Royal Family latest: Kate ‘surprised’ as Meghan and Harry reach out on birthday | Royal | News

Kate Middleton and William followed ‘tradition’ says expert Kate celebrated her 39th birthday on Saturday,

Kate Middleton and William followed ‘tradition’ says expert

Kate celebrated her 39th birthday on Saturday, January 9 and she marked the occasion with Prince William and their three children at home due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The Duchess received a wealth of birthday messages on the day, including surprise card and gifts from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

An insider said Kate was taken aback to receive a thoughtful card and gifts from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

They told US Weekly: “It was a nice surprise. Kate wasn’t expecting anything from the couple.”

It comes after the royal brothers are reported to have fallen out last year over Harry’s decision to step down as a senior royal.

Royal author Robert Lacey discussed the feud in his book Battle of Brothers.

Kate was surprised to receive birthday well-wishes from brother-in-law Harry and Meghan (Image: GETTY/TIME)

Mr Lacey said the pair fell out after William told Harry he was moving too quickly with Meghan.

He also claims William and Harry argued over Meghan’s involvement in British Vogue’s Forces of Change issue and the couple’s treatment on one of their final royal engagements

The royal author also said Prince William refused to sit and talk with Harry over a family lunch prior to the Sandringham summit which determined the terms of the Megxit deal.

He told Elle magazine: “This is not Royal gossip; we saw William turning up late just in time for the 2 o’clock meeting, so there’s no doubt at all that was his position then.

“Friends suggest he was so furious with Harry that he couldn’t trust himself to sit at same table [as him].”

Prince Harry admitted during a royal tour to South Africa in 2018 that he and William had grown apart and were on “separate paths”.

But William reportedly ended his rift with Harry over Christmas as they “reconnected” on video call during the festive period, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl.

She said: “It was an opportunity in an otherwise very busy and chaotic year for both of the families to come together and connect, albeit virtually.

“Things are a lot better between William and Harry. The relationship is much better than it was.

“For a start, they are on talking terms, and not only on talking terms, they do speak relatively regularly.  They were very much in touch over the holidays.”

Kensington Palace

The Royal Family have shown off an impressive feature inside Kensington Palace (Image: getty)

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6.50am update: Meghan and Diana share trait of ‘overshadowing’ spouses but Harry ‘accepts being second’

Meghan Markle and Princess Diana have both been accused of overshadowing their spouses after joining the Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes have attracted a huge amount of attention since they announced their engagement in 2017.

The late Princess of Wales was beloved my many royal fans during her marriage to the Duke’s father Prince Charles.

Netflix’s hit royal show, The Crown, has recently reignited the public’s attention towards Princess Diana. 

Royal experts commented on how the resurgence of attention towards the Princess of Wales has “overshadowed” Prince Charles.

Meghan and Harry have also received accusations by royal experts that the Duchess of Sussex is overshadowing the Duke.

However, Prince Harry is believed to “accept” Meghan taking the limelight according to a royal commentator.

5.35am update: Princess Eugenie heartbreak: Royal to ‘grab life and appreciate things’ after sad meeting

Princess Eugenie was shown how “to grab life and appreciate things” after meeting victims of modern slavery.

The royal co-founded the Anti-Slavery Collective with childhood friend Julia de Boinville in 2017 after learning about the extent of modern slavery in the UK. 

She reflected on a moving visit to a safe house with The Salvation Army in 2016.

The 30-year-old said: “I was completely astounded by the victims. These people were strong, happy…they were loving life.

“These girls really showed me how to grab life and appreciate things. If they can do it, after what they’ve been through, it’s a huge lesson for people to learn. 

“They are courageous, and everyone who works within modern slavery and who tries to fight for people who don’t have a voice, are courageous.”

4.30am update: Royal Family shows off impressive feature in rare glimpse inside William and Kate’s home

The official Twitter account of the Royal Family shared a picture of the Duke of Gloucester inside his home on the Kensington Palace grounds.

The photo shows Prince Richard, the Queen’s cousin, on a phone call with Major General Alan Hawley from the Royal Army Medical Corps.

The prince appeared to be sat in his study while he made the royal phone call.

Behind the Duke, fans can see an impressive bookcase filled will a variety of multi-volume works including The Book of Kells.

