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Royal Family LIVE: Meghan to snub Palace for lavish, star-studded 40th birthday bash

Prince Harry's book 'came as a shock' to royals says expert

Colin Cowie, who was Vogue’s top wedding planner and caterer in 2018, was reportedly recommended by the chat show host following her explosive interview with Meghan and Prince Harry. He has put on parties for several high-profile stars, including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian. However, the Duchess of Sussex's birthday on Wednesday is set to be a low-key affair.

A source told The Mirror: "Meghan wants a small gathering. About 65 people are invited, her closest friends and family.

"Colin was recommended to her by Oprah who always puts on fabulous parties."

The celebrations will reportedly be held in the grounds of Meghan's mansion in California, following Covid rules after the state eased the majority of its lockdown measures nearly two months ago.

It is also believed her husband Prince Harry has ordered a birthday cake from Posies & Sugar, which is located in nearby Santa Barbara.

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Royal Family LIVE: Meghan Markle has reportedly hired Oprah Winfrey's party planner for her birthday (Image: GETTY / YOUTUBE)

While it is not known who will be attending the birthday celebration, the likes of Serena Williams and Amal Clooney were both invited to Archie's baby shower.

In a recent Instagram post, Mr Cowie wrote: "The equation for the gold standard of service isn’t 1+1=2. It’s 1+1=3.

"What can you do or offer to stay ahead of the curve?

"What can you do to make your product and customer service better than anyone else’s? I ask myself those questions every day."

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12.45am update: Queen's huge hint to Royal Family that Harry and Meghan set to be forgiven with UK invite

Queen Elizabeth II dropped a huge hint to the rest of the Royal Family and the world that she may be ready to forgive Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to a relationship expert.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior royals last year and Her Majesty was said to be “hurt” by their decision.

They then rubbed salt in the wound by speaking to Oprah Winfrey about the family’s dirty laundry, as well as in numerous other media.

However, the 95-year-old monarch has demonstrated that she is ready to show her grandson and his wife love and respect, despite everything that has happened.

Melanie Kaidan takes over live reporting from Steven Brown.

10pm update: Prince Harry's memoir to overshadow projects as Duke forces focus on past: 'Can't compete'

Prince Harry has been warned that his upcoming memoir will overshadow his other projects and take focus away from causes he cares about, by a royal commentator.

Royal commentator Victoria Murphy, while speaking on Palace Confidential, said that people will be talking about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's book deals for the foreseeable future.

She argued that it would then be difficult to then shine a light on their charity work or causes they care about.

Ms Murphy said: "I think there is an audience for everything that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry do.

"I think the Bench received quite critical reviews in many places but it was still a best-seller.

"I think that is where we are at with the Sussexes, everything that they do gets huge amounts of attention and will do really well commercially."

Peter Phillips at the funeral of Prince Philip

Peter Phillips at the funeral of Prince Philip (Image: PA)

8.35pm update: Queen's 'favourite' grandson opens up on losing Prince Philip and trying to support her

Queen Elizabeth II's "favourite" grandson Peter Phillips has opened up about losing Prince Philip and the struggle of not being able to hug his grandmother.

Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne, said not being able to hug her was one of the hardest parts of coping with the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mr Phillips said: "Our thoughts immediately went to my grandmother.

"We've been trying to support her as much as we can. Everybody saw the image of Her Majesty sitting alone.

"It would have been the same for any other family, the hardest part is not being able to hug those closest to the person who's been lost. It's the same for a lot of families.

"There have been some great sadnesses but at the same time you've got to try to take the positives out of these situations, whether that be new life or happy memories, that's what you've got to focus on."

7.50pm update: 'What do they know!' Meghan Markle and Harry's new book plan dubbed 'pretentious nonsense'

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been ridiculed for their upcoming book projects by a frustrated commentator.

Royal and political commentator Andrew Pierce lashed out at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry while speaking on show Palace Confidential.

Mr Pierce told host Jo Elvin: "What do they know about leadership?

"What leadership, what wellness?

"Meghan is conscious about her figure and she is very conscious about health and the rest of it but they are no experts.

"Philanthropy? They have set up their foundation, the charitable foundation but they are not doing a Bill Gates.

"They are not in that league so it just sounds like the usual self-indulgent, pretentious nonsense."

Prince William

Prince William (Image: Getty)

7.15pm update: Prince William sets out legacy of future King and it's influenced by an ex-US President

Prince William's ambitious new climate change prize inspired by J.F.K will be his lasting legacy, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl.

Speaking to True Royalty TV, Ms Nicholl explained that Prince William's Earthshot Prize is the project that will define the future King and has been heavily influenced by former US President JFK.

The prize takes inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people to put man on the moon in 1969.

