Prince Harry fell off his horse in front of his celebrity friends as he returned to the polo field in California after a flying visit to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee where he reportedly only had a ‘quite formal’ 15 minutes with his grandmother.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, was unscathed in the incident at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, as was his ride, but it was a bad omen for the royal whose Los Padres team also lost the match 12-11 yesterday.
Harry didn’t appear too downcast by the result, because he was seen hanging out with friends on the sidelines including American idol runner up Katharine McPhee, 38, her composer husband David Foster, 72, and their young son Rennie.
Mr Foster, who is just a year younger than Prince Charles, has been described by some as a ‘father figure’ to Harry. The prince is known to have a strained relationship with the Prince of Wales, and his brother William, since he and Meghan quit as royals and emigrated to the US.
Charles was also well known for falling off his horse in polo – breaking his arm on occasion and another spell in New Zealand where he tumbled from his ride three times in six weeks. In 2000 he was taken to hospital in Cirencester and forced to stay the night after a fall during a charity match in the Cotswolds when his sons, then 19 and 16, were on his team.
Yesterday a smiling but sweaty Harry was also seen with his arm around teammate Nacho Figueras’ wife Delfina and fist bumping others who came to support him, as friends said the Duke is ‘living his dream in the US’, playing professional levels of polo while living in a Montecito mansion with his wife and two children.
The royal, who is sixth in line to the throne, is listed as H. Wales in the four-player line-up with his friend Nacho. The prince joined polo team Los Padres this year, having played the sport for most of his life after learning in the UK with his older brother.
Today it was claimed he spent just 15 minutes meeting the Queen when the Sussexes flew in from California to attend her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, where they were barely seen in public before jetting home again. Archie and Lilibet weren’t seen at all.
Prince Harry (left on the ground in green) takes a fall off his horse as he plays polo in California yesterday
Thankfully the royal and his horse were not injured in the incident – but his Los Padres team did lose the match
Harry had invited his friends David Foster and Katharine McPhee, and their young son, picture together, to the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club
A smiling but sweaty Harry was also seen with his arm around teammate Nacho Figueras’ wife Delfina
Before the match Harry was seen talking to singer Katharine – but it appears Meghan and his children stayed away
The Duke of Sussex was seen speaking animatedly to David Foster, who some have called a ‘father figure’ to the royal
Harry fist bumps his friend Mr Foster, a Canadian composer. David and Katherine also took their young son, Rennie, to the match. There was no sign of Meghan at Sunday’s game when Harry’s Los Padres side lost 12-11 to Antelope
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle (pictured together during the Jubilee weekend) were only seen once in public at St Paul’s (pictured) and a meeting with the Queen is said to have only lasted 15 minutes
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to Windsor Castle soon after arriving in the UK. It was the first time their daughter Lilibet met her great-grandmother, with the couple’s son Archie, three, also there.
But the meeting was ‘quite formal’ and lasted just a quarter of an hour, it was reported yesterday. ‘It was a quick in and out job,’ a source told The Sun on Sunday.
It comes as sources confirmed reports the Queen banned Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, from bringing a photographer to capture the moment she was introduced to her great-grandchild on June 2. Buckingham Palace declined to comment but sources have suggested the couple were told it was a ‘private family meeting’.
Lilibet turned one during the UK trip, with the couple celebrating at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor. The New York Post reported they invited William, Kate and their three children, but the family did not attend. In fact, Harry did not spend any private time with William during their brief trip to the UK.
He was spotted striking a pose this weekend as he enjoyed a spot of polo under the Californian sun, almost a week after arriving back from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, played for his friend Nacho Figueras’ team Los Padres at the Cancha de Estrella Polo Club in Santa Barbara on Friday, in what was the first time he was seen out and about since returning to Los Angeles on June 5.
After working up a sweat, the red-faced royal was pictured taking a break as he placed his hands behind his head and sunk into his right hip.
He donned a green top, white trousers and black riding boots and knee pads as he basked in the typical LA heat, before being seen mounting his brown horse and putting on his helmet and protective goggles for another round of play.
It comes after royal experts this week claimed that Harry ‘must have gone home feeling very depressed for what he has given up’, after he and his wife Meghan Markle decided not to be more visible in the Jubilee celebrations because ‘they did not have centre stage seats’.
The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex, 40, missed both the Platinum Jubilee Party and Pageant – as well as the Epsom Derby during the four-day festivities.
Meghan was not present for the game on Friday, which Harry’s team lost 12-8 to Dundee II.
The couple made only one public appearance over the Jubilee weekend, despite flying in from the US with their two children – Archie and Lilibet.
Prince Harry was spotted striking a pose this weekend as he enjoyed a spot of polo under the Californian sun, just days after arriving back from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London
The Duke of Sussex played for his friend Nacho Figueras’ team Los Padres at the Cancha de Estrella Polo Club in Santa Barbara on Friday, in what was his first game since returning to Los Angeles
Harry donned a green top, white trousers and black riding boots and knee pads as he basked in the scorching LA heat, before mounting his brown horse and putting on his helmet and protective goggles
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive back in California on Sunday, June 5, after reportedly leaving the UK an hour before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration ended
They did not appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour, and were also seemingly relegated to the second row during the Thanksgiving service.