Prince Richard and his wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, live on the Kensington Palace grounds in the Old Stables.

The royal couple previously lived in Apartment 1 at Kensington Palace before they downsized in 2019.

3.10am update: Kate Middleton could use Queen’s tips for homeschooling Prince George and Charlotte

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are tasked with teaching Prince George and Princess Charlotte at home until schools reopen. 

On Wednesday the Royal Family’s official Twitter account shared a string of tweets linking to National Trust resources.

Prince Charles is likely to have backed the Queen’s move to promote the organisation and its resources on Twitter.

Kate and William are both hands-on parents and encourage their children to play outdoors as much as possible.

The Duchess may have drawn on the Queen’s recent tweets to come up with some National Trust-based task for George and Charlotte to complete at home.

1.40am update: Princess Anne steps into Prince Philip’s shoes with important naval engagement

Princess Anne has honoured her father Prince Philip’s naval past during a recent royal engagement. 

On Wednesday, the Royal Family’s official Twitter account shared a photo of Anne’s video call with key naval officers.

The tweet read: “As Sponsor of HMS Albion, The Princess Royal today held a virtual audience with the Ship’s new Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Kelly, and his predecessor, Captain Peter Laughton.

“HRH heard how the Ship’s Company has adapted to new restrictions while deployed overseas.”

Prince Philip retired from public life in 2017 but during his time as a working royal held several important honorary military posts.

12.05am update: Meghan and Harry to be ‘centre of attention’ on Queen’s big day – ‘every move scrutinised’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be the “centre of attention” if they decide to return to the UK for the Queen’s birthday celebrations.

Royal commentator Daniela Elser warned that when Meghan and Harry return to Buckingham Palace’s balcony all eyes will be on them.

Meghan and Harry have been invited by the Queen to join her for Trooping the Colour in June to mark Her Majesty’s official birthday, according to reports.

The heavily anticipated return of Meghan and Harry is expected to overshadow the Queen’s birthday plans.

Ms Elser wrote on news.com.au: “Most glaringly, when Harry and Meghan take their place on the balcony, they will be the centre of attention, with thousands of lenses and cameras trained on the couple as they appear feet, if not inches, away from the Cambridges, Prince Charles and the Queen for the first time in over 12 months (at that point).”

Manon Dark has taken over live reporting from Emily Ferguson

Wednesday 13 January 

10.40pm update: King of Belgium’s car pelted with stones as protests erupt in Brussels

King Philippe of Belgium, 60, was reportedly caught up in protests that erupted in Brussels on Wednesday evening following the death of a young black man in police custody.

According to reports, stones were thrown at the royal’s vehicle as it passed by hundreds of demonstrators.

According to the Royal Palace, the king was inside the car but never in a dangerous situation.

Up to 300 protestors flocked to downtown Brussels to demonstrate following the death of a 23-year-old black man, who has been officially identified by just the initials ‘I.B’, in police custody on Saturday night.

9.30pm update: Meghan Markle and Harry told NOT to return to UK for Queen’s birthday – ‘Not wanted here!’

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should not return to the UK for the Queen’s birthday celebrations later this year, an Express.co.uk poll has found.

The couple are expected to visit the UK later this year to mark the Queen’s 95th birthday.

In response, Express.co.uk asked its readers whether they thought the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should return for the special occasion, should it be able to go ahead.

The poll, carried out from 1pm-9pm on Wednesday January 13, asked: “Should Meghan Markle and Prince Harry return to UK for the Queen’s birthday?”

Of the 4,053 voters, the vast majority thought the Sussexes should not fly back to the UK for the event as 88 percent (3,546 people) voted “no”.

Eleven percent (452 people) voted “yes”, while just one percent (56 people) opted for “don’t know”.

Readers then took to the comments to explain why they thought Meghan and Harry should stay in the US.

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Camilla has shared a candid photograph of herself on Instagram (Image: Instagram)

8.20pm update: Camilla sends fans into frenzy as she gives rare glimpse into opulent home – ‘Exciting!’

Camilla has shared a candid photograph of herself on Instagram ahead of the launch of her new book club, the Reading Room. Fans have responded to the post with sheer excitement, as they look forward to finding out which four books the royal will launch with.

