Friday, 19 February 2021

"We Can All Live a Life of Service. Service Is Universal."

Several weeks earlier than expected, Buckingham Palace released a statement today confirming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning to the Royal family as working members. The speed with which the announcement came followed a turbulent week during which Palace aides actively briefed the media following news Harry and Meghan would record a sit down interview with Oprah, reportedly taking place this week. Royal reporters received exclusives declaring Harry and Meghan were to be "stripped" of their royal patronages. With the news divulged to several newspapers, it seemed pointless to hold off sharing the news via official accounts. The statement in full:

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal family.

Following conversations with the Duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of the Royal family.

 While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.'

Robert Lacey told the Telegraph he thought Buckingham Palace released the statement in haste. "The implication is that the only proper service for Harry and Meghan is royal service. I am sure the Queen herself would not have said something like that, which is actually rather demeaning to her grandson."

Earlier this month, I wrote an in-depth piece about Harry's honorary military patronages - how taking them from him would excuse glaring double standards which to this day the Palace haven't accounted for. As noted in the post, Prince Andrew retains a lofty portfolio of honorary military appointments and all the patronages who haven't parted terms with him at their own behest. Prince Michael of Kent who is not a full-time working member of the Royal family, is involved in commercial activity, runs his own business and has been involved in several scandals, also retains his. The primary argument in relation to the post was "Harry is choosing not be involved". Harry and Meghan actively wanted to participate on some basis. This wasn't possible for them due to commercial partnerships, however it is possible for the Kents. I have no doubt Harry has privately thought about this and sought explanation. We'll find none forthcoming though, nor will the decision announced today impact Andrew or Michael. As of publishing today's post, I have yet to see any appetite from any member of the press to raise the above points.

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Effective immediately, the Duke and Duchess will no longer serve as President and Vice-President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. The QCT thanked the couple for enabling them in making "fast progress to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase", adding, "We are glad they will remain in our circle of supporters."

The National Theatre told the Daily Express over the weekend they would like to have kept Meghan as patron, unfortunately that wasn't possible. In a statement they thanked the Duchess for her support. The Queen will pass the patronage -- in addition to the others Harry and Meghan lost -- to other members of the Royal family. Also from today, the Duchess is no longer patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In addition to his honorary military roles as Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air ­Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore in Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command, Harry will no longer hold patronages with the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League.

England Rugby thanked Harry for his "time and commitment to the RFU", adding, "The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game."


In a statement, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said the couple have offered continued support to the organisations they will no longer be able to work with in an official capacity. 
'As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.'


 Omid Scobie for Harper's Bazaar reports:

'A friend of the Sussexes previously told BAZAAR that the couple were “disappointed but not surprised” that they were not able to continue their work with a number of their charitable patronages.'

Meanwhile, the couple will retain their private UK patronages. For the Duchess, she will continue to be patron of Smart Works. CEO Kate Stephens said she was "delighted" to confirm the news today.

Meghan's patronage of Mayhew also continues. Today the charity said, "We are incredibly grateful to her for her ongoing support and the generosity she has shown to us over the past few years."

Prince Harry, of course, founder of the Invictus Games remains patron. MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted, "As Veterans Minister I had the privilege of working on this incredible project that has given a new sense of purpose to so many vets & military personnel over the years. Prince Harry created this life-changing organisation - long may he continue."

Support from members of the military community today.

WellChild are "delighted" Harry will continue to be their patron. Chief Executive Colin Dyer told Harper's Bazaar, "He has always been a great supporter of WellChild's work and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. We know he is as passionate as we are that young people with serious health conditions continue to receive the support they need as we recover, rebuild and work to return to normal life."

Additionally, Harry remains patron of Sentebale -- a charity he co-founded, Dolen Cymru, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, Map Action, Walking With The Wounded, African Parks and Rhino Conservation Botswana.

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Despite the optics of the situation, it should be noted the Oprah interview had no bearing on this decision. Before Christmas, Harry alluded to supporting his Rugby patronages for as long as he could - suggesting he already knew it was likely he wouldn't be able to keep them. It's obviously very disappointing for Harry and Meghan, and I feel hugely sympathetic to the charities who have been pulled into this since it was leaked.

Chris Ship reports:

'Throughout the talks, Harry and Meghan's position was clear. Despite quitting their roles as senior working royals in March 2020, they wanted to maintain their connections to all the charities and organisations they'd worked with.

Their view? That they could still contribute in a meaningful way, despite moving their lives to California. But the Queen's aides did not agree and the promised the 12 month review was edging closer by the day.

And in many ways, Harry and Meghan's view that they "live a life of service" has been evidenced todayin the delight expressed by the charities who Harry and Meghan will keep working with.'

This exchange between reporters Christopher Wilson, Emily Andrews and Omid Scobie offers a mere glimpse into some of the disturbing conversations which have taken place behind-the-scenes.

Analysis from Peter Hunt, a veteran BBC royal correspondent. "History will judge the Queen poorly for her handling of this final act in the Harry and Meghan saga. The grandson of a Monarch – and son of a future one - has been cut loose by his family. A compromise could have been concocted. The post Diana’s death lessons haven’t been learnt. History will also compare and contrast the Queen’s treatment of Prince Harry with that afforded to Prince Andrew. Her son’s patronages remain intact."

Peter Hunt added.

As painful as I have no doubt all of this is, there is a much-needed sense of finality now. There is nothing left to take from Harry and Meghan. Each time they appear in public or speak, it will no longer be met with threats of "stripping" military appointments or similar. CNN's Max Foster spoke earlier of a lack of compromise on this. It is stark and undeniable. Given the fact charities expressed a wish to keep the couple, it is very difficult to reconcile the harshness shown compared to the kid gloves for Andrew. I certainly think we will all look back on this in years to come as a very poorly handled situation.

More than anything, as a family, the lack of compassion on a human level shown to Harry, who has done all of this to protect his family when the institution failed him, is incredibly sad.

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155 comments:

  1. That Christopher Wilson comment is shocking. I truly hope he is just spouting off and it is not indicative of the feeling in the Royal Family.

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    1. My intuition on the matter is that he isn't "just spouting off." His reply to Scobie says otherwise.

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    2. I absolutely agree with Philly. The palace did not want meghan back. Just harry.

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  2. Have either Andrew or Prince Michael said they were leaving as working members? I realize they both have significant issues, but perhaps that could be part of it. Harry being closer in the line of succession than them may also play a role.

    I think there is more going on behind the scenes than any of us could possibly know. I don't think it's all H & M's fault, nor all the Queen's/Royal family's fault.

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    1. Hello,

      Prince Michael isn't a working member of the royal family.

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    2. I should add, I do find it bizarre the situation with Michael and Andrew hasn't been addressed in relation to this decision.

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    3. Annon 19:42
      Agree that we do not know what all is going on and that blame for issues can not all be laid on one side or the other. Plus we have no idea what all the behind the scenes talks may have been. I did not find the Queens comment disrespectful at all, nor would I necessarily read Harry and Meghans as a dig. I suspect both sides ended up comfortable and happy with their final decisions.

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    4. It is not only that Michael and Andrew have been accommodated by the Royal Family and that quite amazing compromises have been reached for them, but that also Edward and Sophie were given the opportunity to work in industry while holding a VERY similar position to that of Harry and Meghan. That Prince Edward's attempts were not successful commercially and that that is arguably the reason for his opting to go full time as a Royal cannot in any way mitigate the fact that he was given every accommodation the Palace could extend to be successful in a commercial field. Why not Harry?!!!!! I can only think that the color and nationality of the two wives made the difference between the two Princes' handling.

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    5. Was Prince Michael ever a working royal? And has retired or something? I don't really know much about his situation. I just think there is more going on behind the scenes than we may ever know, perhaps Harry or someone else will reveal more in time, perhaps not.

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    6. I feel like Prince Michael and Prince Andrew may be allowed to keep their patronages because they still live in Great Britain. I think the fact that Harry and Meghan are basing themselves in the US has a lot to do with it. I think they may have been allowed to keep more if they "left" the royal family, but were staying in Great Britain.

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    7. There’s no justification for Andrew keeping anything as far as I’m concerned.

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  3. I completely agree with your take on this & thank you for your vigorous and thoughtful reporting on this terribly handled situation, from both a human & public messaging view. Could you clarify the difference between a royal & private patronage?

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    1. Hello,

      A private patronage is one usually without previous royal association. For example, the ACU and National Theatre was passed to Meghan from the Queen whereas with Smart Works and Mayhew she was the first point of contact in terms of royal patronage.

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    2. I can understand that the armed forces connections and the Commonwealth organisations are within the Queen's gift and the decisions were certainly influenced by the Queen being Commander in Chief and Head of the Commonwealth. I also agree that someone living in UK is better able to attend meetings, services etc. But surely the other organisations mentioned are not obliged to cancel their patronages just because the Queen or her staff request it? They could still write to Harry or Meghan and ask for their continued patronage if they feel it has been beneficial for them. For example it would be interesting to know how closely Meghan has been involved with The National Theatre which seemed a much better fit for her than for any other RF member. Harry has certainly been an excellent patron for the Rugby Union, so why didn't the Queen's advisors leave any decision until after the lockdown finished in UK and USA. Then after that if Harry hardly ever visited UK or attended matches, a change could have been made in a more civilised manner. Now it looks like punishment. From the reports the Palace can certainly be faulted for over-riding the inclinations of the various groups involved. The old saying about acting in haste seems to apply .

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  4. I will admit: I was really hoping for a reconciliation between H&M and the royal family. I was hoping that they would be able to work things out and that H&M will be able to come back and be working royals or at least find some middle ground. You made some good points in your previous article Charlotte, and its a shame there is no consistency. If there was, things could have been different and better.

