It has been a highlight of the Royal calendar for 15 years, as Prince William and his brother Harry compete in a high-profile polo clash, raising millions of pounds for causes close to their hearts.

But this year Harry, 35, will be absent from the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day, remaining ensconced in his Californian mansion as the brothers become increasingly detached.

A source tells Talk of the Town: ‘It’s such a shame that Harry can’t make the polo this year but he won’t come back to Britain unless it’s absolutely necessary.’

At last year’s event, the pair reportedly had a furious row even before the first chukka – though that was denied by Buckingham Palace – and the new biography Finding Freedom describes how Kate and Meghan were ‘distant’ as they watched from the sidelines with their children.

Yet the Duke of Cambridge was still desperate for this year’s event to go ahead as planned at the end of September, even given that the strict rules about outdoor gatherings designed to curb the spread of coronavirus would severely limit the guest list. 

This year Prince Harry will be absent from the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day, remaining ensconced in his Californian mansion as the brothers become detached (pictured: Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019)

This year Prince Harry will be absent from the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day, remaining ensconced in his Californian mansion as the brothers become detached (pictured: Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019)

Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019

Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019

Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019

Prince William and Prince Harry play at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham in July 2019

Meghan Markle holding her son Archie, and Prince Harry, at Billingbear Polo Club in July 2019

Meghan Markle holding her son Archie, and Prince Harry, at Billingbear Polo Club in July 2019

At last year's event, the pair reportedly had a furious row even before the first chukka – though that was denied by Buckingham Palace – and the new biography Finding Freedom describes how Kate and Meghan were 'distant' as they watched from the sidelines with their children

At last year’s event, the pair reportedly had a furious row even before the first chukka – though that was denied by Buckingham Palace – and the new biography Finding Freedom describes how Kate and Meghan were ‘distant’ as they watched from the sidelines with their children

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are set to ‘return to the UK next summer’ for unveiling of Princess Diana statue and Trooping the Colour – as Prince promotes his Netflix documentary in video call 

By Harriet Johnston for MailOnline 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ‘likely’ to spend an ‘extended period of time in the UK next year’ in order to attend Trooping the Colour and the unveiling of the new Princess Diana statue, their royal biographer has claimed.

Omid Scobie, co-author of bombshell biography Finding Freedom, said the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, had ‘many reasons to be based in the UK’ in the spring and summer of 2021.

Speaking on the Heirpod podcast, Omid said: ‘In March, we have the Invictus Games, which has been rescheduled, in the Hague. In June, we have Trooping the Colour, which I imagine Prince Harry and Meghan would like to still be at, and July 1, we have the unveiling of the [Princess Diana] statue.’

It comes as the Duke appeared in a new video call to promote his latest project – a Netflix documentary about the paralympics.   

 

While weddings are restricted to 30 people, there is enough space at the secret venue for this year’s match to allow 48 spectators and still maintain social distancing.

But that’s well down on the 400 or so celebrities who usually attend, raising fortunes for the brothers’ charities such as Tusk Trust and Sentebale.

The restricted guest list will make the event the hottest ticket in town – especially as it is never short of drama. At the 2017 competition, held at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Watership Down estate in Berkshire, bolshie Australian polo player Beau Skerrett labelled Harry a ‘spoilt brat’ after clashing on the field.

He boasted about giving the fiery Royal a dressing down after telling him to ‘f*** off in front of a crowd that pay £5,000 to shake his hand’. 

In contrast, he called William ‘the perfect gentleman’. One thing’s for sure – at least with Harry on the other side of the Atlantic, the brothers won’t be the ones throwing choice words at each other.

Earlier today, Harry said that he ‘definitely would have been back’ to the UK were it not for Covid-19 in a new video released to mark Rugby League’s 125th birthday. 

The Duke joined a virtual call alongside staff and volunteers from the Rugby Football League from his $14million mansion in Santa Barbara where he is currently living with Meghan, 39. 

Harry hosted his first ever Zoom quiz to mark the occasion, and joked that if he had been taking part ‘he would have had the rest of my family on the other side of the family.’

He added: ‘We’ve got a whole Rugby League world cup coming next year. I definitely plan on coming back. I would have been back already had it not been for Covid.’

During the video call, the Duke, who is  appeared in high spirits as he asked the group about how they’d been keeping fit, admitting: ‘It’s been hard right?’

He also invited the first Black head coach of a major UK sports team and former Rugby League player, Ellery Hanley to the virtual event.

The Duke expressed his admiration for the way Rugby League people have come together in this period ‘as a family’ and how the sport has thrived over 125 years – and his particular admiration for the speed and bravery of the players and the contribution the sport makes to its communities. 

He said: ‘Watching Rugby League is exhausting. Listen I spent 10 years in the army, I know what endurance is all about. But it’s madness. 

