Thursday, 9 January 2020

Harry And Meghan To Step Back As Senior Members Of The Royal Family

I expected to write a post tonight covering Meghan's private visit to her patronage the National Theatre. Instead another royal story has dominated headlines all over the world - the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they intend to step back as senior members of the royal family.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. 
We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

I've been trying to formulate my thoughts about this for several hours and have attempted to glean as much accurate information as possible. It's important to stress so much is up in the air and we can expect days if not weeks of conflicting coverage. When Harry and Meghan visited Canada House yesterday, I thought it a sign of an extended tour or perhaps plans to spend a good deal of time in the country in the coming year. We all know Harry and Meghan have struggled enormously under a media spotlight that could only be described as unrelenting and cruel. Still, I had hoped after a period of time away, 2020 would herald a fresh start and they would give it another year before making any final decisions.


Sadly that was not to be and today the couple confirmed they will be stepping back as senior members of the royal family. I was incredibly saddened by the news for multiple reasons. Saddened by the fact there's evidently been a complete breakdown in relations between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the family. I've known for some time the relationship between the brothers had deteriorated, it now seems communication has declined across the board. It's important to remember we don't have the full picture as to what happened behind the scenes. The Mirror's political editor Kevin Maguire said on Sky News the true reason for the falling out "couldn't be discussed for legal reasons". We only have pieces of the puzzle, but it's safe to say things have been strained for some time. I'm saddened the first bi-racial member of the royal family was bullied until it became a national sport in the papers to target her. The message that sends around the world is shameful. Many who watched Tom Bradby's documentary recognised this was a wounded couple at breaking point; what we didn't realise was by then they had almost certainly reached the decision they couldn't continue. The past two years which should have been the happiest of their lives proved to be the most painful.

I think they could have been instrumental figures in shaping a 21st century monarchy and I, like so many of you, had hoped that would be the case. During Charles' reign, he and Camilla, William and Kate, Harry and Meghan would have made for a dynamic team each with their own part to play in ensuring the monarchy's survival.

What does the future hold for Harry and Meghan? Because this decision is an unprecedented one, it will be some time before we know how it works in practice. On their official website Sussex Royal, they have outlined plans to divide their time between North America (I expect they will purchase a residence in Canada shortly) and the UK. The website outlines plans to combine supporting communities whilst strengthening the monarchy and serving the Commonwealth.


More from Sussex Royal:

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take great pride in their work and are committed to continuing their charitable endeavours as well as establishing new ones. In addition, they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing. For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence. Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally. While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie. More details on the specifics of the Sovereign Grant are outlined below.'

They also discussed their decision to move to Frogmore Cottage:

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to move to Windsor for various reasons. Their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family. The option of Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace was estimated to cost in excess of £4 million for mandated renovations including the removal of asbestos (see details above on the Monarchy’s responsibility for this upkeep). This residence would not have been available for them to occupy until the fourth quarter of 2020. As a result, Her Majesty The Queen offered The Duke and Duchess the use of Frogmore Cottage, which was already undergoing mandated renovations, and would be available to move in before the birth of their son. The refurbishment cost equated to 50 percent of the originally suggested property for their proposed official residence at Kensington Palace. It is for these reasons, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose Frogmore Cottage as their Official Residence.' 

Will they continue to use Frogmore Cottage?

'Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom.' 

There will also be a marked change in media relations with the Sussexes no longer participating in the Royal Rota system.

'In the spring of 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be adopting a revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work. This adjustment will be a phased approach as they settle into the new normality of their updated roles.  This updated approach aims to:

  •  Engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists;
  • Invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage;
  • Provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events;
  • Continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels;
  • No longer participate in the Royal Rota system.
  • The Royal Rota was established more than 40 years ago as a way of giving UK print and broadcast media exclusive inside access to the official engagements of members of the Royal Family.

Under this system, the rota, or pool, gives these British media representatives the opportunity to exclusively cover an event, on the understanding that they will share factual material obtained with other members of their sector who request it. The current system predates the dramatic transformation of news reporting in the digital age. The core group of UK outlets with Royal Rota access remain the predominant news source through which worldwide media organisations receive content on the official engagements of members of the Royal Family. These UK media outlets are: The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sun.' 

Touching on how this policy relates to UK royal correspondents:

'Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives. This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting. Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions.'

On plans for their new working model:

'Through local and global community action, progressive change can be achieved far quicker than ever before. In 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to shape their charitable entity to respond to these pressing needs. After carefully considering a number of foundation models, and having researched the incredible work of many well known and lesser known foundations, The Duke and Duchess are actively working to create something different – a charitable entity that will not only help complement these efforts, but also advance the solutions the world needs most. They look forward to sharing more with you in due course.' 

On balancing their work on behalf of the Queen: "Their roles will continue to reflect their sense of duty and allegiance to The Monarch and her legacy in the world, as they transition into the new working model. As they move to become members of the Royal Family, with financial independence, their commitment to The Monarch is resolute, and they aim to continue to fly the flag for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as called upon." The website states they intend to continue to support their patronages and undertake tours when requested.

There's a question mark over these plans with Buckingham Palace telling reporters no senior members of the royal family including the Queen were made aware this announcement would happen, nor were they privy to the content on the website. BP released a statement reading: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through." There's also been reports the Queen and other members are "deeply disappointed" by the news. I do think this element of the release is regrettable, it's a pity the decision wasn't made within the family before it was officially released. A leak to The Sun likely prompted the move sooner than anticipated. If there had been a cohesive approach to this release, it may have avoided some of the explosive headlines we will see moving forward.

How this will all work is yet to be determined. I imagine there's going to be a number of family meetings and discussions in the coming days to thrash out solutions to the many questions this raises. Will we see changes to the points shared from the website? I expect so. Is it possible we'll see them leave the monarchy entirely? It's very much a fluid situation for now. There is a great deal of anger within palace walls tonight, though I hope there is also an understanding of the appalling treatment which led the Sussexes here. Harry will carry the loss of his mother for the rest of his life, he was never going to stand back and allow his wife to be torn apart. My hope is all sides can come together leading to an arrangement which works for all parties. It's not going to be easy or without its challenges whatever happens.




I'll reiterate an earlier point I find myself returning to - I'm desperately sorry it has come to this. I wish Harry and Meghan all the happiness in the world and the opportunity to raise their son in peace.

532 comments:

  1. I have been following coverage and I was taken aback. But having read their website and tried to look at it from all sides really what they are trying to do is simply have a life and not be the spare for ever. Harry isn’t the spare any more and he’s not an old man. He has the time and the motivation to do better. He has seen how the 2nd child fares in his family and he wants a better 2nd half to his life. There are cousins of the queen who have followed a similar path and ultimately that’s what Harry will be. There just wasn’t so many armchair experts or instant and anonymous social media outlets in the past. I don’t for one second believe they did this all without family consultation. The website is very detailed and hits all the relevant notes. Perhaps the queen was surprised that the timing due to some sort of leak but no way they are operating in a silo. I wish them the best and hope that this step allows them to do the good that they can do but also give them the legal privacy that they need to be happy. Erininnyc

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    1. I disagree that there’s anything wrong with how the 2nd children in the family are treated. I think the Princess Royal is probably the most competent member of the family in terms of balancing the role of the second child of a monarch while giving her children privacy. Anne very much focuses on issues she cares about while also taking on engagements her mother or the foreign office or whoever ask her to. And she gets on with her life. She raised her children rather normally, without titles, and they’ve gone on to lead normal lives in fields which they love. I had very much hoped Harry would be able to carve out a path like his aunt’s and had hoped not giving Archie a title was a sign of such intentions. That said, while I disagree with how they seem to have handled this, I also think all three deserve happiness and good mental health and dealing with racist and unfair tabloids certainly wasn’t contributing to that. I wish them all the best.

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    2. I agree almost 100% with what you said and how you said it, Erin. Most especially I hope everyone goes to their website and reads their detailed anaylsis. This is not a rash decision, although something may have gone astray with the disclosure part.Thanks for your thoughtful post.

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    3. I totally agree with you. I wish them all the best.

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    4. I totally agree with you on all points 100%, Erininnyc!
      -ssintheus

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    5. I don't really understand the problem with being "spare". Edward and Sophie are perfectly fine being "spare". Anne does great as a "spare". Sophie works like a dog while being a wife to the spare. Nobody is preventing her from working. And honestly nobody talks about Anne as "the spare". It is a bit of a construct created for Harry, maybe to justify some of his actions that were otherwise hard to understand.

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    6. If monarchy still around and focusing on the Heir Charlotte and Louis are spares also

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    7. I totally agree with all of the “spare” comments above. The decision to announce in this way is baffling and a huge insult to HM The Queen which right now I am having a hard time forgiving them for. At 93 and after her years of service and duty she deserves better than this. It seems like they did not consider this and I think that is very selfish. Their business is also their family and making an announcement like this means they basically don’t care. I wish them well but this is poorly thought out. They should be either in or out.

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  2. I honestly don't quite understand what this all means to "leave the Royal family" (is this similar to when Edward VIII (? I think) abdicated?) but I honestly think H&M are not all innocent here. I understand they've been harassed BUT it also seems they aren't communicating very well at all, or doing it under THEIR terms, which frankly, is not cool. It is a shame they didn't discuss this with their family before making this announcement (at least that is what this article implies). I honestly feel that they have been ill-advised almost since the beginning, and I am sorry to see this. It seems for every one step forward they take, they also take a giant step back. :( Just my .02

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    1. I have to agree, Bridget. This seems to have been a unilateral move, which is both sad and ill-advised. I hope they find the peace they are looking for, but I worry this will only make matters much worse.

      —MSDC

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    2. It seems like many of the moves that M & H have been have been unilateral, poorly timed and have blindsided the Queen and Prince Charles. The major point I am seeing in their statement is that they want to cash in on who they are without having to follow the rules of the Royal Family. The financial assistance they are giving up will be minor as their security detail, Frogmore Cottage and official expenses will all still be financed by the Sovereign Grant and the Duchy of Cornwall. I’m very disappointed in this decision, but not all that surprised. I don’t think this will play out as they are hoping and they may find themselves more independent than what they have planned.

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    3. They informed the palace a week ago. This wasn't supposed to be revealed now, but someone in the palace leaked this to The Sun tabloid, which seems to happen alot, they added negative spin on yesterday's front page. You people have been blaming them for the shitty press coverage and the alleged feuds since day one. They've stepping back and will no longer be senior royals, but will still do what is needed in support of the Queen. Nothing more, nothing less. If anything, it shows a complete failure of "palace sources" to maintain a level of professionalism and discretion when it comes to Harry & Meghan, yet they can keep Andrew's secret negotiations over several months secret until the BBC interview. I'm not surprised the blame is on Harry & Meghan. They've been the punching bag for three years. I'm glad they have said "no more".

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    4. I also agree with you, Bridget. Surely there have been struggles, but it appears there has been deceit involved...if there wasn’t, how could that website have been created? I think this is a slap in the face to the Queen, which makes me really sad. I can’t help but feel like they’re taking their ball and going home.

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    5. I think there is more to this behind the scenes. A lot that is unknown. However the trolls, media, and possible palace aides/courtiers will make this look like Sussexes fault. I remember an article saying palace staff were calling Meghan a name the m_t crew use. If true so not ok.
      Whatever Harry and Meghan do, well Meghan damned if they do and damned if they don't.
      And lastly I do believe Queen, Charles and others were aware of this but Harry and Meghan were going to do this possibly in future. And website would be revealed when Sussex Royal their foundation launched. The person leaking information to Sun/tabloids needs to be found and reprimanded.

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    6. I agree completely. Nothing is black and white...

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    7. I also agree Bridget. This could all have been reasonably discussed & explored & decisions made in a unified manner, to move the entire BRF forward in the best way possible for everyone. Going rogue & pushing one's agenda through & forcing the issue never goes over well in any circumstance. I too feel that they have not been well advised & perhaps by people outside the UK, with little to no knowledge of the history & subtleties of the monarchy & it's role in the UK. While their intentions, wishes & ideas may have merit, their mode & method of putting it into action does not (to me). I think their announcement at the very least made a lot of assumptions & the lack of respect shown to The Queen, Prince Charles & Prince William..... at the very least was a serious misstep. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this could have been handled better & it's in times like this that I see how H&M can tend to step on their own message! Even if what's happened from the start of their relationship could not be gone back on & changed..... the way they made this step definitely could have been handled massively better! Again..... so avoidable & so sad! :(

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    8. Bridget, sadly I agree. I am very surprised they released such a detailed piece on how they are going to operate at 'early stages of talks with the RF'. It is as if they were stating what they wish for publicly, so that the RF either agrees or...has to 'deny' them their 'last wish'. For example I don't know why they are saying that they are willing to go on tours at such an early stage.
      Ella

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    9. I agree with you entirely. And what about the commonwealth president and vice president roles?Will they attend events like trooping or remembrance? And Archie when goes to school half term in London and the other half in Canada? So they are not senior royals so they don't represent the Queen .I don't get it, sorry somebody help please!Charlotte, you are most trusted out here, how is this going to work?Thanks!

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    10. We don't have the full picture. media refused to take responsibility over Diana death. Most headlines are putting the blame on Meghan some calling it megxit. At the time their country is facing a critical turn the british press press focus on this. Not to explain that some went too far but to say ut is all Meghan fault. She is responsible for everything. So be it and I hope they will find happiness.

