OPINION: There are concerns about what will happen when Meghan Markle returns to the UK.

Since the Oprah interview, Prince Harry has returned home twice while Meghan Markle stayed home due to looking after their children. Photo / Getty ImagesOPINION:
How quaint.
How, in retrospect, positively Victorian that the two times Meghan, Duchess of Sussex joined the royal family for the Queen’s official birthday knees up, Trooping the Colour, coverage of the event was dominated by a pearl-clutching furore about her choice to eschew sleeves.
The very fact that her shoulder-baring (and some would argue, Queen-disrespecting) display consumed the media’s attention now just seems positively laughable in this post-Orpah interview brave new world.
Somehow, in only two years the world has gone from Sleevesgate to one where one of Her Majesty’s grandchildren popping up on screens to denounce the palace as racist, bullying and negligent is met with a certain ennui and fatigue.
Harry’s on the telly, putting the boot into the royal family? Yawn.
However, this week detailed plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a four-day, nationwide celebration that will take place in June next year, were unveiled, with speculation that the Windsors will take to the Buckingham Palace balcony on not one but two occasions for a spot of professional waving.
And it is there, according to a recent Daily Mail report, that 95-year-old sovereign, the remaining nonplussed HRHs and the recalcitrant Sussexes will all be publicly reunited for the first time in (by then) years after Her Majesty reportedly “extended an olive branch” to the controversial couple and invited them to attend.
What? You’re wondering how much homebrand gin the Buckingham Palace gift shop might have on hand? Good question.
They’re all going to need it.
Because, there is a very pressing, middle-of-the-night-anxiety-inducing problem here (well, if you happen to be an HRH or make your living as a courtier, dodging corgi puppies while fending off Boris Johnson’s attempts to get Her Majesty to join his G7 WhatsApp group). How can the Sussexes, and Meghan especially, reappear in the midst of the royal family without her presence totally and utterly obliterating the very celebration?
How the devil can the Queen and royal aides prevent the former Suits star’s reappearance on the balcony, both the literal and symbolic bosom of the monarchy, not completely overrun and eclipse the interest in, and focus, on Her Majesty?
There is a very good chance they simply won’t be able to.
(It’s also worth keeping in mind here that by the time of the Jubilee, Harry and Meghan’s son Archie will be 3-years-old and there is every chance that he too could join his extended British family too. After all, his Cambridge cousins have all been delighting crowds with their balcony antics since before they could even walk.)
Thus the stage is set for a PR and logistic nightmare of unrivalled proportions for the palace.
There is, of course, the personal element here, with family hurts and anger aplenty. Harry and Meghan, after all, have done more to tarnish the royal house’s global standing in a matter of months than even Sarah, Duchess of York could manage in nearly three decades of tawdry money making ploys.
Such was the underlying bad blood between the Wales brothers that, ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral in April, “William and his grandmother worked out together how, in the prevailing circumstances, he could not possibly walk in harmony with Harry behind his grandfather’s coffin,” royal biographer Robert Lacey wrote in the Times recently.
On the day of the sombre event, “family anger ran deep,” according to Lacey. “It was not by accident that neither [Princess] Anne nor Sophie [the Countess of Wessex] exchanged a public word with Harry in the course of the afternoon.”
Even this week, “The brothers, we hear from every source, continue not to talk to each other; can barely tolerate each other’s company,” Lacey has reported.
Still, at least all of that personal enmity can play out far away from Fleet St’s prying eyes and with a fortifying brace of finger sandwiches on hand.
What is a much thornier issue, and one that can’t be mollified with a Jammy Dodger and a gentle hug, is the far bigger storm on the horizon.
The point of the four-day Jubilee festival isn’t just a multimillion pound exercise in shoring up the UK bunting industry. There’s a serious message underlying this affair, namely to reinforce the diplomatic import and philanthropic heft of the monarchy.
With the end of one reign, and the beginning of a far, far more controversial one only a matter of years away (not to be too morbid), this Jubilee is central to the current project of royal self-preservation going on right now.
That is, the house of Windsor seems to be focused on doing everything they can right now to buttress the monarchy to ensure it can ride out the potentially rocky years of King Charles III, even wheeling out 7-year-old Prince George this week for what was tantamount to his first official engagement.
That objective could be seriously undermined if the Jubilee bash ends up being thoroughly subsumed by the roiling melodrama of Harry and Meghan’s return.
The palace desperately needs to find a way to get the persistent bad taste out of the public’s mouths and to remind them why they used to proudly enjoy collecting commemorative royal biscuit tins.
Again, the Sussex soap opera could jeopardise this goal too.
This week we got a sour taste of what the whole Trooping the Colour debacle might be like, with Harry having returned to the UK for the unveiling of the statue of Diana, Princess of Wales that he and brother Prince William had previously commissioned.
The lead up to the event saw a squall of press coverage focused on the miserable state of affairs between the brothers (what? Why are you all looking at me?) with the story dominating British newspaper front pages for days on end.
If things feel a tad feverish right now, Meghan’s return is going to be positively pyretic.
Perhaps the biggest lesson here is this: Harry and Meghan are always going to create a frenzy, wherever and whenever they pitch up in the UK. For the palace, their only option might be to simply grin and bear it and pluckily get on with things. They should be good at it, royal wives have been doing exactly that for centuries now.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.