Royal Family Contests Harry And Meghan’s Racism Claims

This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP
This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain’s Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP

 

 

Britain’s royal family has begun a fightback against racism claims made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, indicating the couple’s comments will not go unchallenged as the country divides into partisan camps.

A keenly awaited statement from Queen Elizabeth II issued Tuesday was conciliatory towards her grandson and his mixed-race spouse, after their explosive interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

But it also stressed that “some recollections may vary”, as Buckingham Palace vowed to look into the couple’s assertion that an unidentified royal had asked how dark their unborn son Archie’s skin would be.

The row is being watched worldwide, in the United States where the couple now live and across the multi-racial Commonwealth, which the queen heads, dragging Britain’s most famous family further into a debate about racism and the country’s colonial past.

The UK government is refusing to get involved in the family’s biggest crisis since the very public collapse of the marriage of Harry’s parents, other than to praise Elizabeth’s stewardship of the country and the 54-nation Commonwealth.

But pointedly, Downing Street has declined to disown remarks by junior foreign minister Zac Goldsmith, a close ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who accused former army captain Harry of “blowing up his family”.

Senior minister Jacob Rees-Mogg denied there were any wider ramifications for the 94-year-old queen, who has reigned over Britain and 15 Commonwealth realms including Australia and Canada since 1952.

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“She has done her duty. I think she is loved across her realms for that,” Rees-Mogg said.

“And I don’t think interviews with chat show hosts in the United States makes a great deal of difference to that.”

Constitutional expert Robert Hazell, from University College London, also said it was likely the royals would weather the storm.

“It would only become a crisis for the institution if opinion polls began to show that it had significantly reduced support for the monarchy,” he told AFP.

– 50 million viewers –
However, Australia’s pro-republican former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the allegations should pave the way towards his country holding another referendum on abolishing the monarchy.

“The bottom line is that in Australia the scandals, the personalities, the dramas of the royal family are not really the issue,” he told Britain’s ITV, which aired the Winfrey interview on Monday to an audience of more than 11 million.

“The issue is that Australia’s head of state should be an Australian citizen chosen by Australians, not the king or queen of the UK.”

US network CBS, which first broadcast Winfrey’s interview on Sunday, said close to 50 million people had watched worldwide, and the figure would rise as more territories air it.

Winfrey said the racist remark did not come from either the queen or her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, who is in hospital with a heart condition.

The queen’s statement said the charge of racism was “concerning” and would be “taken very seriously”, but added that it would be “addressed by the family privately”.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said that in noting that people’s memories may diverge, the palace statement suggested that the person behind the remark about Archie’s skin tone may already have been identified.

It said the public were unlikely to learn more, as this was “expected to be Her Majesty’s final word on the matter”.

But The Sun newspaper said the queen was to investigate further through “private conversations” with senior royals including Harry’s father Prince Charles, her oldest son and heir, and Harry’s elder brother William.

– ‘Too little, too late’ –
Former royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the 61-word statement was “the bare minimum”, at a time when the royals find themselves in an “enormous hole”.

“In my judgement, it was too little and it was too late,” he told BBC radio.

Charles has yet to comment, but on Tuesday was filmed touring a Nigerian Christian church in London whose pastors are promoting a drive to vaccinate more black people against the coronavirus.

One of Meghan’s complaints was that she had suicidal thoughts during her time in Britain, but received no support, provoking fresh debate about the royal family’s ability to connect with ordinary people.

It was later reported that she complained about former CNN host Piers Morgan’s criticism of her mental health struggles to his employers ITV, prompting him to quit as the channel’s flagship breakfast show host after refusing to apologise.

A defiant Morgan said Wednesday: “I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth.”

A YouGov poll of 4,656 people after the interview aired in Britain indicated almost a third (32 percent) felt the couple was unfairly treated — the same proportion as those who thought the opposite.

Opinions diverged along lines of party affiliation and age, mirroring the fissures that have opened up in Britain since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Younger people and opposition Labour supporters were more favourable to Harry and Meghan. Older respondents and Conservatives took the royal family’s side.

Harry, Meghan Showed ‘Courage’ In Airing Mental Struggles – White House

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan

 

The White House said Monday that it took “courage” for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to speak out in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage,” President Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters.

