Princess Eugenie has become the first member of the Royal Family to make a public visit to Prince Harry in California two years after he quit as a senior royal, as they were seen attending last night’s Super Bowl.
The cousins sat in the premium seats at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles as concern mounts back in Britain over the Duke of Sussex’s forthcoming tell-all biography overshadowing his grandmother the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Some Twitter users initially mistook Eugenie for Meghan, but the Duchess was not there.
The couple, who wed in 2018 and live nearby in a $14million Montecito mansion, are parents to Archie, two, and eight month-old Lilibet – so it is likely that Meghan was at home looking after the children while her husband went to the showpiece game.
It was attended by a host of other celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Jay-Z and Justin Bieber.
Meghan is also close to Eugenie having been introduced to her before she had even met Harry, through their mutual friend Misha Nonoo. It therefore seems possible that Eugenie could be staying with the Sussexes in the US.
Harry and Eugenie will have had plenty to discuss, with the Royal Family left deeply concerned by the Duke’s decision to secretly collaborate with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringer on what his publishers described as ‘the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’.
The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are said to were completely blindsided by Harry’s shock announcement that he had been secretly working on his as yet untitled memoirs for more than a year now.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that Eugenie could be an ‘intermediary’ and suggested she could persuade Harry to alter some of the contents of the book to make it less of an attack on the royals.
And a source told MailOnline today: ‘Harry and Eugenie have always been close ever since they were children. He always makes her laugh. They share a sense of humour. She is friends with Meghan too, and was close to his two previous girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. It was Eugenie who helped set up Harry and Cressida. She refuses to abandon him. She is a very loyal lady. She is not one for taking sides.’
Harry stayed at Frogmore Cottage with Eugenie on the two times he has visited the UK and had to quarantine since his decision to step down as a senior royal. The Princess even backed one of Meghan’s many causes, helping out in 40X40, an Archewell mentoring programme for women who want to return to work after the pandemic. And she shared an image of the Archewell website on her Instagram account to celebrate Meghan’s 40th birthday.
The source added: ‘With Harry’s communication with the family limited Eugenie could be his one conduit to a reconciliation. But that seems a long way off. She is close to the Queen and to Harry and Meghan and their meeting shows he is not completely out in the cold.’
Harry also came under fire last week for seemingly ignoring that the Queen had moved to make his stepmother Camilla the Queen Consort when Prince Charles accedes to the throne. That was despite a source claiming Harry had extended an olive branch to his father last month in a bid to heal their rift ahead of the Jubilee celebrations.
Harry, 37, and Eugenie, 31, have been friends since childhood despite their six-year age gap and are known to still get on well despite the Duke’s removal from royal public life in Britain and his repeated attacks on his wider family.
And Eugenie’s visit will be viewed by some observers as a potential effort to rebuild broken bridges between Harry and the rest of the family – with an important series of royal occasions coming up over the next few months.
These include a service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on March 29, a year after his death aged 99, and events to mark the Jubilee most notably in Windsor on May 12 to 15 and in London on June 2 to 5.
Harry and Meghan are not thought to have had any royal visitors to California since departing London shortly before the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 and setting up their home in a $14million Montecito mansion.
And Eugenie is the first member of the Royal Family to visit Harry publicly since what became known as ‘Megxit’ when the couple moved to North America. The Duchess has not returned to the UK since they left the country.
But Harry has been back twice – and visited Eugenie at her Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor last April when he flew home for Philip’s funeral. He had previously lived there with Meghan following their marriage at the castle.
The Duke also quarantined with Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank last summer when returning to unveil the statue of his late mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace in London with his brother Prince William in July.
Last night, Harry sat in the stands with Eugenie at the SoFi Stadium to see the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a fourth-quarter comeback at Super Bowl LVI – but Meghan did not attend.
The presence of the two royals at the star-studded event – which also hosted the likes of Ryan Reynolds, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Charlize Theron, Rebel Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres and more – was announced by the NFL, whose UK Twitter account shared a photo of them and wrote: ‘Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie in the house at #SBLVI.’
The Duke of Sussex, who showed no allegiance to either side, wore a white T-shirt and dark jacket and was seen resting his shoes on the barrier in front of him. There was also no sign of Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank.
Harry and Eugenie were two of the few famous famous pictured wearing masks while sat down – with others such as Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Kanye West, Beyonce and Rita Ora all seen without them. It could be as a result of Harry’s concerns over the Covid-19 situation after his father Prince Charles was diagnosed with the virus last week.