    I saw on Twitter this morning of someone posting a picture of Prince Charles with his whole family including H&M. I think it was for his birthday and shortly before it was announced that H&M were pregnant. And I thought: This whole thing sucks. No matter whose side you are on, this whole thing just sucks on a human or personal level (if that makes sense). Its sad and unfortunate that it came to this. It feels like a family has been split apart (no matter what the PR says), but hopefully down the road things will get better for everyone involved. Here's hoping for the best.

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  5. I think the RF is on the losing end for certain. I wonder if Charles would do anything differently when he is king? And when there is more movement between the US and the UK, after the COVID situation? The fighting between Charles and Diana was so harmful to their boys -- it's hard to imagine that a divorce between Harry and Meghan would really be desired by the Queen, etc. I think H&M are going to be very busy in the next 20 years and this injustice will not affect their ability to have meaningful lives. Seems rather petty frankly and not conducive to ridding the bad feelings among some family members. Obviously Harry is still close to Eugenie, so that's a very nice sign.

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  6. How disrespectful can one be? There is something else going on....... the question is 'what'? I applaud you for your due diligence and beautifully written (argued) posts regarding this matter.

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  7. Charlotte, thanks for your prompt response building on previous reporting here that clearly shows the stark contrast in treatment between members of the Royal family. I know yours is a diverse readership with opinions falling across the spectrum. I would be appreciative to hear from anyone who can provide some context or logic behind the Palace's decision to leave the Sussexes at the forefront of controversy over and over again whilst protecting Prince Andrew from long-term scrutiny. Could someone here please help me understand? I am struggling to find sympathy. Harry's choice to stand in the gap for his family is a new exception to the rule. I want to believe that, as with all families, individual members have individual feelings about this-some may be more "saddened" than others to see this play out-but these official statements don't exactly encourage nuanced perspectives.

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    1. Yes. Please. I would like to know as well.

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    2. Make that three of us.

      Because we can only go on what we see. And if you assume the royal press pack only publishes what the palace wants, and I do, you cannot argue that the coverage of them, particularly in Britain, has been off the charts ugly. It could have been stopped, and wasn't. Because there weren't many facts involved, just a whole lot of opinion pieces designed to turn people against them, but mostly meghan.

      As a result there isn't much doubt in my mind that Harry would be welcomed back, but not meghan. I think the year period was expected to drive him away from his wife, miss Britain, etc, and it didn't happen. Harry appears happy and content with meghan in california. And now they have another baby on the way, which is just lovely news.

      No, in my opinion, the royals have miscalculated and shot themselves in the foot.

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    3. I can only direct your attention to Lainey's gossip website. Apparently it was Prince Andrew's birthday on the day this announcement was made. There was a tweet for him (which went over as it did) and then there was this announcement about Harry and Meghan.

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    4. I do not believe at all that the "royal press pack only publishes what the palace wants" on any level.

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    5. They definitely manipulate the media coverage. How else is the Andrew scandal so buried and even the most trivial Harry and Meghan news breaking controversial news every day. This is strategic.

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    6. It’s not. H&M sell more. It’s that simple. There’s been coverage of Andrew and Epstein for years, lots of covers, you only have to google.

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  8. I agree that the Christopher Wilson comment is shocking. I sincerely hope that the RF did not expect Harry to end his marriage to stay within the RF. It was apparent that he loves Meghan and made his choice known from the get go.... Meghan/family over the monarchy--IMO! Yes this was a poorly handled situation that could've been easily compromised. Support within the family would've gone a long way and maybe we wouldve had a different circumstance/ending. It is a shame that in today's day we are STILL dealing with racial discrimination and class issues. I truly hope there is a sense of peace and closure for H&M. Thanks Charlotte!

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  9. This begs a serious question : Who is in charge at BP? The Queen or her press office? She let this tripe go out on her behalf and threw H & M under the bus. The announcement was ice cold and badly worded. Andrew belongs on house arrest, stripped of his patronages and left with one title because he was born as a child of a sitting monarch.

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    1. The oly possible answer is because the queen approves

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    2. I thought Prince Andrew had to step down from most of his patronages and didn't appear at the Cenotaph service because he has been demoted? However it is a bit unclear what has happened about the Grenadier Guards. He didn't even feature in Beatrice's wedding photos. so if the next Trooping of the Colour features him on horseback or in a carriage I would be surprised. Prince Michael lives at Kensington Palace but is not a working royal and pays rent.

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    3. I don’t even know what a working royal is anymore. The goal posts are always moved. I think the RF’s lack of consistency on this is half the issue.

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  10. Thank you Maria Shriver for your thoughts. Maria is an example of one who is not royal yet born into a family who doesn't just talk the talk but walks the walk when it comes to charity work. The complexity of the RF family is an absolute disgrace. Who chooses who gets a pass? H&M have done nothing wrong except to wake up to the reality of how much good can be done without having to wait in line to do it. The RF needs to give their house a good cleaning and stop sweeping very ugly issues under the rug. Titles!!! What a joke, its 2021.

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  11. Charlotte: In one way you nailed on the most outstanding remark of this departure as the title of your blog. Although it was a surprise, in another way, that is one remark which had sent me thinking since I heard the news and the announcement messages of each side.

    I had viewed videos and read articles between my breaks. No matter which side the press is for, here, for me, I wished that remark was different even though I am aware what the couple are saying. Overall I like them as a team; when it comes to messages like this, it is a couple who each had a different life experience and environment. These are the kind of times each should use his/her life experience and respond accordingly. It could have also been a matter of one convincing the other. I would have expected a more gracious note on that message. Not only was the monarch in advanced wise age, she had also been gracious to them, In fact by paying some respect and gratitude, and thanking her, they could have alienated the “men in gray suit” and the hostile tabloids.

    Another outstanding remark was that the Queen’s conversation was only with the Duke of Sussex (it did not include the duchess). In that case their message as M&H would have had more of Harry’s frame of thought. It seems they are too much of one voice.

    Prior to day, the best wish announcement about the pregnancy included his grand parents and his father only. At least as typically expected, PC and DOC – both names would have been mentioned. It was unusual.

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    1. Truthfully The "men in grey suits" and tabloids will always attack, especially Meghan, no matter what they say or do

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    2. I’m not sure the Palace’s statement was all that gracious, except for the concluding statement. Maybe the Sussexes could have had a corollary statement, but I think they’ve said it before.

      anyway on your point about the Duchess of Cornwall not being mentioned - I think that was due to not trying to overstep the Diana line. we’d need to go back to 2018 to see if she was included in that pregnancy statement.
      Duch

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  12. What an extremely sad family situation played out in front of the world. Diana would be heartbroken to witness this. It seemed inevitable that this final step would happen, but I totally agree that the double standard regarding Prince Andrew in particular, is galling. I wonder if Harry at times wonders “ how the heck did this all happen”? Estranged from his family , his friends, his country. Here’s hoping having the little family he always dreamed about makes it all worthwhile. I have a hard time believing that he will return to England this summer for the impt occasions of Price Phillips birthday and the commemoration of Diana.

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    1. Are you really wondering if being with his wife who carries her child and her son is really worth it? you are serious ? It doesn't surprise me because I noticed that for some Meghan was not considered a human being

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    2. faiza: thank you for your reply. Amazing! No one would suggest that ANY of the extended RF leave their spouse for work duties.

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    3. Pandemic has a tendency to ruin birthday parties and commemoration. But many, many families make do. They find many ways to stay connected and love one another.

      Except royal ones it seems.

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    4. faiza, their are negative social media comments all over about almost everyone, I do not read social media comments as meaning much. My impression is that most folks had no problem with Meghan or Harry if they even paid any attention to them at all. I know in my family and rather large group of friends I am the only one who knows who they are.

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    5. Anonymous, er sorry, but Meghan gets about 20 negative articles a day in the UK papers, Daily Mail or Express or Mirror - in the DM there are up to 16,000!! mostly negative comments (meaning vile, degrading, racist and disgusting). Twitter is the same. So your impression is not accurate. She has been hounded and harassed for 4 years, for simply being a black woman marrying 'their' Prince Harry.

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  13. Meghan and Harry want to have the freedom to pursue their lives untrammelled. Royal patronages have constraints which I think is incompatible with the lives Meghan and Harry want. They can be patrons in a private capacity of whatever organisation they choose to approach on their terms. Harry's life work in my mind is Invictus, Sentebele and Walking with wounded and Well Child, which he is continuing to work with. Meghan is still working with the two charities she was most passionate about so I think it is actually a reasonable outcome and removes the need to return to the UK regularly which also probably will suit the dynamics of a young family and their life in America.

    My view has also always been that they should reassess their need for titles and Harry's succesion as perhaps these are the last impediments to them having complete freedom. Would they be prepared to take on the Queens role with all its rigid constraints should the situation arise. If not then there is no reason to be in the succession line. I would like to make clear my view that the decision in this regard should be solely theirs.

    Both Andrew and Prince Michael are also war veterans and both saw active service possibly more than Harry did.. Prince Michael's appointments are longstanding and a reflection of times and practices when he was a young man. None of the other grandchildren of the current generation have been given similar appointment only William and Harry. One needs to remember that Prince Michael was once seventh in the succession line. Andrew's are very much in a holding position and I should imagine if formal charges are laid by the FBI they would be immediately revoked. We do have the presumption in our society of innocence until proven guilty. Accusation innuendo and trial by media or our opinion do not constitute a conviction.