However, Psaki stressed that the two royals are now “private citizens” and “we aren’t going to provide additional commentary from here on behalf of the president.”

“We have a strong and abiding relationship with the British people and a special partnership with the government of the United Kingdom on a range of issues and that will continue,” she said.

Harry and Meghan, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, unloaded on the rest of the royal family in the two-hour blockbuster with Oprah on Sunday, discussing suicidal thoughts, racism, and the burden of tradition.

No Holds Barred: Meghan And Harry’s Historic Interview

This undated image released on March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain’s Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. JOE PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP

 

 

Meghan Markle opened up about battling suicidal thoughts, Prince Harry disclosed a painful rift with his father — and both settled a fair few scores in their history-making interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The gloves came off as the pair lifted the veil on their dramatic exit from royal life, holding little back as they alleged racism in royal ranks and a campaign of lies targeting Meghan.

But there was tenderness too as the pair spoke of their present-day happiness — and revealed the gender of their second child.

Here are key takeaways from the interview:

– ‘Didn’t want to be alive’ –
Opening up on a barrage of negative media coverage she faced as part of the royal family, Meghan, 39, said the British press drove her to the point where life no longer seemed worth living.

“I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. And I… just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she told Winfrey in the two-hour CBS spot.

Asked by Winfrey if she was having suicidal thoughts while pregnant with her first child, Meghan replied “Yes. This was very, very clear.”

Meghan said she approached the palace to tell them she was having a mental health crisis.

“I went to one of the most senior people just to — to get help,” she said. “I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

Meghan said she ultimately reached out to one of the late Princess Diana’s best friends for support.

“Who else could understand what’s — what it’s actually like on the inside?”

‘How dark his skin might be’

Meghan, whose father is white and mother is Black, said Harry had revealed to her official concerns among the royals about the skin color of her unborn son, Archie.

“In those months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of ‘he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan said.

“Those were conversations the family had with him.”

Asked by Winfrey if the concern was that he might be “too brown,” Meghan replied: “If that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one.”

‘Character assassination’

It was sensational tabloid fodder: the story of how of Meghan made Kate Middleton cry after a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.

And by Meghan’s account — it was entirely fabricated.

“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Meghan told Winfrey of the alleged incident, claiming that in reality: “The reverse happened.”

Kate, she said, “was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized.”

“A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”

Meghan called the incident “a turning point” in her relations with the royal family.

“The narrative about, you know, making Kate cry I think was the beginning of a real character assassination,” she said.

“And they knew it wasn’t true. And I thought, well, if they’re not going to kill things like that, then what are we going to do?”

“I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” Meghan said.

‘Let down’

Speaking candidly about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said had he felt “really let down” by his father throughout the painful episode — but that they were now talking to one another.

“There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like,” an emotional Harry said.

He described Charles — the heir to the throne — and Harry’s older brother William as “trapped” by the conventions of the monarchy, but vowed that he would “always love” his father.

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”

Harry went on say that he and Meghan “did everything we could” to stay in the royal family.

“I’m sad that what’s happened has happened, but I know, and I’m comfortable in knowing that we did everything that we could to make it work.”

‘Fairytale’

But it was not all darkness and score-settling.

Offering royal fans a treat, the couple revealed the gender of their second child, chiming in tandem “It’s a girl!” and confirming the baby was due in “summertime.”

Asked if they were “done” with two children, Harry replied: “done.”

“To have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for?” he said.

“Two is it,” quipped Meghan.

In a bucolic segment, Harry and Meghan offered viewers a glimpse of their “fairytale” life in California’s beachside celebrity enclave of Montecito, showing off their chicken coop — and its hens rescued from a factory farm.

And Meghan wrapped up with a hopeful look to the future, saying Harry had made a decision that “saved my life.”

“And now because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.”

Asked by Winfrey if her story “does have a happy ending,” Meghan replied: “It does. Greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read.”

Harry And Meghan Blacklist UK Tabloids Over ‘False’ Stories

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 05, 2020, Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP.

 

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have blacklisted four major British tabloid newspapers, accusing them of publishing stories that were “distorted, false and invasive beyond reason”, UK media reported.