Instead, Earthshot is centered around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for the planet which will improve life for us all for generations to come.

Five £1 million prizes will be awarded each year for the next ten years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

6.30pm update: Princess Anne's 'displeasure' with Charles grew into 'full-scale family row'

Princess Anne's displeasure with Prince Charles over the choice of Prince Harry's godparents grew into a "full-scale family row", unearthed reports claim.

As anticipation for the christening of Lilibet, a newly-resurfaced report reveals how Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s choice of godparents sparked a huge row in the Royal Family, which led the Prince of Wales being “not on speaking terms” with his father, Prince Philip.

According to a 1984 Daily Express report, Princess Anne snubbed Prince Harry’s christening because she was angry at being overlooked as grandmother for the second time.

Royal correspondent Ashley Walton wrote: “She was said to have been hurt two years ago when Prince Charles failed to pick her as godmother to Prince William.

“Her displeasure grew into a full-scale family row recently as she learned that her younger brother Andrew was to be a godfather to three-month-old Prince Harry, while she was omitted.

“The christening was postponed time and time again as Anne kept turning down proposed dates because she was ‘too busy’.”

Princess Anne

Princess Anne (Image: Getty)

5.40pm update: Like mother like daughter: Kate Middleton and Carole Middleton’s matchy-matchy style

Carole and Kate Middleton both seem to share the same taste in clothes.

Kate loves to wear beautiful midi dresses and her mother, Carole, has been seen wearing similar clothes.

There are many occasions over the last decade where the mum and daughter duo have stunned in similar getups.

5.10pm update: Americans mock Prince Harry as he dubs Suits 'more popular than Friends' in TV parody

Prince Harry has been mocked in a new US parody where he is seen to believe that his wife's television series "Suits" is "more popular than Friends".

"The Prince" is a new HBO series by Gary Janetti the writer of Family Guy, and it takes an irreverent look at the British Monarchy.

The new satire of the Royal Family is causing considerable controversy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Political rights activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted: "Children are off-limits.

"It's uncalled for and goes against our collective sense of responsibility to make fun of children.

"We don't need a misshapen fabricated perspective of a caricature of an 8-year-old to satirise Royal Family."

prince harry book memoir

Royal Family LIVE: Prince Harry is writing a tell-all book (Image: GETTY)

4.05pm update: Princess Charlene in a 'waiting game' as she is set to spend weeks more apart from Albert

Princess Charlene of Monaco is "in a waiting game" as she foresees being forced to remain away from her family for weeks to come.

Princess Charlene opened up about the illness that is keeping her in South Africa and her recovery.

And though she made it clear she can't predict how "my healing process will go", she suggested she may be able to leave her native country at the end of October.

Speaking to South Africa Radio 702's host Mandy Wiener, Prince Albert's wife said: "Initially I was supposed to be here for 10 to 12 days, unfortunately, I had a problem equalising my ears, and I found out through the doctors that I had a sinus infection and quite a serious one.

"So, it's taking time to address this problem that I'm having."

She added: "I cannot force healing, so I will be grounded in South Africa until the end of October."

3.10pm update: Sarah Ferguson says Princess Diana would split time between Santa Barbara and London

Sarah Ferguson believes Princess Diana would split her time between Montecito and London were she still alive.

Fergie told the Sun: "I think first and foremost she’d be hugging her grandchildren and so proud of both her sons and their wives."

Princess Diana, Sarah continued, would strive to remain close to both Prince William and Prince Harry even after the Sussexes left the UK for California.

She said: "She’d be travelling between Santa Barbara and Kensington Palace.

"She would also be championing her causes when it came to children’s charities."

3pm update: Steven Brown takes over Paul Withers

1.30pm update: Kate and Prince William's royal wind down to end soon as 'reprieve' comes to an end

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William "have been given a bit of a reprieve" when it comes to royal duties, according to an expert.

Kate and Prince William have increased their workload throughout the years.

However, they have been allowed to adapt their schedules to their children's needs while Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are still young, according to a royal watcher.

Gertrude Daly, who runs the website Gert's Royal Replies, told the Daily Star: "Prince William and Duchess Kate have been taking on more and more duties over the years, but while their children are young and living at home, they have been given a bit of a reprieve."

Ms Daly believes the diary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will change when George, Charlotte and Louis grow up and become more independent.

She continued: "In a few years, The Cambridges will have busier schedules, more travelling, and they wouldn’t always be able to take so much time off during their kids’ school holidays.

"They are enjoying this precious time with their kids.

"And their scheduled official engagements are often planned around morning and afternoon school runs."

12.15pm update: Meghan Markle has 'guts and self-belief' to be US President and could run within 10 years

Meghan Markle has the "guts and self belief" to be President of the US and could run for America's top job within the next ten years, a biographer has claimed.