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    1. There’s no accusation innuendo! His victims have clearly accused him of what he did, which was having sex with trafficked women who were unable to consent to their situation and barely of age. I’m sorry you feel that’s innuendo. It not, it’s disgusting and I believe these women. The FBI has actively wanted to question him and he is being protected by the diplomatic cover of being a royal. If he has nothing to hide they should make him available for that process, but alas... here we are... a holding pattern as you call it. I personally find the situation appalling.

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    2. That’s the whole point, double standard at work, innit?

      Favoritism trumps is the real Windsor motto.

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    3. Wow not a good look to rank veterans on their active combat experience and who “saw more”. All 3 actively served, and did far more than the many other royals who regularly don piles of this honorary flim flammery and parade around (Princess Anne particularly has a habit of looking like a Christmas tree with mountains of honorary medals despite not a day served in uniform). I will give Prince Andrew his military service. But the fact that he has received a fraction of the scrutiny as Harry and Meghan for exponentially more serious offenses is hypocritical at best and criminal at worst. All Harry and Meghan did was choose a less traditional path. And there’s zero reason for them to be subject to the petty slights they have been because of it. The RF had so many opportunities to paint this as a good will situation and keep Harry and his family in the fold. They chose not to. This is a family that I don’t feel has ever successfully read the room. Let’s not forget they refused to speak or act publicly after the most famous woman in the world, and former member of their family died, and when forced to they did it with the shield of her minor children. One of whom they can’t even work with in a respectful and compromising manner as an adult. I’ve just really had it. Harry and Meghan were correct in asserting that service is universal, and I am confident they will go on to make their Mark in the way that works for them and makes them happy and whole.

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    4. It is true that Andrew should receive a lot more scrutiny and he should definitely be stripped of all functions and honors. But one of the big reasons why he doesn't receive as much criticism is because he hides away and says nothing. Because when he did appear in public & speak, actually got a lot of backlash. It's basic PR that if you don't want to be criticized for something, you stay away from the spotlight. After some time, people won't be commenting much anymore. Out of sight, out of mind - usually works.
      The downside of this is that Andrew will probably have to hide from public view for the rest of his life & never be able to appear at any public function with his mother - or without. But that's what he deserves in my opinion.

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    5. Libby, some excellent points. Thank you.

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    6. Anonymous observer20 February 2021 at 06:35

      Thank you Libby. Well said.

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    7. Libby, thank you for your realistic appraisal of the situation. The vast majority of people would not want to live within the constraints that the royal family have.

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    8. TK in TX again, following up on my last comment. I forgot to say that there would be precedent for Harry’s being a working royal and Meghan’s being a private citizen. The Duke and Duchess and Kent work in this way. He works on behalf of the queen as a royal representative and public servant, and she worked privately, attending family functions but not formally representing the queen. I took Wilson’s comment as that being an option given to Harry and Meghan.

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    9. To the anonymous who says Andrew stays out of sight, that's not good enough. The Uk is paying £300,000 annually for his security, as approved by the Queen! Absolutely not acceptable. Whenever there was Andrew news, out came a Meghan article to distract the people from the real news. More people were outraged that she took a private jet, than of Andrew hiding from the FBI - it has never made sense.

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    10. Maria, I never said Andrew staying out of sight was good enough. There is a big difference between what's good enough in terms of justice & ethics and what's good enough in terms of PR. If Andrew stays out of sight & therefore avoids large-spread demands for his further demotion and punishment, then that is probably a success from his perspective.
      My comment means no more & no less than that if you are a public person and you want criticism of yourself to die down, staying out of sight is often sufficient. I don't mean that it's right, just that it's a PR strategy he is using and it's working somewhat well for now.
      Who knows about the future, more might yet come out, a larger public reckoning about sexual assault might still come... So far #MeToo has at times been successful, but not always.

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    11. Anon 23:32. You are correct in saying that Princess Anne was not in the military but you are wrong in saying her medals are honorary. Her earned decorations include the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle, Order of St. John, Queen's Service Order, also various Coronation, Jubilee and long service medals etc. She also holds equestrian medals, but likely doesn't wear them when in uniform. FYI: I have three medals for government service that I can wear if I choose to, even though I was never in the military. Let's not put Princess Anne down to prove a point.

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  14. This whole thing makes me really sad. I am a staunch supporter of Harry and Meghan but I am also fair and can put aside my preferences to see both sides of a story, but I don't see any side where Harry and Meghan are wrong. Their treatment by the press and the royal family has been horrible.

    I believe there was a lot going on behind the scenes in addition to the press. I know how snobs and "mean girls" can be and it's draining. But add in the backstabbing, the leaks,the racism,the press, and them being unable to respond had to be torture for both Meghan and Harry.

    Meghan's pain because the vitriol was aimed at her and Harry because he probably felt guilt for her going through this and not being able to help, betrayal by the family he thought would support him, plus he probably had deja vu of what his mom went through. Considering that is still a tender spot for him I'd imagine he was tortured watching a repeat of Diana. Then he had his son to take care of, it was just too much.

    The thought of them going through this because of a bunch of evil people is heartbreaking.

    I pray that they have nothing nothing but peace and happiness now that they're away from there.

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  15. Well said, Libby. The freedom from constraints is obviously important to Harry and Meghan in moving forward with their work and private life. I doubt either would welcome being yanked back into the mix due to any succession issues.

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  16. Although this is very sad, I'm glad this day has come because I hope it gives both sides closure. I feel that you could scrape the frost off of both statements but hopefully time will prove to be healing, especially with the birth of a new child to look forward to.

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  17. Please don’t read any animosity into this. I think Meghan is a strong independent woman who fell in love w/ a prince but not in love w/ the “business as usual” protocol of BRF. Even removing the British media reaction to her, I don’t think she would have ever been happy in that situation. She isn’t accustomed to having decisions made for her or to forego any personal remarks that didn’t fit the framework of the BRF. I’m not defending either party- just admitting that the chances of this outcome going any other direction than it did was the fairy tale. Here’s hoping that Prince Harry continues to grow into this new role more in keeping w/ what Meghan is used to than what he grew up with. Together I think they can do it & build a successful & satisfying life, on their own.

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    1. I agree with you Anonymous 22.12. Even without criticism and the media intrusions, Meghan would not be happy staying as a working Royal. That is not trashing her, it is stating that Meghan is not able to bury her independent thinking. She obviously was not fully aware of how difficult this would be for her to do. It is pointless to blame one side or the other. They have differing opinions and could not find a middle ground.

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    2. Maybe Harry wanted to leave? He’s mentioned it since before Meghan,

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    3. Fully subscribe to Anon 22.12 and Mary Pastushyn's comments. Meghan stole Harry's heart with, among other things, her passion and dedication to do good, support for charities and many social causes which is clearly a passion that they share. What they may have underestimated is that such good dispositions, as laudable as they are, are not necessarily sufficient to fit the "job description" of a royal which is much more multifaceted. It was simply not the right fit for the job. I think their vision of their role was more of a philanthropist and social champion rather than that of a senior working royal. Mismatched expectations. It's a good thing that now they are free to implement that vision without the constraints of having to fit it within the royal frame.

      -Laura-

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    4. The abuse of Meghan was the big reason why they left. It was clear that not only Harry was being tarred and dehumanized in the same way, their baby was too. I’d get Daily Mail notification on my iPhone, but I stopped looking at the tabloid as it is so full of lies, misdirection and bias. I don’t know how what they print can be called news. The comment board is full of Fox News and Newsmax type viewers— angry, beyond logic and full of white grievances, looking to blame others and find excuses for their own bad behaviors and failures. I find a lot of similarities among these haters and those people who attacked our Congress.

      This isn’t about independent thinking or Dr. Phi psycho babble. People shouldn’t have to put up with such abuse. It doesn’t matter if people are commoner or royalty. We’ve seen the danger when lies and allowing abuses go unanswered in the States. Good for M&H to walk away from such toxicity.

      A Reader

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    5. There I totally disagree with you.
      Honestly recognize that Meghan Markle has shown and demonstrated that she can comply with protocol for the little weather she experienced.
      Now put yourself in his shoes, there is a difference between following a protocol and following a protocol in such a toxic climate where clearly everything is being done to destroy you.
      Please, have mercy on the mind of this young expatriate woman in the middle of an unknown world which does not support her popularity, I will not speak of the ethnic criterion etc ...
      What should Meghan do? Let yourself be destroyed physically and mentally when, despite all efforts to get in the bath, others make unlimited use of means to discredit you ...
      It was not the protocol that was difficult but the rather toxic environment.

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    6. On the other hand if the Queen (and the rest of the Royal Family) was really out to get rid of Meghan, why did she press for them to remain working Royals? It seems to me that the real problem is the outdated royal rules which need revision, although I think there is a danger in being too commercial which they should all be aware of. Surely charities in UK can still approach them directly and ask them to be patrons? They don't have to get Royal permission unless it is a Royal patronage. The military appointments and the Commonwealth Trust are examples of the latter. It is certainly true that everyone is able to perform public service otherwise and the duo are now free to do this.

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  18. Jessica from Los Angeles19 February 2021 at 22:17

    What. A. Shame. I agree that history will not judge this decision kindly. The charities wanted them to stay, and they wanted to stay as patrons. It just seems so petty.

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  19. As an American observer, I don’t think I understand all the details of history, protocol and politics around the Royal Family. But from my vantage point, this is what I observe:

    Harry was the most charismatic and popular member of the Royal Family, both with the British Public and internationally.

    The British Public seems to think they OWN (caps for emphasis) the members of the Royal Family, and they certainly felt they OWNED Harry.

    In his capacity as their puppet, he had no right to a personal life that they could not accept or approve of.

