Monday, 20 January 2020

"It Has Been Our Privilege To Serve You And We Will Continue To Lead A Life Of Service"

During Harry's gap year in Lesotho he forged a strong friendship with Prince Seesio. Both young princes had lost their mothers and wanted to create a charity to help the children in the country living with HIV and to support them in a better future. From there Sentebale - meaning Forget Me Not - was born. Almost fourteen years later the success and expansion of the effort is a testament to the commitment and dedication we've seen year in, year out since. During an event in London tonight with staff, supporters and friends including his longtime mentor Mark Dyer, Harry pledged his continued dedication to Sentebale. It seemed only fitting for him to choose the setting to speak about recent events, the path that led to the decision and his hopes for the future.


In a passionate and moving speech, Harry said: "Good evening everyone and thank you very much for being here for Sentebale charity, that myself and Prince Seeiso created all the way back in 2006 to honour our mothers' legacy in supporting those affected by HIV and AIDS. Before I begin I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard, or perhaps read, over the past few weeks. So I want you to hear the truth, from me, as much as I can share. Not as a prince or a duke, but as Harry. The same person that many of you have heard grow up for the last 35 years, but now with a clearer perspective. The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change".

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"I've grown up feeling supported from so many of you and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms as you saw me find the love and happiness that I'd hoped for all my life. Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched… hurray!"


"I also know that you've come to know me well enough over these past years to trust that the woman I chose as my wife upholds the same values as I do - and she does. And she is the same woman I fell in love with."


"We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride. Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited. We were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons it brings me great sadness that it has come to this."


"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks, after so many years of challenges, and I know I haven't always gotten it right but as far as this goes there really was no other option."


"What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you."


"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible. I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to - that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a peaceful life."


"I was born into this life and it is a great honour to serve my country and the Queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago you took me under your wing. You looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful, because this is so much bigger than just us."

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"It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes."


"It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you and to feel your excitement for our son Archie - who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!"


"I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander-in-chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months."


"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me. Together, you have given me an education about living, and this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could ever have imagined."


"We are taking a leap of faith - so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."


It was important to hear from Harry directly before he rejoins Meghan and Archie back in Canada in the coming days. It's very clear he felt there was no other option for him and his family, though a painful one. Harry also spoke of his desire to continue to serve the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military appointments. Unfortunately a compromise couldn't be worked out in that regard. After serving in the army for a decade, giving up those positions is very difficult for him. In the end, Harry and Meghan chose the best course for their family, as they hope for a more peaceful life whilst continuing to support a range of causes close to their hearts. It was a deeply moving speech and very much highlights how dreadfully sad this entire situation is. What a terrible shame it came to this - it's a profound loss for the monarchy, the UK and the Commonwealth. I couldn't close without mentioning Harry's love for his wife, it shone through in his words. "I also know that you've come to know me well enough over these past years to trust that the woman I chose as my wife upholds the same values as I do - and she does. And she is the same woman I fell in love with." As he pondered the future in recent months, I imagine a very well-known quote from Diana was never far from his mind "If you find someone you love in your life, then hang on to that love." They have each other and their beautiful son. And nothing matters more. 

201 comments:

  1. I have been in tears over his speech. I have been in a lot of turmoil since their announcement 11 days ago--anger, disappointment, disillusionment, frustration with how they handled this....it honestly makes me feel better and perhaps worse to hear from him directly. I am glad to have a window into how he is feeling. I just simply feel incredibly sad for everyone. I keep wondering how a different arrangement could have been reached. I wonder how Kate and William feel. I wonder what might have changed if familial relationships had been stronger, or if H&M had waited to make their announcement. I don't think I'll be able to look at H&M the same after this huge shock and shift from what they promised at their wedding, and really my heart breaks for everyone that it eventually came to this.

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    1. I think you’re missing a lot of the story because you have built a story based on what you have read in tabloids. You don’t really know about the strength of familial relationships, because what you think you know is from the tabloids. So you draw a conclusion from the stories made up by the tabloids about rifts, that may or may not even exist. You are ignoring the fact that The Sun was leaked the story of their plans, so there was no choice for them to come forward sooner than was planned. Your statement blames them, for coming forward, not The Sun. The fact that you have been in turmoil, disappointment, etc. over the situation, bears out the truth if their need to escape the tabloids lying about them and manipulating people to turn against them. You have been feeling all kinds of negative things about them because of the lies you have read in the tabloids. This is exactly why they want out.

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    2. I echo your same sentiments Anna.

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    3. I support your thoughts, Jane!

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    4. I also feel very sad Anna. A lot of unfortunate events happened - for everybody involved.
      Ella

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    5. Well said Jane. The RF are an institution, but they are also human. Why are some more angry about their announcement, than about the constant abuse that they received? It’s crazy,

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    6. I agree with you, Anna. Nor do I think you are “missing” anything or simply believing the tabloids. I continue to be amazed that some people pick a side (ie, H&M or W&K) and then insist on believing that everything negative written about their favorites is false while everything negative written about the other couple is true. I support both couples and I don’t believe anything the media says. And my feelings are the same as yours. I wish Harry and Meghan all the best, but they are not entirely blameless in whatever family breakdown occurred (no one is ever blameless in such situations), nor did they handle the announcement of their departure well at all. In the end, my opinion is that they are good, well-intentioned people who have made a few mistakes, just like the rest of the BRF. They are all human, after all, and none of us is perfect.

      — MSDC

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    7. I'm afraid I don't agree with you, Jane. They *did* have a choice to not release the statement and wait for the details to be finalised and then announce in unison with BP.

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    8. Should we all gave the same details at hands as them, went through want they feel unberable we might have a different opinion about the situation. Life is always better with ifs and even better when we can turn the hands of time i think very few of us would make the decision we made or act as we did in the past. No matter whatvour feelings are at the end this is their life. Whatever good ( i hope) or bad will happen they will be the ones to bear consequences. Let assume they never made this announcement that past days the tabloids would have continue their daily work of abuse and couple of days later we see the queen showing support to a smilkng andrew as she never did pf HM in the past 2 years. If you were HM how would you feel ? This picture made only 1 or two articles in the tabloids versus 10 if not more for any little gossip, leak, or action from HM almost on a daily basis. If i were HM i would feel hurt that nobody offered or arranged such a visible support. To my opinion this speaks volume about the royal family and their very complicated relationship or hirarchy or whatever it is called.

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    9. Some are taking this a little too personal. I don’t think Harry and Meghan made this decision with the intent on hurting/harming anyone. Maybe try trusting that none of us really know what is best for them even if you feel you do. They know their situations and what’s best for them and made the best decision they could with the circumstances they have.

      Hannah

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    10. +1 Anonymous MSDC - fully agree with you. I have my OWN opinions, but one makes a negative comment and right away one is labeled as HATING on them.

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    11. Jane, very well said! Thank you!
      I agree with you.

      Renee

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    12. Jane and Hannah, right on!

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    13. Anna from TN20 January 2020 at 01:22 you've been in tears? really?

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    14. Jane I respectfully disagree. Both Harry and William have acknowledged tension (which we can assume is the British understatement) in the relationship as well as Charlotte who is very pro-Meghan as well as every respectable news source out there. I am not reading tabloids here. Even Charlotte speculated that it may not have come to this had the familial relationships been more in tact. This issue hits me very personally as it does for many who know the pain of a familial rift. I am not assuming all fault is on one side--it very rarely is! What bothers me the most is that you and many others are saying "they had no choice." They HAD to release it when they did because of the Sun leak. No they did not! Harry and Meghan are NOT victims here. Yes, they have been victimized by the press, but to take away their personal power by then saying they were forced into actions is ABSOLUTELY victim language and not appropriate to use of adults who DO have ownership of their actions.

      I have so much empathy and sadness for how this must have been for them, but I can hold that in one hand and also feel disappointment in how they handled it in the other. I do think my experience as a trauma therapist informs this as I get to see firsthand how many people make choices when they are in pain and hurting that they later come to regret due to their narrow field of vision at the time. I am truly not trying to speak judgmentally, because it's a very human thing to do, but just recognizing the sadness and the weight of that feels very heavy.

      The speech brought me to tears because you can sense how sad Harry is and how this is not how he or really anybody wanted things to end up. I have fears he will regret it as well as fears of all the unknown for their growing and tender family. I also have fears for how this is affecting the Cambridges and genuine concern that their relationship may never be the same. I think it is a very human thing to be able to feel the pain of another--we share in their joy, why not share in their sorrow?

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    15. One of the previous comments stated "maybe try trusting that none of us really know what is best for them even if you feel you do." I'd like to add even if your personal or professional experience makes you feel you do.

      The aftermath of this decision will definitely involve a lot of adjustment for all involved as most big decisions do. But that is normal. That doesn't mean the decision will be regretted or fail. Sometimes things that are hardest are the most worthwhile in the long run. You can tell this is hard for Harry, but his decision wasn't made on a whim. Why is it so hard for some to believe that he took into consideration all possible factors before coming to this point? Why not give him some credit for trying to do what is best for his family? There seems to be lots of empathy out there for HM, Charles, the Cambridges and Harry but not much for Meghan. I doubt she wanted it to come to this either, despite what is claimed about how she feels in the media.

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  2. Alejandra Campos20 January 2020 at 01:23

    I love how you partitioned the post with photos of their lives
    I support them whole heartedly, but it's so sad that they have come to this in order to protect themselves from the toxicity.
    I wish them the best and Thank you for the post!

    The last photo is heartbreaking and it truly summarizes all that is and has happened!

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  3. Great Post as always Charlotte. I teared up when I first read Harry's speech, and I teared up when I read your post.

    This is a sad time, but hopefully there will be many positive outcomes from this.

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  4. It broke my heart to hear him speak obviously it was far worse than any of us thought inside the palace and from the british press I just wish they had stayed in their roles because she could have done so much more by standing tall against the haters and being an example to women of colour everywhere. I wish them the best but I am heavy hearted it had to end this way it is so sad.

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    1. Melissa I hear you. Remember that this is not the end but a change. There is so much more to come from H&M! And I admire them for standing tall against the haters and drawing the line by saying: we are vulnerable people like everybody else and we do not accept your way of treating us.
      The UK media and the BRF could have had it all (from Meghan and Harry) but you have to act appropiately to get it.

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    2. Moi20 January 2020 at 13:05, I agree Moi

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  5. Becca in Colorado20 January 2020 at 02:45

    I’m hoping Harry’s beautiful speech will work to silence those who continue to insist that he’s just being dragged around by his “wild card” wife. It’s clear that Harry and Meghan, both, have been doing a lot of thinking and discussing in order to reach this point. They haven’t done everything perfectly, of course, but it’s always been clear how much they care about their work and their roles. I do hope for a brighter future for them and look forward to continuing to follow them. I think, though, that I’ll be sad about how this all went down for awhile. It’s such a shame and a loss for the monarchy.