Not content with having conquered the Royal Family, the Duchess now appears to have her eyes firmly set on scaling the political heights of Washington.

Tom Bower, who is working on a biography about Meghan, believes the prospect of a President Markle is realistic.

Writing in The Sun, he points out that California has a tradition of electing Hollywood actors to political office.

The most famous of those was Ronald Reagan, who served two terms as Governor of California, before eventually being propelled to the White House.

Mr Bower argues that the Duchess of Sussex could use California as a similar launchpad for her political ambitions.

"With the support of Democrat godfathers the Clintons and the Obamas, Meghan should have little difficulty getting ­nominated as one of the state’s 40 Congressmen sent to Washington," he writes.

"If Californians flock to her ­Crusade for Goodness, then after two terms — just four years — she can establish her political roots.

"After that, fate would take over."

royal family meghan markle

Royal Family LIVE: Meghan Markle has the 'guts and self belief' to be President of the US, a biographer has said (Image: GETTY)

11am update: Prince Harry’s memoir plans dismantled by expert - ‘Do we need a running commentary?’

Prince Harry's memoir plans have been dismantled by a royal expert, who asked: "Do we need a running commentary?"

Last week, reports emerged that Harry has actually signed a four-book deal and that at least one would be released after the Queen’s death.

However, his spokesperson refuted these claims, branding them “false and defamatory”.

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal ediot Russell Myers.

Ms Gripper argued that, if Harry has signed a multi-book deal, it is likely that each one will document a stage of his life.

She said: “You get footballers who do their first autobiography at the age of about 22 and then they’ll do another one later in their career and then maybe they’ll go on into management or have some kind of life outside football and then they’ll do another one.

“So saying that Prince Harry will publish a second book after the Queen has died ‒ there is potentially a long period of his life, that is not necessarily an opportunistic ‒ ‘right the Queen has died now, I can wash all the dirty washing that I didn't feel comfortable washing when she was alive’.

“Maybe this is me being optimistic, sunny uplands, but I did think that this is going to be a book about a particular stage of his life, or the story so far.

“And he is still building the next stage of his life and that potentially will be a whole other thing to think about.”

Mr Myers quipped back: “Do we need a running commentary about it though? That’s what a lot of people will be saying.”

9.45am update: Prince Charles could make Harry 'plain Mr Henry' in 'a stroke' when king

Prince Charles is said to want a "slimmed-down" monarchy with fewer working royals when king.

As sovereign he will have the power to remove Prince Harry's titles "by a stroke", a constitutional expert has explained.

Prince Charles, 72, is thought to want to pare back the Firm when he inherits the throne from Queen Elizabeth II, 95.

While the Queen has always maintained Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, remain much-loved members of her family despite royal dramas, Charles could choose to do what his mother won't and strip them of their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles and HRH styles.

What Charles will decide to do in regards to the Sussexes when he is king is a matter of speculation.

But according to a constitutional expert, he will have the power to make his son "plain Henry," in one fell swoop.

royal family prince harry

Royal Family LIVE: Prince Harry's life in pictures (Image: EXPRESS)

8.40am update: Meghan Markle 'fulfilling American Dream' after 'humbling' Royal Family

Meghan Markle will be "rightly thrilled" of her success as she prepares to celebrate her 40th birthday, according to a royal biographer.

Author Tom Bower believes Meghan has managed to become one of the "world's superstars" over the past few years.

Alongside her husband Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex has successfully achieved financial independence from the Royal Family, signed off a few profitable deals and now lives in her beloved California.

Through her success, she has also "humiliated her critics and humbled the Royal Family", according to the commentator.

And her supporters believe Meghan is rightly pursuing the American Dream with her projects.

Mr Bower wrote in a comment piece for the Sun: "She has humiliated her critics and humbled the Royal Family.

"Her next steps are to conquer America, then the world.

"Critics carp that Meghan’s megalomania has no limits.

"Her admirers retort that she is purposely fulfilling the American Dream."

7.50am update: Her Majesty makes light work of US tourists who asked her 'Have you ever met the Queen?'

The Queen's quick-wittedness was on show when she was asked a confusing question by US tourists at Balmoral.

Her Majesty, 95, was approached by an American tourist group as she enjoyed a stroll on her Aberdeenshire estate. Richard Griffin, former royal protection officer, described the chance encounter.

Mr Griffin told The Times about how the group asked the monarch, wearing a headscarf and tweed coat, if she lived locally.

She conceded she had a house nearby.

The tourists then asked: “Have you ever met the Queen?”

Pointing at the policeman, the Queen replied: “No. But he has.”

The tourists plodded on unaware they had met the Queen herself.

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