he Duke and Duchess of Sussex have flown back to the US to be reunited with their children — as a friend who lent them their first home in California said he had wanted to support them through a “very difficult time”.
Harry and Meghan spent more than a fortnight away from their children Archie, three, and 15-month-old Lilibet after their brief trip to the UK was extended by the death of the Queen and her funeral.
The family now live in Montecito, California, but stayed in an $18 million Beverly Hills mansion belonging to filmmaker Tyler Perry for several months when they quit as working royals and moved to the US in 2020.
Speaking for the first time about why he helped out, Perry said he knew it was a “very difficult time for them” and he wanted to “support them” in any way.
He said he was inspired by their relationship, telling the Today Show in the US: “What I know about the two of them — and I wish the world knew — how much these two people love each other.”
Their return to the US comes as a friend of the couple downplayed reports of a royal reconciliation between them and the rest of the royal family.
US chat show host Gayle King said there had been “efforts on both sides to make this right” but so far they had come to nothing.
The period of national mourning for the Queen had seen signs of Harry’s fractured relationship with his brother being repaired.
William and wife Kate joined Harry and Meghan outside Windsor Castle to meet the public, and the brothers walked together beside the Queen’s coffin and stood vigil over it at Westminster.
But Ms King told the US TV programme Extra: “Big families always go through drama. It remains to be seen — are they going to be drawn closer or are they going to be drawn apart?”
The couple are said to have had “little interaction” with the other royals aside from the official mourning duties.
The new King remains at Balmoral where he is privately grieving but many of the other royals are now back to work.
Prince William paid tribute to his grandmother yesterday as he described the “saddest circumstances” which prevented him attending an eco-summit in New York.
He recorded a video for the event from Windsor telling delegates about his “time of grief” and saying protecting the environment was “a cause close to my grandmother’s heart”.
Prince Edward has flown to Estonia and Germany to see British troops stationed there, while the Princess Royal will be in Portsmouth and Aldershot today to thank members of the military who worked on her mother’s funeral.
It has also emerged the Queen Consort will keep her private home in Wiltshire as an “escape from royal life”.