    Also, the fact that the Queen was with Andrew at church today?? To me, that says everything. I just can’t anymore. Ugh.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio20 January 2020 at 13:24

      Andrew is her son. If you have children you should understand. She is on private time. No matter what Andrew has done or not done, she loves him as his mother. And as his boss, she laid him off from the Firm.

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    2. That arrival at church with Andrew disturbed me deeply. I wish it had been Harry she'd thought to support with her presence.

      If my life is anything to go by sometimes those moments which I have endured, those moments which brought me the deepest disappointment (or even despair) have been the seed bed of my life's greatest serenity and joy. At the time, of course, I couldn't predict or imagine my future turning out that way or that I would look back at the losses and see how much they blessed me. I didn't have a supportive partner, but Harry does. I think it will make a great difference and I believe he and Meghan can create a beautiful, new life together.
      SMH

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    3. I agree Andrew should be stripped of his HRH. A pedophile should not be allowed to carry that.

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    4. Becca in Colorado20 January 2020 at 18:06

      Anglophile in Ohio, there is no “should” about this. My opinion is my own. The Queen is smart and knows exactly what messages get sent when she’s seen out with people, especially during any kind of scandal or crisis, etc. Mom or not, it’s a deplorable look for the institution.

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    5. Andrew has not been accused of pedophilia. In England the age of consent is 16, not 18 as it is the USA. So sleeping with a 17 year-old girl is not pedophilia or statutory rape. However, he lied and then he said he did not regret his association with Epstein. That is where the problem lies. I am surprised the Queen was seen in public with him though. That sets a poor example.

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    6. I think the handling of Andrew has been pretty poorly for years. And while the Queen can obviously spend her private time with whom she wants, there is no way she didn't know that this visit would be reported about.
      And yes, he should be stripped of all titles. Whatever I think should happen to him- the BRF needs to keep him hidden in the shadows.
      But I do think if Harry would have wanted to go to church with her it would have been arranged. Harry and Meghan don't seem to be into this kind of public support but rather want private and meaningful advise/support. Those photos happen because people come to her and latch onto. That isn't their style, otherwise we would have had plenty of pictures with them while the Queen was on her annual holiday and Christmas.
      C.

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    7. Becca in Colorado20 January 2020 at 02:45...I found it disturbing she is constantly seen supporting him, but she his mother

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  6. They are heroes for standing in the light of their own truth and standing up to the lies that are spewed about them. I am so hopeful the pain of all this will be far behind them, sooner rather than later.

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    1. Yes, Harry and Meghan are heroes for “standing in the light of their own truth”.
      Well said Jane!

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  7. Dear Charlotte,
    Thank you for this heart wrenching post.
    I tend to forget about Sentebale. Wow! Harry and
    Meghan are incredible philanthropic entrepreneurs.
    They start organizations to meet the needs of others.
    Charlotte, is there anyone else (or couple) in the RF who has actually started as many philanthropic orgs and keeps them thriving?
    I still find it disturbing that the RF did not visibly support Harry and Meghan.

    Renee

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    1. I can't give you a number, Renee, but I know that Charles has started several orgs that are working for decades by now.

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    2. Renee, here ist some more information about the more than thirty charities of Prince Charles in UK, Australia - and Canada!!!
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince%27s_Charities
      I can imagine that Charles is an important role model for Harry regarding philantropy.

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  8. It’s astonishing to be a witness to this. Unlike Charles and Diana or Andrew, this couple isn’t looking to divorce or have affairs or cultivate a swinging lifestyle. They fell in love, got married, had a baby, and went to work to serve the people. In the process, they got pilloried by the British press royal rota.

    I realize there are people who will never forgive Harry for marrying the woman he loves. Harry didn’t follow the script they wrote for him. There are some people who treat the British royals as if they are paper dolls dressed up to play characters of their imagining. In hindsight, the warnings were there. The hashtag “Megxit” showed up quite early, even before their marriage by those who opposed their union. That hashtag appeared frequently in the Kensington Instagram and the tabloids’ hate filled comment sections.

    The royal rota wields a great deal of power to shape the narrative of the British royal family. Whatever agreement made by the royals and the royal rota to shield or promote certain royals and their activities means others have to be sacrificed to sell the gossips. I suspect Harry and his family were that sacrifice. I think this relationship reveals how weak and dependent the royals really are. It also reveals how dysfunctional this system is and will continue to be for generations to come.

    For me, what happened to the Sussexes is a symptom of a much bigger conflict. A pandora box has opened. Much of our news and social media is now controlled by a handful of billionaires. Conflicts over media power, the free press and its responsibility, press bias, privacy issue and social media manipulations ensue. It’s a new world we live in where lies and fear are spread and are given equal (or better footing) than truth, fairness and science. I see this in my work where I have to deal with misinformation about vaccination for example. When people’s social media and where they get their information or news send them down a rabbit hole, it’s quite hard to change minds and hearts- especially when what they read reinforces their personal bias.

    I don’t think Harry and Meghan had a choice once they saw how even their baby son became a target of hate and conspiracy theories promoted by the same royal rota. As a parent, I’d choose the health and safety of my young child too. That’s what family means.
    -Martine

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    1. Beautifully said Martine! Thank you.

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    2. I don't agree with much you've written, but I absolutely echo your thoughts on how social media enables people to confirm their biases by being fed information that only reinforces their pre-existing beliefs. However, this is applicable to both sides in this matter, to the anti-Meghan trolls and as well as to the self-proclaimed Meghan 'stans'.

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    3. So very well said, Martine. Thank you. I agree 100%

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    4. Dear Martine,

      thank you for putting these complex thoughts in very good words. I struggle with the English language - but I give it a try. I also think that this decision has so many layers to it. It will be interesting to see the Sussexes create something new for the first time in British Royal History. They won’t sacrifice their lives like others had to before them. Be it Media Scrutiny’s, living unfulfilling or unhappy lives. Fortunately we live in times where dysfunctional systems can be left or break apart. I think this will be an ongoing big lesson for the tabloid press and other media outlets, the palaces and the royal family. And I feel it will be a slow and difficult process of realising what they have lost and how.

      I am so deeply moved by Harry’s speech and I wish him an his family a life full of love and bliss.

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    5. Very well said, Martine. Buzzfeed here in the States and the Telegraph newspaper have done side-by-side headline comparison and negative versus positive graphs. It is of course possible to mislead with statistics as Disraeli said, but the trend is clear. Very soon after the marriage, Meghan came under much harsher scrutiny than other royal wives. I think she envisioned being able to forge a different, more outspoken role as a royal spouse, and that simply is a plan ahead of its time. Subservience to tradition and stiff upper lip doesn't come naturally to most young Americans. Conflict was bound to ensue. Harry was triggered by his experience of Diana's death. In or out was the only thing the Palace could allow, for now. And away they went.
      I consider myself to be neither "stan" nor hypnotized by social media, but it is hard to shut out the din of partisan speech entirely. Everyone in the family firm has something to be sorry for, including the Sussexes. I fall back on my personal rueful quip, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." May they all be happier for this wrenching split, and may Harry's brave speech help the curtain to drop over what now are private lives.

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    6. You forget about the Duchess of York. She was brutalized by the press also. However, back then there was no social media or comment sections on the Internet. If there had been she would have been brutalized there also.

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  9. This was a beautiful post but also heartbreaking. I hope the judgemental and defensive nature of the commentary aimed at Harry and Meghan can pause for a moment and listen to his words. This was a couple who wanted to serve and wanted to do good for others. It is a tragedy that they had to step back from a role they excelled at because of a relentless campaign of intolerance. It makes me very sad. As a Canadian, I’m honoured they want to start their new life in our beautiful country. I truly hope they will be made to feel welcome. But I’m hugely disappointed as a black woman that Meghan was not accepted in her role by so many. It’s worth reflecting on all she accomplished in her short time as a member of the Royal Family. Who will speak for the marginalized communities she took under her wing. I can’t help but think of her moving visit to South Africa. I feel their loss for the Royal Family and the Commonwealth deeply.

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    1. Anonymous 03:55, I agree with you. It blows my mind how many people are convinced that Meghan is a selfish, self-serving narscisist, when anyone watching with an open would recognize her as motivated by altruism and a desire to magnify the impact of charitable organizations. The amount she accomplished in her short time in the Royal Family is simply mind-blowing. She's a power-house for good. The treatment she received breaks my heart.
      Harry and Meghan are a great team, as Harry said. What a loss for the Royal Family.

      I wish Harry and Meghan the very best in their new venture.

      R

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    2. @Anon3:50
      Excellent remarks. Thank you.
      Meghan was and is a radiant light.
      She and Harry will forge new and meaningful ways to shine.
      Renee

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  10. Charlotte this post was beautiful.... heart wrenching.... but beautiful! If I could ask a favor? This is Becca USA & I have not been able to post successfully since I recently updated my operating system. All other aspects of my Google Accounts work fine. I am wondering how I can sign off & re-sign up or re-login so that my name will appear by my posts? In the past if I had a problem I was able to contact you via email, but I can no longer find an email address to use to contact you. Sorry to have to post this question publicly & at such a busy time.

    I hope this goes through & I can get this straightened out, so that I can again be able to converse with the group here & on DKB.

    Thank you & with extreme fondness,
    Becca USA

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    1. Hello Becca,

      I will look into this as soon as I get home and email you.

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    2. Becca, I had to start posting only from Google, after Safari and other Apple systems wouldn't let me post. Hope that helps.

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    3. I also can only post from Google Chrome. Safari will not allow it.

      R

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  11. What a terrible situation for them to be in. I do know what it's like to leave everything and everyone behind to start over. I truly hope they are blessed and happy. Sometimes you need to go on faith and take the path you never would have, to find what God gives you. Harry and Meghan are good people- I think we all know that. I hope they hear more support than the media portrays.

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  12. I really don't understand - what toxicity are they running from? I read Daily Mail here in the US all the time and never see anything particularly nasty about Meghan. Admittedly, the comments on the articles aren't always so nice but that seems to be the case with all kinds of celebrities. Do they sit and read comments online? Are other UK papers really that toxic towards them? It seems they have adoring crowds everywhere they go. Is it really negative media that has driven then away? I just don't get it.

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    1. Totally agree with you

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    2. Hi MWW, see https://www.theguardian.com/global/2020/jan/18/meghan-gets-more-than-twice-as-many-negative-headlines-as-positive

      It's an article from The Guardian which looks at the balance of positive and negative cover she had and makes for an interesting read.