The photo that features on the post shows Camilla glancing down as she sits in an embossed green velvet chair in the garden room of Clarence House.

The picture was shared to Camilla’s Reading Room Instagram account, which was launched on December 31, 2020.

It has received dozens of responses from royal fans eager to participate in the Reading Room.

One person said: “What a beautiful picture! The Duchess looks so beautiful and dignified.

“So excited for Friday and very much looking forward to reading some more book.”

A second user wrote: “She looks amazing. I can’t believe it will be on Friday already.”

7.30pm update: Sarah Ferguson ridiculed for new video plugging debut novel – ‘clumsy and badly-acted’

Sarah Ferguson’s promotional clip to plug her first adult novel has received mixed reactions from royal watchers and fans.

According to a body language expert, the short video is “clumsily choreographed and badly-acted”.

Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, 60, has achieved a royal first by becoming the first member of the family to write a romantic novel.

The Duchess of York’s debut romance for Mills & Boon is titled ‘Her Heart For A Compass’ and is due out this August.

Fergie shared a video of herself introducing the romance to fans on Twitter.

Body language expert and author Judi James analysed the clip for Express.co.uk and shared her findings.

The analyst said: “This clumsily-shot, clumsily choreographed and badly-acted book plug should remind us that we all need a little bit of Fergie in our lives to brighten up the gloom of lockdown.”

6.15pm update: Prince Harry does NOT have a ponytail – royal expert shoots down claim about Duke’s hair 

Prince Harry’s hairstyle has sparked a lively conversation in recent days after his Californian neighbour, actor Rob Lowe claimed he had spotted the Duke “wearing a ponytail” while driving around his home in Santa Barbara.

A royal expert has since dismissed the claim on Twitter, stating: “Prince Harry has most definitely not grown a ponytail.”

On Wednesday the Telegraph’s royal correspondent Victoria Ward tweeted: “Public service announcement: In case anyone was wondering (@roblowe), Prince Harry has most definitely not grown a ponytail.”

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Kate and Prince William have emerged as crucial members of the Royal Family in 2020 (Image: Getty)

5.28pm update: Will Prince Philip join Queen on balcony for birthday celebrations?

The Queen hopes to go ahead with her traditional Trooping the Colour parade if Covid-19 restrictions allow in June. Here’s why Prince Philip may join the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family on the balcony this year.

Despite the Duke’s withdrawal from public life, last year the elderly royal made several important outings.

In July he stepped out at Windsor Castle for a ceremony to hand over his honorary role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 73.

The Duke also joined the Queen to attend their granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding on July 17.

2021 is a significant year for Prince Philip as he is due to celebrate his 100th birthday on June 10.

A key part of the Queen’s Trooping the Colour parade is the Royal Family gathering on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast.

The duke has not joined the royals for the special outing since his retirement but could make an exception this year given it falls so soon after his milestone birthday.

4.33pm update: Kate given unexpected ‘gift’ during coronavirus pandemic despite huge challenges

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has found a silver lining during the pandemic and the multiple national lockdowns that have forced her and Prince William to work shoulder to shoulder in their Norfolk home, an expert has said.

Kate and Prince William have emerged as crucial members of the Royal Family in 2020, during which they stepped up to the plate and led the Royal Family in its unexpected work-from-home setting.

While remaining in touch only via phone and video calls with their charities and patronages may have presented a few issues, the national lockdowns have given Kate and William the chance to spend more time together and strengthen their relationship, according to an expert.

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said: “2020 was a big year for William and Kate. They emerged from it more popular than ever, but it was also important for them as a private couple.

“With such busy diaries, they don’t actually get much time together and this has been an exceptional year.

“The lockdown has meant they’ve had more time together and this has brought them closer together.

“The lockdown has been challenging at times but for Kate, it’s given her the gift of more time with her husband. When you look at them as a couple, they look really happy together.”

3.50pm update: Queen issues rare message of support to Prince Richard as she prepares for Megxit showdown

Queen Elizabeth II showed her support to her cousin Prince Richard by promoting his work with the Armed Forces in a rare tweet dedicated to the Duke of Gloucester.

The Queen’s official Twitter account, Royal Family, has shared news of an engagement carried out via phone by Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. The tweet read: “The Duke of Gloucester, Colonel-in-Chief, held a telephone meeting with Major General Alan Hawley from the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) this morning.