In a scathing letter to the editors of the Sun, Daily Mail, Mirror and Express, the couple, who have formally stepped down as senior members of the British Royal family, said there would be “no corroboration and zero engagement” with the newspapers, the Guardian said.

“This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting,” according to a purported copy of the letter shared by Financial Times media reporter Mark Di Stefano on Twitter.

But they did not want to be used as “currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”.

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“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know — as well as complete strangers — have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue,” according to an excerpt published by the Guardian.

The newspaper described the letter as an “unprecedented attack on a large part of the media”.

Harry and Meghan made a bombshell announcement in January that they wished to withdraw from frontline royal duties and become financially independent.

Their departure — dubbed “Megxit” by the British press — followed reports Meghan was unhappy with royal life and both of them had complained about media intrusion.

The couple’s hostility towards some media outlets spilled over into legal action last year, with Harry suing over alleged voicemail interception and Meghan filing a claim over a private letter to her father appearing in The Mail on Sunday after he shared it with the tabloid.

A preliminary hearing in the case is due to be held later this week.

In their message to the editors, the pair said their new policy did not apply to all media and that they would continue to work with journalists around the world.

The couple relocated to California last month and have kept a low profile, with even their location unknown amid unconfirmed reports that the pair are living in Malibu.

The decision was angrily criticised by former tabloid bosses on Monday.

Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Mirror and now a high-profile television presenter in the UK, tweeted: “Imagine thinking anyone cares about their hurt little me-me-me egos as health workers around the world are dying at work? What a pair of repulsive, deluded narcissistic tools.”

And David Yelland, a former editor of the Sun, took a similar approach claiming the timing of the announcement was in “poor taste” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I really don’t think there’s any upside for Harry and Meghan in sending this communication to the editors, it’s one of the worst pieces of communication I have ever seen,” he told BBC radio.

Prince Harry Rejoins Meghan And Archie In Canada

 

Prince Harry arrived in Canada to rejoin his wife Meghan and son Archie on Monday, British media reported, as the couple start a new life after their shock exit from the royal fold.

The Daily Mail newspaper said he landed at Vancouver International Airport on British Airways flight 85 from London’s Heathrow at about 7 pm local time.

It published a photo of him wearing a blue beanie and jeans with a backpack over his shoulders after slipping out a back staircase, escorted by security.

Sky News published footage of Harry descending the steps of an aircraft.

A waiting minivan on the tarmac took him to a connecting flight to Victoria, where he and his family spent the last two months.

The information could not be confirmed by AFP journalists who had staked out the Vancouver and Victoria airports. A videographer, however, saw two vehicles leaving the Victoria area mansion where the couple had been staying for the past two months.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, 2020. Ben STANSALL / AFP

The Duchess of Sussex was earlier spotted with Archie taking dogs for a walk in the neighbourhood.

She’d also made outings last week to Vancouver, visiting a women’s shelter and a charity that supports girls.

According to local reports, the couple is looking to buy a beachside house in Vancouver, or possibly in Toronto, where Meghan spent several years while acting in the television series “Suits.”

Earlier, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, who remains sixth in line to the throne, attended the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, seems in good spirits as he met the presidents of Malawi and Mozambique and the Moroccan prime minister.

He also had an informal 20-minute private meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the event.

Harry skipped a summit dinner for visiting African leaders at Buckingham Palace in order not to overshadow his brother William’s hosting of the event, the Daily Mail reported.

He and Meghan are bowing out entirely from representing the British monarchy, in a crisis that has shaken the centuries-old institution.

He said on Sunday night they did not want to quit their royal duties but reluctantly accepted there was “no other option” if they wanted to cut loose from public funding and seek their own income in pursuit of more independent life.

AFP

Harry, Meghan Begin Life As Ordinary People

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react as they leave after her visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London.  DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP

 

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan began a new life Sunday as — somewhat — ordinary people with financial worries and security concerns after being stripped of their royal titles and public funding by the Queen.

The settlement announced by Buckingham Palace on Saturday saw the 93-year-old monarch assume her painfully familiar role of managing a family crisis that threatened the very foundations of one of Britain’s oldest institutions.

The “Megxit” mess began when the young couple gave up their font-line family duties and announced plans to chart a “progressive new role” in North America on January 8.

They did so without winning Queen Elizabeth II’s permission or seemingly knowing how it was all going to work out.