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    3. Didn't it though? I had a senior moment and said the Telegraph but it was the Guardian.

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    4. Really mww? The Daily Mail is absolutely notorious for completely tearing apart celebrities and any individual who they consider to be different from their ideal. It's an awful publication. I've read countless appalling headlines and articles pushing a negative narrative on Meghan- blaming her for absolutely everything, just the other day PM was quite clear that it was Meghan tearing Harry away from his family and that he was only surprised it had taken her so long. This is one of many, many articles written with a hateful undertone.


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    5. Haven't you seen the articles by Piers Morgan? He says absolutely vile and untrue things about mostly Meghan. There are a couple others too. I've seen days when they published 6 or more nasty articles at the same time. I have also had my comments on DM flagged and removed because I defended Meghan. I think they have had a large part in this and made millions in advertising because of the extra clicks.

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    6. I am an American and have lived in the US most my life and I also lives in the UK for a few years. I do echo MWW, not about whether the tabloids said negative things about the Sussexes - of course they did. They are tabloids! In Britain, many of their regular news outlets seem to be what we in the US would consider tabloids. But, why do they even bother reading them? Let alone the comments? As MWW said, their patronages love them, the crowds love them, and I would guess that some of their family love them (who has a family that has every member that gets along?). They worked very, very hard, and brought such joy to so many. Why not go home at night and enjoy each other, feel good about all the amazing things they were doing around the world, and be thankful for the privileges their life brought them? My parents brought me up to ignore those that hate. Certainly my life is not on the scale of theirs, but so many promises were made and broken in just 20 months because things weren’t fair? Life isn’t fair for a lot of people. It does not mean we make promises we cannot keep and pick and choose when we come and when we go. Many of you are quite right - none of us know the real truth. We only know what we read. Obviously, I am such a teeny tiny piece of the pie, but even I feel disappointed for being a life long fan of the RF and to have this part of it come crashing down so quickly when all involved could have just walked rather than run and possibly made better decisions from the beginning.

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    7. The Guardian article is really interesting, and I hadn’t seen it before—thanks for sharing. I did wonder what the stats would look like if they examined headlines for a comparable time frame for Catherine, e.g., the 18 months following her and William’s wedding. I suspect she had a longer honeymoon period with the press, although there were headlines about her family and Waity Katie—though not the virulent racist and class based attacks thrown at Meghan. It seems somewhat disingenuous to compare Meghan’s recent headlines with Catherine’s recent headlines, simply because it feels like Kate has finally come into her own.

      That being said, the volume of negativity Meghan has faced is overwhelming, and I’m glad that she and Harry are prioritizing their well being with their decision.

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    8. mww20 January 2020 at 04:25...Is this Piers Morgan?

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  13. Charlotte - It is good you posted his speech. It is always nice to hear it directly from Harry and Meghan. It was a sincere, touching. and reassuring speech. I wish them all the best. The Frogmore rent, or pay back is not a fair arrangement. It is an over 100 years old house which needed a lot of repair any way. Pay rent and on top of paying back over 2 million pounds does not sound right.

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    1. They will only pay rent when they stay on it. It sounds fair to me. Sure it will be cheaper than any other house they are renting now.

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    2. Non-working members of the BRF have to pay market rent for the properties they reside in, e.g. Prince & Princess Michael of Kent's KP apartment, Nottingham Cottage currently occupied by Princess Eugenie, etc.

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    3. I think H & M are trying to address some of the bigger criticisms of them. I don't think they would ever have been allowed to forget that the tax payer paid for the restoration of their home. Also, the renovation costs would surely have been a great deal if the building had continued to be used as offices (which I think was its most recent use) and I'm sure there was all sorts of structural work to put in ensuites, etc.

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  14. Royal 👑 Watcher20 January 2020 at 05:10

    This speech makes the situation even more heartbreaking. If only Harry and Meghan could have ignored media and pushed on. I feel they are such an integral part of the royal family and they have both got so much to give in this setting. I’m still hoping that maybe after some time away they will reconsider. Both Prince Charles and William and Kate need them there to carry the load.

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  15. Bravo Harry!!! What the UK Press put you and Meghan through is just simply too inhuman to bear. Anybody in your shoes would not have been able to cope with all of that. Wishing you and Meghan all the best. In time, I believe history will judge you for paving the right precedent for future royals that would not be directly in the line of succession who wish to be their own person and would like to be free to choose to live outside of the invisible cage of constitutional monarchy.

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  16. I am happy Harry addressed the situation. It’s good that he made it clear that he seems to be the driving force behind it. Maybe people can stop blaming Meghan now.
    I do have to question his PR advisers though. It’s the same mistake as the SA-documentary timing. Why is he using an engagement that’s about Sentebale to express his disappointment about not being able to hold onto his military appointments? His statement is taking the spotlight away from the engagement and puts it back on him and Meghan. Concentrating on Sentebale and his ongoing commitment would have been enough. He could have made his personal statement before or later. That’s my only criticism though. I was surprised that he admitted to not being happy about some details of the deal. It speaks to a bit of naivety on his part. He seems to be a bit shell shocked that he didn’t get his way.
    I hope they take some time for themselves now. That’s a massive change and the effects will surface one at a time. Hopefully he adjusts well. All the best for the three of them. I will continue to follow their journey here.
    C.

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    1. I agree with you, C.

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    2. Becca in Colorado20 January 2020 at 18:13

      To be fair, he’s human and not a royal robot. He even admitted he hasn’t always got it right. But I think the speech in that setting was fine — better to professionally address the elephant in the room and let organizations that you care about know that you aren’t abandoning them.

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  17. I don't understand, why does he leave? He is not leaving the press, it will be only worse when he is not a public personality any more. He will never be as well protected as he is now, managing to spend 6 weeks without being sighted. He is not leaving his family, he thanks them for their support. He is not leaving his duty, he asked to continue serving Queen and country. But " he wasn't allowed without public funding"? Why the need to be financially independent? What will it bring to his life? Is it so important for him to be able to make money, the thing " under this structure we are not allowed to"? He didn't need money, he had more than enough.
    I really don't understand it. If it meant escaping scrutiny and living an obscure happy life, I would see the point. He doesn't want to leave country duty family but he is leaving them, he hates the press but he is keeping the public exposure. It just doesn't make sense.

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    1. Now this is a comment that I totally agree with. Why are they leaving to continue with everything as before. Somethings I don't understand

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    2. Helen, some of the criticism aimed at members of the RF comes from tabloids accusing them of wasting taxpayers money, spending too much of tax payers money, or why taxpayers have to pay for them at all. I believe this is why H&M want to be financially independent.

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    3. JMHO, the work and projects they would like to do likely would've been vetoed by BP, perhaps due to scale and/or nature of the cause. We'll have to wait and see what direction they'll take and maybe, eventually we'll have a better grasp of why this decision was taken.
      I agree with you re the media scrutiny, once the current circus dies down, they'll be fair game for the media to be photographed/followed/written about as 'private citizens'.

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    4. Helen, when you do not have money that is your own but comes from the tax payers or the private funds of your father and grandmother you have to toe the line and behave in accordance with their wishes (and in this case all the weight of precedence, protocol and tradition). You always remain dependent like a "child" getting and "allowance." It's not about the money, it's about the independence and autonomy that your own money gives you.

      Without those restrictions and able to act freely to create new charitable ventures Harry and Meghan can likely move in new directions which they were prevented from doing. They can (we hope) hire better people for their PR and explore new options. Look what Meghan accomplished--a book, a capsule wardrobe, a role as guest editor for Vogue, all her patronages as well as a baby--in less than 2 years!!! I think we might see amazing things as they settle into their new reality.

      SMH

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    5. I too share your confusion Helen but what was to be gained by doing the job with out public funding, but still being in the public eye?? I do not really know what they are trying to achieve especially since the SussexRoyal issue has not yet been resolved. Their website will need to be reworked as they are no longer representing the Commonwealth or the Monarchy. For all her power, the Queen cannot stop the British presses from printing, so what is actually gained....confusing and sad for Harry.

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    6. Nice reminder, SMH, that all those things Meghan achieved were thanks to being a member of the RF.

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    7. Helen -- my thinking on this has been similar to yours.

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    8. That's just it SMH, being in the RF allowed Meghan to do a lot, a huge lot. And all that Harry has accomplished over the years, and it is more than huge, that was also as a working royal. Granted there were constraints, no politics, restrictions, but compared to anyone, even compared to millionaires and stars, they had an immense power to do good. Perhaps not everything they wanted how they wanted, but who can? Someone said here, they had the power to do good without the strings of celebrity.
      I could go on but Judy said it much better, I totally agree with her comment below. Two reasons, the press and financial independence. They do not solve the first, I hope the second compensates what they and the RF are loosing.

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    9. Amen to your comment SMH about 'hope' they hire better people for their PR. Think the PR approach to all of this was very misguided. I applaud all of Meghan's accomplishments in her two years, however, those opportunities were afforded to her because of her role within the royal family. Their royal status provided the 'restricting' platform for Harry and Meghan to do amazing things. Don't doubt that Meghan has the initiative and drive to continue to do amazing things, but but give some credit to the platform that was provided to her. The irony is that there would be no 'Mad About Meghan' or news interest in her if she had not married a prince. There is a new clip from the Lion King premiere where you can here both Harry and Meghan making 'jokes' about being available for voiceovers....I hope that their desire for independence and autonomy hasn't been reduced to that. That to me is sad and not worth of their talents.

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    10. They are not working royals anymore. They aren't doing the job anymore. They are not receiving public money anymore. They will likely not have government funded security much longer. They will no doubt re-work their website in time. It's only been ten days. The BBC news app has been excellent explaining the ongoing financial details to this elderly American.
      They are still famous people and still will be doing public events, but can pick their own media coverage, as many public figures in the US have done. No doubt the British tabloids will continue their attacks -witness the comments of Thomas Markle - but the haters won't get as many shots at target. It's a process.

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    11. SMH, agree very much about the independence. However Meghan was afforded many of those opportunities you mentioned due to being married to Harry. Now she was willing and wanting to do the work and did a great job but I am not sure that Harry and Meghan on their own and also without the wealth that others have (like the Gates of the world) that those same opportunities will present themselves, or at least not after a few years. But who knows? I myself do not contribute to causes or charities due to celebrities endorsing or promoting or anything else, so the idea of supporting a charity just because Harry or Meghan or any celebrity does is really odd to me. Meghan can certainly return to acting but she might well run into the assumption that she is getting the work not due to her acting but due to being married to Harry, which for me would be a really hard pill to swallow. And Harry will have his own battles. But who knows, maybe truly on their own they will write some wonderful articles or some excellent books or set up and run a fantastic foundation.