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    11. On the news it was reported that they had briefly spoken to Prince Charles and he asked them to take their time making this decision and work out how it was all going to work before making the announcement. However, they have come back and put that statement out. It is all so very sad and a decision that has been made in haste.

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    12. Very well said, Bridget. That ist exactly how I fell about it. I can understand their reasons and really hope they will be able to live more peacefully. But this move looks ill-advisded und not diplomatic at all. :-(

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    13. Yes Charles knew so obviously Queen knew. I believe they were not going to release any of this but someone (who?) leaked this information to Wootton (stated on GMB) and then Harry and Meghan release statement. Also the same people claiming no one knew are probably the ones feeding info to R English about Queen allegedly finding out on tv.

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    14. It looks pretty bad when you see they trademarked “sussexroyal” to be branded on hundreds of items to sell, presumably through sussexroyal.com says it all really

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    15. Even if they thought it would be leaked, they had a choice to consult and get permission from the Queen. They.chose not to and this is a bad look for them. They could have released a coordinated statement instead of launching a website that leaves more questions than answers. The content is unbelievable- monarchy 101?

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  3. Becca H in Colorado9 January 2020 at 02:29

    I haven’t known what to say all day. I’m shocked and sad and, well, stunned. At least they’re not leaving the monarchy entirely, at least for now, but I really thought they’d give it another year to see how things went.

    Part of me honestly wants to unfollow the Royal Family, Kensington Palace, etc, because of how this has all gone down. I just don’t understand it at all. I feel a little sick over it. Maybe I shouldn’t, since I don’t know any of them personally, but I’ve become so fond of H&M and been so inspired by their work. What a thing to happen.

    Charlotte, do you think it’s true that the Queen didn’t know? If palace aids leak these things, are they doing it out of spite?? I just don’t get it at all :)

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    1. I think it’s not our place to judge anyone’s actions as we don’t know at all what really went on with the family behind closed doors.

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    2. Becca H in Colorado9 January 2020 at 03:29

      Oops, that was supposed to be :(

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    3. I am confused why would you want to unfollow the Royal Family and Kensington palace? They weren't even aware it was going to happen. This statement was put out by Meghan and Harry.

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    4. Correction Royal Dickie says Charles did know! Then info leaked to media. Maybe they didn't think Harry would release a statement...

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    5. I’ve had the opposite reaction. I am going to unfollow Sussex Royal.

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    6. Becca H in Colorado9 January 2020 at 16:27

      Anon 10:24, I think I made myself pretty clear. I said that "part of me" wants to unfollow the Royal Family and Kensington Palace (i.e. not support them) because of how little they seemed to have supported Harry and Meghan over the past two years.

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  4. This is so understandable and I wish them the best. But part of being an adult means knowing what you can control and working within that; the way they've handled this feels like they're scrambling to control the narrative and the logistics of the split themselves, rather than working it out with the BRF. It would have been wiser to try to work out a solution together and, if that wasn't possible, to recognize that they have no control over the situation and to step out completely. When you have $30 million that is certainly an option. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they really are driven by wanting to maintain their ability to do good in the world from a public platform and that they're not propelled by anything else, but I still feel the controlling aspect of their strategy is not appropriate, healthy, adult behavior. Too bad for everyone involved, I hope it's going to work out well for them, the BRF, and the people who they help so much around the world. It could take a while but hopefully we all get there.

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    1. I trully believe that Meghan and Harry stronger ennemies who disapproved of a mixed race being
      a senior member of royal family, disliked their influence are within palace walls in the 3 houses KP, CH and BP. How could you explain all these leaks ? In KP and now in BP. And these are people close to at least william, charles and the Queen. Always providing the leak in every possible negative narrative that make everyone criticise Meghan and Harry communication . They are found guilty before they even had a chance to start to explain. I am glad they put an end to this. Medias are furious mainly because they will lose this argument of having their say for any tax funded person. They are furious because their favorite preys call it quit before they decide the game is over. I wish them to succeed and have a normal life. It is unfair to compare them to Edwars and Anne. They didn't suffer same coverage or racism. The medias never wanted them actually to leave. They never asked for their head. They wanted them to stick around and whenever they feel it was time to taunt Meghan and sell more papers they would do so. Which kind of people are we to only contemplate and feel happy about other people failures. There is a time to say enough is enough. No matter if it was the queen herself who made a special tv broadcast to announce it now or in few months it would still be the same headlines in the media with people attacking Meghan to be responsible for all this. The media never thought Harry would go that far. They accused Meghan to be the queen of social climber here she is ready to give back anything that is royal. We are not in their shoes to know what they endured, how badly it affected them. I simply say to them do whatever they belive is better for them and for their son, to enjoy every bite the time they have to spend on this earth. The haters will remain haters. Good luck i wish you to succeed

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  5. I am in shock to see this news. It is very sad that it has come to this. I felt very badly for them after seeing their South African interview. That was so raw!

    It does feel a little bit like they are spurning the royal family now, who has provided them with some support (financial and emotional) from their wedding (I’m thinking of Prince Charles walking Meghan down the isle) to opportunities for their work. Relations have badly broken down recently and it is hard to know the truth, but I feel really bad for how the royal family is being treated by them now as well.

    I kind of expect quite a harsh response from the palace now.

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  6. I honestly don't believe the other family members were blindsided. They may have not expected Harry and Meghan ti release their statement now. But I also read someone leaked this information to the Sun and Wootton went with hjs "exclusive"
    It has also been said the monarchy will focus on The Heirs, so did people want Harry and his family to wait until William was King??... I've read on social media several saying Harry only a spare he needs to leave or Meghan needs to leave. Even Morgan and Hopkins along with M_t group wanted them out. But when Sussexes decide to step back from Senior working Royal position then it's a problem.
    I've read were Harry wanted to leave Royal Family long before meeting Meghan.
    To me an outsider looking in they are doing what is best for him and his family in the long run.

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  7. Eugenie and Beatrice live in Royal places, have real jobs and patronages...

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    1. The York Princesses carry out work on behalf of their patronages, not on behalf of The Sovereign. In the capacity of their private work, they are not referred to as Princesses of the Realm. From the Q&A on their website, they intend to keep referring to themselves as TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and continue to represent The Queen in an official capacity, whatever than means. Thus, their situations are not quite comparable.

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  8. I really can't understand Buckingham Palace's PR strategy here. The statement they put out is absolutely befuddling and not something I can imagine any professional PR firm putting out in a million years. They can get mad at H&M in private all they want, but officially smearing them to the public just looks so insidious. No matter how blindsided they were, they should be putting on a united front to the public; for the monarchy's sake, if they won't do it for Harry and Meghan. Instead they throw H&M under the bus and make themselves look incompetent and uninformed.

    I guess, based on the way they dealt with Andrew, shockingly bad PR from the palace shouldn't come as a surprise anymore...

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    1. Seriously? The Palace is the one with a terrible PR strategy here? Harry and Megan are essentially employees trying to tell their boss, The Queen, how things are going to work from now on. I can’t get over how disrespectful this is to Her Majesty, a woman whose whole life has been dedicated to duty and family. But sure, tell us more about how she should be the one trying to smooth things over with H and M

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    2. Very well sais about the PR. I am convinced the PR in KP, CH and BP are responsible for many leaks about M&H

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    3. I agree with the original post. The palace’s PR is worse here. And frankly I’m shocked this is getting many times more coverage than the Andrew scandal. Which is a metric ton worse than two members of a family choosing to alter their public role. And has been handled almost farcically worse than anything having to do with Harry and Meghan. Harry and Meghan clearly and directly communicate via their social media and supporting websites. Yes this is a change, but I also think something has gone pretty spectacularly wrong with the larger royal families methods of communicating with the press and handling news. And it’s clear Meghan and Harry are choosing not to participate in that. Like it or not it’s the BP side that made this substantially worse with their terse statement, not Harry and Meghan. They have invited more public scrutiny to the “scandal” element of this than is warranted. This has been a misstep they have consistently made for decades and it’s sort of mind boggling to me they haven’t course corrected their PR strategy. Harry and Meghan practically say as much in outlining their new media policy.

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  9. I am genuinely curious (I am not trolling)...what are some specific things that the press have said or done that crossed a line in regards to Meghan? Charlotte alluded to some of the vile things they've said, but I honestly only read the this blog, and look at pictures on the internet. I don't read the Daily Mail or any of the British Tabloids. What have they said or done that has racial undertones or has crossed a line? Harry is clearly livid and has been for a while, and since I don't follow those publications, I'm not sure what it is that is so bad. Is it justified in your opinions?

    I am shocked by this, and feel that it was really ill-communicated. They seem like they want to keep everything the same EXCEPT the approach to the press. And they want to live in NA, which doesn't seem like a huge deal to me. To me it feels like they could have relayed this news in a much less splashy, less sensationalized way.

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  10. Thank you, Charlotte, for your considerate and well-considered words. We are all at a loss with this one, but it was so refreshing to see H and M so glowingly happy yesterday, knowing that this shift was upon them. I pray that the Royal Family's loss is Meghan and Harry's gain.

    As much as I wished otherwise, I had a feeling that something like this was in the works. Afterall, Meghan spearheaded a Smartworks capsule collection and guest edited the September issue of Vogue while on maternity leave. She always emerges with a bang, and I figured they were probably doing some serious, perhaps regrettably non-hypothetical exploration of possibilities whilst in Canada. Meghan and Harry are do-ers, and for them, "break" and "leave" seem to mean simply working behind the scenes and under the radar, never just "vacation."

    I also have a feeling that the heavy holiday promotion of the Cambridge family (Christmas speech photos, George and Charlotte's Christmas debut, and perhaps even the Mary Barry documentary) and the four heirs photo was perhaps the Queen's measured way of getting out in front of this. This would of course in no way imply she loves Harry or any of her other grandchildren any less, but as Harry and Meghan themselves stated, the idea of HM's legacy looms large, and must be the public-facing priority.

    I do wish that they could have released this a bit more on their terms, ideally with a "With the blessing of HM the Queen, we..." to start off, rather than having their hand forced once again by a pernicious leaker.

    I may be reading a bit too deeply into this, but it also seems that they are emphasizing that they will support Her Majesty the Queen and *her* legacy...it does lead me to wonder if they anticipate a further step back once HM is sadly no longer with us.

    I also wonder (so the following is speculation, albeit fairly informed speculation) if Harry has long known that he would one day need to be financially independent, and the treatment of his wife has prompted him to take steps sooner rather than later, knowing it was an inevitability anyway. After all, the Sovereign Grant only covers their office expenses and the rest of their support is from the Duchy of Cornwall, which was designed to support the Prince of Wales and *his* children. Thus, when William is Prince of Wales, he will have no obligation (and present dynamics would seem to indicate no inclination, though to be fair it is not a source of funding for Charles's siblings either) to continue the funding Harry receives. Combining this with Charles well-established vision for a slimmed down Royal family, one does indeed wonder if this consideration was not part of their decision. If so, it would make all the sense to begin building a new income-generating phase of their career so that it is in place well before they would be forced into it anyway.

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    1. Very well said, very thoughtful, Anonymous 03:07

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    2. Oh, wow, so this could mean that months ago, William told Harry that when William became Prince of Wales, Harry would be cut off, Harry gets mad, cuts himself off from William, doesn't give his firstborn son a title, and moves on, planning how to provide for his (Harry's) own wife and children. How could anyone blame H&M for this?

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    3. Like the Duchy of Cornwall was established to support the heir and his family in their work on behalf of the monarch, the Duchy of Lancaster was established to support the monarch and his/her children. So it would be incorrect to say that the Sussexes would have been cut off when Charles became king. If they are working royals their expenses would have been met from the Duchy of Lancaster.

      ** fun fact, the Queen is known as the Duke of Lancaster and not the Duchess of Lancaster.

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  11. After reading the full breakdown on their website I think this is less dramatic than advertised. It strikes me they are essentially becoming identical to Beatrice and Eugenie. Titled and part of the family and periodically engage in activities to support the Queen, but also have jobs and the ability to pursue professional work.

    It occurs to me that much of the criticism leveled at them day in and day out was often rooted in this notion of “breaking protocol” while being on the taxpayer payroll. Thus creating this tension about anything they did or didn’t do outside of the norm. I think they may have thought well let’s just eliminate that conflict then.

    It also strikes me that Meghan is extremely driven professionally, which is one of the traits I admire most about her. I imagine she may want to accomplish much as the executive of a charity or a policy advocate, but has been limited in pursuing this due to the constraints of being a working royal (such as not working for an income or advocating policy). I think they are actually quite clear and direct about this in their website explanation. Harry it seems was starting to move in this direction in recent years with his Invictus project and various other endeavors. I believe one reason they were drawn to each other was passion over doing this work and doing it well and with innovation.

    I truly believe once the dust settles this will be looked back on as the natural and obvious step for them. I for one am quite happy and impressed they took control of their own destiny. Especially after enduring some of the vile and racist criticism and press attacks.

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  12. So, I need to admit that I do not and did not follow a lot of the news about Harry and Meghan. I really know the bare minimum. That said, I see a lot of comments about Meghan being treated shamefully by the press and racist news stories. Can someone briefly elaborate on this? I feel like I'm missing a core part of the story. I have opinions on other parts of this...and I do think it disgraceful that this was apparently released with no notice to the Queen and Prince Charles, but I apparently have missed a core component of the issue.