    At long last, Harry found the love of his life and the promise of the family he longed for. His wife is a very intelligent, charismatic woman (who also happens to be bi-racial) who was treated terribly by everyone. Harry himself began to be tarred with the same hatred foisted on her.

    He stated clearly that he feared Diana’s fate might await them. They had no choice but to leave.

    The haters actually believed that they could force him to abandon his wife to return to their control! Unbelievable! He really is just an object in their eyes, not a human being entitled to a fulfilling emotional and personal life. How incredibly cruel and sad!

    It seems the Royal Family (perhaps directed by the suits) feel the need to punish him as much as possible for escaping their gilded cage.

    This punishment is terribly tragic -- the Royal Family doesn’t look good.

    But I think in the end, this cruelty gives Harry and Meghan even more freedom to continue their lives of service without further threats of punishment.

    Meghan and Harry worked incredibly hard while they were working members of the Royal Family. That grueling trip to Australia and New Zealand during the early months of Meghan’s pregnancy was beyond exhausting. They did everything that was asked of them and more.

    I support their statement that Service is Universal. Millions around the world lead lives of greater service than that performed by the Royal Family — and without all the luxury and perks.

    I’m grateful for the loving people who surround Harry and Meghan, lifting them up while they are treated so shabbily by the the Royal Family, the British tabloids, and the legions of haters. Their pettiness will not stop the work that Harry and Meghan will continue to do.

    Meghan and Harry will always have my support and love.

    Thank you, Charlotte, for your fair and bold coverage of these tragic moves by the Royal family, and for your continued supportive coverage of Meghan and Harry.

    (I may have written this to find my own peace with all of this, more than to lend perspective to anyone else.)

    R

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    1. Beautifully said R.

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    2. Becca in Colorado19 February 2021 at 23:22

      I agree with everything you've said.

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    3. Amen. Thank you for stating it so beautifully.

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    4. Here, here.....okay, again: HERE, HERE!!!!!! I didn’t need to write anything in order to internally process because I read your post and you said it all. And said it perfectly.

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    5. Their mistake was outperforming those higher up on the pecking order.

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    6. I do not agree with this assessment... they are two regular folks who have plus and minuses as do the other members of their family and as we all do.

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    7. Very, very well said. Thank you.
      I find the royal ‘families’ behaviour to be abhorrent.
      #ServiceisUniversal

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    8. I see the situation as you do, it is undoubtedly the reality despite the bad faith certain comments that amuse me in the end.Bluhare you hit the nail on the head too: well seen.

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  20. Bravo l agree.

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  21. "More than anything, as a family, the lack of compassion on a human level shown to Harry, who has done all of this to protect his family when the institution failed him, is incredibly sad." You said it all, Charlotte.

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    1. I mean yes it's sad, but these are all incredibly privileged people, Harry & Meghan included, that are unlikely to ever want for anything material in their lives. That of course doesn't mean any of them will be happy, but sometimes people's families just plain suck and figure life out anyway without all the privileges of being 'royal' or really rich.

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  22. Yes, of course, Service is Universal. Millions of us give of ourselves with no publicity or credit. For me, service is the rent I pay for my place on this earth. So Harry and Meghan can continue to serve as they see fit. It seems that the patronages they maintain are the ones they founded...Invictus and Sentebale for Harry, Smart Works for Meghan. Some of the patronages that they have lost, were ones held by the Queen and Prince Philip for decades. So these will go to others, who remain in the Royal Family. Harry and Meghan are free to serve on boards, volunteer and support any number of the thousands of charities worldwide...just as we all are. Nobody is going to turn down funds raised, or hands on work. This is not really tragic. It is of no use to point fingers and say that the Queen was wrong, or Harry and Meghan were wrong. Their opinions differ, but both sides made decisions based on their own perspectives and values. I note that the Queen's statement added again, as she did last year, "The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family." It is sad that H&M's statement didn't show similar affection.

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    1. Anonymous observer20 February 2021 at 06:30

      Thank you Anonymous 00:19.

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    2. I totally agree!

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    3. We all read things through our own prisms, and the Queen's statement was this: ". . . stepping away from the work of the Royal family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service." I don't know about you, but that felt like a bit of a dig to me. You don't have to be a working royal to live a life of service.

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    4. I think "public service" and a "life of service" are two very different terms.

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    5. Well said ali! Semantics are lost on many here.

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    6. Ali I agree with you. I think the words “public service” were chosen very carefully and not intended to be a slight. Public service is what you do when you represent the entire population of a country. Philanthropy is also a meaningful way of “serving” your community but is not the same thing.

      I didn’t read the use of those words as a slight at all.

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    7. Exactly Ali. The key word is public. I read Charles influence here. While the Queen seems to see family members as supporting her in return for her protection, a neo medieval outlook, hence the hybrid situation with Prince Michael, Charles has a modern stance. He sees the RF as glorified public servants, representative of the UK at all levels. Public service means working in the public sector, not the private sector. So it is in or out, no grey zone.
      I think much of what is incongruous comes from the fact there are different power center BP, Clarence house, KP and they don't coordinate.

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    8. Yes, there is some confusion as to what Public Service means. It is really public duty, that is done to represent the Queen. A life of service doing philanthropy or actual work for charities is open to all and it is certainly open to Meghan and Harry.

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    9. I think that underlying the Official statement is the principle that making ones living from public service is not a good idea. The Royal Family are already supported by the tax payer and certainly the inner core have never had to worry about how to make their own living. As soon as you accept money from any organisation you have the problem that it may be at the expense of the very people you are trying to assist. The Duchess of York has been criticised for this in recent years.

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  23. I think it would be a lot better if the announcement from the Queen did not have to be so "sad" -- something positive would do a lot to negate the "Harry is being so mean to his family" line. How about being so happy that her grandson and his family are doing well and missing his work but looking forward to seeing them as family members?

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    1. This. The whole statement was such an odd tone.

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    2. Word choices matter so very much. We all know when we're mad at someone, we can say something really cutting by praising with that one little undercutting word slipped in. We all know we can lift someone up by casting praise in a genuinely positive way. The word "saddened" in the RF statement carried a weight that brought down the entire three paragraphs and put the blame solely on Harry and Meghan. It was cruel.

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  24. The RF live in a tiny world of their own that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. Even other countries who still have RF's, have downsized and are very low profile. When did patronages even become a thing with the RF? I have no clue, but would be interested to know and, why do they have to do them? I just don't think the queen/RF desire any type of change. Who let's their family get bullied by the press for lies? So small, so petty. So glad H&M got away. Am looking forward to Oprah's interview.

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  25. I think this just shows that it is a sad situation for all parties. It is disappointing that both sides were unable to compromise. Whilst I agree that there are double standards within the royal family, and they could have been more compassionate to Meghan and Harry, I do also think that (and hear me out here) that Meghan and Harry "went out very strong" last year. Between Netflix and Spotify, and making statements about voting in the election...and now the Oprah interview...they really were pushing the boundaries. I feel that their actions were so strong and sensationalizing...they were not demonstrative to the Queen that they could still have some commercial ventures and perform some duties for the Queen. It's hard to straddle this line because of potential conflicts of interest. I mean, surely just taking a quite retreat from public life for a while, and continuing to build their projects in the background for a while wouldn't have done any harm. Especially during a pandemic. Maybe they knew the Queen wouldn't change her mind though, and that's why they decided to go for it? In any case, I am looking forward to hearing about what life brings them in the future. There's definitely a sense of finality now, both disappointing and exciting.

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    1. Anonymous observer20 February 2021 at 06:41

      Exactly Ally.

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    2. I hate to burst your bubble, but a big part of the Crown’s work is about pushing democratic ideals abroad, which includes universal suffrage by the way. The princes and Queen have made speeches about this.

      It’s too bad and sad that advocating for basic human rights is seen as political act, especially when done by Harry.

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    3. Meghan and Harry continued to do excellent work with all their patronages last year from the U.S. That shows that they are doing their best to uphold the values of the queen and to support the monarchy. I don't think they should be criticized for the size of their contracts either. They have indicated that their poductions will have nothing to do with monarchy.

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  26. This feels so completely sad. Why are Andrew and the Kents able to have it one way but Harry and Meghan must have it another way? So unjust and feels malicious on top of sad.

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  27. i am saddened to see the double standard... if prince andrew can keep his royal patronages and military titles so should Harry. the whole situation is so sad.
    i wish harry and meghan the best in the usa but the family divide is very sad but i feel it is only up and onwards for harry and it will be the royal family who will regret how they treated him.. it reminds me a lot of how diana was treated after divorcing charles.
    thanks Charlotte for the great post

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    1. Mellisa, the difference is that Andrew has not left. Also, why do we spout, "Innocent until proven Guilty?" Andrew has not admitted guilt, nor has he been criminally charged." I am not saying he is innocent, but so far he has not been confirmed as guilty. Should this happen, then it will be a very different story.

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    2. Ah yes the innocent until proven guilty trope. This is a legal principle that applies to court proceedings and has nothing to do with public opinion, employment decisions, or family affairs. And as the RF is an institution that blends all 3 of those things, they would be well within their right to formally ostracize Prince Andrew. They haven’t. He’s gotten photo ops with his mother (a tacit approval) birthday shout outs from official royal family social media, lip service to “stepping down” without any formal follow though of what that would mean, and most disturbing of all, the benefit of diplomatic connections in avoiding questioning by law enforcement in the USA and France. While at the same time another member of the family has been subject to petty manipulation and zero institutional support when viciously attacked by the media. Call me a cynic but I for one have some suspicions about the relationship of these two matters. Interesting how the Harry and Meghan coverage reached vicious and blatantly racist levels with nary a word from the Royal family but the Andrew coverage is buried. Interesting. I’ll leave it at that.