A mad rush of royal family meetings and screaming headlines in the tabloid press culminated with a ruling Saturday that The Daily Telegraph called “the hardest Megxit possible”.

‘Absolutely unprecedented’ 

The couple lost their right to be called “his and her royal highness” (HRH) — much as Harry’s late mother Princess Diana did when she divorced Prince Charles in another family drama that upset the Queen in 1996.

They further agreed to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.

“No royal has ever paid back the money,” former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter wrote in The Sun on Sunday.

“It is absolutely unprecedented.”

Harry was also stripped of the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army and rising to the rank of captain.

But Arbiter said it was the loss of the HRH “royal highness” title that really made Palace history.

“Even when Edward VIII abdicated (in 1936) he dropped from being His Majesty The King to HRH the Duke of Windsor,” he said.

Arbiter noted that Princess Diana was not born a royal and had her HRH “obtained through marriage.”

‘The point of life’ 

Few know what Meghan — an American former TV actress with a huge social media following and A-list celebrity friends such as Oprah Winfrey and the Obamas — thinks of the British brouhaha about ancient acronyms.

The 38-year-old frankly admitted on UK television in October that she “really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried, I really tried.”

But she admitted sadly: “That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive.”

Harry has also been open about still being haunted by his mother’s death in a 1997 car crash involving a chasing pack of paparazzi.

He and Meghan filed a series of lawsuits against British media outlets in October — a step that predictably outraged the tabloids and renewed debates about the royals’ role in public life.

Harry is expected to join Meghan and their male child Archie on a resort island near the southwestern Canadian city of Vancouver this coming week.

Royal observers think they will spend little time in Britain once — in the restrained words of Buckingham Palace — “this new model” takes effect “in the spring of 2020”.

 ‘Stuck in public’s throats’  

The immediate question facing Harry and Meghan is how they will  make ends meet.

Sky News said Prince Charles will continue paying his son some money from his private income.

Harry has undisclosed millions of pounds in savings and Meghan has enjoyed a lucrative acting career. She is now thinking of starting her own line of health and “wellness” products.

The Sunday Times asked a royal aide if Harry and Meghan will be able to cash in on the “Sussex Royal” brand they trademarked in December.

“That is still one the areas being worked through,” the royal aide told the paper.

“That translates as: ‘The Queen isn’t at all sure’,” The Sunday Times wrote.

Arbiter observed that Diana’s “global appeal” was in no way affected by her losing the HRH tag.

Some deals are likely to involve Hollywood.

Video footage emerged of Harry highlighting Meghan’s interest in doing voiceover work to a Disney boss in December. There has also been some speculation about the couple teaming up with Netflix.

The Palace said the separate issue of who pays for their pricey security detail will have to be resolved by the UK government at a later date.

But royal biography Penny Junor said the idea of the couple in any way profiting from their royal titles really “stuck in the public’s throats”.

“Harry is who he is simply by accident of birth,” said Junor. “If he was able to make squillions of pounds from that it would be wrong.”

AFP

Harry, Meghan Face Criticism After Royal Crisis Summit

An arrangement of UK daily newspapers photographed as an illustration in London on January 9, 2020, shows front page headlines reporting on the news that Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, plan to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family.  DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan faced fresh criticism on Tuesday in the wake an emergency royal meeting to discuss their shock announcement to step back from frontline royal duties.

British newspapers raked over Tuesday’s meeting at which Queen Elizabeth II agreed to allow the young couple to split their time between Canada and the UK until a solution was found.

“It means only one thing — Harry and Meghan have won!” royal commentator Philip Dampier wrote in the Daily Express. “They metaphorically held a gun to her head and she has given in.”

The Sun tabloid’s editorial said: “Our Queen’s surrender to the petulant, selfish demands of Harry and Meghan may prove the biggest mistake of her reign.

“This couple have simply raised the bar for self-obsessed, arrogant entitlement.”

The Daily Mirror said the monarch “displayed a selflessness sadly lacking from the way Harry and Meghan have disrespectfully treated her”.

The Daily Telegraph called the decision “The Queen’s reluctant farewell”.

The final decisions on the couple’s future will be thrashed out in the coming days.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, unilaterally announced last week they were stepping back as senior royals and wanted financial independence from the monarchy.

