The couple stopped by on their way to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, according to their spokesperson. The athletic competition for wounded military service members and veterans was founded by Prince Harry, who served 10 years in the British Army.
Witnesses reported spotting the couple around Windsor Castle, saying they seemed relaxed and happy.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw who it was. We waved and they waved back,” a tourist told The Sun.
Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty Magazine, described the visit as “a very welcome if long overdue move.”
It’s the first time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have returned to England together since their move to California in March 2020, which was the last time Markle was there.
Harry has traveled back alone twice — for the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip a year ago, and to unveil a statue of his mother, Princess Diana, last July.
He skipped a memorial service for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey last month.
Early this year, a representative for the Sussexes said Prince Harry wasn’t comfortable bringing his family to the U.K. unless they received police protection. The prince has filed a court action challenging the government’s decision not to let him personally pay for that protection during his visits to the U.K.
Markle is spending a few days with Harry at the Invictus Games in The Hague, where the event will be held from April 16–22. The games were initially scheduled for 2020 but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also joined her husband in 2017 at the Invictus Games in Toronto, the couple’s first official appearance together. They were also together in 2018 for the games in Sydney.
Meanwhile, the 95-year-old queen was diagnosed with COVID in February, which left her “very tired and exhausted,” she said in remarks during a virtual visit last week to mark the opening of the Royal London Hospital’s Queen Elizabeth unit.
She has moved permanently from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle and has canceled a number of events recently, including Sunday’s upcoming Easter service.
Meghan and Harry’s children, Archie, 2, and Lilibet, 10 months, did not travel with their parents.