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    3. The "innocent until proven guilty trope." What an atrocity to say! This is one of our basic human rights in the USA and I believe in the UK, too. There has been way too much sentencing guilty by the media. It is very important to put accusations through a court of law and present the facts from both sides of a question and letting an impartial jury decide if they agree or disagree. Unfortunately, this great pillar of democracy seems to be fading.

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    4. Perhaps you misunderstood. I am a lawyer and innocent until proven guilty is one of the principles I hold most dear on my life. What I meant is it is trotted out as a trope in situations where it does not apply. Such as PR or employment. People can be fired or questioned by the media over anything with a much lower standard than the sacred innocent until proven guilty that applies to court proceedings. I find it is used a lot to excuse people not facing the appropriate consequences in other areas of their life (such as a job, or political role). Prince Andrew is beyond the point of facing non-court consequences for his actions and that it hasn’t happened I find appalling. And it has zero to do with innocent until proven guilty. Should he ever face court proceedings I will whole heartedly stand by the innocent until proven guilty standard as it applies to the legal analysis of his behavior. But as that has not happened (increasingly it appears due to the diplomatic cover provided by his status in the royal family) I will continue to find that line disingenuous about the other consequences he should face.

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    5. Thank you for your clarification.

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    6. Andrew should submit to the law and allow himself to be questioned. The right thing to do seems to be too hard for him. Andrew chooses to hide behind his mommy’s skirts, using diplomatic immunity to evade justice. Why isn’t he doing the honorable thing ? It’s not like he would be jailed. Rich people cut deals with the law all the time. He could get house arrest and agree to a fine and get some titles taken away. The fine could come to the US where a group has been set up to help victims of sex trafficking.

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  28. I'll try to be brief:

    While on official duty for the UK Foreign Office the Sussexes made a documentary about themselves and their unhappiness. They then released a website outlining jobs for themselves that weren't approved by the UK government. The government thanked them for their offer of public service and turned them down. This website they produced clearly demonstrates an attempt to profit off UK government jobs and associations, therefore, they were relieved of all national roles and honors. They do not represent the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the elected UK officials and government, nor it's people. Harry and Meghan are now private citizens free to pursue their for-profit dreams and philanthropic goals without being bound to the UK government.

    WHY they did what they did, is irrelevant to the unethical arrangement they publicly proposed to the UK government, who, correctly, did not accept their terms. (No matter what is discussed in the Oprah interview - the UK government is on solid ground.) H&M can discuss his mother, race, tabloids, and what have you, but the moment you put our a website detailing your government role without the government approval - you've sealed your fate.

    Bringing up other family members (like Charlotte, blog owner, does) can be construed as a Diversion Tactic, to direct attention away from the subject at hand. What the UK government is looking at - and that includes elected officials, the military, career employees, and the monarchy (Elizabeth and Charles) - is whether Harry has the capacity, or interest, to represent the UK given his traumatic experiences as a youth and even further, as soldier. They have thoughtfully released him from any "duty" to his birth family and nation and let the world (foreign powers) know he is much loved by his kin - do not eff with Harry. Harry lives in an allied nation with a leader who let the Queen and the UK government (and anyone paying attention) know - he will keep Harry safe during his Presidency. Harry has his own charm, and will thrive quite well, though he does have an incredible safety net, only few of us can dream of. If sh$t goes south for Harry, he (and his children) can live in a house on Sandringham or Balmoral Estate.












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    1. This comment is delusional. This is a family matter that was handled in an appallingly hypocritical and petty way. The government has zero to do with it. I think they have more on their plate dealing with a global pandemic that has killed Britons by the thousands, not the dynamics of royal grandchildren.

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    2. Trying to use the what aboutism argument in a double standard case? This is desperation speaking.

      Double standard is about inequality. You can’t march in with such righteous indignation re: ethics and conveniently look the other way at all the other family members and their cronyism and unethical behavior. This isn’t just about a palace approved friendship with Epstein. But about all the sweetheart deals by both olde and younger generations. The promotional parties and celebrity endorsements. The Panama papers. The secretive review which allowed the Queen’s office to review parliamentary bills and the subsequent lobbying to change a bill to prevent public transparency. People forget the vast amount of land that belongs to the Windsors and how renter’s laws affect many of the Crown tenants negatively. How in 2004 the government gave the Queen the right to collect royalties from shoreline built renewables— much of this move was due to the North Sea oil boom. What this means is the Queen will get almost £9 Billion pound in revenues. Yet the crown got a huge tax windfall to fix up palaces while hospitals are crumbling and healthcare workers denied pay raise by the same government in power.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/07/revealed-queen-lobbied-for-change-in-law-to-hide-her-private-wealth

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/08/queens-treasury-windfarm-bp-offshore-seabed-rights

      This is classic red herring. It’s why we have anti discriminatory and civil rights laws on the book and why some people want to dismantle such protections. These laws are there to make sure there’s equal protection and such laws are enforced EQUALLY. That people who peacefully protest deaths of Breonna Taylor are called thugs and are met with police in riot gears and beatings but the mostly white mob got to beat police up and then treated with kid gloves highlight the problems of group privilege.

      Lights on in the big T

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    3. I agree totally with Florida Moxie. A lot of comment confuses employment with family. Harry and Megan are still loved members of the family but are not employed as FM stated above. There is a difference.

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    4. @Florida Mozie
      I have read this post three times and I can't figure out what you are talking about, except that Harry and Meghan are completely in the wrong? I can't see that anything they did was not in line with the government in the UK or that they were exploiting the monarchy in anyway. I thought the documentary was about the South Africa tour, and Bradbury asked them about their feelings. They could of course chosen not to respond or lied. In my opinion, they responded with honesty. They didn't start out making the documentary about themselves; Bradby asked a personal question, and the media ignored everything that was accomplished on the tour, and made it about themselves.

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    5. Hi Moxie,

      You might be surprised to know I actually agree with you on something. I do think Harry and Meghan's original request was untenable. Maybe for different reasons than you, but I agree it would not work. I think they released it early so the palace couldn't control *their* narrative. I could be wrong there; but I don't think so. But you're right, it wouldn't have worked, and I don't think they should have gone public with their website when they did. But here's where we differ. It wouldn't work, because there was no willingness to bend, perhaps on both sides. One side has 1000 years of tradition on its side with the apparent blinders you wear when you've been around that long. The other side was fed up of how they'd been treated.

      There's two sides to that, I think. The media treatment, and inside the family. Obviously, i can't speak about the family, although I will say Marie Christine Von Rippentrop (not her name I know) showing up wearing a slave brooch to Meghan's first Christmas with the extended family was not a great start and indicates that perhaps all was not perfect inside. But the media has been abhorrent, and very, very few facts have been in evidence. It's mostly been opinion pieces based on supposition -- a lot of it leaked by the palace in my opinion. And, as I always said on the Kate blog, I don't care how you are behind closed doors. It's what you do in public that counts. And on that front they performed beautifully, arguably better than most in the family.

      But to call Charlotte's comment about the military honors a diversionary tactic? You should know better than that, Moxie. There's this thing called a double standard. And one is certainly been applied here in the treatment of Harry. Andrew is also not a working member of the royal family -- forced into that position because of potential CRIMINAL ACTIVITY -- and he can still use HRH, gets money from mummy, who also forced the police dept in charge to pay for his security as well. One was forced out and one willingly left. See the difference? Andrew has all his accoutrements except for an expense account, including his military honors. Harry does not. He has to pay for his security, fund his own lifestyle, and give up patronages that meant the world to him. And he's willingly done it, except for the last part. He didn't want to give up those military patronages. He's made helping military members a huge part of his life. If you can't see the difference in how they're treated I'm stunned.

      Think what you will about it all, but in my view their treatment has not been fair because the royal family (meaning the Queen) has not been willing to take a look at how things could be changed to harness the two most charismatic members in the family. It's like everything else, if you see someone else is more willing to compromise, that tends to make you more willing to compromise. Apparently, not when you are the Queen. I think the royal family will live to regret this, I do.

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    6. bluhare,
      Is your argument: The Queen does not treat the (possible) unethical behavior by her kin the same. Therefore, Harry should get to be an honorary leader of the military?

      Harry and Meghan, by their own hand, released their website. They branded themselves SussexRoyal in anticipation of enriching themselves through whatever business deals they were able to negotiate as working members of the UK Government through the Crown. They were stopped in their tracks, relieved of their service, and are free to enrich themselves privately.

      Or Is your argument: The Queen does not treat the (possible) unethical behavior by her kin the same. Therefore, Andrew should not be an honorary leader of the military?

      I don't follow the Mad About Andrew blog so I honestly don't know what he's been getting up to. But it sounds like maybe they haven't taken the honors away because he hasn't officially been charged with anything and to pre-emptively take away honors might imply there is a reason to do so.

      Or Is your argument: The Queen does not treat the (possible) unethical behavior by her kin the same. Therefore, the Monarchy should be dissolved, or she should be removed, because she is unfair?

      I don't have an opinion on that one - but my goodness you are in it for this long, 68 years with this one, and almost 1200 years altogether!

      Here is where you and I might agree again - when Charles becomes King, I think Andrew will be retired fully and relieved of his honorary appointments. Charles always said he would streamline the monarchy. I happen to have a lot respect for Charles and the fewer relatives he has to deal with, probably the better.

      Delete
    7. Maybe you should start that Mad About Andrew blog if you seriously think the two situations are the same. As for the rest, I think you are deliberately misreading what I said, so not much point continuing the conversation. And I so used to enjoy going back and forth with you.