    Also...very interesting statement that the real reason for the fallout can't be discussed for legal reasons.

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  13. Becca H in Colorado, I feel the same way that you do. I am disappointed in their plan to step down. I don't know if I still want to follow them. I have sent cards to them at Kensington Palace and later at Clarence House and gotten cards in return. The first one was such a thrill. I have shown them to everyone. Meghan wears a pair of citrine and diamond earrings from Birks---I bought the matching ring. I call it my "Meghan ring". Every time I wear it, I feel connected to her and tell people that Meghan has the matching earrings.

    My mother was born in England (she was a war bride) and I grew up with a picture of the Queen in our living room. I don't understand how their new role is going to work. If they are stepping away from being senior royals, how will they get the same recognition and respect for their work? I don't understand how they can continue as the President and Vice-President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust and go on the tours.

    Lucy

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  14. “I'm saddened the first bi-racial member of the royal family was bullied until it became a national sport in the papers to target her.”

    I am an American and don’t read British Tabloids so maybe totally off base. But I don’t agree that this is all about race. Meghan grew up in the US; nothing about the race elements should have come as a surprise to her. She accepted a very privileged position within a very well-understood historical situation. People have treated her with kid gloves, and she has turned herself and her family into an entitled martyr. Would I want to be a member of the BRF? No! But were I to have taken it on, I would have understood the consequences. This is a terrible insult to the queen. And I am disappointed with Harry that he didn’t have enough whatever to have avoided this wretched situation for his 93 year old grandmother. This is about Meghan and her sense of her own self importance, pure and simple.

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  15. Long time reader, I've only posted once or twice, way back during the wedding. When H&M made their appearance yesterday, I thought they looked so happy, so much lighter somehow. I thought it was because of their time away, that they were rested and ready to go. Instead it seems like the lightness I saw was because they lifted a burden off their shoulders. Like everyone I was shocked at the news, and I knew it was going to be met with a lot of different feelings and thoughts from people. But my very first thought was "Good for them." The hate, the bullying, the things I've seen online have been horrid. Simply horrid. I don't read the DM, but I do spend some time on YouTube (I love makeup videos, lol) You browse around, you see other video channels, and there are channels on YT that are solely devoted to hating Meghan and making up lies. Incredible lies that you'd think no sane person would believe. Yet these channels have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, people who join into the mob mentality and attack someone for absolutely no reason. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I don't understand the hatred, I don't understand what type of people join in on something like that. I know the hate won't stop. But, I feel like H&M will be more able to move forward this way and do what's best for themselves and Archie.

    ~~Nikki~~

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  16. While their feelings are understandable, I can’t help but see it as childish and petty to make such a huge announcement via social media before discussing it with the Family. It also comes off as very unappreciative of the support (both financially and emotionally) and acceptance they’ve received from the Royal Family. I’m really disappointed in the lack of character and class an announcement made in this way shows. I would have expected so much better from Harry and Meghan.

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  17. After reading the pages on the Sussexes' new website and the statement issued by Buckingham Palace from the Queen's office (no less), I have drawn a few conclusions and a lot more questions:
    1. The timing of this is bad. Really, really bad. Just like their press release on the final day of the Africa tour, after a tour that had generated so much goodwill and positive press for the Sussexes, they turned it all around by slamming the media, the Royal Family, and the public in general. Clearly, strategic (or considerate) timing is not their strong point.
    2. Their detailed outlines on their new website makes it clear that this plan had been in the works for a while.... If so, how did the Queen and Prince Charles not know this was coming? The Sussexes claimed, in their message on Instagram today, to be supporting the Queen and the monarchy and closely collaborating with the royal family -- and then they did just the opposite! Does supporting the BRF mean pulling back from their royal roles without notifying them? It's incredibly contradictory and makes it hard to believe that the Sussex's motives are entirely noble here....
    3. It sounds like the Sussexes want to have it both ways -- have their cake and eat it too. They want to be able to earn their own money (sign mega commercial deals, make huge sums off endorsements, rake it in for appearances on shows and documentaries, etc.) while still retaining their royal titles and celebrity status. They want to keep their taxpayer-funded home in the UK while having a second home abroad. They want to control the press coverage about them while having the freedom to say and do as they please. In short, they want all the perks of being royal but none of the restrictions.
    4. Continuing from #3: But that's not how the royal life works. And Meghan and Harry seem to acknowledge this by saying they are carving out a progressive new role for themselves. Royalty comes with limitations, for good reason. For example, the reason that royals can't make money independently is to prevent corruption and so as not to lessen the value of the royal brand. Remember Fergie, and her "cash for access" deal? That didn't work out too well. I highly doubt that Prince Charles is thrilled with this plan.
    5. Remember Harry's comment about his family being "the family Meghan never had"? So much for that. They don't seem to have been very close as of late... It seems like the Sussexes have been the ones pulling away. The BRF did seem quite welcoming (especially with Charles stepping in in place of Meghan's father), and they were very openly supportive of the new couple.

    Looks like we're in for an interesting year of royal watching!

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    1. "...sign mega commercial deals, make huge sums off endorsements, rake it in for appearances on shows and documentaries..." How do you know? I thought of earning their own money with jobs, like Beatrice and Eugenie do?

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  18. Part of me wants to feel sorry for them- part of me thinks they don’t like the role offered to them through the BRF. If it is true that there was no consulting with the BRF regarding this, then this takes on a feel of a power play against the BRF to put them in a bad light. It’s hard to see how one can continue to support HM & leave her in the dark regarding such a significant announcement as this.

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  19. As a longtime royalist, I’ve been disappointed in the way Harry & Meghan have been & continue to be treated. Unforgivable that a royal family that supports anti bullying & maternal-child health campaigns now issue an statement of disappointment regarding the Sussex’s decision. There’s no excuse for bullying & abuse! Where was the palace statement of support after the daily media abuse targeting Meghan and her unborn child? It was painful to see & I wasn’t the one targeted. It was I’ll-advised that nothing publicly was done to show support for the Sussexes like other members of BRF have received.

    After all these years, my days of supporting the monarchy have dwindled, but I’ll continue to support Harry & Meghan. I’m glad the Sussexes have their own website so we can get info directly from them.

    Dena

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    1. The statement released by Buckingham Palace did not mention feelings of disappointment, it came from a Palace source, as per the BBC.

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  20. Susan in Florida9 January 2020 at 03:51

    I am sad that the treatment of the Duchess was so abominable that it has forced this decision. I do blame the RF in part for not speaking out in public for Meghan. Maybe they were discussing this path as possibility last year and it was the cause of the brothers falling out. I had feeling they would take some action to control their lives or get the press in line. I wish them the peace they seek . Underneath this story are two people and their baby, trying to make a positive future for themselves.

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  21. This truly is shocking news. I had assumed for quite some time that they would begin spending more and more time abroad and possibly “retire” overseas entirely when the Cambridge kids are older, but this is a very bold statement after a period of quiet. I suppose there are many details, events, and conversations that have happened behind the scenes that we may never be privy to, but this move will make the press much more curious for the time being. I hope they will be able to move the focus back to their positive work and find a way to live their daily lives in a manner that brings them joy.

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  22. Thank you Charlotte and Erininnyc, I agree with your comments. I’m sad that it has come to this.
    As Erin wrote, surely an under-appreciated part of this decision has to do with Prince Harry seeking to get out from the second fiddle role.
    Renee

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  23. This makes me really sad. It is true that Margaret kind of wasted potential but Anne has been an invaluable member of the team. With no other siblings I think a lieutenant would have been valuable throughout William’s reign. I worry that Harry feels he has to choose between his family of origin and his own family. I thought that with Kate’s integration the RF had finally figured out how to welcome and support a new member. It seems not. This is really making me sad - perhaps even sadder than it should. Royal watching is my escape from how awful everything else is.

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  24. Thank you Charlotte for staying up so late to cultivate a post for us. This is unbelievable to grasp but in time I pray it will be accepted by all. I just never thought Harry would make this kind of decision considering the good and hard standing work he has done as being a senior working royal. Honestly though, what does senior working royal even mean? And what does it entail aside from the pretty pension? Ladies, I don’t know about you but this all feels like a breakup, LOL!! Charlotte again thank you for this post and giving some insight to the path these two want to venture on, I just wish it was tastefully done and handled with a more sensitive approach; it just all seemed so hostile. Goodness, this feeling is just awful! But again, I really hope they work this out that fits in line with tradition, their health, and the Royal Family. But side note, they harp on how the media has been towards them and then they pulled this stunt?! I’m so confused.

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  25. I was shocked and dismayed when I saw the first tweet and then to read the internet. I also read the points from the Sussex website.

    I can’t even begin to imagine the reactions in the Royal households. If there was little communication I imagine hurt and betrayal being feelings on the top of the list. While I wish them the best, I can’t help but feel this is a cut bait and run reaction.

    In all things there are 3 sides to all events - side A, side B, and then in the middle is the truth.

    We may never be privy to the truth in the middle of how this all came to be, all we’ll see is the fallout. The very thought of what that fallout may be makes me sick to my stomach.

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  26. There is still so much we don't know and won't -- such as exactly how members of the RF have treated Meghan. Even that scene at polo showed Kate/children nearly separate from Meghan/Archie. I assume that photographers like to show negative photos, but I wondered why Meghan wasn't part of the picnic. Meghan looked so uncomfortable -- maybe she was and just wanted to leave. Are Harry's cousins friendly? I assumed they are but maybe they are not welcoming. One thing I am glad of is that little Archie won't be destined for an English boarding school! (And I so hope the same for George, Charlotte, and Louis!)

    So many questions that may not be answered. I thought Harry and Meghan were getting along well with C&C -- I hope they still are. I don't know how well things can go if C&C and HM are truly angry at the couple.

    And I saw a stupid article about how the fun prince has changed so, for the worst, of course. No longer the life of the party and pulling his pants down. I guess his former set of friends have been disappointed.

    Maybe the continuity of the RF dictates that they not be involved in personal matters publicly. H&M mention supporting the Queen but don't mention the future king. I feel like despite what appeared to be great support, H&M have obviously been let down a lot. And Harry of course puts Meghan, and little Archie, in front of all things. I just love them both and hope they find their way.

    I know everyone deserves an opinion but I cannot criticize when I don't know all the behind-the-scenes facts.

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  27. The take of them blindsiding the Queen is another example of why they are taking this decision: the statement from BP was "discussions are at an early stage".
    If BP didn´t know anything at all they could have said so, but they said "discussions are...", so the question/permission has been (at least) asked.
    And then you got early on the day some paper/people talking about this upcoming announcement ... meaning that the info has been already shared...so then they proceeded to make the oficial announcement.
    If anything is very clear that this wasn´t meant to be public right now but since the papers were ready to float the idea around, they went ahead.
    So the problem is at the very end that someone leaked the info at this stage instead of respect theirs and The Queen pace.

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  28. I'm honestly a little confused and taken aback by all the people who think they didn't do the best they could. If even one person was mean and spiteful towards my spouse, I would feel it unfair and do all I can to protect them. This isn't just one person, but pretty much an entire country's public. What should they have done: stuck it out and taken it? What an odd way to think. Just because they were born with some royal blood doesn't mean they are somehow slaves to the people.

    Also, while I obviously don't know what happened to cause the split between H M and the rest of the family, I can take a guess. The royal family is rich and white (aka privileged). I'm sure they mean well, but I wouldn't be surprised if they downplayed and essentially tried to tell H M that things aren't that bad, and they should stop making a fuss. After all, that's what happened to precipitate "Me Too" movement, when women complained of harassment and those that never suffered it told them they're imagining things and why can't they just suck it up? How infuriating and powerless it must feel to be told this, even if it comes from a place of good intentions. Again, that's just my guess, but I don't think I'm that far off.

    H and M have given so much to the public, and they don't owe them anything. I'm happy for them that they have come to this decision, the only one that makes sense to them. If I were in their shoes, I'm not sure I would have lasted as long. Sometimes, the only way you deal with unreasonable and mean people is to step back and try to limit your interactions. Good for them for realizing that.

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    1. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 15:37

      im not sure that letting bullies win is ever a good decision.

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  29. Thank you, Charlotte. I have been waiting for your very reasoned post all day.

    I think that Harry and Meghan wanted to announce this themselves, and not have it go from the palace to the Royal Rota, where it would reach the public with the slant of the tabloids -- something they want very much to get away from.

    I do not fault Harry and Meghan in any way for this decision. Harry mentioned watching the private pain of his wife during her pregnancy. Would any of us ask our beloved spouse to endure that for another year?

    I have not seen members of the Royal family standing up for Meghan during the last two painful years. They have stood by Andrew -- who didn't deserve it -- but not by Meghan and Harry....

    I hope that things can be worked out without too much damage to anyone involved.

    R

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  30. So they think this kind of behavior will turn the press around? . Oh dear. Disordered thinking. Sad in Canada tonight.

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  31. Their proposal seems plausible and positive. I have a hard time believing that the BRF would not have supported their decision and plans, especially knowing how unhappy they have been and how important it is to save face. H&M's actions just seem selfish if it is true that they did not advise the BRF of their plans. The whole situation is cringe-worthy. LovesArt

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  32. It's almost as though there are consequences for protecting members of the BRF like Prince Andrew, and not H,M, & little Archie. I've lost so much respect for BRF, and can't imagine what the Sussex family has been through. I wish them the best.