The pair, who have a baby son, Archie, have hinted in recent months at their unhappiness about life in the public eye and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he understood their concerns.

“I am a massive fan… of the queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country,” he told BBC television. “I’m absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out.”

‘Complex matters’ 

Queen Elizabeth, 93, summoned her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, and his two sons Princes William and Harry to her Sandringham estate in eastern England for crisis talks on Monday.

Meghan was in Canada after briefly returning to Britain last week.

In a rare personal statement afterwards, the monarch said the discussions were “very constructive” but admitted the Sussexes’ decision was not what she would have wanted.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life,” she said.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

The queen said the Sussexes made clear they did not want to be reliant on public funds, while a transition period had been agreed in which they will spend time in Canada and Britain.

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days,” the sovereign said.

Racism to blame? 

Harry, 35, is sixth in line to the throne behind 71-year-old Charles, William, 37, and his brother’s three young children.

Meghan, 38, a mixed-race American who had forged her own television acting career, was seen as a breath of fresh air for the royal family when she married Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018.

But in October last year the couple admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding and Archie’s birth in May 2019.

The couple have lashed out at negative press coverage since their marriage, with Harry claiming British tabloids had mounted a “ruthless” and “malicious” attempt to vilify his wife.

Online and television debate has raged since Wednesday over whether tabloid coverage had been racist towards the duchess.

A YouGov poll suggested that while 46 percent of respondents supported the couple’s decision, 57 percent thought they had treated the queen unfairly in their way of going about it.

 Finding funding 

How the Sussexes will be funded is one of the key issues to resolve. Five percent of the couple’s income comes from public funds.

The rest comes from Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall hereditary private estate. It dates back to 1337 and has officially reported assets worth £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion, 1.3 billion euros).

The British police meets their security costs.

Besides Britain, Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Canada and 14 other countries.

The Canadian government has yet to decide whether it will assume the security costs when Harry and Meghan are in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards the security costs of royal visits.

AFP

Queen agrees ‘period of transition’ for Harry and Meghan

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II visits the new headquarters of the Royal Philatelic society in London on November 26, 2019. Tolga Akmen / AFP / POOL

 

Queen Elizabeth II on Monday said Prince Harry and his wife Meghan would be allowed to split their time between Britain and Canada while their future is finalised.

The couple said last week they wanted to step back from the royal frontline, catching the family off guard and forcing the monarch to convene crisis talks about the pair’s future roles.

The 93-year-old queen, her son and heir Prince Charles, and his two sons princes William and Harry began a family summit at her private Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England, on Monday.

She called the discussions “very constructive” and said she and her family were “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family”.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” she added.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

“It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

The queen has previously said she wanted to find “workable solutions” to the crisis, which has dominated the media since the bombshell announcement last week.

Harry and Meghan’s effective resignation has thrown up a series of questions, including how they can raise their own finances without compromising the monarchy.

 

AFP

Queen, Prince Harry, Senior Royals Set For Crisis Meeting

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II will host a showdown meeting with Prince Harry on Monday in an attempt to solve the crisis triggered by his bombshell announcement that he and wife Meghan were stepping back from the royal frontline.

Other senior royals including Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, with whom he has strained relations, will join the monarch at her private Sandringham estate in eastern England, according to British media.

Meghan will join the meeting via conference call from Canada as they attempt to work out the “next steps” towards a compromise and nip the growing crisis in the bud.

Issues up for debate include how much money the couple will still receive from Charles’s estate, their HRH titles and what commercial deals they can strike, according to the Sunday Times.

Harry, Meghan, and son Archie spent Christmas in Canada, with the American former actress returning there this week.

The Queen on Thursday demanded that staff work with the couple to urgently find a “workable solution” that would take into account their demands for more freedom.

Several Canadian media reported Meghan had returned to Vancouver island off the country’s Pacific coast, where the family spent the year-end holidays and where baby Archie had remained with his nanny.

Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to seek a “progressive new role” and divide their time between Britain and North America.

The Queen’s office issued a terse statement the same evening, saying there were “complicated issues that will take time to work through”.

Harry and Meghan said they intended to continue to “fully support” the queen and “collaborate” with senior royals.

