Despite hoping to have a face-to-face meeting with Queen Elizabeth II this year to review their current arrangements, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been forced to abandon any plans to travel to the UK.
Following an announcement on Monday from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, England has banned all non-essential travel as it enters its third national lockdown.
The arrangements between the Queen and the Sussexes is due for review on March 31, a year after their departure from the royal family when they stepped down as senior royals and later settled in California with their 2-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
According to royal sources, Prince Harry has not been in touch with his grandmother yet to arrange a meeting for the review.
Royal experts have speculated about what the outcome of the review may be. The pair might be avoiding the Queen for now because they fear they will not convince her to keep some of the prestigious privileges that they still have.
Penny Junor, a royal biographer, doubts whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will retain their current HRH titles and other privileges, particularly given the controversies around their recent commercial deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Junor believes that a lack of access to special advisors at the palace led the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to make the unpopular deals.
Their deal with Netflix, in particular, has attracted criticism after Season 4 of the popular series The Crown was released, which sparked controversy for its lack of historical accuracy about the royal family.
Junor explained: “I think unhappily, it is very difficult to square up being a member of the royal family with commercial activity because there are bear traps everywhere.”
Junor added: “I’m sure it never crossed Harry and Meghan’s minds about The Crown, possibly being negative or damaging when they got their wonderful contract from Netflix. But the problem is that they left those gold standard advisers when they left Buckingham Palace when they turned their back on the help that they were getting.”
The upcoming review with the Queen will also include a review of Prince Harry’s military titles, including Captain-General of the Royal Marines.
According to royal biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who co-authored the book Finding Freedom, Prince Harry expressed he would be “devastated” to step down and lose the titles, while Meghan reportedly shared with a friend that it was “unnecessary” to remove her husband’s military titles.