Eugenie paired her mask with a baseball hat, jeans and a blazer, and had a bottle of Aquafina water on the barrier in front of her. Harry also had a glass in front of him on the barrier but its contents could not be seen.
Also last night, Dr Dre led a crew of all star rappers at a nostalgic Super Bowl half-time show, which threw back to their community hip-hip roots. NWA co-founder Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar teamed up for the event which also saw a surprise appearance from 50 Cent in front of the 70,000 crowd.
Harry and Eugenie wore masks to attend the match which saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20
Prince Harry and cousin Princess Eugenie are pictured enjoying last night’s Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles
Eugenie and Prince Harry are known to get on well, and Meghan actually knew the Princess before she had even met Harry
Harry and Eugenie are thought to have been watching the game from the seats highlighted in red (top left and top right)
Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie have been friends since childhood, and are pictured at Buckingham Palace in 2012
Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie at a service of thanksgiving for Princess Diana at The Guards’ Chapel in London in 2007
The NFL’s UK Twitter account shared a photo of Harry and Eugenie during last night’s Super Bowl and wrote: ‘Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie in the house at #SBLVI’
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline today: ‘When last July, it was announced by Penguin Random House that Harry would be writing a memoir to be published in late 2022, the year of his grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee, it caused shock. This surely was too soon and very badly timed.
‘According to Harry in the publisher’s press release, ‘I am writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become’. He claimed it would also be ‘accurate and wholly truthful’ which brings to mind the many inaccuracies and controversial claims he and Meghan made during their interview with Oprah.
‘This also meant that, with a serious rift between the once inseparable brothers and with the royal family, it would be impossible to communicate with the Sussexes in the interim without the possibility of finding whatever was said appearing in print.
‘To choose the Platinum Jubilee anyway was partly a commercial decision and the memoir is bound to be serialised. However this year is unique in our history. Harry values his relationship with the Queen, now nearly 96.
‘He is rightly proud of his service during two tours of Afghanistan as well as founding the Invictus Games. Surely whatever he privately feels, he ought not to cause more trouble for the institution he was born into at such a time.
‘When there is a rift, you need an intermediary. Eugenie, who attended the Super Bowl with him, knew Meghan before her marriage and she and her husband Jack Brooksbank are reportedly close to the Sussexes who have given them the use of Frogmore Cottage which is their base in Britain.
Now Camilla has Covid: Duchess tests positive just days after Charles as Buckingham Palace officials continue to closely monitor Queen
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has now also tested positive for Covid-19 just days after her husband Prince Charles – with the couple now both self-isolating.
Royal sources said Camilla, 74, has been triple vaccinated, adding that Clarence House will continue to follow government guidelines and review her engagements.
Camilla has caught the virus for the first time after Charles contracted it for a second time. She carried out engagements last Thursday – the day Charles tested positive.
The Duchess of Cornwall during her visit to the Thames Valley Partnership charity in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on February 10
A Clarence House spokesman said: ‘The Duchess of Cornwall has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating. We continue to follow government guidelines.’
It comes as doctors continue to monitor the Queen’s health after Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 less than 48 hours after seeing her last week.
Camilla described herself as ‘luckily’ negative the same day, saying of her testing regime during a visit to Buckinghamshire last Thursday: ‘I’ve taken it so many times’.
Concern for the Queen’s health mounted last week after the monarch was in direct contact with eldest son Charles two days before he tested positive.
Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that the Queen was not displaying any symptoms, but refused to confirm whether she had tested positive or negative.
The 95-year-old spent time with Charles last Tuesday when the Prince of Wales was carrying out an investiture on her behalf at her Windsor Castle home.
It was the first time he had seen her since Christmas Day. But Charles, who is also triple vaccinated, then unexpectedly tested positive on a routine lateral flow test.
Buckingham Palace has refused to say whether the Queen had undergone a test herself or, if she had, what the result was, saying she had a ‘right to medical privacy’.
‘Is there a chance that she might help in healing the rift? If we accept that the memoir is certain to be published, it’s contents might surely be altered.
‘Could Eugenie persuade Harry that, as the interview on Oprah did so much damage, a further attack on the monarchy in year like this, would be desperately ill-judged?
‘It would be regarded with disdain in Britain, which he may well visit if he takes part in the celebrations in June.