      Delete
    8. bluhare,
      I have no interest in watching Andrew, although I did watch the mother of his children, Sarah Ferguson, on Oprah's network in 2011, when she needed a job and did a six part series for OWN. I don't know if that was broadcast in the UK. Her daughters made a cameo.
      So Meghan's not blazing trails when she appears on Oprah, she's following in the footsteps of Andrew's ex-wife (and Beatrice and Eugenie) who still lives with him. So that's another thing Andrew and Harry have in common - the mother of their children being paid by Oprah to talk about their experiences for profit - besides both of them being brothers of heirs (and second sons) who then trained in the military. I believe they were also neighbors in Windsor - where all the heir's brothers (Harry, Edward, and Andrew) were living before Harry gave that interview to Bradby and then released their infamous website. Royal Lodge and Bagshot Park being just a smidge more posh then humble Frogmore Cottage. Eugenie seems to enjoy it.

      Now Harry and Meghan live in CA and make money on appearances and production deals. Harry's been filmed carpool karaoking with James Corden for his show. Meghan's getting a whole hour and a half on primetime!

      I'm not sure anyone is really saddened by the arrangement.
      It was nice chatting with you once again.

      Delete
    9. They aren’t being paid by Oprah. Generally interviews are not paid in the USA due to the compromised journalistic standards it implies. Fergie was paid for a show Oprah produced. Meghan and Harry also have production deals they will be paid for but the Oprah interview is not one of them. This isn’t the gotcha you seem to think it is.

      Delete
    10. Nice Trying to associate Meghan with Andrew. Just keep repeating his name. Fergie, wife of Andrew.

      Why not mention that Oprah interviewed Michelle Obama also. Oh wait. No Andrew association. That wouldn’t look good attacking a popular former POTUS and a black woman. The tabloid created Meghan works better as a punching bag.

      Here’s the thing. Why is Meghan or Harry being equated with Andrew or Fergie? Why? What purpose does this serve? Who benefits?

      Meghan and Harry didn’t buddied up with Epstein and went in the telly to talk about it. They didn’t try to bribe people. They didn’t use money from a palace sanctioned charity to pay £450,000 to a former aid to go away......

      As royals who must work for their own living, Meghan and Harry signed up with Netflix and Spotify and now do an interview with Oprah. All done in full transparency. That is somehow considered bad and greedy? Yet other family members can do endorsement of products for goodies, try their hand at film making of the young princes no less and they don’t get the same nasty blowback.

      It’s called Double Standard.

      What’s up with that?

      Delete
  29. Hi Charlotte, where do you think Charles fits into all this? There is no mention of him in the commentary. As Harry’s Dad , and the future King, he must have been involved? Do you think Harry will be involved in family affairs going into the future? I am hopeful that when Charles becomes the King, he may be able to include Harry and Meghan in family events. I could be naive thinking Charles you has a different outlook to BP . Sinead

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  30. Hi, I love this blog and follow it religiously. I feel that the media and "royal experts" are the ones we should be aiming our anger at, they seem to have this vendetta of 'divide and conquer' which creates the narrative that they want- jut like with the letter to Thomas Markle. I hope that once Prince Charles is King, they may come back in a smaller capacity, he seems much more open to change whereas the Queen is a product of her generation, adn most likely protective due to the abdication. I love both Harry & Meghan and William & Kate and believe they are good people, so I think this is more the media and "royal experts" creating stories than the truth. As to the question of Prince Andrew, unfortunately I think it will be down to Prince Charles and Prince William to sort out what has happened with him, it sounded like it was their decision that he step down and not come back, not the Queen's.

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    1. I agree Ive become sort of mystified by the concept of a royal expert. I’m really not sure what they do or what information they have. They seem to scan Twitter headlines, and then apply a set of criteria from maybe how the royal family operated 50 years ago, and then spin it into a scandal for money and clicks. I don’t think they have particularly insider knowledge and they definitely don’t help the situation on either side.

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  31. It’s all so very sad, especially when everyone else in the RF kept theirs.

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  32. Thank you Charlotte for such a searing and honest post.

    I am deep in all of my emotions about this situation. I will admit that I am mostly angry, disappointed and frustrated. I do agree with Peter Hunt, history will look back on this time and it will not judge the queen or the family with a kind eye. The one diverse member of their family, the one member that brought in a whole new community of royal watchers, the one member that got so many around the world excited about the BRF and they allowed her to be hounded out of the country by racist, misogynist and xenophobic press without one word or one finger lifted in support. Yes, history will not be kind.

    I truly hope that going forward Meghan and Harry will live their life full of peace, service, love and laughter.

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    1. I have a hunch that it will affect the unity of the Commonwealth as well. I would wager on its dissolution, if not following the Queen's death most certainly after Charles's. With Meghan and Harry there may have been a hope of maintaining it and even reinventing it throughout William's reign. With Meghan in the RF, it answered the need for representation which is gaining more and more traction. Now the RF cannot be viewed as an outmoded colonizer's institution by more and more people who have been royalists rather than republicans. But now? Disagree with me if you wish, but I think it won't survive.

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    2. Philly, I agree that the CW won’t long survive. Most CW countries are made up of citizenry that is predominantly POC and I can’t imagine how they feel seeing the treatment of Meghan, the lack of family support and of course the kid glove treatment of Andrew. Let’s not forget the treatment of the Sussex’s at last year’s CW service,at a service celebrating diversity saw members of the royal family completely ignore Meghan and barely acknowledge Harry. It seems to me that this family never misses an opportunity to be as petty as possible.

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    3. I agree with Lauri and since Peter Hunt is a respected journalist, read this one, worth it.

      https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-monarchy-failed-meghan-and-harry

      Only thing I want to say, on a personal level Harry must feel devastated, I certain would, and I hope he can heal and feel loved and be loved even more by his true family. I know royals mean business, they showed their hands after Diana's death, and they showed us again.

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    4. Very nicely said, all of you. I agree. The commonwealth is dead man walking.

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    5. I noted a typo in my comment above. It should read (corrections is all caps) "Now the RF cannot be viewed as ANYTHING BUT an outmoded colonizer's institution."

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  33. I am also thinking, and this is not meant in any way to be a criticism of other working RF members, that Harry and Meghan generate so much interest that they might be perceived to take away interest from the heirs. Especially if they are also free to pursue non-royal directions. For example, having a member of the RF go to South Africa and say "As a Black woman..." is so special. I'm not saying that the RF members have this in mind, but I'm sure the aides do. And maybe the Queen does, because it seems keeping the monarchy alive is an extremely important goal for her.

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  34. I did expect it but I had this small unrealistic glimpse of hope that the BRF would decide for progression. It is hard to accept this fairy tale gone bad thing if you like monarchy as such.
    As a psychologist you look for patterns and this is a repeat from the treatment of Diana especially after the Bashir Interview.
    I do believe that Prince Philipp plays a big part in these decisions. The Queen herself is different in her personality but she has always tried to keep a balance with him.
    Unfortunately we need to assume that other members of the family did not fight for Harry.
    I believe Anne would have tried- I miss William -he really seems in hiding.

    Yet I do believe that Harry and Meghan will have an easier life now. Diana came into her full energy when she left the royal family. Unfortunately she lost her grounding in the end. This is different in Harry’s and Meghans actual life. They did find love, they had the opportunity to learn and accomplish themselves much more than Diana was able to. I am sorry to say this but I do believe the BRF has lost a lot of its future with this decision.

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  35. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I was already saddened that these causes would be losing ardent patrons and that Harry and Meghan were obviously being punished and made examples of by the Royal Family for no legitimate reason – I had no idea about the flagrant double standard with regards to the Kents and Prince Andrew. Shameful.

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  36. Harry said that he would always uphold the values of the Queen. It's very clear through words and deeds, what Harry's values are. I wish the Queen, would someday before she is gone from us, through words or deeds, indicate that she supports Harry's values also; that she valued his service and contributions to his monarch, his country, and beyond.

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  37. Thank you Charlotte for this sad post.
    Thank you Philly, Lauri and Bluhare, and many other commenters, for your excellent analysis.
    I agree with someone who wrote, ‘Harry must wake up and wonder how did I lose my family and my country ?’ This situation has been mind boggling. The destruction of a family because 2 members raised the bar on their line of work. H and M clearly were appreciated by all whose lives they touched.
    This is the RF’s loss. Inexcusable.
    Renee

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  38. I'm curious. Is there precedent for losing royal patronages/military appointments? For instance, did Diana lose them when she divorced Charles?

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    1. As I understand it, there are two kinds of royal patronage. Stand alone and royal patron amongst others. Diana's were mostly not stand alone where there are no other patrons. Thats why meghan is still working with Mayhew and smart works. But military are stand alone and given by the queen. So she can take them away. Hope I'm close!

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    2. She kept her patronages but then decided to prune them back and concentrate on a chosen few.
      Frankly it is rediculous to have hundreds of them as the Queen does at present.

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    3. I remember Diana making a statement that she was stepping back (in 1992?), and she gave up a lot of her patronage’s at that time. I recall being surprised by how many she had. like more than 50?

      but I think a few remained even after that announcement - not sure what happened after the divorce.
      -Duch

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  39. As mentioned here, there is a lot behind the scenes that we don't know, and perhaps we will never know. I like M&H, but I think they knew what was coming. Their words choice and timing, though is so wrong and not appropriate. And this happened also in the past. Think about now, with Phillip at the hospital,Eugenie's new baby born,a pandemic going on, and they "plan" an interview + these words after the Queen's statement. I just feel they have rushed in everything, and all decisions. They have lost a sensitive approach or just badly counselled. I am so sad for all the situation...

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    1. Very well stated, thoughtful and sadly more true than many want to believe.

