The Queen turns 95 this year, and a new report says Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan may return to the United Kingdom in June for Trooping the Colour, Her Majesty's official birthday celebrations, currently scheduled for June 12.
While the event celebrates the Queen, in 2021 it takes on an added layer of importance, since Prince Philip's 100th birthday falls two days before, on June 10. The Queen wasn't able to hold Trooping the Colour as usual in 2020, since the coronavirus pandemic meant it was impossible to do so, due to the large crowds that turn out to cheer Her Majesty and the Royal Family, along with the huge number of people needed to stage the event.
"The current plan is for the Queen's birthday parade to go ahead in London as normal, with the acceptance that it may need to be adapted or scaled back depending on what guidelines are in force at the time," a source told The Sunday Times. "But the aspiration and ultimate desire is to make it happen."
The source added that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to join the family for the celebrations. It is important to keep in mind that with COVID-19, the situation is still very fluid and could change at any time.
"There are lots of family events that the duke and duchess hope they can attend," a source told Entertainment Tonight in a separate report. "Of course, given the state of the world due to COVID-19, it is still early to be planning travel."
The couple moved to California last year after spending time in Canada in late 2019 and announcing they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family last January. COVID-19 meant they were unable to travel to the United Kingdom after March 2020, and the last time we saw them with other members of 'The Firm' was at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.
Unless something changes, Harry is also due to return to the U.K. for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in the country from Oct. 23 to Nov. 27. One of his final events as a senior royal was holding the Rugby League World Cup draw at Buckingham Palace in January 2020.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh received COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 9 at Windsor Castle from a Household Doctor. The U.K. is currently on its third national lockdown due to soaring COVID-19 cases, which are spreading quickly because of a new coronavirus variant that is 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible, scientists say.
The pandemic has directly affected the Royal Family, with Prince Charles contracting the virus in March, and Prince William reported to have come down with the illness a few weeks later. Princess Michael of Kent also fell ill with it in November.
While it's not known whether enough other members of the Royal Family or the public will be vaccinated by June, Her Majesty and the duke's vaccinations will likely be signs to many royal watchers that an end to the pandemic is in sight. She has been such a hopeful figure to many during this time, addressing the pandemic during a rare speech last April and during her annual Christmas broadcast in late 2020.