‘In America, given the respect for the Queen, it might be regarded a great deal less charitably than the Oprah interview was and that could harm his and Meghan’s future prospects.’
Harry and Eugenie grew up at the same time playing in parks and went on family ski holidays together due to the close bond between their mothers Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson. This led to a strong friendship that continues today – with Eugenie seen as one of Harry’s allies within the Royal Family.
‘Out of all the Queen’s grandchildren, Harry and Eugenie have one of the most natural connections,’ Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in the Sussex biography Finding Freedom. The book also describes them as the ‘closest of friends’.
‘Like Harry, Eugenie is loyal, honest and great fun,’ the book continues. ‘The two had many nights out together in London, sneaking into back entrances of clubs, such as Mahiki, where Jack once was manager, or Tonteria, where in one of the VIP cave areas they downed shots from Mexican skull shaped glasses and a giant frozen margarita (with multiple straws).’
Harry has always confided in Eugenie and she was said to have been among the first to know about his relationship with Meghan, whom she already knew through their mutual friend Misha Nonoo.
‘Not only did he trust her implicitly, but friends said that she gives great advice and has always been ‘beyond wise’ for her years,’ Scobie and Durant wrote.
Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank, who married in October 2018, just six months after Harry and Meghan, went on double dates with the couple in Toronto and London.
The Princess and her then-boyfriend were at a party at Soho House in Toronto in 2016 when Harry and the Suits star were first seen together. Eugenie was instrumental in keeping their relationship secret.
In the explosive tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview, in which Harry and Meghan criticised the Royal Family, Eugenie was singled out for praise.
Meghan said: ‘Eugenie and I had known each other before I had known Harry, so that was comfortable […] We’re friends with them as a couple.’
The Sussexes, Eugenie and Jack were all guests at Misha Nonoo’s lavish Rome wedding in the summer of 2019.
They also have mutual friends in singer Ellie Goulding and George and Amal Clooney, who were guests at Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. Jack is European Director of Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George.
Harry and Eugenie’s relationship was said to have also survived any possible strain in 2018 when he and Meghan allegedly told senior royals they were expecting their first child together at Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank’s wedding. The official announcement came just days later.
Harry attended the match two years after he stepped down as a senior royal with Meghan in early 2020.
They are now carving out a niche for themselves with deals worth tens of millions of pounds to produce content for Netflix and also have a deal with podcast company Spotify.
Kanye West with daughter North West (right) and Antonio Brown, an NFL player who is president of the rapper’s sports enterprise Donda Sports, at Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals last night
Television cameras spot Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attending the Super Bowl together in Los Angeles last night
Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner attend Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles yesterday
Jay Z and Beyonce were also at the Super Bowl in California last night and were seen dancing during the half-time show
ANALYSIS: Could Eugenie help in healing the rift?
By royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams
When last July, it was announced by Penguin Random House that Harry would be writing a memoir to be published in late 2022, the year of his grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee, it caused shock. This surely was too soon and very badly timed!
According to Harry in the publishers press release, ‘I am writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become’. He claimed it would also be ‘accurate and wholly truthful’ which brings to mind the many inaccuracies and controversial claims he and Meghan made during their interview with Oprah.
This also meant that, with a serious rift between the once inseparable brothers and with the royal family, it would be impossible to communicate with the Sussexes in the interim without the possibility of finding whatever was said appearing in print. To choose the Platinum Jubilee anyway was partly a commercial decision and the memoir is bound to be serialised. However this year is unique in our history. Harry values his relationship with the Queen, now nearly 96.
He is rightly proud of his service during two tours of Afghanistan as well as founding the Invictus Games. Surely whatever he privately feels, he ought not to cause more trouble for the institution he was born into at such a time. When there is a rift, you need an intermediary. Eugenie, who attended the Super Bowl with him, knew Meghan before her marriage and she and her husband Jack Brooksbank are reportedly close to the Sussexes who have given them the use of Frogmore Cottage which is their base in Britain.
Is there a chance that she might help in healing the rift? If we accept that the memoir is certain to be published, it’s contents might surely be altered. Could Eugenie persuade Harry that, as the interview on Oprah did so much damage, a further attack on the monarchy in year like this, would be desperately ill-judged? It would be regarded with disdain in Britain, which he may well visit if he takes part in the celebrations in June. In America, given the respect for the Queen, it might be regarded a great deal less charitably than the Oprah interview was and that could harm his and Meghan’s future prospects.
