Prince Harry is throwing his first ever royal garden party at Buckingham Palace this month. The royal event will be in honor of the Not Forgotten Association, an organization for England’s former servicemen and women. Since his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, is currently in the U.K. for Pippa Middleton’s wedding, many are wondering if she is staying for Prince Harry’s party.
According to the Daily Mail, Queen Elizabeth II has given her grandson the royal duty of organizing the garden party on his own. This is the first time for Prince Harry to take on such responsibility. It will be held on May 30.
The Not Forgotten Association garden party is an annual event usually hosted by Prince Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. Anne, the Princess Royal, and even Queen Elizabeth have also hosted the party in the past.
Since Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle, is currently in London, could the public expect another official appearance by the two? The Suits actress made headlines when she made her first official public appearance with Prince Harry over the weekend.
Last Sunday, she attended the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, Berkshire, to cheer on Prince Harry, who was part of the game. Onlookers reported that the American actress looked proud of her royal beau throughout the match. The two were even caught kissing after the event, sparking engagement rumors.
Reportedly, Meghan is also in town to attend the much talked-about wedding of Pippa Middleton on May 20 as Prince Harry’s plus one. Is she staying another 10 days for Prince Harry’s garden party?
Unfortunately, an appearance by Meghan is highly unlikely. According to Hello Magazine, the Not Forgotten Association garden bash is known to be strictly for invited royals only. Only those who are engaged or married are allowed on the guest list.
However, it can be noted that Pippa Middleton’s wedding also had the same “no ring, no bring” rule. With Meghan attending the high-profile wedding, royal watchers know that such policies can be bent for VIPs.
The Not Forgotten Association is a charity that offers entertainment and recreational support for those who have served in the military. This cause is extra special for Prince Harry, as he was also a soldier. The 32-year-old prince spent 10 years in the armed forces as an aircraft commander. He also served two tours in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2012.
Although this will be the first time for Prince Harry to officially host a royal event at the Buckingham, he is no novice when it comes to organizing charities close to his heart. In 2014, Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games, a sports tournament for wounded and disabled armed services personnel. The tournament has been held in various locations in the past years, including London and Orlando. This year, it is reportedly going to held in Toronto where, coincidentally, his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, is also based.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in Canada late last year while he was promoting Invictus Games. Since then, the two have been hounded by the press nonstop. In a rare move by a royal, Prince Harry released a public statement in November of 2016, asking the media to respect their privacy.
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.”
[Featured Image by Chris Jackson and Andrew Toth/Getty Images]