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  40. Perhaps if H & M hadn't chosen to leave the country the Queen would have felt differently too about the patronages, who knows. Maybe she wanted people to have those patronages who she felt would be more hands on, living in England. We can all speculate all day and perhaps not even be half right.

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    1. I doubt it’s about being on different continents. My family is split between Oz and N. America and we still are a family waiting for the pandemic to get under control so we can meet all the new family members and grieve the loss of those who passed away.The pandemic will pass.

      The big difference here is choice. We have plenty of trauma and dysfunction in our family too. What we don’t have is the public eye and those who would profit from our family mess. We choose to work hard at being a family, to stay in touch, to connect, warts and all.

      M.

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  41. People who read the tabloids and the conservative Telegraph are going to believe the worse about Meghan and Harry. That was clear from the get go. Meghan was never going to be treated well. She was too developed as her own person, successful in her own right, confident, not a teenager, not a long time girlfriend in waiting, not from the peerage, not English. And despite her racial ambiguity, not white.

    The palace can put out as many pretty words about family and kindness and sadness, but as anyone who has been traumatized by a manipulative boss or partner knows, it’s the action that counts.

    People of course will want to believe whatever stories best embraced by their own biases. We’ve seen how the media manipulated the Brexit campaign and in the States, Trumpism. The believers have always been there in hiding until mainstream media made it ok to out themselves.

    The Palace wants to have it both ways. To be seen as opened to change, to be kind and against bullying and racism, hence the tokenism in photo ops and speeches. In reality, it’s a facade. The Palace is a petty place, with full on vicious palace politics at play. What the Palace can unite on is its refusal to accept the Meghan interloper. Meghan couldn’t easily be placed in a box, brought out to be conveniently displayed as a token sign of modernism and racial harmony. Nope. Not Meghan. That’s why the Palace did what it did. This wasn’t about team playing, but about subjugation of a person. Think about that. How twisted is that. Think about the winners here. The press already is already calling them the Magnificent Seven. That in a nutshell is why shiny Meghan and Harry had to go. There are other ambitions at play here because that balcony was getting too crowded. Lol.

    Harry faced with a Sophie’s choice made a decision to stick with his wife and child. In truth, it shows the character of Harry The Palace still wants Harry to come back alone without Meghan and their children. The sad thing is the Windsors brought this onto themselves. The family and their handlers chose to make Meghan the enemy and now, it can’t back down. It’s about pride and the angry public braying for her head. That’s why it has allowed the royal rota to continue to treat and portray her as the jezebel, the destroyer of family, the narcissist, the greedy manipulative usurper. Now the propaganda wants to portray this as a battle between an aging, aggrieved queen, a beloved granny, with an ailing 99 year old husband, under sieged by a selfish and cruel Meghan. It’s the stuff of fairytale that plays well, ironically, on Netflix and more dangerously in the real world.

    This merely shows that the harder the Palace tries, the harder it reveals the brittleness of the Monarchy. This is how the mighty falls. Weakened nations throughout history sought groups of people and notable people to victimize as the enemy. It has to in order to keep its power and to prevent the people from seeing their corruption and the failure. Such wins are short term. It’s a strategy of losers though they don’t know it. Who needs Game Of Thrones with the British Royal Family.

    A Reader

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  42. Complex yet simplified version: If the honorary military titles were granted due to PH’s linage, senior royal status, and military service, so is the end of it when he moved to another continent to be vested in a commercial venture and settle as a father of a young family permanently thousands of miles away. He is officially no longer in a senior royal work status.

    This is a constitutional monarchy; UK government (partly “the men in grey suits” as consultants and vehicles to the government) as a partner with the “firm” has some role in such decision. The Queen as a head of state may have the final say, still she is in the business of public service to the UK citizens, there by in coordination with the government.

    Whatever gifts the queen gave to the couple, a home in UK, and their wedding gift – title addressed as Duke and Duchess of Sussex even in the departure message from the queen, is still intact. They continue to keep “personal” patronages in UK which is a link to UK in work capability.

    The Queens Commonwealth Trust leadership role is also taken away. Once again that may deal with the foreign ministry of UK too, as travelling is involved. At least QCT acknowledge they will continue to link with the couple in a different role as supporters in this area.

    The couple have enough on their plate, and it seems fitting to let go and continue to keep after their own achievements, and raise their young family.

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  43. I believe in constructive fair debate and certainly we should be able to criticise statements and actions of anyone if our comment is based on the actual facts. However so often we make up our minds because of unproven speculation either by the news media or others. As a citizen of a Commonwealth Country I do feel hurt that many recent contributers who aren't part of the Commonwealth feel free to prophesy that Britain and other realms will reject the present British Monarchy in favour of becoming Republics. No country is perfect nor are its leaders but having a President does not always guarantee that a country will become more democratic or egalitarian. In my opinion the most democratic countries in the world are the Scandinavian constitutional monarchies. And even they have had royal scandals in recent years. Perhaps we need to tone down the rhetoric.

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    1. It’s ok to speak for yourself, but please realize that many people don’t care about the Commonwealth. They don’t have shared English heritage and don’t share a fondness for the British empire or the new global England either. My friends are from all over the world and we work in tech and finance. These people resent the English for assuming people have forgotten the horrible legacy of the British empire and how that legacy still affect many people negatively today. If the British people want a republic or keep their king or queen, that is their choice. Other countries have bigger problems to worry about than visiting english royals getting the proper royal treatment so the English people can be brainwashed that somehow they still have an empire to lord over. People are friendly and hospitable, but don’t try to take advantage of that and make it more than it is.

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    2. I think it's important to recognize that there is diversity within the Commonwealth. Compared to other Commonwealth nations, New Zealand is generally more white and culturally English, correct? I don't think that is comparable to countries in Africa and the Caribbean, for example, who were colonized, brutalized by the slave trade, and forced into a new religion, language, and culture (with the obvious exception of the Maori in NZ who did have to live through that). I think countries founded on heavy British immigration are in a different situation and likely have a different stance on the British Royal family's value than countries where Brits (with the Royal family at the literal, figurative, or perhaps actual helm) decided to come ravage people and resources with impunity. So, you are very entitled to your opinion but I think it should be clear it is just yours or perhaps just representative of NZ, not that of Black and brown countries in the Commonwealth.

      As a Swedish-American, I would just like to say that I think the Scandinavian countries are successful not because they are constitutional monarchies (people here do not care about the royal families, they're non-entities, really), but rather because their electorate often chooses more democratically socialist philosophies and policies in government. The fact that Sweden has an incredibly high representation of women in senior offices isn't because of the king but because of equitable gender policies in the workplace that mean women don't have to choose between home and work.

      And lastly, you don't even have to leave the isle to find people who the Royal family has harmed historically and even currently through unwanted train tours during a global pandemic. I think that's evident with the Scottish Independence movement that is growing as we speak.

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    3. No New Zealand is not culturally English. As a culturally mixed person with some Scandinavian ancestry, I totally reject that description. It would be more correct to say the original settlers were Polynesian voyagers in the 14th century followed in the 19th century by an an influx of European settlers who were mainly British. Scots and Irish were more likely to emigrate here to escape conditions in their home countries. The English contingent were often those wanting to set up a classless society here free from the British aristocracy and were successful in this. It is certainly true that many British settlers were greedy for land and sometimes used force to achieve that. However although they did bring their European racial prejudices with them, it was diluted by intermarriage right from the start as fewer European women came at first. The earlier missionaries, whalers and sealers married Maori women and learnt their Polynesian language so there was very little stigmatisation of their mixed race offspring. For example there is no commonly used derogatory term for people of mixed race and many pale skinned people proudly identify as Maori today. We are increasingly multicultural as a large number of Polynesian and other Pacifica and Asian migrants add to our browning population each year. Auckland is the largest Pacifica city in the world as many Pacific Islanders emigrate. As far as human rights are concerned it helps that we weren't ever a convict settlement and that slavery had been abolished in the British Empire by the time we became a British colony. Because we were so far from Europe we gained self government very early on and manhood suffrage included Maori by the time we had our first national parliament. When women achieved the vote in 1897 there was universal suffrage for everyone over 21 and we never had to struggle for the vote as they did elsewhere. We have a social democratic system which accepts that the State is in the best position to provide health and education as well as old age and and unemployment benefits. All political parties accept this philosophy. Of course this didn't mean everything was perfect and we had land wars and some of the other detrimental effects of colonisation still afflict the indigenous portion of our society today. With our Treaty of Waitangi settlements we are making strenuous efforts to overcome the injustices of the past. We don't claim to be a "light on the hill" but a democracy in the making.

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  44. What's a little crazy is that Harry could not come back to the UK and participate if he wanted to, because of the pandemic. Meghan (and Harry) have such a need to do good for others -- I think Meghan would not survive if she could not move ahead with what must be so many ideas and plans. In the working RF, that does not work. I don't see how she could move forward if she had to have her actions approved by those "above" in the hierarchy. The focus of the monarchy is the head. The Queen is more important than Charles, who is more important than William, who is more important than Harry, and so on. Maybe not in family life, but I can see some of Meghan's plans being unacceptable. Or perhaps they would be moved to another member. I just checked the news on my phone -- lovely articles about members of the RF and their baby plans (or not) and then one nasty story about Meghan. Same old stuff. My feeling is that all these excuses about what she should have/could have done just cover up a feeling of her not belonging to UK society. That is, of course, focusing on a select portion of society! I love that she has freedom to say what she wants now. It's all ridiculous -- they have sacrificed for others, done nothing wrong, and are living a happy life. I know Harry will be sad about some things but he's looking pretty happy these days, and I don't think they could be happy in the UK.