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    1. Seriously! And all the people saying they can't believe H&M would do this to the Queen at her age. What? Leave a job they are constantly criticized for doing? Can we talk about what her own son Prince Andrew did to her?? Years of friendship with a pedophile and the worst interview of 2019. The double standard is truly appalling and shameful.

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  33. Rhonda - Wisconsin9 January 2020 at 05:04

    This is not going to end well. I have not been a huge fan of Meghan, but I loved Harry and really wanted happiness for him. I have followed, but not commented a lot and I am very saddened it has come to this. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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  34. thank you so much for this great post Charlotte
    i am sad and angry and dissapointed

    i love them but this wasn't handled right if true that senior members of the royal family like Prince Charles, Prince William and Her Majesty weren't consulted i just feel it is disrespectful. I am a huge champion and supporter of Meghan and Harry I just feel they rushed this and of course i will miss them as active senior royals

    People are going to compare Meghan to the Duchess of Windsor and that she shouldn't have married Prince Harry if she didn't want to be a working senior royal... I am saddened by the split between the brothers and saddened by this news today that's all i have to say.

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    1. Melissa, Royal Dickie said on tv Prince Charles knew about this and someone leaked this information to Wootton

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    2. That’s not exactly true. Dickie said they approached Prince Charles last week and he committed to working with them to find a possible way. PC was not aware they would launch the website and neither was the Queen. If there was going to be a leak why wouldn’t they have consulted weigh the family first? That would seem to have been the wiser choice and one that would take I to consideration of feelings of the 93 year old Queen!

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    3. Yes, the statement from the palace said talks about this were in the Very Early Stages. H and M jumped the gun and published their game plan as if it was a done deal with knowledge from TQ when it was far from. Should not have been handled this way until everything was ironed out with the family. Bad form!

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  35. I can certainly understand the why behind the decision, but I am very disappointed in the way they are going about it.

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  36. I am deeply saddened and distressed by this turn of events. I had such happy hopes for this couple when they wed. I thought Harry couldn't pick a more perfect choice for his partner than Meghan. And publicly, she excelled in her role. She was very impressive on tour, her speechmaking was well received, and she seemed warm and authentic. Cap it off with a darling baby boy and I think, Meghan deserved some praise from somewhere. I am hoping that they find a new route that satisfies everyone and most of all, themselves. I am hoping that the BRF support them and wish them well. I am hoping the British Press are ashamed of themselves. Of course, there'll be more damning headlines heaped on Meghan. I already am dreading what Piers Morgan will say ( he was already smarmy about their reappearance at Canada House). I feel badly for the Queen. Logistics will be a mess, security will have to be reviewed, and they'll have to navigate their finances and political pronouncements very carefully. I choose to have a sunnier outlook on this because if I put the good energy out there, maybe it will turn out ok. We'll have to wait and see. I miss them already.

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  37. I am incredibly sad about this. I have to say I can't find many positive sides to this.

    First; this is all too soon. It is not even two years since Meghan became a senior royal and they are already quitting. Literally, it feels like quitting to me. Two years into Charles and Camilla's marriage, if I remember, Camilla was still hated. And so was Charles. But they just carried on and now, while not loved, they are respected. But it needed time. The Sussexes seem to have a "rush it" modus operandi which I don't think is fortunate.

    Second, I hate broken promises, and while I have no right for anything on Harry and Meghan's part and am not even British - I am disappointed at how they left so many blank spaces. From today's optics, they have talked too much about being stuck togetherfor the rest of their lives, how seriously they take the RF, how much work they will do under this umbrella...

    Last, the announcement was just unfortunate. Blindsiding everybody and throwing them under the bus SO many times in their announcement is just...sad. I mean, by several phrases in the announcement they basically said the RF is terrible and wrong. Like when they imply they couldn't raise Archie properly within the RF. Are they saying that every child there is being damaged?

    I think they made radical changes too soon. Four years ago, they didn't even know each other, they were from completely different worlds, two years ago, they were succesfully touring the UK as fiances and promising a lifelong service, along their in laws. They have witnessed first hand how much things can change in time and they both were patient in finding their careers, their love...but now, they lost their patience, and while we can understand it as humans - I think there is very little to really agree with.

    Anyway, I hope they will finally be happy. They seem to be struggling.
    Ella

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    1. Very well said, Ella. I agree with this completely. I feel so sad today. I really believed in them.

      — MSDC

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  38. Oh dear what a mess. I must say I will miss seeing them. This might only fuel the criticism they receive.
    Reading their statement I am left with many questions. What do they mean by senior royal? Do they want to have a role similar to the York sisters? Will they stop being officially finically supported through the British taxpayer? Because everyone knows the York sisters do get the money no the less through their father and people are rightfully questioning it. If that is the role they want, they will certain not undertake royal tours, so why put it in the statement?
    What do they mean in their part about media access? The BRF has their court rota for good reasons. The British public is their employer and it’s only natural that British magazines have the first take. If a story of a royal corespondent has been rewritten this can also happen with anyone else. To me it sounds more as if they want complete control over what will be reported and to pander to a more North America based public. This confirms my observation that they never got how different the royal role is from being a celebrity or maybe they decided they would rather be just humanitarian celebrities.
    That’s fine. They can support all the courses and life the life they wish for. But in my opinion they should renounce their titles and give up their financial ties to the family. They are incredible rich in their own rights, are adults that can and obviously want to work, and can visit their families whenever they like. The York sisters shouldn’t get money from the taxpayers and so shouldn’t they. They also shouldn’t use “royal” in any business venture.
    What makes me definitely raise an eyebrow is the clear intent to fly back and forth a lot. Environment friendly this decision is not. And I don’t believe doing one good here is cancelling out a bad thing there in this matter because the damage will be done either way.
    The statement reads a bit wobbly. It looks as if they want to keep certain perks instead of truly doing something on their own.
    I agree with the others that it always seemed as if they were ill advised. There is a history of statements that read like this and it certainly didn’t help them. Their US PR agency definitely didn’t get how their roles were treated differently by the public compared to politicians or celebrities.
    I wish them well. I hope they find peace and joy in their new life and I hope that they will still have a loving relationship with his side of the family.
    @Charlotte: are you going to continue to report on their activities?
    C.

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    1. Of course it is always better to avoid flight emissions in the first place, but when you cannot or don't want to avoid flying, it is possible to offset and compensate flight emissions of CO2 with giving a donation at myclimate.org or atmosfair.de/en/. They invest the money in high-​quality climate protection projects, and I imagine H&M to be considerate of this.

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    2. We will still see them. I actually don’t think much will change at all. They will still carry out engagements and tours and do charity work and have patronages. I think people think this announcement means they are giving it all up and going into hiding to live privately. That is not the case at all.

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  39. I have this say it doesn't come as a surprise.

    I don't want to blame one side or the other but many people seem to put Harry and Meghan on a pedestrial and try to make the rest of the royal family look bad. But I think therr is probably equal blame to put on Harry and Meghan. And it's not that I don't understand where they're coming from. They probably think of it as a way to modernize monarchy as well by stepping back when they know that their role in line to the throne isn't that big. And it is also a way to protect their family from the journalist who played a huge part if not bigger part in the campaign against Megan.

    But I also could see them doing things without consulting with the royal family and I hope that's not the case but in all honesty I could see them doing it.

    It's just sad to see it fall apart for them and I just hope they find their way outside and within the royal family.

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    1. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 15:48

      Since as you put it "their role in line to the thorne isn't that big" I don't see how it would be their right to "modernize the Monarchy"??

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  40. A lot of the decisions that were made by the royal couple of late, make sense now. Taking the extended leave, then to travel to Canada, not being at Sandringham for Christmas. I think this has been in the making for quite a while obviously. They have been very conflicted and unhappy with the way their life has panned out since being married. A husband who loves his wife be it Prince or not will do whatever he feels is best for the health of his relationship . I think Harry thought this was the only solution. I feel very sorry for the Queen, this was not the best way to treat her. I do wish them the best. I doubt very much if it will stop the hounding.

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  41. Oh my God, I have to say that I am really shocked about this news. Of course I can understand that they want to have privacy and it's absolutely fine when they take a little time out like they did shortly. But I Can't believe Harry did that step without letting the queen knows about it before. This is just a sad day for the royals and meens also more duty's to come for the other royal members (Sorry for any mistakes I'm not a native) By the way Charlotte, I absolutely love your blog's about Meghan and Catherine,hope you continue :)

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    1. Well, you were right in not believing that H&M did that step without letting the Queen know about it before.

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  42. What makes the BRF or any royals for that matter so special is they are uniquely born into it. They cannot undo the fact they were always born royal. The Duke of Windsor though following his heart and desires to be with the woman he loved, walked away from it but could never undo his genetic makeup that he was to have been and stayed as King of a wonderful nation. He was obviously miserable the rest of his life. Pictures through the years showed the lines and creases in his face and the hollow eyes and sad mouth posture that gave away his charade of cloistered happiness. He seemed unsettled in that he wasn't where he was supposed to be. He even tried to come back. I think Meghan being an American movie star doesn't quite understand the full implication of this. It is Harry's blood and he can never fully walk away from that. From the start, they have tried to do things their own way and that has distanced themselves from others. That is a sign of pride and arrogance, that they know what's better than others. I can only imagine the challenges they have faced, but they have seemed to want to face them alone apart from the BRF. That is unfortunate and a major flaw on their part. They want to obviously be independent but maintain royal roots and service. I don't think one can have it both ways; have your cake and eat it too. I am very saddened for them and see them reliving the same miserable existence out from under the BRF roof (which isn't perfect but has goodness) that Diana and Edward fell into. They will end up sorry. We are all sorry.

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    1. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 16:02

      I agree with the parallel you have made with the duke of Windsor. I also think that the duchess of Windsor applies here as well, I don't think it worked out for wallis simpson either, she never appeared to have gotten what she wanted and they were indeed stuck together after all they gave up. I fear H&M have been rash and immature and will hugely regret this decision. sad that they have very bad advisors and bad mental health that would lead them to quitting.

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  43. Meghan's persecution and bullying at the hands of the media would be a major motive for this action by the Sussexes. But it seems clear there is another motive as well. Meghan was filled with passion and enthusiasm to give up her acting career and partner with Harry to hit the ground running in service to the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. This would allow her a broader stage and greater impact for her charitable impulses. Meghan is highly intelligent and very creative in her approach to helping people by maximizing impact through bringing organizations together. It appears that she has felt stiffled by the outmoded framework she was forced to operate in as a Senior Royal. Just as the Royal Rota was established 40 years ago before the digital age of communication, there must be many other outmoded royal rules and traditions which would hinder timely and synergistic responses to today's needs.

    Meghan came into the Royal Family a fully formed adult with a history of finding creative solutions. She expected to continue that work in the Royal Family. It seems from the Sussexes new web site that they have longed to be free of the outmoded rules, and to be able to follow their creative insights with swift action.

    R

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    1. Working members of the Royal Family serve first and foremost The Sovereign, that is their primary purpose, not the Commonwealth. Any work they engage in connection to the Commonwealth is in a representative capacity, as the head of the Commonwealth is The Sovereign.
      The projects spearheaded by Harry and Meghan throughout the past two years were undoubtedly successful, yet these were achieved within the - as you put it - constrains of the current modus operandi of the RF. Does this mean they were less impactful?
      I am very curious as to what do you think made these projects a success, for I believe, at least in part it was the platform they were provided as TRH and senior members of the RF. Although, they could certainly capitalise on their charisma and support from the public, I'd wager that it will be difficult to establish a platform independent of the RF for themselves that would ensure their work has the same impact going forward.

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  44. I am really disappointed that they didn’t consult the 93 year old Queen before making this announcement. How incredibly disrespectful. I find this decision incredibly selfish. The royal family is about duty to the citizens of the UK—not pursuing personal agendas. The poor press would have stopped over time and hard work by Meghan and Harry. They needed to EARN respect. It would have taken a bit of time. But they didn’t have the patience or grit. Meghan made a commitment—not just to Harry, but to the citizens of the UK. I am so very disappointed in both of them. Look at the Queen, what she has endured and she ultimately triumphed. Very selfish. I fear that Harry will soon regret this decision.
    Beth in SF

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  45. They may have tried to work things out but no one was listening. I think they are wise to be considering their possible contributions to the world both within, and outside, the Royal Family. What is interesting to me is their wanting access to media in a new way. I think that is a specific move toward controlling their own narrative and could be a really creative and proactive response to all of the negative press they’ve received. In that way this could be a very healthy change for them. Now that the news is out, though, they should go to HM and apologize for any distress their decision has caused. Beyond that the thing that makes me sad is the loss of how great it could have been to see everyone working together. I’m not sure now, though, that that was ever a real possibility. How many families (especially siblings) get along well enough to work together?

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  46. I'm very mixed on the news. I don't disagree with the plan of action, but how it was conveyed today was inappropriate.

    On one hand, I think that Harry & Meghan have an absolute right to quit working for the monarchy. I also don't doubt that they will be committed to many charitable endeavors in the future, and I do look forward to their future successes in causes I also personally support.

    I also know that Meghan in particular has had to walk a terribly unfair path these past two years, and I don't believe for one second that the media attention would have dramatically changed in the next year or two. So I can't say that 'giving it another year or two' would lead to a different outcome, though I personally hoped for such. Moreover, she has no support system in the UK, which makes her situation even more intolerable.