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  18. I'm short of words cos the sadness in me won't let go of me...... I get to know of some amazing charities network in the UK through this lovely couple. I DON'T FOLLOW TITLES OR CROWN, I FOLLOW THE MAN OR WOMAN BEHIND BEHIND THE IT. THANKS CHARLOTTE LADY B,NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA

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  19. Charlotte thanks for this heartbreaking post this is my second comment on this thread. Seeing Meghan Markle's dad do that vile video where he speaks so poor of H&M cheapening the crown like Walmart makes me understand why they want to get away from the spotlight. I fear though they won't get away from it all just by leaving the royal family duties behind and moving to Canada it seems to have opened them up to even more scrutiny. Wishing them peace at this sad time

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    1. Wasn't that just awful Melissa. That video made my skin crawl. Who does that to their daughter? No words.

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    2. I think he is truly a sad and lonely individual who has missed out on time with his daughter and has never met his grandson and he only has himself to blame

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  20. Once again, the media. The media is out of control everywhere on the planet. Sickening the lives they have ruined in every corner of every continent.

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  21. There’s something terribly wrong when someone (anyone) has to choose between one’s family and continuing his duty. All because a relentless press which cannot be held to principles and values. One where honesty and truth are the last thing that matters.

    In Western societies we’ve fought for decades so that no one will has to go through such decisions. We all took pride in claiming women no longer have to choose between having a family and having a career. But we cannot allow that to a member or the Royal family? One who hasn’t done anything wrong, other than seeing that what’s inside matters and not the colour of the skin of the woman he loves? I am baffled at how powerless the British society is when it comes to the media. It’s wrong, fundamentally wrong, and I doubt impacts will be limited to this, if nothing changes. Without values, there’s no telling where and if they will ever stop.

    Hope Harry and Meghan find their peace with Archie. They deserve it just like any one of us. I feel heartbroken for them, but this too shall pass.

    Liv

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    1. I worry that the press will be far worse now. The UK media actually has rules in place about dealings with the Royals, but other media do not. Time will tell.

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  22. Your post, Charlotte, really makes it clear exactly what he is turning his back on; the power to do good without the strings of celebrity. Harry was born into this, so its not going to be easy to do good in quite the same way as before. However, he has made his choice, and will, hopefully, be a happier man, and that's always something :-)

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    1. They will be fine. So what if they lost the shine of an HRH? Easy or hard, doing good is still doing good. Lots of people create ripples of change despite enormous challenges, quietly, without celebrity. Nothing wrong with working a little harder for people to open their wallets. I think that even creates more respect because they took the path less traveled.

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  23. It was moving to hear Harry speak so eloquently about the support given to him by ordinary people over his lifetime and about the warmth with which Meghan had been embraced by them. I was relieved to hear him express his appreciation for the support he and Meghan have received from the Queen and other family members in recent months, and the lines about hoping that together we may someday overcome the mean-spiritedness of a portion of the press were so well put together - expressing hope rather than bitterness. Bravo!

    It was interesting, too, to hear him clarify the issues at the heart of their decision; it seems there are really just two - the awful treatment they have received at the hands of the press, and that they want the freedom to earn money which cannot be done in the context of being working royals - as he said it, he and Meghan wished to continue in their role "without public funding, but that was not possible, and so it has come to this."

    I fully understand their desire to escape the constant and often unkind attention of the tabloid press. On the other hand, I'm conflicted over the financial considerations which led to their decision. The possibility of earning millions on the North American speaking circuit or through producing material for television streaming services or any number of other possibilities... are understandably appealing to the second royal son who does not receive the same inheritance as the first born under the protocols of the monarchy and to his self-admitted strongly feminist, talented and previously career-oriented, wife as they think about providing for Archie, for any siblings he may someday have, and even for future generations of their family. Perhaps it feels foolish not to pursue that kind of independent financial security, or maybe the opportunities available to them offer such exciting possibilities for an interesting life that it seems wise to embrace them... Nevertheless, that they have chosen it over continuing to formally represent the Queen leaves me feeling disappointed. (In the end, that's irrelevant. It is their life to choose.)

    Harry's statement has cleared away so much of the speculation... and probably without intending to, he has also provided us with a better understanding of why family relations have been under such a strain. His and Meghan's decision cannot help but have a significant impact on other members of the royal family, going forward. I hope that behind the scenes, love, forgiveness, and understanding will ultimately triumph... that the bonds of brotherhood, especially, will remain, that small cousins will know and enjoy each other and that Queen Elizabeth will thereby be rewarded for having been the gracious peacemaker.



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  24. Oh my god. Everyone needs to GET A GRIP! Harry and Meghan aren't dying. They aren't being hauled off to the Tower of London. They;re not getting divorced. They are not going to be working royals and will lose their "HRH" titles but they are a healthy happy family who have decided on a different path. That's all.

    Why are people crying? Losing so much sleep over this? I'm sad about these events, but life will go on for Harry and Meghan and they'll probably be happier. Life will go on for the rest of us too. This is being treated as a Greek tragedy when it's not. In the most basic way this is two people changing jobs. That's it.

    Seriously everyone. The hysterics are unnecessary. Life will go on.

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    1. Ivy Lin, you gave me a much-wanted giggle.And i remember when their romance was first announced that I seriously thought they would have a quiet wedding and go to Africa to work on causes and live there. I was rather shocked when they went the full working royak routine -- I forgot I had thought that way!

      My personal thought is that in addition to the media and perhaps less-welcoming family members, their activities would always have to be approved so they did not conflict the those of the heir and did not overshadow those of the heir. Probably a sensible requirement when you have a goal in mind for the monarchy, but it would probably be hard for Meghan and Harry to rein in their creativity.

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    2. No need to tell people how to feel. Everyone reacts differently to certain events because of their own experiences.

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    3. Totally agree Ivy Lin. I’m happy for Meghan and Harry and don’t understand the sadness surrounding their decision. Anon in CA

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    4. You are right. We couldn't help and have been contaminated by the tabloids, even the more moderate among us.

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    5. Ivy Lin, have to agree 100 percent.

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    6. I heartily agree Ivy Lin! I made the comment that people change jobs and move away from family all the time. I was told that, being American, I didn't understand what these events meant to the BRF and England - in other words I didn't know what I was talking about. As you say, life will go on, and hopefully for Harry & Meghan, for the better.

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    7. Thanks for posting the sanity check, Ivy Lin. To what you wrote I can only say "Yup." And to add a couple of additional thoughts in response to many comments regarding why Harry and Meghan's experience with the media might be different now they will eschew public funding, I think the difference is they can now speak in their own voices using their own words. It's quite possible the media will continue to hunt for salacious bits of coverage but Harry and Meghan can now have their own platform in which to talk about the things that matter to them. They no longer have to remain silent in the face of tabloid craziness (because the tabloids no longer have the power to construct a narrative in a vacuum) and they also have the opportunity to choose who will cover their events. This seems pretty straightforward to me - of course they want to exercise greater autonomy. The fact that they are willing to step back in order to achieve this back the way they are tells me this decision is very important to them.

      Regarding concerns over what Harry and Meghan will do now they are no longer working Royals, who knows? It's only been 10 days. But, I'll bet they already have a number of ideas and I bet we'll hear about them before too long. As always, this blog will be the first site I check for news. I will also say both Harry and Meghan were making a point of trying to do good in the world before they even met each other. Sure, Meghan was able to accomplish some truly impressive things as a working member of the Royal family. But she didn't become committed to solving problems because she joined the firm, she brought that innate tendency with her and used it to great effect once she got there. She's the kind of person who will pursue goals no matter where she is, because that's who she is. Harry, too, seems sensitive to injustice and, from recent events, is revealing a thoughtful, strong, and intelligent leadership and a great sense of humor. Together, Harry and Meghan are quite compelling and I'm so glad they found each other. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

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    8. Agree, Ivy Lyn. This was their choice and who are we to question it or grieve over it. Gosh, I can barely pay my bills, and would love to be in they're shoes for one month. They are a precious family with a healthy child and will be fine. I'm happy for them, and wish them the best.

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    9. Lol....I always enjoy reading your opinions, Ivy Lin--for better or worse. I've gotten in the habit of looking for your comments first.;) I may not always agree with your take, but I know it won't be dull. I hardily agree with you this time. It does make me a bit sad that the Sussex kid(s) and their Cambridge cousins won't be growing up together, as such, but like you say, just like ordinary families, sometimes you have to move for certain reasons. We can't all live in the same neighborhood as folks once did, when we live in a global world. I think Harry has longed for a more "normal" life since Diana's death, and because he isn't any longer in the direct line for the throne, I think he figured now was as good a time as any to bow out. I don't blame him--or Meghan!

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  25. I'm thinking of all the support that Meghan's friends have given her, even though they tried to remain silent, over the past few years. Harry's friends outside of the British elite have been focal. I've read about some of the visits that Sophie has made and her causes sometimes echo those of Meghan -- why couldn't there have been more visible interactions with the family members? It's SO hard not to resent the family.

    I'm sure that feeling is shared by many in the UK, although certainly not a majority.

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    1. Sophie rarely gets any coverage for all of her work.

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    2. From what I've gathered, the only resentment felt by some is towards the gutter press, not the BRF. The Queen acted swiftly in order to preserve The Monarchy, just like with Andrew. Many however, are sad to see the Sussexes go. With regards to Sophie, the BRF's modus operandi has always been like that, the couples are usually entities with their own 'theme'/focus with few joint appearances.

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  26. I was pleased Harry addressed the issue directly and also that he 'owned' the decision (as, predictably, Meghan is getting the blame for this). I think both wanted to leave equally, not least because Harry has been saying so since long before he met Meghan.

    My concern is that I think they might want different things. Harry talks about being 'peaceful' and probably wants to live a quiet life but I'm not sure Meghan will want that, I think she's more driven (e.g. she's already started visiting charities). I hope this doesn't cause any problems for them.

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    1. Harry made his speech at a charity event, after Meghan's most recent appearance and isn't giving up Sentebale or the Invictus Games. He won't be a football binging, beer-belching, couch potato. I imagine Harry was fully aware of Meghan's high energy and strong work ethic before they married, so it seems unlikely he'll be troubled if she wants to take on more charity work now. He doesn't seem at all threatened by modern women; quite the contrary.

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    2. I wouldn’t read into that too much. Harry is just as driven and wanting to do good. Looks at his history of projects/charity. In the engagement interview Harry said “ Both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good.” This is something that draws the closer together not pushes them apart.

