Did Queen Elizabeth Already Reveal Who the Senior Royals Would Be Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Big Announcement?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked royal watchers around the world – along with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth – when they announced they will no longer be “senior” members of the royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had faced rumors that they were stepping down for months, but the announcement still came as a surprise to most of their fans. While we wait to hear what’s next for Harry and Meghan, did Queen Elizabeth reveal who the senior royals would be weeks before the couple’s big announcement?

Queen Elizabeth Prince Harry Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

A royal family breakup

Taking to Instagram, Harry and Meghan revealed that they are stepping away from the spotlight and want to become financially independent from Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family.

They also revealed that they will be spending part of the year in the U.K. and the other part in North America. The Duke and Duchess recently spent a few weeks in Canada celebrating Christmas with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, so it is possible that they relocate there.

“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,” the Sussexes wrote.

The two added that they will be doing charitable work in both regions with their new organization, Sussex Royal. They did not reveal too many details about their plans, but they did say that they will be releasing more news soon.

Harry and Meghan also noted that they will continue to support Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William in their various endeavors.

Did Queen Elizabeth previously reveal the senior royals?

The mention of “senior” royals in Harry and Meghan’s post has sparked some speculation about which members of the royal family fit into that exclusive group.

The royal family has not revealed a list of its senior members, but Queen Elizabeth may have alluded to the group in a social media post over the holidays.

At the start of the new year, Her Majesty shared a photo of herself posing alongside, Charles, William, and Prince George – the first, second, and third individuals in line to the throne.

“To mark the start of a new decade, a portrait has been released of Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George. The portrait was taken by Ranald Mackechnie in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace,” the caption read.

No other member of the royal family was included in the pic, including William’s other children. The move has sparked a lot of talk that only those who will someday take the throne are considered senior members of the royal members.

That said, inside sources claim that royal watchers were not the only ones surprised by Harry and Meghan’s recent announcement.

Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle blindside Queen Elizabeth?

According to The Daily Beast, Johnny Dymond, a reporter with BBC, says that Buckingham Palace staffers were very disappointed when they read Harry and Meghan’s announcement on social media.

“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” a spokesperson for the royals explained.

Dymond added that Harry and Meghan did not tell anyone else – including Queen Elizabeth – their plans to step down. It sounds like the royals are doing some serious damage control in the wake of their split, but it is unlikely that they’ll be able to do anything about it at this point.

The revelation comes after a disastrous 2019 for Harry and Meghan. In a recent documentary, Meghan revealed that she has been struggling with all the negative headlines in the British Press.

Harry also confirmed that his relationship with William is on the fritz and that they are on different paths. The interview sparked rumors that Harry and Meghan were leaving the U.K. for good, which might turn out to be true after all.

Neither Queen Elizabeth or Prince William have not commented on Meghan and Harry’s comments in their documentary.

Who are the senior royals?

Prior to Harry and Meghan’s resignation, there was a big discussion about which members of the royal family were considered “senior.”

As recently as the spring of 2019, there was a general consensus that senior members are anyone considered Counsellors of State (along with their respective spouses).

Apart from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, this includes the likes of Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, William, Kate Middleton, Harry, Meghan, and Prince Andrew.

That list has significantly dwindled down in the past year. Andrew stepped down from his royal duties a few months back over his controversial ties to Jeffrey Epstein, while Philip has been retired for a few years.

With Harry and Meghan now out, the list is down to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William. So maybe Queen Elizabeth did reveal who would be the senior royals in 2020.