    I am, however, extremely disappointed in how Harry handled today's announcement. It appears that the Queen and Charles did not know that the Sussex Royal instagram account and website would be releasing the information it did today. He himself has been critical of Meghan's family blindsiding her with press interviews, rather than seeking private reconciliation and discourse. I personally don't care that the information was about to be scooped by the Sun- without confirmation, it would have been rumor and innuendo. More importantly, being the first to release information is certainly not more important than treating others in the way you wish to be treated.

    Whatever his issues are with his brother, his behavior towards to the Queen today was not that of a gentleman.

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    1. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 16:09

      I honestly think the narrative in the press would have changed in the coming years. Lest we all forget they are not the only royals the press has been grossly unfair too. too bad they didn't have the backbone to endure and prove that they were above the fray and better than the press and haters. very sad.

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  47. I am surprised but not surprised by this news. Mostly I am sad and a bit heartbroken. Harry and Meghan were on such a role! And I so enjoyed seeing them out and about doing what they so obviously love doing. I only hope they find their path and they can mend their relationship with the rest of the family.

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  48. This is not quite unprecedented, the Earl and Countess of Wessex made a similar move towards the private sector after they married, but changed their minds some time later. Unlike the Sussexes, they did not have a substantial private fortune. While, despite the subtle signals by the photographs shown at Christmas Speech, I am surprised at the timing, the Sussexes are wealthy enough not to have to take any abuse. It is a shame that substantial parts of the public could not take a biracial royal.

    The Cambridges will surely be only too happy to take on the extra work. And then the Prince of Wales`s immediate family is so large that it will be easy to reassign the Sussexes’ royal duties. Best of luck to all.

    Maggie - short for magpie

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  49. I am sorry they feel this way and wish them the best, but I regret they felt they had to do this in this fashion. They may have irreparably harmed the BRF when it seems like this announcement could have been made on a united front. I also question how this is going to work without horrible conflicts of interest potentially ruining their good intentions.

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  50. Hear, hear. If only more people thought the way you do!

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  51. Nicole from france9 January 2020 at 08:04

    Indeed this is a shock to me , and a sad one ... beeing French living in my own country , I have always felt lucky not to hear from the trash press, this wa snot the case this morning , French radios seem to analyse the situation from press sensational extracts ..
    First thought was the BRF looses the opportunity of a modern evolution of their image and their way of working . Second thought is that certainly courtiers have a responsibility , according to the few informations I have regarding their way of working , their mentality , and maybe for leaking informations when not happy with what is happening ....
    I reckon I have always been fond of Harry , and sorry for him to not have been able (or let do it ...) carved his own path , I hated seeing him always coming to events in the same care as William and Catherine , and it is quite remarquable he had to get married to be seen as a real individual .....
    he certainly sincerely thought he could make changes in the way the BRF is working , and Meghan was certainly very important in that thinking .
    Let’s face it , a lot of us ordinary people swap to another job during our lifetime , a lot of us take some distance from our family , why should it be different just because they are royals ?up to now, royals have (nearly) all resigned themselves to the fate of beeing born with an already designed future , Harry does not , or , more precisely , he wants to change the design .
    Meghan’s bullying by the press and some members of the BRF family itself , has certainly added to this need .
    I do hope the Sussexes achieve what they want as smoothly as possible , and get the privacy they deserve as human beings . Yes they want to deal with the press in their own way, why not ?
    I also would like to believe that their team and the people they will work with will be honest and wise and dedicated to the benefits of the charries they are patron of .
    And I do hope to hear from them regularly !

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  52. I agree. While I can see the reasons for their decision very clearly my concern in all this is for Archie and any future children they may have.
    How will this bilocation work when they start school and begin to establish their own lives and their own circle of friend and become involved in various sports clubs etc.
    Children benefit hugely from spending time with their cousins and other family members as well as from spending time with their school friends during school holidays etc
    I feel perhaps this was a decision made by parents of a young baby without a full understanding of how children's social needs develop as they get older
    I wish Harry and Meghan every happiness and hope a solution can be found which pleases everyone

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    1. A lot of children move around, this is a totally different issue and intrinsically personal. Diplomats e.g. relocate a lot, as do businessmen/women. And their children turn out fine, with good parenting and love and education, so we are in no position to lecture them as to the upbrining of their child.

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  53. I don’t think it’s ok to make their own money by using their HRH titles. From what I read on their website, they are giving up the 5% of their income that comes from the sovereign grant but not the remaining 95% that comes from Charles nor the security provided by the government. Apart from that, they will be getting their own money. Am I the only one thinking that they want they only want the good parts of being royals?

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    1. No, you are not the only one!

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    2. There is precedence for this though. The york sisters. David Linley. Many of the queens cousins all have titles and private jobs. Meghan and Harry are just the highest ranking to pursue it. But it is not without precedence at all.

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    3. exactly my thoughts! I don't know who is advising them but its gotten ridiculous

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    4. I Think so.too!!!

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    5. ITA with you. I also can't help but wonder if this is a way for MM to get her acting career back. If she is able to "work to become financially independent" will we see her handing out an Oscar next month, and then in a movie in the next year? I think they should give up their titles and live 100% as private citizens. They have become such a huge distraction to the good charity work members of the family do.

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    6. I disagree Anon 12:19. The York’s and David Linley are not good comparisons. They are not working royals. The Sussex’s want to have their cake and eat it too. You either are a working royal or not. If you are a working royal then you cannot monetize your royal connections which is what the Sussex’s website implies. I do t know how they can be one financially independent without monetizing their charity.

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    7. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 16:13

      I agree. how are you financially independent when your dad pays for everything?? seems they want the perks but not the work.

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  54. Unfortunately, this has been a long time coming. Harry spoke of wanting to "leave" the Royal Family when he left the military. On their website, Sussex Royal, they state that they cannot hold paid jobs under the current conditions. I find this interesting as Harry received a salary during his time in the military as did William. Also, William was a search and rescue pilot and was paid a salary. They have stated they will give up the Sovereign Grant which only pays 5% of their office expenses. So 5% is not much to give up is it. If they choose to have a private life and not a Royal life more power to them. However, they should also give up any money from the Duchy of Cornwall as well. I hope they will find jobs and not just become employees of their charitable foundation. That would be in very poor taste. I wish them both the best of luck but think if they want a private life they should completely "retire" from the Royal Family and not try to straddle both public and private.

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    1. I agree with you, Unknown. Private life or public life-they can't have both. They each have private wealth and should give up any support from the Duchy of Cornwall. I have to admit I am disappointed in them and the timing of this decision. If it's true that Harry doesn't like royal life, he should have "retired" before marriage. I have always been under the impression that both he and Meghan like the perks of royal life, including the media attention when it's positive. This decision is going to bring a plethora of media attention, and not all of it positive.

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  55. Zora from Prague9 January 2020 at 08:20

    Thank you for the post, Charlotte - it can't have been an easy one to write. I'm neither a British citizen, nor a royal expert, so this is basically none of my business. A part of me understands H+M want a more "independent" life; however, I cannot imagine how they want to reach it while continuing to carry out their duties for HM the Queen. In the second part of the Year in Review post, Charlotte wrote: "I believe they are both dedicated to the monarchy and willing to devote their lives in service of the Crown." I admit I'm not sure about this at the moment.
    What I find really odd is that they reportedly hadn't consulted this with the Queen. I simply can't believe it's true.
    My biggest questions are: what exactly do they mean by "stepping down as senior royals"? Is "senior royals" the same as "working royals"? Probably not - but are there any definitions at all? Princess Anne is both a senior royal and a working royal; the Wessexes are probably not senior royals but they are working royals? I can't help thinking that as Charles' son, Harry should remain a working royal. Of course the decision is theirs to make; of course they should seek what is the best for them... but not only for them. I believe they sincerely want to help people but I'm afraid they are giving up the very platform which would suit them so well for this endeavour.



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    1. 'Senior Royal' is a rather ambiguous position - if one can call it that. The work load of the Royal likely plays a factor, but it is more of a signal of one's proximity to The Crown and location in the Line of Succession. Assuming their present titles and place in the succession remain, it is difficult to decipher what is meant by 'stepping back as senior royals'.

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  56. Wow!!! Thanks, Charlotte.

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  57. I am more shocked and disappointed at this news than I thought I would be. I have followed the Kate blog for years and enjoyed dipping into Mad About Meghan purely from a style point of view. I also always agreed with your views on the unfair treatment of Meghan, and always wished the best for her.
    However, as a Brit this news has stunned me. I understand that they have been villlified by the tabloids and don’t feel as supported by the RF as they should be. But if it’s true they didn’t tell the Queen in advance that’s beyond shameful. She is a 94 year grandmother and great-grandmother. Purely from a relationship standpoint, if I was Harry’s cousin or sibling I would be furious with both of them for springing this on her, if that’s what they did.
    I can’t say I’m a blindly loyal royalist or anything, and I do support the slimmed down version of the monarchy which Charles advocates and which, sadly, doesn’t leave much room for Harry and Meghan. However, I found the Sussexes statements on their website peevish and defensive, and it has massively affected the goodwill I personally had toward them.
    The Queen has always made the best of a bad job and weathered a huge number of storms herself. For the Sussexes to seemingly want to stay famous, cash in on their celebrity but still be “royals” is not the point of the royal family, and feels like a huge slap in the face to the Queen. I don’t put all the blame on Meghan, I think Harry has a lot of issues he has worked through his whole life and which have culminated in this decision. But it’s hard not feel that what they’re really doing is turning their backs on the British public in favour of American and Canada.

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    1. I echo your sentiments, but to my mind, upon Charles' ascension they would have remained part of the 'slimmed down' RF.

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  58. I think Charlotte hit the nail on the head with her assessment.

    I also think this struggle is more about internal palace power struggle at play that is far beyond M&H. For quite a while now, there has been a back and forth struggle between the camps of the two heirs, Charles’ and William’s. Charles has waited so long to be king. William, far more popular than his father, but not quite as popular as his younger brother, needed to strengthen his eventual ascendency. The British press reported with frequency the narrative that people preferred William as king over Charles and described Kate as queenly, modest yet regal and coming into her own. Charles, according to these articles, was too old and too damaged from his first marriage (what irony here as the same media outlets and royal correspondences got quite wealthy from the breakdown of that marriage and the subsequent death of Diana). Such tawdry, OTT drama sells papers. Happy and contented royals don’t.

    Unfortunately for Meghan, not only was she pretty and biracial, but more threateningly she also was too intelligent and well spoken. Harry and Meghan burned too bright in the midst of these competing camps. The monarchy is an apex world. It’s an arcane institution in a democratic nation. For this very reason, it’s not about how capable, or smart or just a monarch must be. It’s about birth order. It’s about cultivating popularity and that image of happy, dewy England to remain relevant. It’s also quite clear the palace can’t support such a large, extended family financially. Members have long lent their namesake and that bit of royal blood to promote private brands - like carmakers and baby buggies, friends’ jewelry and fashion labels, alcohol labels, private restaurants and clubs. Some of this promotion is official and many more, unofficial. Hence the many swanky parties with billionaires, socialites and the jet sets—long before Meghan was around. There are many grey areas here and we have seen how these trade offs include working with companies and people with unethical and questionable practices. The Queen’s own children were give opportunities to make their own career and fortune outside their royal duties. They weren’t very successful and as a result the Queen was willing to buy or bequeath them estates and homes and provided them a living with their official duties so that her children (and their children) can thrive comfortably. This situation is unsustainable and Brexit magnifies this tension of inequality.

    It’s a complicated snake pit juxtaposed against Brexit and a faltering economy and a not so United Kingdom. I wonder if Charles was made king a decade ago, long before Brexit, when the nation wasn’t so divided and full of uncertainty and the people had a chance to get used to living under Charles, the king, I think there would have been far less drama inside the Palace today.

    In the midst of all this, enter and exit Meghan and Harry. The Palace really lacked the ability to be nimble and flexible. The rigid hierarchy and siloing of houses (Buckingham, Clarence House, Kensington etc.) set up unhealthy competition and cross purposes among competing ambitions (even well meaning) of the players involved.

    This mess shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s healthier to have Meghan and Harry pulled back. Let the hierarchy works itself out. In the meantime, as Charles and William scale down the monarchy, what to do with the rest of the family needs to be addressed. Meghan and Harry, with forward thinking Palace support, can start that process. I wish this young family all the happiness and success.

    - Martine

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    1. I find your comment very interesting and insightful. The situation you describe is much more problematic that the vilification of the press. As disgusting as the press was, it represented just one side of the feedback they received. Not OK IN ANY WAY, but for me, not enough of a justification. Which public person hasn't been trashed? Esp Camilla and Kate herself (there are still inflammatory articles about gardarobe, behaviour etc). I'd thibk the love of the people they met would outweigh the trolls and the papers. Your comment maybe provides us with an explanation of a broader dissatisfaction which legitimately and fully justifies their choice to leave _if it was up to them_ and saddens me as to why family can't coexist without bring pitted against each other, if they didn't exactly leave in free will.

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    2. I think this assessment is spot on. I think in addition to what we can surmise publicly, the bulk of the issue was behind closed doors and we’ll never know the truth of it. And I’m not sure we’re entitled to. I think a lot of people are throwing around Meghan and Harry being disrespectful and selfish but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that this decision was not made lightly or quickly, and that they were left with no other option as far as their own future. I think the brothers rift is sadly deeper and more hurtful than has been suggested, and perhaps unrecoverable. And I think it’s possible really hurtful things happened that made it impossible to continue as is.