      Lora

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    3. You both make very good points. And, greybirdk, you paint a very vivid picture! I wonder if you've ever come acroos 'Onslow' from 'Keeping Up Appearances'? Now that would be a royal scandal! :)

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  27. Whitney in Baltimore20 January 2020 at 16:44

    So the 2 things that I see them having gotten away from are the Rota and the control by Buckingham Palace. I wonder which was the problem or if it was both? I also wonder if they tried for a while to have the Rota setup changed, as it would certainly bother me to give access and essentially money to the same people writing such awful things. Maybe they suggested a change and got shot down.

    If they had to run everything by BP then I can imagine that chafing too. In that case this was the only thing to do- when you work for someone they do get to be the boss. Maybe by taking the money out of it they hoped to be allowed more freedoms, but it looks like in or out are the only choices.

    I don't see that they've left any other problem behind them, but I would be interested if anyone else sees something.

    I would like to know how it works for Beatrice and Eugenie- are their appearances personal patronages or on behalf of the Queen? Do they count as working royals part-time?

    Good luck to Harry and Meghan. It certainly has been a whirlwind few years for them!

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    1. Yes, they are patrons of charities in a personal capacity. There is no such thing as a part-time Royal in the BRF hence, the need for the Sussexes to be either in or out. The York girls make occasional appearances alongside The Queen and their father and are mentioned in the CC if they do so, i.e. Maundy Service, garden parties, Trooping.

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  28. Thank you, Charlotte, for all your thoughtful, caring coverage.
    The whole situation is just so sad. I think of how hard it must be for Harry to be separating from his family of origin and his country, both of which he says how much he loves. And to be giving up his military titles and Commonwealth Youth Ambassador title. He is making noble sacrifices for the peace and happiness of his new, young family, so I hope so much that their relationship with the media really does improve. Although, I am somewhat hesitant to believe so, given that they seem to want to continue to have a fairly large media presence. That part is all very confusing to me. If they want to have their media relationship change, why are they trying to start the whole new Sussex Royal thing right away? Why not take a break for a year or two until the dust settles and they have time to reassess? We are lucky that they do so much wonderful public charity work, but it would be fine with me if they took a break from doing that so intensively for a year or two for their own health and safety. I just don't understand that part.

    I think certain media stories have been absolutely appalling and intolerable, but it seems like the stories with that level of racism have not been so many by any means, they are just the most noticeable. I wish in a way that someone could say to Harry and Meghan something like, You can get through this, don't let the media trolls win, this does not have to be a repeat of the situation that happened to your mother, Harry. It seems like the majority of the UK population supports and likes Harry and Meghan, and that the extremely negative, horrifying stories are just the most visible. It is just really sad. I hope they find the peace and happiness they are searching for, they certainly deserve it.

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  29. Charlotte,your selection of photographs to illustrate Harry's speech brought me to tears for the first time in this entire upheaval. Just wonderful, thank you.

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  30. Jane in Vancouver20 January 2020 at 17:23

    Thanks for posting Harry's words Charlotte. Very moving and satisfying to hear from him directly. I wish Harry and Meghan all the very best and hope that this solves the problems they couldn't solve as part of the institution.
    I don't read the Daily Mail at all and rarely believe very much of what I read, but there was one "quote" in the Mail that I read through a tweet this morning that I very much hope is true. It is quoted that William and Harry "are closer than they have been in more than a year". I so very much hope that is true. Despite his sadness at not having his brother close at hand, I'm sure William and Kate realize that this situation may very well solve the future problems of Charlotte and Louis. The deterioration of the relationship between William and Harry has been the hardest situation for me this last few months. I wish them all the very best and hope they continue to heal the rift between them.

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  31. Now that all has been agreed I do think they would have been better to let the sun run with the leaked information. Then they could have rallied as a family/firm to say that was a draft and we will inform you when the final is ready. They could have managed the fall out collectively rather than the silos that appeared. I hope that they have a good blueprint ready and that they can begin pretty quickly at setting the scene for what comes next. I hope that they appear at family events this year as I think that will be critical to keeping the vultures at bay. The bulk of the bad will seems to be due to perceived disrespect to the queen. I think they need to visibly show that they are still part of the family just not active workers within the firm.
    A church visit before Harry leaves would be amazing. As would unexpected appearances like that with the queen when they visit. 100% family. As would a polo game during the summer and Wimbledon. I do think over time when Archie is older they will roll back into the firm in some form. But for now they have a mechanism to show that they can be part of the family but not the firm. I truly hope it works out well for them.
    Erininnyc

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  32. Am mostly here for the jewelry-watching, but got caught up in the fight against racism somehow. Expect interesting things in the future from the Sussexes, thank you for continuing to cover them. All change is hard, but the loss is really on the Royal Family’s side.

    Maggie - short for magpie

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  33. Harry has wanted out of the RF for a long time. Now he has it, but at what cost? Ironically, it was Meghan who gave up her lifestyle first so she could become part of the RF. It started out wonderfully, but she grew to hate the "toxic" atmosphere of the royal life. Now Harry is leaving all he's known to live in a country he's not lived in before, away from his friends and family. What if he doesn't like their new life? We know Meghan doesn't want to return to the RF, but would Harry want to go back to it? Would anyone trust him again that he would stay next time and not quit?

    Also, as long as Charles is supporting them, which according to recent articles he is, at least for a year, they are NOT financially independent. I'd like to see them refuse all financial help. They both have money, though not nearly as much as they would with Charles's help. However, it's still significantly more than any of us "common folk" in the real world, and we manage. Time will tell........

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  34. I loved your closing Charlotte. In the end, Harry had to do what is best for his wife and family. That is his first responsibility.

    Well done. I know it's been a sprint keeping up with all of this!!

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  35. What Harry & Meghan WILL gain: More freedom in their choices & life. What Harry & Meghan WILL NOT gain: Freedom from the scrutiny of the press. I hope this path brings them happiness but they may be surprised how they cannot avoid the "toxic media". How this has all played out has only deepened the interest in them & how they'll carry on. Reporting - good & bad - will continue.

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  36. Thank you, Charlotte, for all your thoughtful, caring coverage. (I apologize if you have received this comment multiple times--I was trying to send it from a different computer, and couldn't tell if it was working.)

    This whole situation seems such a sad one. I think of how hard it must be for Harry to be separating from his family of origin and his country, both of which he says how much he loves. And to be giving up his military titles and Commonwealth Youth Ambassador title. He is making noble sacrifices for the peace and happiness of his new, young family, so I hope very much that their relationship with the media improves. However, I admit I feel hesitant about believing so, because it seems they want to continue to have a fairly large media presence. That part is confusing to me. If they want their relationship with the media to change, why do they seem to be moving forward with the new Sussex Royal presence so quickly right away? Why not slow down a lot for 6 months or a year or even two until the dust settles and they have time to reassess, and in the meantime keep up a quiet public presence (for example, maybe doing Instagram posts only on major public holidays, eg Remembrance Sunday, Trooping the Colour, Christmas, Easter, etc--of course there are lots of different ways to have a quiet presence)? We are lucky that they do so much wonderful public charity work, especially because they have such a compelling, charismatic presence, but it would seem reasonable to me to do public charity work very quietly for a year or two for their own health and safety. I don't really understand where they are coming from in terms of being active quickly with the Sussex Royal "brand."

    I think certain media stories have been absolutely appalling and intolerable, but it seems like the stories with that level of racism have not been so many by any means, they are just the most noticeable. I wish in a way that someone could say to Harry and Meghan something like, You can get through this, don't let the media trolls win, this does not have to be a repeat of the situation that happened to your mother, Harry. It seems like the majority of the UK population supports and likes Harry and Meghan, and that the extremely negative, horrifying stories are just the most visible. It just seems so sad that the virulent outliers (probably ultimately a handful of journalists among the whole of the media and the UK population) are having such power over how they are feeling and the actions they are taking.

    I hope they find the peace and happiness they are searching for, they certainly deserve it.

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    1. CK - I have been thinking the same thing. If this is REALLY about the press, then why seek to continue some royal engagements? That doesn’t stop the press. I think this comes down to some family issues - and those likely have a lot to do with money. In his speech, Harry said that it wasn’t possible to do his military engagements. But it IS possible - it’s just not possible to do them and to have a side hustle. Which is fine - but I think it’s notable that a lot of their statements so far have been half truths of a sort.

      To be clear - I don’t blame them at all. There is a tremendous value to being able to support yourself. I cannot imagine living under my parent’s and eventually my brother’s thumb. That sounds like a miserable existence, even if it is a rich one. It just doesn’t seem like the source of all this is truly the press. The press is a convenient scapegoat, but I have to believe these two have thicker skin than that. Every public figure experiences bad press. They knew they were loved because it was shown to them at every appearance. No one was trying to kick them out of the monarchy. Blaming this almost entirely on bad publicity does not add up, and so few people are noting that.

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    2. I too hope they find happiness and peace. I do think it would be wise and take more time out to get a break and not rush things as this new life will take a lot more adjustment for Harry than Meghan and they have Archie to consider now. But I keep getting flashes of the times Diana after leaving the RF was constantly chased by the media for photos (photos of her running down the street and being hustled through the airport) it distresses me to think that this is now what will become of their life. Today there were photos published of Meghan walking in the woods with Archie and their dogs. The media wont change they have done and will keep doing it, it's how they work unfortunately.
      Suzanne

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    3. Lauren thank you for your last sentence I absolutely agree and its been noted by me. I just think people don't want to see it.

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  37. I've gone back and forth the past couple weeks about what I think, but Harry's speech broke my heart. I think it really hit home the pain they must be experiencing behind the scenes. I also think it was a very nice thank you to the public who has supported him, not only since his and Meghan's wedding, but since Diana's passing.
    Wishing them all the best.

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    1. I agree, Janey. Harry sounded lost, like a "man without a country." I remember Charles Spencer's eulogy at Diana's funeral: "She was a very British girl with worldwide appeal." Harry, too, seems first and foremost a British "boy"--and a royal one, at that. Without those connections, I wonder whether his appeal (and Meghan's) will be as great. I, for one, certainly will feel a bit less interested in their endeavors, no matter how worthy they are. And I fear Harry will feel bereft, separated from "This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, . . . This precious stone set in the silver sea. . .This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

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  38. Very sad. I still remember how happy Meghan was and how hard she tried to fit in. She did very well during official engagements and always looked very fashionable but she was criticized for almost everything. It wasn’t fair and it it’s still not fair. They could’ve done so much more, more than any other member of the royal family and there will be a big void now they left. I wish them the very best in new life here in Canada.

