’s nanny moved back to the UK and the pandemic left them feeling ‘alone,’ the authors of Finding Freedom claimed earlier this month.
Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, who co-wrote the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell biography, alleged that moving to LA brought difficult changes for the couple who stepped back as senior royals in March last year.
‘To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success,’ said Omid Scobie, writing in Grazia. ‘But it’s taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful.’
Omid Scobie added that since making the move to LA the couple have been ‘eager to contribute to the community,’ particularly in regards to the Covid-19 response, and are keen to put the ‘focus back on what mattered’.
It comes after it was reported that Prince Harry was refused permission for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday on his behalf, in another possible sign of a family rift.
The Duke of Sussex, who spent ten years in the armed forces, made the personal request to Buckingham Palace, but was refused due to the fact he had left royal duties in March, The Times reported last November.
The Queen was not thought to have been informed of the request or its refusal, which is said to have ‘deeply saddened’ the Duke of Sussex, the publication reported.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether Prince Harry’s request had been refused.
Last month it was reported that the couple want a 12-month extension to the Megxit deal that would see them keep their royal patronages and head back to the UK to seal the deal in person.
However, sources told Omid that the couple have no such plans, adding: ‘They really haven’t looked back’.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Rebecca English and James Robinson