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    3. Thank you Martine! I Totally agree - very well written!!

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    4. Nicole crom france9 January 2020 at 13:24

      Quite sensible, Martine , you gave me a lot to think about . Mental health seemsdefinitely the goal for the Sussexes, and escaping the « querelles de cour » as we used to say in France ... it always worries me that employees, whatever their rank, should leak Informations when they do not approve of something (wages, holidays ...the way they see what should be done and is not ...) Instead of giving up ... I know it is hard to give up a good situation with good wages (although it hasn’t quite often been said wages were not that much ...) , but first of all a situation in which one feels a bit of power, the nearness of royals , conceit ....
      Courtiers have probably a lot of responsibility in the situation , regarding Meghan’s unusual profile : ind├ępendant clever woman .... seeing how difficult it can be for any ordinary woman just to be considered equal to men .... I do hope this family will thrive in any situation they come to , and keep on doing what seems ot’be their aim : helping people in all ways possible . Within or out the BRF , who cares , at the end ?

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    5. Great summary, Martine. You are so right that the issue is bigger than press scrutiny. What a messy family.

      I'm excited to see what H&M will do in the future. They've already proven that they are great with tangible initiatives - SmartWorks, Invictus, Hubb cookbook. I have no doubt they will rise above and their work will outshine the bumpy beginning they've had to endure.

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    6. Martine,

      Yes, so well said: "Unfortunately for Meghan, not only was she pretty and biracial, but more threateningly she also was too intelligent and well spoken. Harry and Meghan burned too bright in the midst of these competing camps."

      I believe the media and the haters were motivated by their own acknowledgement of these facts. They needed to dim her light to magnify the focus on less glamous and exciting members of the family.

      I appreciate your insightful, brilliant writing.

      R

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    7. Very well-said, Martine. I also had the thought that if Meghan were one to be content to lead a quiet and somewhat easy life behind palace walls with the occasional engagement, the transition would have been easier. But, admirably, she is the opposite: determined to work for the global good, despite being vilified along the way.

      I think that this hope of the best serving the global good is what is driving both Meghan and Harry, whereas it seems to me that monarchy seeks to protect itself and its integrity, even if it must make sacrifices to do so.

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  59. I fully support their decision, AND I'M very very sad that it had to come to this. Obviously the situation behind the scenes was not able to help them. I'll miss seeing them on royal appointments, and yet I can see that they can do even more, and with more effect, with their new approach while being free from royal regulations. And every now and then we will see them still, as they do NOT plan to retire altogether. I do hope, Charlotte, that you continue this blog so that we are informed about Meghan's and Harry's activities (and fashions ;-) also in the future. I expect there is still a lot to come by this very special couple, and I'm looking forward. Wishing them all the very best!

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  60. ATTENTION EVERYONE: Royal Dickie (Arbiter) said on tv Prince Charles knew about this, so if he knew YES the Queen knew also!!! Also said someone leaked this info to San who ran with the story and forced Sussexes hand.... So much for the Queen and others didn't know!!
    Who leaked the information??? Well the real story that was in papers was about Boris, FA, and betting....
    But that was changed to Harry and Meghan

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    1. This seems much more likely.... and if correct it is once again the tabloids making up lies for headlines..

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    2. The Prince of Wales was made aware of Harry and Meghan's plan about a week ago, but not that announcement would be made. They weren't forced to release the statement and launch the website, they just as well could have waited to work out the details of the arrangement and then co-announce with BP. Without an official confirmation, Wootton's article would have been considered tabloid fodder.

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  61. I allow myself to feel slightly disappointed by H&M. They tend to make a statement that feels a bit unchecked, which was confirmed by that sharp BP statement telling everyone, including the Sussexes, to hold their horses.

    For me, the African experience: divulge all the trials and tribulations of that royal golden cage life, and do so with the people south of Sahara, your hosts, as your back drop, was a omen.
    That six-week holiday should have been a six-month leave, allowing them an opportunity to settle the dust.

    I have always rooted for this couple, feeling that they were "the change"; kind, engaged and able to be a bit personal and in a unique position to influence. But it could very well be that Harry's own childhood experiences with a mother who desperately tried to carve out a new life within the RF prior to her death, was simply too much for him. This is most likely not what he wants for his own family.

    Time will tell! The best of luck to them!

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  62. Shocked, stunned and very sad. Can’t begin to imagine the level of abuse they must have endured to get them to the point of making a decision of this magnitude. Go well Meghan and Harry.

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  63. This is so disappointing. Frankly (as a supporter of Harry and Meghan - one who was happy to see him marry the bride of his choice - a confident, young, bi-racial woman), if the BBC is correct in saying that Meghan and Harry did not discuss any of this with the Queen or other senior members of the Royal Family before announcing it publicly, their behaviour is discourteous - at best. It strikes me as disrespectfully arrogant to 'tell' the Queen what you intend to do, and cowardly not to bring up their concerns/desires in direct conversation with her. As with the interview they gave in South Africa, they have chosen to use a public forum. It puts the Queen and other Senior Royals in a terribly difficult position - they either acquiesce to things exactly as Harry and Meghan want them (just the bits of Royal life that suit them) or they risk being regarded as unsympathetic to all the pain that Harry and Meghan have endured. Leaving the Queen those two options feels very manipulative.

    I appreciate that they have been given a truly awful time of it by some in the press - though we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they have also been warmly received, even adored, throughout the UK and in every Commonwealth country they have visited. It's entirely reasonable, and they have every right to sue the media outlets who have acted so appallingly, but sadly, it seems that while, perhaps understandably, they have focused on ways to recapture some of their own happiness, they have failed to show kindness to others - in particular a very elderly, quietly brave, woman. I am so sad they have put the Queen in this position. Thinking through the implications of all this, aged 93, is almost unimaginably difficult. I pray she will be granted wisdom - and restful sleep tonight.



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    1. Suspect the Queen lost far more sleep over Andrew. But yeah, the tabloid’s narrative: Meghan really failed here.

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    2. Thank you Anon 11:49. The only truly reprehensible actions are Prince Andrew's, not H&M. I believe they've tried to make it work.

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  64. I've been waiting for a chance to read your post, Charlotte - I avoided most other media sources once I heard the news, as I didn't think I could trust their reporting as much as yours. Thanks for such a well considered and balanced post, as always Charlotte.

    I'm yet to formulate any coherent thoughts around this, other than that it is incredibly sad that it's come to this. This time two years ago the future looked so bright for the BRF. It's amazing how quickly things change. I was blown away by Meghan on the Australian tour and thought she would be a real asset to the royal family. It's just such a shame that this wasn't often recognised and that things have deteriorated to the extent that they have. I wish Harry and Meghan a happy future.

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    1. Harry and Meghan probably have made the right decision for themselves, Archie, and the work they want to contribute. But this an enormous loss for the BRF. H&M's approachable style will be missed, and no, I don't think that others of their generation will make up for that loss.

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  65. I, like so many of you, have mixed emotions about this. I of course fully support H&M and want them to do what’s best for them. I feel so terrible about what they have gone through and hope they can find the balance they need. I’m sad to see it has come to this.

    BUT, I do worry that by making this decision they’ve also invited greater scrutiny of their actions. It is incredibly hard to be both a public figure and a private citizen. They will have to deal with accusations that they are “cashing in” on their titles or otherwise using their royal status to access other privileges. It’s why other members of the family have made the choice to be fully in or fully out. As Buckingham palace said, there is so much to figure out and a truly delicate balance will need to be struck in order for this to work. It’s going to be hard and I imagine that it will eventually lead them to leave the royal family altogether. Which of course is a lose-lose outcome for all involved.

    As a PR exec, I again must marvel at the terrible advice H&M must be getting. Regardless of what is going on behind the scenes, they are publicly presenting this decision very thoughtlessly. The message they are conveying is that they want their cake and eat it too. They are also forcing the hand of the family and setting up a very public battle with Harry’s relations. This is not helping their case in the slightest. My hope for them this year is that they find the balance they need... and that they get a better PR team in place!

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    1. I actually think their PR is spot on. They always speak clearly and directly. They had a detailed website ready to go. Just because it doesn’t fit some people’s narrative of how it should go doesn’t make it bad. I don’t think PR means never say anything as you seem to suggest. I think the royal family has greater PR problems. I’d personally sack whoever thought the Queen going to church with Andrew after he has been credibly accused of rape was a good PR move. The Sussex’s method of direct and social media communication pales in comparison.

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    2. The fact that they speak clearly and directly doesn’t mean that what they are saying is true.

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  66. Many of you have asked how this is all going to work. I would say nothing is decided yet, it's going to be ultimately up to the Queen and Prince Charles whether they agree to this or not. There are countless issues to be worked through and a plethora of grey areas. My best advice is to wait for something official, this could go any number of ways. Compromises will have to be made on both sides.

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    1. In this case if the details aren’t worked out yet it feels a bit manipulative on the part of M&H to announce what *will* happen when it isn’t at all decided yet. I can’t help but feel like it’s a way of strong arming the Queen into letting them have their way. I genuinely hope that’s not how it is, but the very strange awkward statement from Buckingham definitely contributes to me feeling this way.

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    2. Anna from TN this is exactly how I feel, too.
      Ella

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    3. I agree with you Anna from TN, the optics of this aren't good. Sadly this feels like the perfect storm brewing and it can't end well for anybody.

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  67. Charlotte I appreciate your assessment of the situation but I do struggle with your very restrained critique of them. They are both adults who have every resource available to be kind, respectful and work toward healthy relationships within their family, and yet I feel like you and many others continue to treat them like victims of their situation and not fully hold them responsible for their behavior and their part in all of this. Yes they have been treated badly by the press absolutely. But I can’t help but see this through my lens as a trauma therapist: they continue to expect other people to change their behavior without owning up to their own harmful responses and they don’t seem to see the way they are acting out of their wounds and the effects that might have to so many. The interview this summer was absolutely a harbinger of their very unhealthy perspective—that appealing to the press for sympathy would somehow help things? That appearing emotional and frail would garner sympathy and attention? I have so much empathy for them but it was unrealistic, immature and blind siding to the rest of the family to display it in such a way. It’s simply shows an unhealthy and unhealed relationship to their own personal wounds, which I can have all the empathy In the world for but which nobody is going to heal except themselves.

    Making this announcement in a pressured and obviously rushed way shows immense disrespect for the Queen and self preservation and I can imagine they will regret in the future how they have handled it and wonder why they felt the need to rush it.

    Surely their familial relations are worth prioritizing and yet they seem to be thinking only of their own comfort and priorities here. It saddens me and makes me question their maturity and wisdom. Perhaps it is better for them to be out of the monarchy than to continue to drop bombshells on the royal family as they have done. I can appreciate how hard it’s been to adjust to the Institution but then again that is what Meghan signed up for and surely respect for the Queen is the very lowest bar of expectations that was set for her. Sigh. I have defended her from the beginning and always sought to see the best in her, but now I feel truly disappointed in both of their behavior and worried about how this will get worked out in the future, especially how their relationship with the Queen will be in her advanced years and if/how he will repair his relationship with Charles and William. I know Meghan and Archie feel like his entire world right now but discounting the value of extended family (if that is what he has done) will no doubt be a deep regret in the future.

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    1. I have to say I agree with Anna and those too are my initial thoughts. I have always considered myself a supporter of M&H, but began to wonder, at the end of their African tour when then turned the spotlight on themselves (both the lawsuits and interviews) and their needs. I felt so bad for all of the African agencies that hosted them. I felt they could have waited a week or so upon their return and kept the African agencies in the spotlight. Instead they completely overshadowed their ‘good deeds’ by their own needs.
      Now this. They do appear to be drive by impetus and self-interest which belies their stated ability to ‘aid others’. No matter what challenges they have faced, I feel in time, as both witnessed by Camilla and Kate’s slow acceptance, the negative attention would have settled down. I do wish them the best to find a path that works for them and causes as little harm and fallout to others.

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    2. Agree with Anna’s assessment.

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    3. I very much agree, Anna!

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    4. I’m surprised you make these assertions as a therapist. There’s a significant amount of assumptions going on in your post. Perhaps the bullying was coming from other members of the family? I think a lot went on behind closed doors that was perhaps extremely painful that we will never know the full extent of. Clearly something deeply painful and possibly emotionally traumatic occurred between the brothers. And I doubt we’ll ever have a full explanation of that. I don’t think it’s holding them accountable means forcing them to endure an unhealthy situation if that was the case. As someone well versed in trauma I would imagine you would understand a key component of mental health is setting and enforcing boundaries. It seems to me this is exactly what Harry and Meghan have done.

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    5. I agree with so much of your post, Anna from TN.

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    6. Anna, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am a dedicated follower of this blog and immense respect for Charlotte. However, I’m disappointed that most are looking at this couple with rose colored glasses. This is disrespect for the monarch at such a high level. You cannot make your own rules and make an exception for yourself within the royal family with media etc. you are either in or you are out. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. It’s just so sad, I hate such high expectations for this couple. They could have used their status for such good.