The Duke is currently living in his $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara with Meghan Markle, 39, and their son Archie, one

The Duke is currently living in his $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara with Meghan Markle, 39, and their son Archie, one

The Duke of Sussex praised the sport during the phone call and said he 'would have been back already had it not been for Covid'

The Duke of Sussex praised the sport during the phone call and said he ‘would have been back already had it not been for Covid’

‘Full respect to anyone that plays the game, I think it’s amazing, and a lot of people would be jealous not to be part of that community.’

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland starts a new job as a teacher showing students how to make hippy jewellery 

By Richard Eden for the Daily Mail

The Duchess of Sussex owns Cartier jewellery worth a fortune but her mother, Doria Ragland, has far simpler tastes.

I can reveal that she has started a new job as a teacher showing students how to make hippy jewellery.

Doria, 63, who quit her post as a social worker at a mental health clinic after her daughter married into the Royal Family in 2018, is teaching at a community college in Los Angeles.

Her classes show students how to design bohemian ‘floating’ pearl necklaces, create multi-strand bracelets and ‘linked necklaces’ made of wire.

The lessons at Santa Monica College, which are currently on hold due to the pandemic, cost between £29 and £33 and are held at the campus nine miles from her home.

Meanwhile he continued: ‘It can bring so many families together, bring so many people together… it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the stands, whether you’re the groundsman, whether you’re a player, whether you’re a fan, or whether you’re a first time watcher, every single person is bound by this family feeling.’ 

During the virtual call, Prince Harry appeared in high spirits as he hosted what he said was his first ever Zoom quiz.

He asked one participant if she was okay being on her own while others were in pairs, joking: ‘If I was you, I’d have the rest of my family on the other side of the camera.’ 

Before reading out the six question quiz, the royal also said he had never done ‘a quiz like this before’. 

In January, days after announcing his plans to step back from royal duty, Prince Harry hosted the World Cup draw at Buckingham Palace. 

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is set to held in England between 23 October and 27 November.

The latest video clip comes after it emerged Prince Harry and Meghan are ‘likely’ to spend an ‘extended period of time in the UK next year’ in order to attend Trooping the Colour and the unveiling of the new Princess Diana statue. 

Omid Scobie, co-author of bombshell biography Finding Freedom, said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had ‘many reasons to be based in the UK’ in the spring and summer of 2021. 

Speaking on the Heirpod podcast, Omid said: ‘In March, we have the Invictus Games, which has been rescheduled, in the Hague. In June, we have Trooping the Colour, which I imagine Prince Harry and Meghan would like to still be at, and July 1, we have the unveiling of the [Princess Diana] statue.’ 

Speaking on the podcast, Omid revealed: ‘I would not be surprised if we saw the Sussexes spend an extended period of time in the UK next year.’

He went on to discuss several engagements for the couple spanning across the spring and summer period, including appearances in The Hague and the UK, before adding: ‘There are many reasons for them to be based in the UK for that period, depending on whether travel will be back to normal.’ 

It comes after Omid Scobie said Meghan and Prince Harry are likely to spend 'an extended period of time in the UK next year' to attend Trooping the Colour and the unveiling of the new Princess Diana statue

It comes after Omid Scobie said Meghan and Prince Harry are likely to spend ‘an extended period of time in the UK next year’ to attend Trooping the Colour and the unveiling of the new Princess Diana statue

The co-author of Finding Freedom has previously claimed the couple would return to the UK when travel restrictions ease amid the coronavirus pandemic

The co-author of Finding Freedom has previously claimed the couple would return to the UK when travel restrictions ease amid the coronavirus pandemic 

Omid had previously claimed the Duke and Duchess would return to the UK to resume their charity work once lockdown travel restrictions ease. 

Speaking to Royal Central, Scobie said the couple ‘love to get out there and be active in the field’. 

‘Harry and Meghan have made it clear that their work in the UK, including their royal patronages, will continue,’ he explained.

‘While their base will be in the US, I think once travel restrictions ease we will see them moving around again and undertaking trips to the UK, both privately and professionally.’

He added: ‘A lot of the work they already started, including all four of Meghan’s patronages, are right here on British soil.’ 

But despite Scobie pointing out the Queen has told the couple, who stepped down as senior members of the Firm in March, that the door ‘is open’, he said he doesn’t believe they’ll return to the UK as full-time working royals.

He said: ‘The Sussexes are more engaged in the issues that matter to them than ever, the work on Archewell–their non-profit organisation–continues, and, as we have recently seen, they have established a permanent family base in California.

‘The UK will always be important to them, but I don’t think we’ll ever see that happen again as working royals.’

‘I’ve been so overwhelmed by the public’s response’: Kate Middleton praises ‘extraordinary’ submissions for photography project as she announces the top 100 images have been chosen ahead of the digital exhibition launch

By Harriet Johnston for MailOnline

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the public’s response to her community photography exhibition as she announced the top 100 images have officially been chosen.