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  45. After watching what happened to Princess Margaret, the Charles, Diana and Camilla show, Andrew, Edward and now this generation, I realize the BRF is very dysfunctional. This was never a question about choosing country and duty over family. If so, Camilla would have been a footnote and palace courtiers would still be out trying to figure out whose foot fit into the royal glass slipper.

    That is so ridiculously soap operatic. Harry didn’t want his wife and Archie to be targeted by lies and hounded. That was his big, unforgivable crime. Since his marriage, the royal correspondents and anonymous place insiders have been describing Harry as mentally fragile as if he is crazy and weak. Those innuendos have been repeated here on this blog. It’s cringe worthy watching them try to throw all kinds of negative labels at Harry since he won’t give up his wife. I think there was a movie called “Gaslight” where a man was trying to make his wife thinks she is crazy when in fact, he’s the psychopath. Gaslight fits well here.

    The reality of today’s BRF is more like an aging monarch being handled. I’ve watched this with my own family with our nonna who’s 91. She’s mentally sharp, but much more forgetful, more fragile physically and has left much of her business affairs and day to day correspondences, bills and care to her children and grandchildren. This has led to some family fights and divisions. But we are family so we mend, plus we don’t have money and titles to bestow on family brown nosers.

    I think the other European royals have managed to handle their state duties and extended family with more grace, less drama and remained well liked by their people despite their family scandals and famous image. It seems to me these European families have learned how to be a monarch, but still be a healthier family too. They are ok with not having a royal press corp churning out dozens of stories each day. That shows that these modern European monarchies can live without the hype and be savvy enough to use media as needed to stay relevant. I think the BRF adores the public adulation too much. The irony is as much as the British Royals say they hate social media and see it as crass like Meghan, they have copied Meghan, just like they copied Diana’s populist touch. —Maddie

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    1. I agree I think other European Royal families have found a much better balance as to how to be royal (both in role and image) in the 21st century. I realize the British model is a bit more complex with vast overseas responsibility as well, but they’re looking increasingly stale and out of touch next to other European RF’s. It’s always the balancing act isn’t it, tradition vs modernizing. But I think of other crown Princes and princesses and most have had pretty developed independent careers (or at least pursuits of not a fully formed career) and have chosen spouses with established independent lives and careers. It just makes them feel more in touch with regular people to me. The BRF often feels like they trade on their aloofness and mystique. It works in some ways but may also be the Achilles heel in others. I think Meghan came in as a bit of an outsider in nationality and career and the BRF and larger British media/institutions just weren’t quite ready for it. She’s analogous to Queen Maxima or Crown Princess Mary or Princess Madeleine’s husband Chris (who granted has mostly declined any royal role). These women came in from other countries and with jobs and lives before their royal marriage. I know some bumps at the outset but both have settled in. It just always strikes me the BRF and perhaps more importantly the ecosystem of media/tradition that shapes their image was just not ready to have a character like Meghan in the cast. And it blew up. It’s really sad.

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    2. Both Queen Maxima and Crown Princess Mary married royalty who were next in the line of succession in the Netherlands and Denmark, whereas Harry is sixth in line and extremely unlikely to succeed to the British throne. Neither Maxine or Mary continued to work after their marriages and took on similar roles to British royals. Chris O'Neil married a Swedish princess who will be eighth in line once Carl Phillip's next baby is born. Her Husband Chris O'Neil turned down a title and has continued in his chosen occupation. They don't live in Sweden although Madelaine visits frequently and she does perform some royal duties when she is there. Her children no longer carry Duke and Duchess titles which is a recognition of their different status. Chris O'Neil is not involved at all in royal duties and is free to concentrate on earning his living. Harry is basically in the same position as Madelaine and both families now live in USA. So Meghan and Harry are certainly able to similarly lead non royal lives from now on and won't have to worry about their actions affecting his grandmother or his father and brother. However in the interests of family harmony it would be circumspect to keep quiet about sensitive family history and past disagreements. The public disagreements within the Markle family have just exacerbated the situation. Some diplomacy is definitely needed.

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    3. Diplomacy is indeed needed. It’s evident the palace lacks this quality and also the patience and discretion which is rather extraordinary given the large staff and budget it has. The BRF has been unable (or won’t) to control leaks to the press from palace insiders.

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  46. I can’t speak to what is going on with Prince Andrew or Michael of Kent, but the Sussexes chose to not be Working Royals and have setup a home base in California. Practically, I don’t really understand how it was thought possible that they could continue being Royal Patrons and support the organizations from such a distance. Yes, there is technology and, arguably, travel will one day be an option again, but logistically, doesn’t it just make more sense to have a member of the Royal Family who is “local” serve as the patrons? The honorary military titles are slightly different, and I can see how heartbreaking that would be for Harry but, again, I’m sure that holding those titles does require commitment, time, and responsibilities that being over 5,000 miles away makes difficult.

    I’ve seen a lot of articles blaming the Sussexes and criticism of “service is universal,” and I feel that the interpretation of the BP statement (looking at Robert Lacey) is just as unfair. There’s this desire to take side and place blame that is undeserved for both the Sussexes and the Queen. Both sides are in impossible situations and there’s no rubric to follow. In addition to being a PR nightmare, this is a family matter that I’m sure is very emotional for all parties. Could the statement have been worded differently? Yes, but Robert Lacey is stoking a fire that need not be stoked, same as anyone who said that the Sussexes statement was a jab at the Queen. Same goes for Hunt and trying to use Princess Diana as a frame for this. It does more harm than good. Prince Andrew should absolutely be removed from his patronages and have military titles stripped, if it hasn’t been done already, but am I wrong in thinking that there was a BP statement about him standing aside from all 200+ patronages back in 2019, so does he still actually have them?

    At the end of the day, I feel like we all knew this was coming. The Queen made it plain that she could not support a hybrid role for the Sussexes that they’d wanted when first announcing their step back. They’re still retaining their private patronages and will do a world of good there and with any of their new endeavors. It’s not required that they be Royal Patrons to give back and do the charitable work that is important to them.

    Could this whole situation—from start to finish—have been handled differently? Absolutely, by all parties. But I think compromises were made here—even if the Sussexes don’t use HRH, they still have it, and the titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex (conferred to commemorate their wedding) could have also been removed, I imagine. Would it have been a smart move to take both those back? No, but I’m sure it was discussed. The Sussexes wanted freedom (admittedly, on their own terms), and now they can pursue whatever charitable and/or entrepreneurial endeavors speak to them. After all, all of this—the military titles and being Royal patrons—are just fancy names. The work is the important thing, not whether their name appears on the organizations’ websites. The important thing is that the Sussexes are still capable of giving back, and I’m confident that they will.

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  47. My goodness what is happening...I think that it's a best things t do but I rather work on these reminding charities I didn't think stripping their charities will limit them handling and helping others queen statement is not bad and I love the respectfull in terms of the idea well the thing of them are happy and free

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  48. I agree with the Duke & Duchess - service is universal. Everyone can, and should, live a live of service.
    Having not waded through the 137 comments before mine yet, I don't know if this has been asked already... Is there any chance of Charles or William reversing this decision when they ascend the throne?

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  49. Hi Charlotte, I somehow missed to comment on your last post, so I will try to do it here. One thing I think most people are forgetting to mention in the whole discussion about the DoS leaving their working roles in the BRF is a very important one: that the institution is publicly funded and thus has a very constrained set of options when it comes to independent work. In essence, the RF has to stick to a ceremonial part, because that’s what they are paid for. By the British public. Specifically looking at the DoS, I do not think their way of thinking about "modern" royal work, with private enterprises etc., would have been compliant with the public mission. I had hoped they would find a way of modernising the role of a royal more down the line of succession, because it really would have revitalisied the institution. I think all points about Prince Andrew et al. are completely valid. I do think that some family members' private endeavours are not within the framework the public should expect for their money; the whole discussion about the DoS should lead to a review of the whole system of the BRF and eventually to its streamlining. The doubles standards are not helpful to the institution. — Sarah

    Admin Note: Sarah I moved your comment to this post as it's part of this discussion.

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  50. Becca in Colorado22 February 2021 at 21:12

    I was expecting this, but also hoping that perhaps the royal family would rise above pettiness. For an institution that cares so much about optics, they have completely missed the mark here (and have missed the mark entirely for the last 3 years, I'd argue) and have shot themselves in the foot. While the palace has been wrapped up in ridiculous intrigue, the rest of the wonderfully diverse Commonwealth and world have seen how they've handled this, the treatment of their first senior bi-racial royal. And guess what? It doesn't look good. As a friend of mine recently said about the racial inequality in the States, to be tolerant of intolerance is to be intolerant.

    At this point, it's abundantly clear that either the Queen, herself, is totally complicit or she has so completely lost control of her employees (the "grey suits") that she no longer even tries to reign them in. It's also abundantly clear that a lot of people have rose-colored glasses on when it comes to the Queen.

    I don't think Harry and Meghan are completely blameless, at least not with how they handled the initial split, but I do think it's obvious the royal family have not ever learned lessons from Diana's death.

    No matter what was going on behind closed doors, the fact remains that the royal family refused to publicly support Harry and Meghan while they were being dragged through the mud (and publicly speaking out was the only way they could have stopped what was happening), refused to listen or compromise when it was clear Harry and Meghan were suffering, and then continued to use the couple as scapegoats *while all the while* petting and protecting a possible PEDOPHILE. The fact remains, the royal family COULD have intervened for Harry and Meghan and didn't. And judging by the hateful media pieces and continued vile social media comments, I'd say it's pretty clear they have zero intention of ever intervening.

    Consider me completely UN-enamored of the institution. It's a shame - I did so used to love royal watching.

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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 :)