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    7. I think you worded my feelings as well

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    8. Anna from TN, this is by far one of the most honest assessments of the situation, and for the first time in a long time feel that the comments in this blog are taking a hard look at Meghan and Harry. Not a critical look, but a deeper look that goes beyond just defending them. The effect of this rash action has long reaching reprecussions, effects that I don't think they have truly thought through.

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    9. I appreciate your well-reasoned and professional analysis of the mistakes they have made. I saw in Harry a young teenager whose wounds from the death of his mother were re-opened as his wife was subjected to intense press scrutiny. It is very much a trauma situation for him. I agree they need to do more work with a therapist to recognize it and move on. I'm not sure what role Meghan has had in this, but we Americans can be an impulsive lot. I think two years is enough for an adult woman to decide she can't bear the restrictions imposed on members of the family. She could have handled it a lot better.

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    10. Anna, thank you for your very thoughtful and professional observations as a therapist. I for one appreciate you taking the time to comment here.

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    11. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 16:21

      Very well Said Anna +1

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  68. Regardless of what we may believe are the reasons or causes there is no coming back from this decision. Both Meghan and Harry are emotional and impulsive which is both their strength and weakness. It is a pity they acted in haste and without an accepted path forward. Funding of the Royal family has always been a sensitive issue with the British public and I think it is this and tbis alone tbat will determine the final outcome. There is so much in flux. Will Canada give them visas and residence and will this move affect Meghan's right to live in Britain? And that is just for starters. I can see no good for them coming of this decision made in haste.It is so sad.

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  69. Wow, I’m just so shocked and confused...especially the part about other family members not being notified beforehand...of course they have a duty to their family, their privacy and to raise their son in a safe and happy world...I wish them all the best with this. But I do thing the decision is pre-mature...mainly because there seems to be a lack of clarity even from their side about what their new “roles” will be (of course this might become more clear over time), and because other royal family members didn’t know...I suppose that might show just how much relations have broken down...but there must have been some way to communicate this with them so they were prepared. I mean, Harry does speak to Charles and Camilla, as far as I know. And financial independence means they’ll not have an duties to the crown anymore...they won t be civil servants, so-to-speak...so it definitely seems like they’re moving away from the royal family almost altogether...or will eventually.

    I think I’m rambling now, but definitely this is something that other parties in the royal family should have been notified of, as the very least BP.

    Also...although the pressure is bad and there’s no doubt they’ve struggled...am I the only one who is disappointed they didn’t stick it out for a little longer...? Some people are saying they’re going to be like Beatrice and Eugenie...but the thing is they’re not like them at all. Harry is the brother of the future king. Beatrice and Eugeine’s father is the brother of the future King.

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  70. I'm... Perplexed. I keep zeroing back on the statement saying they'll be free to pursue financial independence and spared from the Royal Rota. I read it as a way to say that they alone will decide how much access give to the media outlets of their choice on any given occasion, while also able to pick up media contracts and collaborations: honestly I don't think we'll see less of them, I think we'll see them more often, possibly on tv broadcaster. I wish them the best, but to be doing this thing like this, and to have it explode the day before Kate's birthday feels a bit self-centered, honestly. Harry has never been fond of the public aspects of his life and has married a woman with a similar love for privacy and who doesn't necessarily considers UK home. We'll see, I suppose. The next generation of the RF as an institution is well covered. I'm just sorry for the personal feelings of everyone involved; big changes are rarely painless, even those handled better than this.

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    1. Dear Blue,

      While Harry may not have been fond of public life, I feel Meghan has always enjoyed being in the spotlight- why else would you be an actress and have a blog?

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  71. I aplaud their decision. Every loving husband and father would do the same in order to protect his family from the harassment they have endured. It was way too much and about time something happened. They(the Fab 4) cant publicy support anti bullying campaigns and telling people to open up about their mental problems but let themselves being bullied relentlessly and keep quiet about it. Where is Williams and Kates support for them in this situation? That makes me really sad. Some say that other members of the RF had to face a similar treatment of the press, e.g.Camilla, but this doesnt make it better, right? When there are no arguments left you can be sure to hear the all too popular sentence:"I had to endure it, so others habe to endure it, too!" Really???
    I am pretty sure that the RF knew about their plans but have not taken them all too serious. As they say, it has been months of discussion, so I could easily imagine that this was the Real reason for the rift between the brothers with William not accepting his brother wanting to do his own thing.
    Harry and Meghan are people with a great work ethic and desperately want to achieve much. They want to make the world a better place. Sadly many people dont seem to get that or put their own issues first and do everything to make them appear in a bad light. Enough of that. Respect people for what they are and not what you want them to be.
    Thank you Charlotte for your hard work, it is so appreciated! I really hope you continue covering Meghan and Harry and their future life.
    Anna

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  72. Well...., although we all knew things were bumpy for this couple - this is still a shock. I have read almost all of the various articles etc.... - we need to realize that there is some conflicting information and reports - in short, we do not truly know how much info had been shared with the Queen and Prince Charles before this bombshell blew up. All that being said - there is no “ part time Royal status for anyone. It is too complicated, there is money involved, endorsements, tax payer funds, protection issues, etc... Harry and Meghan have thrown down a gauntlet - certainly within their right to do - but they cannot have just the perks of Royal life and not also the restraints. The Queen needs to wish them the very best on their new endeavors and release them completely from their Royal duties. There is no in between. I am American, love Royal watching, and was thrilled with this couple. They went quickly from star power to a ticking time bomb - I would guess there is fault to be layers many places. Unfortunately that is neither here nor there - they need and want to forge their own path, they have forced the hand of the Royal Family, and will be released in a way I would guess they did not think would happen. Very sad....

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    1. You express it well Anonymous 12:47, I agree and do not believe there is an inbetween. There is much to be considered, they cannot be seen as profiting from being a royal as they seek financial independence. If it is to be believed that the Queen was not aware of this announcement, then I find that very sad. It's one thing to want to forge your own destiny and push the boundaries, but the manner in which they have gone about it does not feel right. Even for Meghan's most ardent fans I don't think this was how they envisioned she would 'make a difference in the monarchy'. It truly is very, very sad.

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    2. Thanks for this very clear-headed assessment. I agree that there can be no such thing as “part time Royal status” for M&H and that this move forces the Queen’s and Charles’s hand to release them completely.

      This is a very sad moment. I have loved M’s “breath of fresh air” in the BRF and am so sorry she didn’t have the stamina and maturity to ride it out a bit longer.

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    3. Thank you Anon 12:47! I just keep thinking of the series "The Crown" & the emphasis over & over again about (paraphrasing here...) When the focus is on the "Individual" it becomes dangerous.....(insert obvious examples).... the focus must only & always be on "The Crown"!

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    4. Totally agree with you, Anon 12:47. It all feels half-backed and I too share the opinion that is should be either this or that, being a working member of Royal Family or quit all of it. Unfortunately, this time it seems they have to choose one or the other.

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  73. wow, I'm late to the responses.....The judgments are real....'they could have handled this better', 'they blindsided the palace', 'they are contriving all of this', 'anne has done this with no problem'...I have no idea what has taken place behind the scenes and neither does anyone on this blog. I believe they know what is best for them and their family. I look forward to seeing them move forward with their charity work and critiquing Meghan's fashion

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    1. jmccain 9, as I commented earlier, glad this is a "pro-Meghan" site! Considering all the things we don't know and won't know, people are very judgmental. Long-time supporters are stating here how disrespectful to the Queen they are (haven't we heard that since Meghan came on board), yet ignoring the news that Charles and the queen knew. I believe that all along there have been "leaks" by insiders who are against Meghan and that this continues the fine tradition. Charles' income is going to be William's soon, and M&H are being honest in their pursuit of income for them and their causes. It's been OK for Andrew to live a wealthy lifestyle selling his name, though. I'm really more disappointed at the negative readers who so quickly turn against H&M. Haven't we learned YET that there is more going on than we know and that the tabloids will print anything? That is why I continue to support Kate. I don't believe she has fights with Meghan, I believe she is a very nice and kind person, and I believe she has a lot of other good attributes. If a negative story came out now that she was happy M&H were leaving, I simply would not believe it.

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    2. I just can’t Get over that the only reason they are in the position they are to do this charity work is because of the royal family in the first place.

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    3. From a professional PR point of view, this is nothing short of a disaster and it should indeed have been handled better. I don't blame H&M per se, but this whole thing should have definitely been done more professional. Reading the BP statement, it is cristal clear they had no clue H&Ms statement was coming, so we do know a bit of the behind-the-scenes stuff ;)

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    4. Caroline in Montana9 January 2020 at 16:30

      I have not read where any commenters have said they know what has taken place behind the scenes, they are expressing their opinions, which they have a right to do.

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  74. Longtime reader here... I reside in the US, so I don't see the UK press and how it supposedly vilifies Meghan. However, I seem to recall that Kate had quite a lot of negative press on her as well, "waity katie" and so on. Someone else mentioned in the comments here that Camilla equally put up with a lot in the press in her early days married to Charles (well... and plenty before that). I'm honestly and seriously interested in how the coverage of Meghan is different compared to Kate and Camilla when they were "new royals". And, what examples are there of them attacking her on the basis of her race? Is it really worse or do they have thin skin? Additionally, I wanted to point out the the Swedish royal family just reduced their size, so perhaps H&M just see the writing on the wall. That being said, this does feel like a rash decision.

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

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    2. It’s different because Meghan endured race based attacks. Straight outta Compton, her mothers dreadlocks, her infant being compared to a monkey on Twitter. Honestly the last one would be enough for me as a mother to ditch the whole operation and go. And Harry is so in love with and protective of her he’d lead the way. Not to mention the more subtle narrative of her not knowing her place. This attack has been leveled against women of color forever. And it is cruel and horrifying. I think waity Katie was relatively silly in comparison and not rooted in an unchangeable aspect of identity such as race. That’s why racist attacks are so hurtful and destructive. I also don’t think comparisons to Camilla are apt. Yes she endured a lot but I think has always been pretty pragmatic in her own role in breaking up a marriage and seemed sort of resigned to having to catch some years of press attacks due to that. Meghan has done nothing wrong, so I don’t feel it’s an appropriate comparison.

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    3. I must agree. Many reactions in the media blame aversion to a "mixed race" royal with no real examples provided. If Harry had married one of his former girlfriends, who might have also helped him to come to this decision, where would the blame then be placed? The excuse is heavily overused, in my opinion. Truly, most real life people prefer to judge people on their actions.

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    4. Camilla and Kate got a lot of negative press in the beginning too, indeed. In my opinion, it went away and Kate suddenly became "queenly" when Meghan hit the surface (after Charlotte was born, although the press was already a bit less negative by then). Kate was a lot younger when she married William and she did it "the British way": keep calm and carry on. Meghan is a bit older, did expect a lot but as she said previously, she thought "it would be fair". It is totally not fair, and it will never be. Maybe it would have stopped over time, after a second baby was born and going to school. But definitely not before that.

      Two things though:
      - people should stop comparing them to William and Kate. They are not direct heirs to the throne. William and Kate are.
      - the British tabloids are one of the main causes of all of this. They will be making a lot of profit in the next few weeks. Let's all stop buying and reading them.

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  75. Courtney Georgia9 January 2020 at 14:17

    Can someone from the U.K. explain why people are upset about them keeping their titles? I was under the impression that Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have long been part-time royals that receive “compensation” from taxpayers in the form of having security costs covered, and are otherwise financially independent (at least from the taxpayers). How is the situation with H and M different Except Harry is closer to the throne?

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  76. ise a glass to yourself today – to the right to freedom, to the empowerment of the women (and men) who struggle to have it, and to knowing, embracing, honoring, educating and loving yourself. On this day, and beyond, celebrate your independence. To our continued autonomy and independence – I raise a glass.” - Meghan Markle, the Tig 2014

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  77. Charlotte, you always have said that the Sussexes would modernize the monarchy but have never elaborated on how. In what ways would they have done so? What does that mean? I can think of several times in which they had the opportunity but did not go that route? I'd like to know your thoughts.

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  78. I am very saddened by this news. I want to thank the writers of this wonderful blog for their clear and precise writing and reporting. I love to follow the fashions of the Royals and I hope we will continue to see this wonderful blog following the fashion choices of Meghan in the future.

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  79. Not surprised at all by this announcement. I hope they’ll have the freedom they desire now. Good for them for shaking up a racist institution stuck in the past.

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  80. I really never comment, Charlotte, but I agree with you completely on this. It struck me as a shocking that a report was released that the Queen was "disappointed" - well, I'm sure she is but the shocking part of that statement for me is that it should be attached to the Prince Andrew situation. No one is even talking about that.
    Having said my piece on Andrew, I think that the situation with Harry existed before Meghan even came along. His family seemed to send him off and not really take care of him. William had his own set of friends and never really included Harry, and Charles who is known to be a workaholic apparently got his priorities mixed up and enjoyed working on his projects rather than working on a close relationship with his son and finding him a valuable position in the family. And I haven't even gotten to the part where the family never stuck up once for this young couple when they were brutally assaulted by the press during Meghan's entire pregnancy and her time as a new, recovering mother - that to me stood out like a sore thumb and is unforgiveable. No wonder they want out.

    Ultimately, though, it probably would not have happened if it were not for the cruelty of the Daily Mail and the other tabloids. Each royal reporter who wrote a brutal article on Meghan should be persoanlly ashamed of themselves. And I'm sure there's more to come.