Harry is also set to publicly spill all on his relationship with his estranged family in an explosive $20million memoir due to be published later this year after he collaborated with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringe.
The book is set to be released during his 95-year-old grandmother the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrating 75 years since she ascended to the throne, and also comes a year after his grandfather Prince Philip died aged 99.
Earlier this month, Harry made an appearance plugging his employer, mental health startup BetterUp. He spoke on a virtual panel alongside the company’s chief executive Alexi Robichaux and Meghan’s friend, Serena Williams.
Meanwhile, the royal family is battling scandal surrounding Eugenie’s disgraced father Prince Andrew, who is facing a civil rape claim in the United States from Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Andrew denies the charges against him. He retired from public life in the wake of a disastrous TV interview in 2019, and faced further disgrace after his close friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of being a paedophile last year.
The disgraced prince was also stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the Queen. Andrew, 61, must now fight the claims of rape and sexual assault in the US courts as a private citizen.
Meanwhile ehe 56th running of the NFL’s showpiece event saw home team the Rams taking on the Bengals. The half-time show was also a home event for Lamar, Dre and his protege Snoop, all of whom are from Southern California.
The pair kicked off the performance with a rendition of their collaborative song The Next Episode, performed on top of a white community housing set complete with low rider cars.
A performance of west coast rap anthem California Love followed, with Dre singing the lyrics to song by the late Tupac Shakur, another of his rap disciples, while scores of dancers performed in front of the stage.
In a unexpected twist, rapper 50 cent, real name Curtis Jackson, appeared hanging upside down before joining the party with a performance of his hit song In Da Club.
R&B queen Mary J Blige followed, showing off her incredible vocal range as she performed on top of the set roofs alongside slickly choreographed dancers in sparkling one piece costumes.
Lamar followed with his own crowd of group of dancers dressed in all black suits, wearing sashes reading ‘Dre Day’.
Finally, Eminem appeared and treated crowds in the capacity stadium to a rendition of Lose Yourself. The crew reassembled on the roof for a final performance of Still Dre.
Rita Ora posted this picture on Instagram of her with Taika Waititi at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles yesterday
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom pose for a photograph together at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles yesterday
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are seen during the Super Bowl in California yesterday
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart attends Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday
Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine attend Super Bowl LVI Pregame at SoFi Stadium in California yesterday
American model Emily Ratajkowski poses for a photograph at the Super Bowl yesterday
Charlize Theron and Matt Damon attend Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday
Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds pose for a photograph as they attend the Super Bowl together in Los Angeles yesterday
NBA player LeBron James attends Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday
Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Dr Dre, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg delighted Los Angeles with the half-time show
Drake also watched the game from luxury seats at the stadium in Los Angeles yesterday
Floyd Mayweather attend the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI yesterday
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had a public presence at the Super Bowl as he appeared on the field ahead of the game
Jay Z is joined by his daughter Blue Ivy on the field at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles yesterday
USA soccer player Alex Morgan is pictured sitting in the stands at the Super Bowl yesterday
The Super Bowl, one of the biggest cultural events in the US, featured the usual Hollywood star power, with blockbuster film trailers and celebrity-filled adverts appearing during the many commercial breaks.
A 30-second slot at this year’s Super Bowl reportedly costs about £5 million.
This year’s offering saw Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd team up for a humorous crisps advert, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek become Greek Gods to sell BMWs, and original cast members of the Sopranos recreate their famous opening credits for Chevrolet.
Mike Myers also reprised his role as dastardly comic villain Dr Evil for an Austin Powers themed sketch to promote electric vehicles.
The Super Bowl was opened by actor Dwayne Johnson, who channelled his former pro-wrestler persona The Rock to welcome the world to the game.
Gordon Ramsay is pictured leaving the stadium in Los Angeles last night following the Super Bowl
American rapper Doja Cat and her entourage leave the stadium in Los Angeles following the Super Bowl
American rapper Megan Thee Stallion leaves the Super Bowl after the showpiece event in Los Angeles
Shawn Mendes leaves the Super Bowl with his face mask in hand following the game in Los Angeles
Leonardo DiCaprio (face covered with a mask) and Tobey Maguire (right) leave the Super Bowl as they keep a low profile
The six artists performed for the half-time show in and on a white structure built to look like a series of apartments or clubs
The Los Angeles Rams celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium last night
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in New York City in September last year. Harry was at last night’s match but Meghan was not
Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001