Meghan and Harry arrive in Australia for Royal tour in 2018
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are allegedly planning to return to the UK for the first time as a couple since they made the unprecedented decision to step down from senior royal duties in 2020. It has been widely reported that Harry and Meghan want to introduce the Queen to their daughter Lilibet and christen the two-month old in the private chapel of Windsor Castle. There have been alleged tensions in the Royal Family since the Sussexes quit the Firm, while their two-hour tell-all CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey reportedly caused rifts to widen.
A Channel 5 documentary claimed that the Duchess of Sussex “potentially overshadowed” Harry during the couple’s royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, which led to the Royal Family’s attitude towards Meghan to change.
In Fergie & Meghan: Inconvenient Royals, Dr Anna Whitelock claimed: “Harry said he thinks on that tour that the attitude to Meghan changed in the Palace.
“[It was] the way she managed to seemingly wow the public and potentially overshadow Prince Harry.”
Harry and Meghan completed 76 engagements over 16 days to a massive reception during their October 2018 tour.
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Daily Mail Editor-at-large Richard Kay claimed: “She went down an absolute storm.
“She made people at ease – particularly young people.
“And in parts of the world, particularly Australia and New Zealand where there has been a lot of flirting over the years with the idea of them becoming republics, she was a massive injection of support for the crown and the monarchists longevity.”
The tour marked 35 year since Harry’s parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana famously visited Australia in their first tour as a couple.
Diana charmed a nation that had been riding a wave of Republicanism, championed by Prime Minister Robert Hawke, while she also reportedly overshadowed Charles, the heir to the throne.
Harry claimed during March’s explosive Oprah interview that he and Meghan’s South Pacific tour “brought back memories” for the Firm.
He said: “[The Royal Family] were really welcoming of Meghan, but it really changed after our South Pacific tour.
“It was the first time the family got to see how incredible she is at the job and that brought back memories.”
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Oprah asked: “So are you saying that there were hints of jealousy?”
Harry responded: “I just wish they could learn from the past, but to see how effortless it was for Meghan to come into the family so quickly, in Australia, and across New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, and just connect with people.
“She was very much welcomed into the family, not just by the family, but by the world and certainly the Commonwealth.”
Harry added: “Really here you have one of the greatest assets to the Commonwealth that the family could have wished for.”
During Charles and Diana’s gruelling month-long 1983 Australia tour the Princess of Wales’ popularity began to eclipse that of her husband.
Diana later admitted in a 1995 interview with the BBC that the Prince of Wales was upset by the Beatlemania-like attention his wife would receive.
A 1983 broadcast from ABC reported: “The Princess of Wales was the woman they’d come to see, and the people of the Riverland weren’t disappointed.
“The Princess seemed more anxious to meet the people than did her husband.
“She dispensed titbits concerning Prince William’s health, the weather and jokingly inquired of an elderly citizen if she had any whiskey in her picnic basket.”
The broadcaster then showed clips of Diana swarmed by massive crowds, with one man holding a sign which read “Di is beautiful”.
A week later, on April 15, 1983 the Melbourne Herald ran a cartoon that showed that map of Australia superimposed with a heart.
The caption read: “Princess Diana, a permanent imprint.”
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