They also want to keep their home on the queen’s Windsor Castle estate as their British base, while aiming to become financially independent.

But their desire to live as both members of the monarchy and private individuals making a living was described as a “toxic mix” by David McClure, an investigator into royal finances.

“The history of senior royals making money — the two is a toxic mix. It hasn’t worked well in the past,” he told the Press Association.

“How can you be half-in, half-out — half the week perform public duties and the other half earn your own income with TV, lectures, books? It is fraught with dangers.”

The younger prince, who has struggled with his role, last year revealed he has been growing apart from his brother, who as second in line to the throne is increasingly pursuing a different path.

Harry has been open about his mental health issues and he and Meghan last year admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and Archie’s birth a year later.

The couple has also lashed out at negative news coverage, some of which Harry says was racist — in light of Meghan’s biracial heritage.

Harry, Meghan Quit Royal Front Line In Shock Move

 

 

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan stunned the British monarchy on Wednesday by quitting as front-line members — reportedly without first consulting Queen Elizabeth II.

In a shock announcement, the couple said they would spend time in North America and rip up long-established relations with the press.

Media reports said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their bombshell statement without notifying either Harry’s grandmother the monarch, or his father Prince Charles.

The surprise news follows a turbulent year for the couple, who have openly said they have struggled in the spotlight and grown apart from Harry’s brother Prince William. They have also reacted badly to negative news coverage.

“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,” they said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they added.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”

The announcement appeared to catch the royal family by surprise.

Buckingham Palace put out a second statement an hour and 40 minutes later, saying discussions with Harry and Meghan were “at an early stage”.

“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” it added.

It was understood that the mood in Buckingham Palace was one of disappointment and even, according the the BBC, “hurt”.

Struggling in the spotlight

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are among the most senior, core members of the royal family, and, along with William and his wife Kate, seen as the monarchy’s future.

The pair spent six weeks over Christmas in Canada after speaking of the pressure of being in the spotlight following their fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and son Archie’s birth 12 months later.

They skipped the royal family’s traditional Christmas at Sandringham, the sovereign’s private estate in eastern England, spending the festive season instead with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

Rumours that all was not well with the Sussexes surfaced in October when Harry, sixth in line to the throne, admitted that he and William were “on different paths” and had good and bad days in their relationship.

“We don’t see each other as much as we used to,” he told ITV television’s Tom Bradby, whom Harry and William have grown to trust with interviews over the years.

Asked by Bradby if she was “not really OK” and life had “really been a struggle” becoming a mother while living under intense media scrutiny, Meghan appeared emotional and replied simply: “Yes.”

Bradby said Wednesday that he sensed he was witnessing “a long, sad farewell to this royal life”.

“This is a new war of the Windsors — and it’s not over yet.”

Media battle

In October, Harry issued a stinging statement about general tabloid coverage and launched the first of a handful of lawsuits against newspaper publishers.

Asked if Meghan was facing the same media pressures as his mother Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while pursued by paparazzi, Harry told Bradby: “I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum.”

On a new website, the couple said they would no longer take part in the royal rota.

The rota system is an established arrangement between the palace and the press whereby news organisations take it in turns to cover events and then share the pictures, text and video with everyone in the pool, avoiding the mass media scrambles of the past.

Instead the couple will attempt to invite only “specialist”, “grassroots”, “credible” and “young, up-and-coming” media to events.

Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter told Sky News television that the couple’s approach was “a succession of doing things their own way — which is the wrong way”.

“Sometimes there’s good press; sometimes there’s bad press. You take the rough with the smooth.”

Always ends in tears

Currently, Harry and Meghan’s costs are largely funded from Charles’ private income from the heir to the throne’s estates, while the police foots their security bill.

Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt told Channel 4 television that royals thinking they can earn money in a side career “has always ended in tears”.

Newspaper headlines on Thursday included The Sun’s “Megxit”, saying the couple had sparked civil war at the palace.

“They didn’t even tell the Queen,” said the Daily Mirror, while the Star said: “The Royal formerly known as Prince”.

Harry And Meghan: Royal Fairytale Turns Grim

In this file photo taken on January 07, 2020, Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react as they leave after her visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP

 

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced Wednesday that they were stepping back from major royal duties and would be partially relocating to North America.