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    1. They didn't want her to do more. She's too smart & too independent for those old colonials except for Harry, the modern man. I thank God for him. God bless them on their journey.

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  39. Ever since this all has broken out, I feel a great sadness for everyone in this story. Somewhere deep down I just hope that one day they will come back in one way or another.

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  40. I’m saddened for Harry. Clearly he is truly torn between these two worlds. I wish him all the best and hope all works out for him. But I have to say one positive thing here, to see a man give up that life for a life with a woman he loves and for his children, wow that is remarkable.

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  41. This is really sad but very well said, Martine. Prince Harry mentioned in his speech, “the power of the media“ and the Duchess of Cambridge was heard to say, “don’t believe everything you read”. When people want to hear the lies and speculations because of their own personal biases, they become victim to mind manipulation. I want to hear the truth so I take caution in what I read and what I allow to enter my thought processes. Most of what is written, without reliable sources, or old new that keeps circulating, I don’t give any attention to at all. Mad About Meghan has reported the truth with reliable sources giving their names. No speculations and lies here. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  42. We do reap what we sow. So sow GOOD into the world. God knows we need it. Again, thanks very much, Charlotte.

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  43. I am very curious to see how this all plays out. Do they really want freedom to run their charitable interests as they see fit or are they seeking more commercial opportunities? I guess we shall see how it all plays out. Many Royals and celebrities face harsh criticism by the press and public. Kate and her family have certainly had their fair share. If they end up “commercializing” their status I will be very disappointed.

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    1. I'm surprised by how quick we are to say we will be disappointed by another's choices. If they choose to commercialize or not, it is none of our business. Will you support them if they go broke? I support whatever they choose -this world is indeed about survival of the fittest. Meghan & Harry are not our children. We can only either learn from their experiences or wish them well.
      Thank you for this blog. I will definitely miss Meghan's cute outfits & deliberate great choices of designers. I pray they stay married till death do them part. Cheers!! H&M made a great decision for themselves, let's all be happy for them and stop projecting our sadness/disappointments on them.

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    2. I'm surprised by how quick we are to say we will be disappointed by another's choices. If they choose to commercialize or not, it is none of our business. Will you support them if they go broke? I support whatever they choose -this world is indeed about survival of the fittest. Meghan & Harry are not our children. We can only either learn from their experiences and/or wish them well.
      Thank you for this blog. I will definitely miss Meghan's cute outfits & deliberate great choices of designers. I pray they stay married till death do them part. Cheers!! H&M made a great decision for themselves, let's all be happy for them and stop projecting our sadness/disappointments on them.

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  44. I'm really sad about how this has played out. I believe Harry when he said, "We were ready to serve." And serve they did. They hit the ground running as a couple. They deserve praise and appreciation for their work. They were great ambassadors for the Crown.

    It's kind of heartbreaking that what they got for their efforts was incessant criticism from the press, and of the ugliest kind. I don't blame them for wanting a more peaceful future for themselves.

    I can't help but wonder what could have been. This couple could have been a wonderful asset for the royal family and the British people. For whatever reasons, they didn't get the support or fair treatment they deserved. The vitriolic reaction in the press to their stepping back just proves their position - it's a microcosm of what they've been enduring.

    It's disappointing, and makes me wonder whether society is progressing or we're moving backwards. I wish Harry, Meghan and Archie well!

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  45. I have so many thought about why and how it has all come to this in such a short space of time. As only they truly know the reasons, I just want to say I really feel for both of them. They are hurting and clearly need time and space to heal. I genuinely wish the best for their little family and pray that their ‘leap of faith’ will be a blessing.

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  46. The article in the Mail that said William and Harry repaired their relationship somewhat in the last days, also stated that both sons do not get on with Charles. William is said to barely speak to him; Harry's relationship with him has worsened since his marriage and the money drain. Neither of the sons get on with Camilla. This makes sense to me; they remember their mother's misery, and I always thought it strange that they could behave as if they completely accepted the woman their mother so hated. But that was their public face; their true feelings may have been different. At first I thought it was the tabloid bullying, with a racist element, that made Meghan and Harry desperate to leave. Now I'm not so sure. During this couple's radiant debut I remember thinking that they were outshining those above them in the pecking order - Charles and Camilla, Kate and William. The newlyweds were true superstars, doing the tours and meeting the public with more warmth and charisma than anyone since Diana. I think the Royal Family was extremely anxious to check, or harness this quality - they feared a "loose cannon" sort of powerful appeal, like Diana's. It wasn't that Meghan herself was another Diana, but she and Harry together did equal a Diana-like phenomenon. This could be dangerous, and did not sit well with the Royals at all. I do not know if the family or courtiers influenced the media in a hate campaign, or if there was behind the scenes bullying, but it is certain that from being an incredibly adored couple, the Sussexes suddenly began to be hated. That Buzzfeed article comparing how similar behavior in Kate and Meghan was presented sweetly for the former, poisonously for the latter, constitutes evidence of a deliberate campaign. So ultimately, in addition to the restrictions, vicious press and some racism, I believe that it was the family politics and jealousy that turned Meghan away. After all, her own family is so toxic, finding that Harry's was its own kind of hornet's nest, might have made her want to flee. This is just my theory. We are all thinking about this and sifting our thoughts and reactions. But I do trace the negative firestorm that rose against Meghan, back to the royals and jealousy.

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    1. As a powerful force for much needed change in the world, I don't think Harry and Meghan really need the "Firm" as they are quite capable of going forward on their own. I have read here, and agree, that family jealousy has played a part in this and my heart breaks for them. But the evil that needs to be changed, both in the UK and the rest of the world is the power of the "press" who collectively are classified as entertainment and bad entertainment at that. No one with any intelligence would go to them for factual news. That they would be allowed to outright state, insinuate and obliquely suggest whatever trash they can dream up that sells their rags without prosecution is beyond belief. That it can dole out grief to whomever it chooses for it's almighty profit should be a lesson to us all to see this stopped. Harry and Meghan are going to take them to task and I for one would donate to any cause that can put this tyranny to an end. Thank you for being a lamp in the darkness, Charlotte.

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    2. Ummm...anything is possible but for me the issues are not at all about jealousy.

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    3. @ Diana B
      I agree with your statement that Harry and Meghan together were a Diana-like phenomenon and there was jealousy within the family.
      For several years after Kate’s wedding she openly stated how Harry had welcomed her into the family. The year of the K & W wedding Harry accompanied K&W to a black tie affair and there were pix of the 3 together, followed by more such pix over the years. Then, HeadsTogether, where Harry and Will gave Kate credit for the idea. Why didn’t K&W put their heads together to support Harry and his bride? Other than early 2018, there have not been visible signs of K & W supporting H & M the way Harry welcomed Kate.
      I don’t believe everything I read but I do see trends and absence.
      Renee

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    4. But why do you assume that it was the other couple's fault? In reality, we know nothing about these people and what they're really like. In such cases, barring extreme cases, fault lies with both sides. More could have been done from K&W but what's to say that H&M didn't also play a part in alienating them? When there's someone new, in ANY kind of established relationship, it is totally normal to be somewhat cautious and even superficially envious of newfound love and more liberty, without it being vicious and bad, just good-humored 'competition'. That doesn't mean that K&W shouldn't have been more open publicly, but I do think that the other couple may have been too demanding with Meghan's total acceptance into the family and diogive everyone enough time. After all, in Wimbledon for example the two ladies seemed to have real fun..

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    5. Wow. I haven’t seen so much gossip and conspiracy theories on this blog in a while. This OC just spills rumours and gossip and just adds to the drama.
      C.

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    6. I'm with you Ali, don't think this is about jealousy.

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  47. Dear Charlotte!

    I wonder what your take is now on pap photos. Will you publish them or it is still out of question. I guess we gonna see them less in the coming months. Just asking.

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    1. It's a very tricky area and comes down to a reasonable expectation of privacy and the circumstances they were taken in. With the airport photos, I think there was an expectation of being photographed.

      It has just been announced the Sussexes have issued a legal warning over images taken of Meghan and Archie out walking yesterday. In Canada and the US, this is going to be a real problem for them, especially with photographers travelling to Vancouver Island at the moment.

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    2. Hi, Becca USA here....
      Not only may this be a challenge for them... but I feel quite perplexed at the mixed message, as Meghan was clearly smiling straight at the cameras, almost as if sending the message of the happiness & freedom she feels..... I don't know how one insists on privacy & then does that!? (especially in public woods). This is not a time for mixed messages. I think they need to be crystal clear about their positions & then adhere to them like glue.

      Becca USA

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    3. I'm not sure if my first comment went through... it may just be me.... but I don't think calls for Privacy can be made, while smiling directly at the paps as she walks through public woods will cut it. Again, it may just be me, but I think they need to pick a lane.

      Becca USA

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    4. It is tricky indeed, with them hiding in bushes.. I hope they wont make their life harder. I suppose we can count on your judgement when you publish them then.

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    5. The “half in, half out” is a made up media phrase. You can’t wipe people’s memory of Harry as a prince for the last 35 years. It wasn’t like the monarchy hid him in anonymity. He has been in the public spotlight since conception.

      It’s particularly ironic because the same media will forever link them as royal and to BRF while simultaneously telling the public these two shouldn’t style themselves as royalty. Talking about having it both ways.

      If the monarchy wants them gone, it still needs to protect them. Harry never had a choice for anonymity. No way the tabloids are going to let their money making headlines go. Look how much money Diana’s life and death made for them.

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    6. Is this what they asked for?Not UK paparazzi but Canada paparazzi? In UK this walk wouldn't have been public. I am not sure what they want

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    7. Becca you are so right

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    8. Becca USA, what you say makes sense, but the RF has learned not to frown or look unhappy. If Meghan looked angry, it would be shown under headlines like "Queen refuses to give into Meghan's demands" or "Harry lays down the law and Meghan doesn't like it." When we see Kate with no expression while driving, it is said that she is stressed or unhappy. Any frowny face of the Queen is put next to Kate or Camilla or Meghan with fake headlines.

      And indeed the photographer may have been pretending to be someone else, hence the casualness of Meghan and the two bodyguards. We just don't know so it's best not to make our own fake news.

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    9. Is it true Meghan was walking in a public park? If so, I don’t think she can expect to have privacy.
      Regarding her smiling...I think it’s quite possible she was talking to someone on the phone via earbuds under her hat. I do that when I walk, and am sure I smile in response to the conversation at times. Based on my experience, I think that might be why she had such a natural smile rather than smiling for a photographer.