“The Duke received an update on the continued involvement of the Army Medical Services in the frontline Covid response.”

The message was accompanied by a picture of the Duke on the phone.

Sarah Ferguson's new book will be released in August

Sarah Ferguson’s new book will be released in August (Image: HARPER COLLINS)

3pm update: Royal POLL: Should Meghan Markle and Prince Harry return to UK for the Queen’s birthday?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could return to the UK for Trooping the Colour in what would be the first reunion of the Royal Family since Megxit – so do you think the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should attend the event for the Queen’s official birthday?

Express.co.uk readers can vote in our poll on whether Meghan and Harry should return to the UK for the military parade in June. And let us know more about what you think by scrolling down and leaving a comment.

Emily Ferguson has taken over live reporting from Rachel Russell

2.25pm update: ‘Meghan and Harry at least promised to uphold values of the Queen’ – Fergie novel savaged

Sarah, also known by friends and family as Fergie, announced today she has written her first historical novel, after having made a name for herself as a TV producer and writer of children’s books. The Duchess of York shared a video on her social media accounts in which she briefly teased about her new book, Her Heart For A Compass. 

The book will be released in August by Mills and Boon, one of the UK’s main publishers of romantic fiction, and is featuring the adventures of Lady Margaret, named after a great-great-aunt of the Duchess, who wants to “break the mould”, travel the world and falls in love. 

Fergie’s debut as a writer of romance, however, was criticised by ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship, who drew a comparison between the Duchess of York’s upcoming work and Meghan and Harry’s announced work in their post-royal life. 

Sharing Fergie’s clip, the royal commentator wrote on Twitter: “This is quite something. A debut romance Mills and Boon novel by @SarahTheDuchess.

“Announced today – publication of Her Heart For A Compass in August. 

“I have no other words left to add!!”

1.55pm update: Queen to take step back so Prince Philip can be ‘centre of attention’ in vital royal month

The Queen desires to take a step back and let the spotlight be entirely on the Duke of Edinburgh in six months time, when he reaches his 100th birthday, according to a source. Prince Philip’s birthday falls on June 10, just two days before this year’s Trooping the Colour.

However, the monarch wants the focus throughout the whole month of June to be on her husband of 73 years, it has been claimed.

A source close to the Queen told Vanity Fair: “The Queen wants the Duke to be the centre of attention in June and for the big celebration for herself to be for her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday will mark two royal firsts on top of a personal milestone.

Prince Philip will be the first male member of the Royal Family and first royal consort to turn 100.

The Royal Family has launched a new programme to raise awareness on home school services

The Royal Family has launched a new programme to raise awareness on home school services (Image: ROYAL FAMILY)

1.16pm update: Royal Family launches new bid to raise awaress on homeschooling services

The Royal Family has announced it will raise awareness of services offering homeschooling programmes for children while schools are closed due to the covid pandemic. 

The Royal Family posted on Instagram: “Every Wednesday for the next dew weeks, we’ll be highlighting cultural institutions which are providing online resources for use by homeschoolers and for anyone interested in finding out more about their work.

“Today we begin with The National Trust.

12.02pm update: Oh Philip! Queen ‘flushed scarlet’ after rare compliment overheard by stylist

Royal author Ingrid Seward recalled a story she was told by the monarch’s dress designer Ian Thomas. He was adjusting the Queen’s hem when the Duke of Edinburgh walked past the dressing room.

Philip paid the monarch a sweet compliment about her gown which left her blushing.

Ms Seward told Channel 5 documentary Secrets of Royal Dressmakers: “When he was doing the hem, Prince Philip walked through the Queen’s dressing room and said ‘hmm, nice dress’.

“The Queen flushed scarlet. I always remember him telling me that story.

“She was just so thrilled to get the compliment from her husband who’s normally so brusque and offhand.”

11.45am update: Prince Harry ‘put at a distance from Archie’ in announcement with Meghan Markle

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex published a “letter to 2021” on their Archewell website, but the wording of the letter appeared to “airbrush the men out of the picture”.

The letter focused on the mother-child relationship to the detriment of fatherly connection.