Kate Middleton, 38, joined a panel of judges of five judges to select the best images from 31,000 images submitted for the nation-wide contest.

The Duchess, who spearheaded the campaign, is a patron of the National Portrait Gallery and a keen amateur photographer, aims to capture a snapshot of the UK at this time, with the help of the nation. 

Announcing that the top 100 images had been selected, the Duchess said: ‘I’ve been so overwhelmed by the public’s response to Hold Still, the quality of the images has been extraordinary, and the poignancy and the stories behind the images have been equally as moving as well.’

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, joined a panel of five judges to select the top 100 images for her Hold Still photography contest

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, joined a panel of five judges to select the top 100 images for her Hold Still photography contest 

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

She continued: ‘So I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has entered and taken part. 

‘And a big thank you to my fellow judges. I hugely appreciate the time and dedication that they have shown towards the project.’

Meanwhile a snapshot of the Duchess during a video call alongside the other judges was also shared. 

Kate appeared relaxed on the call, where she joined  Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Maryam Wahid, photographer, to select the top 100 images submitted.

Kate Middleton, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the community contest during lockdown to capture the mood of the nation

Kate Middleton, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the community contest during lockdown to capture the mood of the nation

In the clip, the royal appeared elegant in a forest green top, which was emblazoned with black-and-white flowers. 

The royal wore her hair in a relaxed side parting, and opted for a set of drop earrings for the occasion.

Meanwhile Lemn said the experience had been surprisingly emotional, revealing: ‘I didn’t expect the judging process to be so emotional. 

‘As I studied the portraits in this most public crisis I was drawn into the most private moments.

The news comes after the Duchess teased the final 100 portraits had been chosen with an email screengrab, which was posted on Twitter

The news comes after the Duchess teased the final 100 portraits had been chosen with an email screengrab, which was posted on Twitter  

‘A nation through portraiture. Intimacy and inspiration, bravery and hope, determination and love and loss and laughter… 

‘We have been in this together and in these portraits of private struggles and victories, the quiet moments, the tears and laughter are caught on camera for ever in Hold Still.’

She added that the collection of portraits ‘made her proud to be British’, saying: ‘It made me proud of my fellow citizen. It made me remember who we are and what we have been through. I didn’t really know until now.’

It comes days after Kate used the initial of her first name Catherine to sign off an email to judges of her Hold Still portrait contest.

Throughout the pandemic, the Duchess highlighted a selection of her favourite submissions, including this one titled Rainbow

Throughout the pandemic, the Duchess highlighted a selection of her favourite submissions, including this one titled Rainbow

This moving image submitted to the project shows a hospital worker on the floor in despair. It's titled Heartbroken Hero

This moving image submitted to the project shows a hospital worker on the floor in despair. It’s titled Heartbroken Hero

Taking to Kensington Royal Twitter account, Kate shared an email teasing the final 100 photographs picked to feature in the Hold Still exhibition – a campaign she spearheaded which aims to capture a snapshot of the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

Alongside the caption: ‘An email was sent yesterday…Eyes#HoldStill2020,’ the contents of the email read: ‘Dear judges, I am thrilled we have chosen the final 100 portraits. I thought you might like to see the images all together so please find them attached.

I couldn’t have done it without you so thank you so much for your help. C.’ 

Throughout lockdown the Duchess shared regular updates via Instagram, offering up some of her favourite shots and explanations on why they make such an impact.

The relationship between a toddler and an elderly woman is captured in this image, 'Social distancing

The relationship between a toddler and an elderly woman is captured in this image, ‘Social distancing

Images included photos of exhausted healthcare workers and socially distant neighbours.   

Other images submitted to the Hold Still project include one of a family dinner table where a little girl is trying to sing Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and another snap of children living next-door to each other playing musical instruments in front of their houses. 

Kate previously told how she had been ‘struck’ by the many ‘incredible’ images seen already, ‘which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people – some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic’. 

People from across the UK were invited to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times for the community project.

Emergency services workers are celebrated in this image called Customised PPE, taken in the back of an ambulance

Emergency services workers are celebrated in this image called Customised PPE, taken in the back of an ambulance

Participants were also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph. 

Hold Still was completely free, open to all ages and abilities, with the exhibition set to focus on three core themes – ‘Helpers and Heroes’, ‘Your New Normal’ and ‘Acts of Kindness’. 

The idea was to create a unique photographic portrait of the people of our nation in lockdown as we ‘hold still’ for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.

The exhibition will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.

Hold Still will also act as a reminder of the significance of human connection in times of adversity, and that although we were physically apart, as a community and nation, we all faced and rose to the challenge together.

The top 100 photographs will be exhibited in online from 14 September, with selected images shown in towns and cities across the country later in the year.  

source: dailymail.co.uk

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