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat that the couple weren’t at other celebrations because ‘they did not have centre stage seats’.
Meanwhile, historian Hugo Vickers added: ‘Harry has given up being Captain of the Royal Marines, who were out in force.
‘I think he must have gone home feeling very depressed for what he has given up.’
Katie said: ‘I honestly think it’s [because]… they knew that they wouldn’t be in that front row.
‘And why did they leave the Royal Family? They left because they weren’t in the front row. I believe that’s why they weren’t at the other celebrations as they did not have centre stage seats.’
Elsewhere, royal biographer and journalist Duncan Larcombe said the Platinum Jubilee celebrations will haunt Prince Harry for the rest of his life, as he and his family were relegated to minor roles and decided not to participate in some events.
Harry takes off his protective goggles as he pauses for a break while playing polo in Santa Barbara on Friday
Harry grasps his mallet and keeps his eye on the ball as he plays for his friend Nacho Figueras’ team Los Padres at the Cancha de Estrella Polo Club in Santa Barbara on Friday
Harry is all smiles while playing polo back in LA on Friday, although his team ended up losing 12-8 to Dundee II
Harry catches his breath after working up a sweat on the polo field in Santa Barbara on Friday afternoon
The game, which was open to the public, was played at the Cancha de Estrella’s Polo Club, close to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
Prince Harry receives assistance as his kneepads are readjusted during a break in the polo match on Friday
Meghan was not present for the game on Friday, which Harry’s team lost 12-8 to Dundee II
Harry takes a break under his team Los Padres’ tent near the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on Friday
He said: ‘Those four days will haunt Prince Harry for the rest of his life. They [The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] were relegated to sitting behind the Duke of Gloucester [at the Thanksgiving service].
‘They didn’t take part in any way, shape or form visibly at the Trooping of the Colour… [Harry] will be fuming about the way he and his family were treated – if it was Prince William and the Royal Family who said, ‘you’re not coming to the royal box’, whilst other minor non-working Royals were at those events.’
Discussing the key images from the celebration, Katie told the programme: ‘If you’re going to take one image away from the weekend, it has to be [the one of the Queen and her three heirs standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony].
‘A Jubilee isn’t just a moment to reflect on the 70 years, but to look forward to the future. The Queen’s message is very clear, this is the future and for the first time in history, we have four generations of royalty.
‘It is extraordinary. Also, it was deliberately engineered. If you watch the sequence of this, Camilla steps to the side, whilst Kate takes the two youngest children, and leaves the Queen with her three heirs.’
It comes after biographer Angela Levin, who spent a year with Harry, claimed the prince is likely to feel as if he is ‘owed an apology’ and was ‘largely ignored’ at the four-day celebration.
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl (pictured) told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat that the couple weren’t at other celebrations because ‘they did not have centre stage seats’
The couple didn’t appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour, and were also seemingly relegated to the second row during the Thanksgiving service (pictured)
She added that the Duke of Sussex is allegedly ‘absolutely furious’ about the situation.
According to Ms Levin, it was clear Harry was unhappy when attending the Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Friday.
She told The Sun: ‘The thing that really stood out for me on that day was Harry’s anger – he wears his emotions on his face and he looked absolutely furious.
‘I think it’s quite interesting really – he could have been feeling lots of things. I don’t know whether he had a wave of feeling at what he had given up.’
Ms Levin added: ‘I think he would have been very, very upset that he was largely ignored. He still feels he’s owed an apology.’
However, the royal expert said Harry is ‘the one who should apologise’.
She also claimed Harry and Meghan did not check Prince William and Kate Middleton’s schedule before inviting them to a birthday party for Lilibet at Frogmore Cottage.
Harry and Meghan took a private jet from the UK back to America after the Queen’s Jubilee last weekend
Prince Harry is seen in the passenger seat of a vehicle while being driven away from the airport in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife behind him
Meghan appears to have sat in the back seat, in the middle of their Range Rover, between the two children, who were not seen in public in the UK
Children’s equipment could be seen being offloaded from the private jet at a Santa Barbara airport
At the time, Kate and William were in Wales with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their children reportedly flew out of Farnborough Airport, west of London, at 1.30pm on the Sunday of the Jubilee celebrations (June 5), an hour before the finale Pageant started in central London.
One insider said: ‘There was no fanfare, they just went. They didn’t stick around for the Platinum Jubilee pageant which is a celebration of Britain and all of its quirks and eccentricities over the Queen’s 70 year reign.’
At lunchtime yesterday the Montecito-based couple were reportedly driven from Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where they had been staying since arriving in the UK on the Wednesday before.
And they were already crossing the Atlantic as Harry’s grandmother, father, brother and nieces and nephews waved to the adoring crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace at the denouement of four days of wonderful celebrations marking the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
The Sussexes arrived back in California at 6pm on Sunday June 5. Equipment that appeared to be a high chair was seen being offloaded from the plane.
Harry was then photographed in the passenger seat of a black Range Rover that had arrived to transport the family home, and looked very serious after almost five days away from the US.
The Duke and Duchess did not attend the Platinum Party and stayed in Windsor alongside the Queen to reportedly watch the concert with Her Majesty.