Not only were Prince Charles and Thomas Markle completely excluded from the conversation, but the wording also appeared to neglect Harry‘s relationship with one-year-old Archie.

The letter began: “I am my mother’s son. And I am my son’s mother.”

Later in the piece, they said: “We have experienced compassion and kindness from our mothers and strangers alike.”

10.47am update: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to snub Britain with global brand ‘aiming at US’ megabucks

Meghan and Prince Harry may snub Britons and target a US-based audience with their future work, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams claimed.

The expert commented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s deals with Spotify and Netflix and the much-anticipated launch of their foundation Archewell one year after they first announced their intention to step back as full-time working royals.

He told Express.co.uk: “They are aiming at an American audience and a certain demographic.”

Meghan Markle and Harry: Expert on couple’s social media stance

10.04am update: Sarah Ferguson takes inspiration from her ‘own sex life’ for new character in adult novel

Sarah, known among friends, fans and family as Fergie, is gearing up for the publication of her first historical novel.

And news she would step into the world of novels for adults after having become an established writer of memoirs and children’s books has set royal watchers and commentators into a frenzy.  

ITV’s Lorraine said this morning during her show: “Fergie has reportedly taken inspiration from her own sex life for her new book.” 

Speaking about how her first historical novel came together, the Duchess of York said the protagonist of her book, named after her great-great-aunt Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, came to life while she was researching her ancestry. 

She said: “Digging into the history of the Montagu-Douglas Scotts, I first came across Lady Margaret, who intrigued me because she shared one of my given names.

“But although her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch were close friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I was unable to discover much about my namesake’s early life, and so was born the idea which became Her Heart for a Compass. 

“With real historical events and facts to hand, my imagination took over.

“I invented a history for her that incorporated real people and events, including some of my other ancestors.

“I created a friendship between my heroine and Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s sixth child, and I drew on many parallels from my life for Lady Margaret’s journey.

“I have long held a passion for historical research and telling the stories of strong women in history through film and television.

“I am proud to bring my personal brand of historical fiction to the publishing world.” 

9.23am update: The Duke of Gloucester receives crucial update on Army Medical Services in covid response

THe Duke of Gloucester spoke to the Army Medical Services on the phone to hear about their work on the frontline of the covid pandemic. 

The Royal Family tweeted: “The Duke of Gloucester, Colonel-in-Chief, held a telephone meeting with Major General Alan Hawley from the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) this morning.

“The Duke received an update on the continued involvement of the @ArmyMedServices in the frontline COVID response.”

The Royal Family has been forced to spend lockdown at their various residences across the UK

The Royal Family has been forced to spend lockdown at their various residences across the UK (Image: EXPRESS)

9.06am update: Meghan and Harry to be ‘centre of attention’ on Queen’s big day – ‘every move scrutinised’

Reports of the Sussexes attendance at the Queen’s 95th birthday celebrations have circulated which one royal expert has claimed might be “painful” for the Royal Family. 

Royal commentator Daniela Elser warned that when Meghan and Harry return to Buckingham Palace’s balcony they will be the “centre of attention”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the nation last year when they chose to step down as senior members of the Royal Family.

As part of their deal with the Queen, Meghan and Harry agreed to have a 12-month review with the Palace which is due to take place in March.

Meghan and Harry have been invited by the Queen to join her for Trooping the Colour in June to mark Her Majesty’s official birthday, according to reports.

Royal aides told The Sunday Times that the Sussexes are expected to join the Queen at the event.

Trooping the Colour is usually held in public in London and could be the first time fans see the couple reunite with the Royal Family.

8am update: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s return to UK will cause ‘serious headache’ for Queen

Speculation about the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ return to Britain has erupted in recent weeks as the couple are due to review their Megxit arrangements in March. Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family last year to seek financial independence.

As part of their deal with the Queen, Meghan and Harry agreed to have a 12-month review with the Palace.

Reports of the Sussexes attendance at the Queen’s 95th birthday celebrations have also circulated which one royal expert has claimed might be “painful” for the Royal Family.

Royal commentator, Daniela Elser, wrote on news.com.au: “On a personal level, everyone from the Queen down would surely be thrilled to have Harry, Meghan and perhaps even Archie back, however, on a regal level, their re-entry into the rarefied royal ecosystem could pose a serious headache for the palace.”