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    10. Is she supposed to look miserable in every picture from point forward? If she had been sad or angry looking there would be someone reading into that too saying "look at her face, she's already regretting this". Pictures are split second images and Allison mentioned a good point, we don't know the context of the circumstances surrounding this picture.

      Elisa

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  48. I love the fact that he spoke up and showed respect to his wife and his family and spoke in terms of this being his decision

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  49. Choosing his wife and son over everything, we all should be so mature and loyal. Harry phrased everything so well and let us know it is not Meghan who made these decisions and forced him into it like the dumb tabloids say. Also, addressing the issue soon after and himself says a lot. I hope they find the peace they are looking for and know they do have true supporters out there. Archie deserves a normal life and so do his parents.

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    1. @ Rachel from NC
      Excellent ! I agree with you!

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  50. My biggest concern with this is that their ability to be financially independent may not be realized. Harry has lived the privileged life of a billionaire for all of his life. While he is certainly dedicated to service, his billionaire lifestyle has not been earned in the traditional sense, it has been funded through the family.

    Meghan was self made before she met Harry, but has also enjoyed the privileges of the billionaire lifestyle these last few years. While the two of them may be willing to step back from "billionaire" down to "millionaire" this may be harder than they realize. It will take an enormous amount of money to afford them the privacy and security that comes with their wish for a more peaceful life.

    I hope that prior to the haste of the announcement, they seriously considered how to plan for their new lifestyle.
    The world of charity, non-profits, philanthropy, etc. is not necessarily one where wealthy, large salaries are pulled in, and if they are, it is certainly not for ribbon cuttings and advocacy appearances. By nature, philanthropy is an effort based on giving, not getting.

    My feeling is they will still be funded for Charles for quite some time. It will be unsavory for them to take large sums of money for charitable endeavors and I feel the public attitude towards commercial endorsements, etc. will tire and not be particularly well received over time. After all of this dies down, I unfortunately think many people will tune out since the drama has subsided.

    While they are in a position to be considerably more financially comfortable than most at the moment, I think that once the limits of their ability to earn are realized it could put a strain on the situation.

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    1. Completely agree.

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    2. Well their combined net worth is estimated at 30 million. Let’s just estimate that it is invested at a percentage of around 8%. That is an income of 2,400,000 per year. Taxation will take a chunk of that. I haven’t a clue whether that is enough to support their lifestyle or not

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    3. It's not enough for their lifestyle as it currently stands. They have the star factor of A List Celebrity equivalents. Those celebrities have net worths many times over 30 million. I work in an industry that provides services to high net worth individuals (celebrities, heads of state, royalty) and the cost is staggering to maintain privacy, security, etc. It touches every aspect of your life - not just the highly visible costs like real estate, security entourage, etc. Your life is lived at concierge level to maintain privacy. The things we all do on a normal basis come at a premium with a high net worth (banking, shopping, wellness, travel, etc.).

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    4. Fiona in Australia22 January 2020 at 02:24

      You raise good points ChelseaF. The question, I guess, is whether Charles will be willing to fund them indefinitely. Barbara U.S. I wouldn't know either, but paying for security will also take out a substantial amount of their income. Just look what happened yesterday, and H&M are already looking at sueing photographers for those photos taken of Meghan and Archie on their walk...

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    5. I think a lot will be covered through friends. I doubt Elton John did or will want them to pay for using his holiday home, and that might be the case for many other influential friends. So just an example of how their expenses listed above are suddenly significantly reduced by not paying thousands for renting holiday villas etc. Also, these people can connect them to some less demanding, but more lucrative jobs, like sitting on a board of some companies or organizations. They can certainly get many one-of jobs like doing a voiceover or attending an event, they can get their own columns in some media, etc. Obviously they will have some salary as heads of their foundation, and although I think it will not be astronomical, it could provide a stable income. I think financially they will be fine.
      Ella

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    6. Much of their current lifestyle is only caused by royal work, for example, they might need custom haute couture for a state visit in Morocco but no to go to the supermarket in North America. They should be much in demand in North America as speakers/actors/TV personalities, they can surely make a lot of money from that (not by selling pyjamas I don’t think, this whole trademark thing is a tabloid hoax – journalists know quite well that trademarks are filed as extensively as possible to help prevent pirating), and still continue to be active in their charities. But if all else should fail, they can live in a gated community somewhere on their existing private fortune, not easy of course if you have been used to better things, but probably better than depending on the financial whim of your family.

      Maggie – short for magpie

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    7. I think this is one of their.best moment in their life : re evaluate their priorities and cut in unecessary. Meghqn.knows whar it means and sometimes in life it ia not bas to go back to a.situation where you may have less incomes. At the end you enjoy even more all the stuff you keep than before. It is difficult at the beginning but is si doable. To my opinion if they move in a very small house they also cut the personel they need to help them and the potential leaks from that personel. There are many hollywood star you only see on red carpet. So there are ways to disappear and reducf contacts with paparazzi..even when braf pitt and angemina jolie were a huge topic for the media they were able to get pictures of the family only at airports or when going to q very public place like a toy store. I hope they can manage it.

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    8. Maggie, I don't think they had to spend much more because of being royal. Not every tour requires haute couture, for example the South Africa tour was a festival of affordable and recycled clothes, which I loved. And if I may guess, they will attend some events with a specific dress code in America,too, so basically nothing is changing. There will still be dressier events and more civil engagements.
      With that said, just as they won't need special clothes to go shopping in America, they didn't need special clothes to go shopping in the UK. There is no difference here.
      So while I think they will do just fine financially, I don't think significantly lower expenses will be a direct result of this transition.

      P.s. one thing might change though. I think they will now be able to "barter" with brands and accept free clothing. Maybe that was what you meant Maggie, I am sorry if I didn't get it right away.
      Ella

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    9. Ella, thank you. I was trying to say that a simpler lifestyle should make for less cost. Mainly I was thinking of security, but did not want to bring it up because security costs will continue to be high for them for a while until the furore dies down. While the royals have engagements several times a week, there also seems to be the Hollywood lifestyle of going on red carpets in (often borrowed) evening clothes then spending the rest of the month in blue jeans. I agree the South African wardrobe was lovely. The Duchess of Cambridge used to wear High Street clothes, but then she had a few wardrobe malfunctions so she switched to haute couture where apparently they sew small weights into hemlines, that is practical.

      Maggie - short for magpie

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  51. Thank you for your faithful and truthful coverage of these wonderful people, who many of us have grown to admire over years of following them. Will you continue to cover Meghan and Harry on this blog? I have never read any other news of either Duchess (Kate and Meghan) except through you!

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    1. Hello Samantha,

      That's very kind, thank you for reading DKB and MAM. I will be continuing to blog here :)

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  52. “Privilege” is right. I am no longer interested in following them. They are just boring celebrities now. I am interested in the history, dignity, and incomparable glamour of the Royal Family—and their use of their position to help and heal. Not interested in people with a “name brand.” Thanks, Charlotte for all your hard work on this blog. I truly appreciate the care you have taken on it. It’s just HRH Duchess Kate for me from now on.
    Beth in SF

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    1. I feel the same way beth . I think there is much more to all of this that people are not wanting to see but time will tell how it all plays out. I hope I'm wrong. We shall see.

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    2. I'm with Beth and Cindy. I've been a royal watcher starting with Diana, and I've followed the boys all their lives. Was thrilled when they both married and looked forward to what the "Fab 4" would accomplish. Now Harry and Meghan are not using HRH and will not be working for the Queen. Essentially, they are out of the RF, and as Beth said, they are more like celebrities now. I would have liked to have seen the Queen "downgrade" their titles to Earl and Countess, or at least make Sophie and Edward Duke and Duchess, as they still are a part of, and work for, the RF. I don't understand how H&M retain a title above working members of the RF, a title that is now a name brand.

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  53. I felt that Harry didn't make it entirely clear in his speech what drove the decision to renounce their royal roles: I don't feel it's only due to press interference and negative reporting. I believe they felt too restrained by what Sarah Ferguson called the Palace 'grey men'. Insiders also seemed to be briefing the Press against them with negative stories about Meghan.

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    1. Notice that Harry said at the outset "as much as I can share." Of course he cannot share family quarrels...when your close family are royals, that's a definite no-no. His father and brother will be the next kings, it's not like he's looking to bring down the monarchy!

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    2. The couple want to be financially independent. I have a suggestion for Meghan. She has fabulous skin. Start a skin care line using socially responsible ingredients. This should sell very well and make them the income they need to continue their other work. She could also donate a percentage of the profits to a charity of her choice. It would be a respectable way to generate income.

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    3. I'm pretty sure he can't talk about it, but his words are telling.

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  54. Will you continue to cover Meghan’s appointments and meetings and her sartorial choices?

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  55. A long time reader here. I remember reading the very first post on this blog and thank you Charlotte for keeping it going.
    I am sad and disappointed in all of this. I am sad that Harry and Meghan are not going to be doing work for the royal family. I am sad that when Charles and William are going to be king, his son, his brother respectively, is not going to be there to share the burden or to help with the duties. Yes there’s Princess Anne and the Wessexes, but they don’t have the star power as Harry and Meghan and Will and Kate do. When I first started being a royal watcher I always read that it was going to be William, Harry and their wives who were going to modernize or breathe life into the monarchy. That picture that was taken of the 6 of them (with the kids) outside of Clarence House was a really special moment. I was hoping for more of that. And there probably will be (they haven’t left the family), but it would feel wrong or different in some way probably. I guess I’m projecting too much emotions or expectations on them as we don’t know what really happened behind closed doors.

    I’m also disappointed because Harry and Meghan had so much potential. They were really good. Meghan did her first public engagement 4 days after the engagement was made. I was hoping to see more. I wish they were able to work it out with the press. I once read that when Diana joined the family and was hounded by the press, the Queen brought the editors in for a chat. Why couldn't she do something like that for Meghan and Harry? Of course the press is not blameless in all of this. I’ve read so many articles about how Meghan’s wedding flowers were hazard to Charlotte’s health or how the way Meghan held her stomach when she pregnant was “Hollywood,” but Kate did the same thing people said it was sweet. And of course all the racism and such were really awful towards Meghan. I don’t know if this sounds insensitive (please forgive me if so because I’m really not trying to be), but I remember reading how before Camilla married she was vilified by the press and the public. They called her all the names under the sun and then some. Even after she married, people still didn’t warm up to her but now she is considered a respectable member of the royal family. I think if Harry and Meghan had held on a little longer and just continued to work, things may have been different.

    Harry and Meghan have also played a part in this. The way they handled this entire thing just left bad taste in my mouth. Harry’s speech makes it seem like he didn’t have a choice, but I think he did. He could have worked it out, showed those haters they were wrong. I don’t know if Harry and Meghan can come back to all this one day, if they changed their minds. It may not look good though, but only time will tell.

