When Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex decided to break away from the royal family, they had no idea how anyone was going to take it. Their announcement and the follow-up statements from Buckingham Palace made it painfully obvious that they hadn’t discussed their plans with Her Majesty the queen before posting their intentions on Instagram.
Plenty of royal critics have taken issue with the way Harry and Meghan handled themselves during Megxit and after. Here’s what they’re saying about how the pair may have “overplayed their hand” by leaving the way they did.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren’t the first royals toquit the royal family
The couple’s split from royal duties was certainly shocking but it wasn’t unprecedented. After all, the Sussexes have been compared to Harry’s great-uncle Edward, who abdicated the throne in the name of love back in 1936. But their split was totally different for one major reason: they didn’t initiate a total divorce from the family. Instead, Harry and Meghan opted for a trial separation on their own terms.
The issue with this approach is that it assumes QueenElizabeth finds them important enough to keep around regardless of the termsthey put forth. But did Harry and Meghan overestimate their value to the familyby forcing them to make this choice?
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Queen Elizabeth cares more about duty than she does abouthappiness
Except for her beloved corgis, no one is exactly sure what brings the queen true joy in life. That’s because Her Majesty has always ruled with a strict belief in doing one’s proper duty regardless of how it makes them feel. This whole notion of extravagant displays of emotion was foreign to Queen Elizabeth back in the days of Princess Diana and it’s the same way now with Meghan.
“I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiffupper lip,” Meghan Markle said during the now infamous ITV interview. “I tried,I really tried. But I think what that does internally is probably reallydamaging.”
Damaging or not, the queen expects her family members to attend to their duties first and foremost. Now with Harry blazing forward in a new way, the queen is at the very least perplexed and at most, absolutely furious. But we will never know exactly where she falls on that spectrum because she’s way too old-school British to ever tell us.
Harry and Meghan want the best of both worlds — and it might be too much to ask
Edward VIII never tried to capitalize on his popularityafter abdicating — instead, he took the first train out of London following hisannouncement and faded into relative obscurity, comfortable with his severance package.But that was never the route Meghan and Harry were going to take.
As Caitlin Flanagan from The Atlantic put it, Megxit is “the most complicated, self-involved, grandiose, half-assed, high-minded, shortsighted, greedy-graspy, swing-for-the-fences, letter of partial, fingers-crossed resignation in history.”
Instead of letting go of what they had, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex insisted on retaining the parts of royal life they liked (the money, the power, the fame) and ditching the parts they didn’t (the tabloids, the obligations, the rules). It’s like they honestly thought they could take hundreds of years of tradition and reimagine it in their own way.
Did Harry and Meghan overestimate their importance?
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Having attended the 10th Annual One Young World opening ceremony on Tuesday, The Duchess of Sussex was joined today by The Duke of Sussex for a round table discussion on gender equity with OYW and Queen’s Commonwealth Trust young leaders. Over the last few days, these young leaders became @OneYoungWorld ambassadors with the intention to return to their communities and further existing initiatives to help change the world for the better. This year OYW partnered with the @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust, of which The Duke and Duchess are President and Vice-President respectively, to provide scholarships to young leaders driving positive social impact in the Commonwealth. This was the most exciting collaboration between two groups The Duchess is passionate about and has been working with for some time. For more information and highlights from the week and how you can support these incredible leaders and their initiatives, visit @OneYoungWorld Photo © SussexRoyal / PA
All along, Harry and Meghan were free to leave — no member of the monarchy is there by force. However, Flanagan points out that this couple “overplayed their hand” by assuming that Queen Elizabeth would let them make up their own rules just because they wanted to. No one is allowed to do that. Not even the queen herself.
No one knows what’s going to happen after March 31, Harry and Meghan’s official last day with the firm. And it’s even more of a mystery what will transpire over the next year and on that day when the queen seeks to “reevaluate” their current arrangement.
One thing that’s indisputable? So far, the house has alwayswon. Prince Harry and Meghan may have forgotten that crucial truth.
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