Here are five major moments in their relationship, which has seen them go from being the royal family’s hottest property to their shock announcement in less than two years.

Love at first sight

Prince Harry was 31 with a few failed relationships and his 10-year army career behind him when they first met, while US actress Meghan Markle was 34 and a divorcee of three years.

They were set up by a mutual friend when Meghan was passing through London in July 2016, with the couple later revealing they knew little about each other. The speed of their relationship surprised them both.

Both quickly sensed their blind date could blossom into something bigger.

Their romance was undercover for the first five or six months, and largely conducted through nights in behind closed doors — and a camping trip to Botswana.

Eventually, Harry proposed in November 2017 during a night in roasting a chicken.

Fairytale wedding

The relationship was welcomed by the British press, which saw Meghan as a breath of fresh air for the royal family — a woman who had proved herself with a career of her own, who would project a more modern image.

There was also public relief that Harry, who had walked behind his mother Diana’s coffin as a 12-year-old boy, had found settled happiness in his life.

The couple tied the knot at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, in a ceremony filled with personal touches, mixing British pomp and African-American culture in front of a celebrity-studded congregation and cheering crowds.

Meghan began her walk down the aisle alone after falling out with her wayward father, while firebrand US pastor Michael Curry delivered a full-throttle address invoking slaves and the power of love.

Baby joy

The couple moved out of their two-bedroom home on the Kensington Palace estate in London and into the much bigger Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate in April 2019 ahead of the birth of their son.

Born on May 6, they named him Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, eschewing royal titles.

“I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy,” Meghan declared, showing off the baby at Windsor Castle.

Fall from grace

The goodwill that surrounded their marriage gradually began to ebb away as the couple’s shine came off.

Critics did not take kindly to what they saw as the couple’s right-on causes, complaints at their treatment while living an expensive lifestyle, war on the media, and seeming hypocrisy, preaching on the environment while jetting around on private flights.

Rumours swirled that Meghan was difficult to work with, amid reports of staff members quitting one after another.

Announcing that Meghan had gone into labour after the baby was actually born infuriated the British press.

Their decision not to let the public know who Archie’s godparents were was also seen as petty.

They were slated for the £2.4 million cost of refurbishing Frogmore Cottage.

A well-received tour of southern Africa saw their stock rise, but as it concluded in early October last year, the couple overshadowed their own good work by launching a written tirade on the press and legal action against certain newspaper groups.

In an ITV television documentary that followed, Harry said he and William were “on different paths” and have “good days” and “bad days” in their relationship — confirming rumours that the couple were diverging from the fold.

Stepping back

In Wednesday’s shock announcement, the couple said they intended to step back from frontline royalty and would attempt to become financially independent.

Currently their work and running costs are funded by Harry’s father Prince Charles.

They said they will continue to support Queen Elizabeth and honour their duties to her, the Commonwealth and their patronages, indicating they are not fully quitting.

The couple also said they were going to launch a new charitable entity, and spend much of their time in North America.

Harry and Meghan were among the most senior members of the royal family and were expected to take a much bigger role as Queen Elizabeth scales back her duties and Charles eventually becomes king.

Their future is now up in the air.

Prince Harry And Meghan’s Son Archie Christened In Private Service

AFP PHOTO / SUSSEXROYAL / CHRIS ALLERTON”

 

Prince Harry and Meghan’s baby son Archie was on Saturday christened in the chapel at Windsor Castle in a private ceremony following his birth in early May.

The couple’s first child — who is seventh in line to the British throne — wore a handmade replica of the royal christening robe, which was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria.

The replica has been worn by royal infants at christenings for the last 11 years.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby baptised the two-month-old using water from the River Jordan and the silver Lily Font, a royal heirloom, in accordance with tradition.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released two photographs of them with Archie on their social media accounts, showing his face for the first time.

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In one picture, they are surrounded by close family while in the other the couple are cradling him.

The images were taken by fashion photographer Chris Allerton, who also shot Harry and Meghan’s wedding photographs last year.

Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, Harry’s brother William and his wife Kate, and their father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, all posed in the picture.

The sisters of the late Diana, Princess of Wales — Harry and William’s mother — also attended and featured in the family photo.

The names of Archie’s godparents were not released by Harry and Meghan and remain a mystery.

AFP