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  81. Thank you, Charlotte. Your delicacy and evident sorrow do you great credit and I share many of your feelings. You have outlined the things we know perfectly. Much more to come. American cable news made prominent use of the newspaper headline pun "Megxit" this morning. It exemplifies the whole sorry mess.
    I agree that more discretion and delay would only have helped their cause, but view this as a preemptive strike once news began to leak out.

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  82. I am thrilled for Harry, Meghan and Archie! I believe in the end this will be wonderful for them as individuals, as a couple and as a family. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Harry, Meghan and Archie flourish and live their best lives!

    I would implore everyone to remember that change is never easy. It is messy, difficult, glorious, terrifying and exhilarating. Yes change is beautiful and ugly, all at the same time. I imagine that what the Sussex's envision and what the BRF envision for the road ahead will at times be at odds with each other but I'm hoping that everyone can put aside their "royalty" for a bit and remember that they are a family. Also, this "situation" will be setting a precedent for the Cambridge children, especially Charlotte and Louis as non-heirs, so careful and loving attention must be paid.

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  83. In my view, the UK tabloid press has only itself to blame for all this. I come from a journalism family in the US and have long been appalled by British tabloid culture on my visits to the UK. We have nothing quite like it here. Our celebrity gossip magazines do not purport to publish serious news and possess nowhere near the influence of the tabloids in the UK. Their circulations are quite low. And no one places any credence at all in the truly trashy tabloids like the Globe or National Enquirer. People simply laugh at them.

    However, it's true that, internationally, people assume that what they read about the royals in such British papers as the Mail must be accurate when, in fact, the Mail's claims are repeatedly proved wrong and their stories are so often, and so obviously, intended to be critical, catty, or sniping under the guise of mere "reporting". It is also true, as former employees have confirmed, that stories are often lifted from more reputable publications and slightly rewritten with different emphases (and to avoid copyright violation). These practices stray very far from serious, professional journalism, and I simply cannot blame the Sussexes for wishing to step out of the glare of the tabloid spotlight as much as possible. The Mail and other publications like it exist solely to foment and fabricate conflict and chaos for the sake of selling papers and ads, and they deliberately encourage divisive comment and criticism from readers as well. Why be complicit in their mission, as Diana was (she was an inveterate tabloid reader who really didn't understand how she was harming herself by her complicity) when they mean you no good at all and never will, and when someone like Meghan Sussex is sharp and media-experienced enough to grasp that?

    It remains to be seen how all this will play out, but though I think it would have been best to consult carefully with the Queen and Prince Charles and to work with them on the details of the new arrangement before an announcement was made, I cannot blame the Sussexes for wanting to "fall back and regroup," so to speak. Given their treatment by the tabloid press, such a decision was inevitable.

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  84. Ignoring the tabloid headlines, I just hope that Harry & Meghan come out of this more at peace with themselves and importantly, at peace with the family, the Queen, William and Charles especially. No matter who you are or how much privilege you enjoy, nothing can replace the love of immediate family. I wish them well. Annie, UK

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  85. Sorry but here's another post. I wish everyone would calm down. What most likely happened is that Harry went to the Queen months ago and got emotional about his family and the abuse of Meghan. The two probably hashed out scenarios and he was told to take some time to think about it. There are a lot of pluses that can occur with the new plan, including honest reporting about their events, causes, etc. I SO hope there will be enough for this blog to continue, and they probably will participate in royal events. I like that they told the truth about Frogmore, etc to clear the air after all the nasty "reports." There are too many, it seems, who wanted the monarchy to remain as it always has been. When you think about reports of Meghan's demands and feuds, although I don't believe those events, people do get irritated with each other and snap and continue being family members. I just can't believe that people are jumping to the "disrespected the Queen" line. Again, no one who meets Meghan dislikes her, so perhaps we should take a cue from real life.

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  86. Why is everyone believing the tabloids again?? None of us here are part of the royal family, therefore, none of us really know how this played out behind the scenes. They very well could have (and imo probably) discussed this with Charles and the Queen. The Buckingham Palace statement reiterated what they said in that they haven't worked out all details. The tabloids are doing the same thing they've done for years to them - viciously attack them and turn this into a story where H & M are selfish monsters. Of course that media is furious- they make so much money with coverage of them & this corrupt media won't be rewarded with have first dibs through the Royal Rota system. When I read about the Rota I was appalled! These media outlets are the very ones who have been slandering them viciously for years. To continue to allow the abuse they have received by remaining in that system is very dysfunctional and like the abuse victim never escaping the abuser but instead continuing to voluntarily allow beatings. That would be absurd. We dont know all that's gone on behind the scenes but we do know this couple wants to serve others. It's really NONE of our business so if anyone is getting to the point of angry with them, you need to do some self reflection and focus on your own life. As I've said before, I have been the victim of public slander and abuse so I know , to some extent, what thru are going through. If this has never happened to you, I suggest you restrain full judgment on this situation. Having been through it, you come to a point where you need to make a decision taking into account your own & family's mental health, safety, and ability to serve. If everything you do end up in fighting, then you need will not have the energy and resources to actually serve. U believe they reached that breaking point and had to make this decision for the health and safety of their family. I fully support them and agree it was the best decision for them. We will all still see them often it just won't be from the abusing media's perspective.

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  87. I am in utter disbelief. The speculation as to whether the Palace knew or didn’t know is sort of railroaded by the fairly well put together website, copy righting and forward plans the Duke and Duchess have preplanned. From the less tabloid press I’ve read, the Palace or Prince Charles wanted more discussions to take place. If a leak had occurred I would have thought as two families who would have wanted to show a united front, a similarly worded statement from both families at the same time would have avoided much of this speculation. What it looks like now, is the blueprint has been laid down by the Sussex’s and the Palace either grants them it or doesn’t.

    I’ll be honest. I’ve never really warmed to Meghan. I don’t know why. However this is something they’ve both worked on together and I find it hard to understand why a man would go against his family in such a way.

    For me Prince Harry has for a long time struggled with his place in the Royal Family and has, in his youth particularly, made some spectacularly bad decisions (I also admit to struggling to warm to him too) seemingly with the arrogance that his position would help him out of those situations whilst simultaneously resenting the same position. That being said, after launching the Invictus games he seemed to find a platform he was passionate about and appeared to settle into the fine balance of what his position afforded him and took away from him. When William married Catherine, I think he genuinely wanted to find someone to help him with his new life and share the burden. He struggled however due to the problems of being a Prince in the Royal family.

    When he met Meghan he found someone who wasn’t adverse to the public-ness of his life and saw it as a positive. This must have been so wonderful for him! But I feel he didn’t make Meghan aware of the restrictions and pitfalls of being a part of the Royal Family whilst still doing good. On Meghan’s part the Royal family must have been very antiquated for her. Which is understandable, she isn’t British and didn’t have long enough in the country to find out about it. To me this new venture from them feels a bit like what Meghan thought she was signing up for and how I feel Harry let her down in understanding what the role was. And I think his marriage has possible awoken feelings he never dealt with about his position in the Family. It’s all very very sad.

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  88. Harry warned everyone, twice. It's not his fault they chose not to listen.

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  89. I have not commented on either blog in quite a while; in part because I've grown very weary of this whole unjust situation involving Harry and Meghan. I'm angry at and frustrated with the British press. I'm equally frustrated with William's lack of visible support for Harry and Meghan. Publicly he has given Meghan a wide berth, and for someone who is invested in anti-cyberbullying and mental health, I find his lack of visible support appalling and incongruous with his initiatives in those areas. While we don't know what has taken place behind the scenes or the depth of the rift between the brothers and other family members, it does not seem that private support is being given either. My mind keeps going back to that polo match over the summer. Even though the Cambridges and Sussexes were there together, the distance was palpable and very little interaction occurred between the families. If Harry and Meghan felt fully supported by the family privately, many things would be different than they are now. Meghan's admission that she was really struggling (in that interview with Tom Bradby) was heartbreaking, especially when she said that very few people asked her if she was okay. Harry and Meghan's pain and frustration has beem building for many months and it is obvious that they have given this decision a great deal of thought. I imagine it has weighed heavily on them. I am not going to comment about how they released their decision, because there is a lot we don't know about the internal deliberations and discussions. I am not surprised by the decision they've reached. I believe they feel torn between wanting to support the Queen and wanting to have more independence in their work and privacy for their family. It is obvious that they are working to find a way to balance those things, which will be very complicated. But, I don't think it is fair or just to judge them as selfish, self-important, or as "trying to have their cake and eat it too."
    For those who don't understand how racist and vile the British press have been toward Meghan and don't get "what all the fuss is about", it is because you've isolated yourself from reading anything beyond this blog. While I certainly understand why many only read Charlotte's posts for reliable information, it is also a good idea to be informed and knowledgeable about the lies and racism Meghan has faced in the British press. Such knowledge provides the full story and it can be obtained without going to click-bait articles. This blog is also my preferred choice of information, but I go to other sources as well, so that I understand all of the lies and bullying Meghan is receiving.
    Finally, I would wish that anonymous commenting would cease on these blogs. We should all be willing to stand behind our opinions and beliefs, instead of cloaking ourselves in anonymity. While the vast majority of anonymous commenters are courteous, kind, and constructive, some are not and hide behind the anonymity in order to say some very cruel or callous remarks. I understand that anonymity has become the most popular way of engaging on social media, but it is too easy to hide behind that. I hope that we can do better on this blog.

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  90. Jane in Vancouver9 January 2020 at 16:11

    It is with a heavy heart that I weigh in on this. I was a regular contributor to Charlotte’s Kate blog until Meghan came along and then I stopped all responses on all blogs because I wanted to wait and watch. I have such deep love for Harry and William and my only hope has always been that they be happy. That is the best way to respect their mother. That is all she ever wanted for them.
    William did it right. He met the love of his life at University and they took many years to be sure that Kate was ready and willing to take on his life. Unfortunately, Harry didn’t go to University, so he didn’t have 4 or so years of relative anonymity to forge a relationship with a woman. All of his relationships in his adult life have been under a microscope. Clearly some of the women he gave his heart to simply couldn’t or wouldn’t take the pressure of royal life and ran for the hills.
    Along comes Meghan. She is everything Harry ever wanted in a wife. She is strong and independent and a deep thinker. But more importantly, she was willing and eager to take on the life. She even had experience as an actress in navigating the press and the spotlight. I was so happy for him. I was willing to embrace Meghan because Harry wanted me to. But I was concerned about how fast it all developed. Harry was so eager to have a family of his own, I worried that they weren’t ready, that he didn’t know her well enough. Please, God, prove me wrong, I thought.
    This news now will make me sad, will confuse me, will maybe someday make me happy again. But for now it just makes me mad. The timing of this smacks of sheer manipulation of the very people that have been rooting for and supporting this couple for the last 2 years. They went off to North America (Canada as it now seems) to recharge, heal their wounds, have some family time and come back ready to start over.
    As it turns out, they used that time, basking in all the sympathy most of us had for their fragile state, to put this new plan of theirs in place. There is no way that their new website, all those charts, all those FAQs were put together since they returned. They were putting all of this in place while they were tugging at the heart strings of royal watchers and fans who believed they were simply taking a break. They took a break alright.
    This isn’t the Queen’s fault. It isn’t Charles’ fault. This isn’t William’s fault. It maybe isn’t even Harry’s fault, or Meghan’s fault. Perhaps the break was inevitable. But the disrespect to the Queen and the Royal Family as a whole, is breathtaking. Diana would be sick at heart. She made some bonehead moves herself and lived to regret them.
    So I’m mad. Mad at Harry for doing this to his family. Mad at Meghan for alienating Harry from his family (whether by accident or design) – and all in just 2 short years. A loving wife would counsel him to respect his family (or at least his grandmother). Imagine if Camilla had taken this approach when she was vilified by the press, by Charles’ family, by the British people. But Camilla did it right. She put her head down and did the work and kept quiet and most of all – supported her husband by bringing out the lighter side of him while at the same time allowing him to be himself and show his people what he really is.
    I hope Harry is okay. I really do. I love him and have always done so.
    But, at the moment – I’m mad.

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  91. None of us know what has actually transpired, what they have faced or who they have talked to. Their feeling are clearly real and raw. My sense is that they are not rash people; they have tried to make this work, and have decided that the status quo is untenable. I have no doubt they will find a mix that is more comfortable for them--the rest of it, the house, where they sleep at night, and most of all, Prince Williams (leaked) feelings of shock and horror will all work themselves out.

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  92. Well done Harry and Meghan!! Harry is far more popular than either his father or brother and Meghan is so much more capable than the "talking biracial head" that was seen to be so progressive for the monarchy. This is the institution that made a child walk behind his mother's coffin in front of hordes of press. I really wish a list could be make of all the slurs this young family has had to endure on a daily basis. And now the talking heads of the press or seen to have been insulted now that they are cut out of the reporting. What a laugh. The Sussex answer is inspired.

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  93. Hi Charlotte!

    Looks like your blog is aptly named: people seem pretty mad about Meghan (and Harry). :)

    Just want to say "thanks" for doing a great job. Hopefully, whatever path H&M end up taking will result in more family harmony and a better defined platform for their causes. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Personally, I am looking forward to a time when we can just focus on her fashion choices. I know it's shallow, but my actual life has plenty of stress points. I'd much rather be thinking of H&M (and W&K) as content with their private lives, rather than tangentially picking up on their family drama. Sigh.

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