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    1. Anon 03:20 i speak for myself here, i wouldn't want to spend my mife prove the haters they are wrong to the detriment of my sanity. The more resilience they would have shown the more harder the haters would have been on them to test how stting their skin is. We should remzmber that Murodch media group is ready to spend more time and money to continue to cash on Meghan and harry as long as it makes their income increase. All this happening when grand ma can issue a settelemnt of love and.support after a public split and all that while she has plenty time to show more support to Andrew. This later development made headlines for 24h only and back to MH. The mail and the sun and whoever cash on this will continue to dig to get evidence of where their money is coming from, who pays for their security etc. When they will become fully indepandant truts me they will evaluate the money they use to entertain their life style and call them hypocrite becaise surely that money will be far above the budget of the charities they support. They can stay in or out the RF it will never prevent some tabloid to make reports false or not that can genereate money for them. So I would also prefer to be out instead of being forced ro smile at daily mail potogtaphs and journalist. Harry has shown support and respect to his family. Even thought HM might also have their sharz of responsibilities, I believe the RF also a big responsibility on this but it just cannot be said publicly without having a.seroous.impact on the RF image. So we get tobthe point xhere Harry can only say he didn't have other option to protect his family than to quit and still be unable to articulate ot for the rest of us.

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    2. More care was taken by the Palace to protect the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Princess of Wales in her earlier years, because they are the main line. The journalists, also, realise that they cannot completely overstep the mark regarding the main line if they still want access to the Palace when the new generation ascends. That is how coverage of the Duchess of Cornwall miraculously improved after her marriage. The spare does not have the same privilege, or the same motivation to stay and take the hate since he must fear being sidelined at some point in the future anyway.

      Maggie – short for magpie

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    3. No, Maggie, Camilla's coverage improved because she was very friendly and pleasant with reporters, paying them attention and allowing them to take good pictures. She was called a flatterer and hypocrite for it but her long run strategy payed. She still isn't popular despite the positive coverage but she carries on. I can't say I like her but she is a clever and strong woman who has a long-term strategy and lots of perseverance. And humor too. She was vilified in a way Meghan never was, but she held on. For that I admire her.

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    4. H, both I think. It cannot just be friendliness because she could have been just as friendly when Mrs Parker Bowles, but the reporters would have been less flattered by it than when the Duchess of Cornwall is being nice to them.

      Maggie - short for magpie

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    5. Camilla definitely stuck it out for the better, though I don't think she had the choice as the wife of a direct heir. My observations personally though is that the media trashed her mostly because of something serious that she (and Charles) did. As everyone knows her and Charles had an affair and the media exploited that. Not that it's right but that's what happened.

      Meghan on the other hand was maligned for what? Doing the same things other royals do in addition to her background, looks, past occupation and being American. No she isn't perfect, however it's easy to see the clear bias in the media.

      Lora

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    6. I have thought about this, and I think the turning point for Meghan was the conflict with her father. Before that the press was gushing about her, building her up in an excessive way that should have spelt danger.
      What happened with her father was badly managed and made public and it was the starting point of the negative press. The honeymoon phase with the press was very intense but very short. In fact, the speed of it all is interesting, she went through what every member of the RF goes in a much shorter time. I do think things were getting better before the Africa tour, and the tide turned during the tour. People were getting bored by negative articles about her, and to keep the interest, the press was beginning to be positive. IMO if they had carried on, in two years the press would have been on the same level as other RF members. Not good but not actively campaigning against her. IMO it is what the Queen and older family members advised, think in the long term, this phase will be over soon. Harry has had such a long period of positive press, he should have known that it was bound to change.

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    7. H, I agree!
      Ella

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    8. The British press came out with the “outta Compton” and “exotic DNA” from the starting gate. Then there were the fake porn claim. Piers Morgan wasted no time trolling Meghan. Her dad’s family came out of the woodwork seeking fortune and fame. It has been downhill since.

      If you look at trends, the more positive coverage appeared with the actual wedding and royal tours- since that involved the Queen, soft diplomacy and direct representation of the crown. This positive coverage holds true for other working royals on oversea diplomatic tours and of other royal weddings. That’s part of the agreement with the royal rota.




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  56. I don't understand the comparison with Camilla. As far as morality goes, she did retain a relationship with Charles while she and he were married. She did in essence steal charles from Diana and make her miserable. Charles, of course, was more than 50% to blame, but much of the tabloid stuff was related to their affair. The later stuff I saw was about "fighting" with the Queen or Kate, but Camilla really had no choice in how she could act if she wanted to keep Charles. Meghan has a completely different scenario. Meghan was very friendly with reporters, especially in the beginning.

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    1. @Alison,
      You are so right!
      Renee

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  57. I wish Meghan and Harry had stayed on as working Royals. We will never know what they tried to change in the workings of the Monarchy before giving up. For example, maybe they tried to change the Royal Rota system or tried to get out of it for themselves, and were told "No.". In their original statement, they said that they wanted to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution." That was shot down by Buckingham Palace. When the Queen instructed her aides to work on a solution as quickly as possible, a story came out that she wanted them to come up with a model for other Royals (not the heir to the throne) such as Charlotte and Louis. I was hopeful that something would be worked out, but unfortunately, that was not to be. The Monarchy was unwilling to change and perhaps, modernize.

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  58. Hello Charlotte,

    I am a long time reader of both blogs. This is the first time I have commented. Thank you so very much for the wonderful, thoughtful and fair coverage you provide. I am happy you will continue this blog. Thank you for all your hard work!
    I grew up in the U.K as woman of color and have lived in North America for a long time. I am in an inter-racial marriage. I am a big supporter of the monarchy. I was thrilled when Harry and Meghan married. Finally, someone that looked like me, and perhaps had some of my experiences. I had my first child after Princess Diana's death, realizing life was too short waiting for things to change, sometimes you have to initiate the change instead of letting it happen to you. The Duke and Duchess appear to be individuals who are initiators instead of waiting for change to happen. That can make people nervous. One part of mental health and dealing with bully's is to step back. I applaud their initiative to look outside the box, and figure out solutions, which may not work but at least they tried.

    We all have ideas and onions about their lives, thoughts and behaviors, however until we have walked in their shoes, its difficult to say who is at fault. if people reflect on their own relationships, I am sure their family, friends and colleagues may have a totally different version of an incident, story or the truth . Only members of the RF know what happened and everyone has a different version. Many people appear to hold the Duke and Duchesses to a higher standard then that they personally display in their own life and relationships.



    I am ashamed of the way the press has hounded Megan. I like both Duchess and want both to succeed. They are different people with different interest and personalities, who happen to be married to brothers. Some sisters-in-laws are best fiend, some are not.That is just life.

    The Duke and Duchess are no longer working members of the BRF- that means they don't get paid to do work on behalf of the Queen. People seemed aggrieved that they are getting money from Prince Charles, and have security detail. Why? Its not coming out of taxpayers money. Prince Charles is the Dukes father- I am paying for my grown children's expenditure, hoping they wont need my help when they get on their feet. Whats so different about what Charles is doing? The tax payers are not picking up the cost- Charles is. The security detail is needed. I want them protected. Princess Diana did not have security and it ended badly. There were a lot of punitive measures in regards to Princess Diana, I don't want those repeated. I do not want anything to happen to the Duke and his family, and I am sure neither does the British government. They will always be tied to the BRF- those that talk about the Duke and Duchess trading on their name- well yes, what should they do- live under a rock, deny who they are? We all trade on who we are in some way.

    I will be sad not to see them so much. I also loved the clothes but I have been educated and inspired to help by all the good work the Duke and Duchess have done. I smiled at Harry as a baby, cried for him as he walked behind his mother's coffin, worried for him as he partied,and tried to find a partner that would put up with his burdens and am so very proud of him for putting the happiness of his family first.

    I am eager to see what wonderful things this couple does next. I am sure there will be stumbles along the way, but that's all right, everyone makes mistakes and then succeeds.

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    1. Harry and Meghan have money in their own right, so why is Charles supporting them? I read that Harry inherited 30 million from Diana and 7 million from the queen mother, while Meghan is worth around 4 million. I wouldn't mind Charles's support for them if H&M hadn't said they want to be financially independent.

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    2. Dear Anon 18:59,
      Thank you for these beautiful words and thoughtful observations. Please continue commenting!
      Renee

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    3. Anonymous22 January 2020 at 21:20 Do we know if he is supporting them? No, we do not.

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  59. I live in British Columbia, Canada.
    In so many ways, both Harry and Meghan have made it known that they value privacy.
    I understand their new neighbours in this province are respecting their privacy. Quite possibly, Harry and Meghan are sick and tired of facing cameras everywhere they go, of people talking about them and discussing every single thing they do. Quite possibly, it may be time to demonstrate some respect, and take this blog down.

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  60. Nicole from france23 January 2020 at 10:08

    Having read all the comments, I managed, at the end, to overcome my sadness at such a situation , and tried to see a common thread since the wedding , which seems to be the moment things got worse .
    Indeed , according to what you all said (as I do not have access to the British media here in France) , Meghan was vilified in a very heavy way, which could probably be compared to the way Camilla has been , although of course not for the same reasons , but both for moral reasons - Camilla’s affair with Charles, Meghan beeing a divorcee - . Catherine had her share too . Over that, Meghan beeing bi-racial was certainly something more people than we could think could not admit , I read some comments on the RF facebok page saying she was going to spoil and rott the « pure blood of the RF » ....
    Meghan certainly has , as we say in France a « thick skin » , she has worked her way through studies and jobs to pay for’them, through the movie and tv industry which are nothing but hard for women , learning the worst side of humanity by working for charities, in other circumstances she could certainly have resisted the press bashing . IF ... she had found the right support inside the family , including the way that this family manages their staff . More over, her time was made more difficult by Harry’s stress and , it appears , emotional weakness. Her body langage has quite often shown a sort of motherly attention towards him , and that was possibly what made her unhappy with the situation at such a point .
    With due respect to the Queen , who I admire and , I can say it , love , her acknowledgement of Meghan’s qualities sounded, to me , as the speech she delivered after Dianàs death . Partly sincerity , partly the right words put together so that the BRF seems a real family . For both situation , it came far too late , after having let press bashing for months and months .
    At least , Meghan and Harry are strong supports to each other , and realized what they needed to be able to go on in their private life and the work they dedicate themselves too . It is sad they had to go through all that , and could not manage the announcement as they wanted too . Although I still hope things can settle in the future , I can’t help noticing that he pays his respect towards the Queen only , not speaking of his father or his brother .....

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)