Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plans to take a “step back” from the royal family and, given the rumors that Harry didn’t consult with Queen Elizabeth first, royal fans are wondering if their relationship is in trouble. Is there tension between Harry and his grandmother?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their surprising plans
Prince Harry and Markle shared some of the details of their decision to leave the royal family and quit their duties. Their Jan. 8 Instagram post, noted, in part: “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.”
In response to the announcement, a statement from Buckingham Palace called their decision “complicated” and explained that it “would take time to work through” the issues.
Did Prince Harry damage his relationship with the queen?
Given that her statement addressed how “complicated” the Sussexes’ plan is and that she called a special meeting to further discuss the matter, it appears that things might not be great between Prince Harry and the queen.
In an article for Vanity Fair, royal expert Katie Nicholl shared her thoughts on how the meeting’s “goal is to find a workable solution for the Sussexes — but the damaged relationships within the family, particularly between Harry and the Queen, may take much longer to fix.”
She further addressed the “hurt betrayal” and “fury” over the Sussexes making their announcement without consulting the queen, sharing that “the Queen is keen to find a resolution before irreparable damage is done to arguably the biggest brand in the world — the British Royal Family.”
Nicholl notes that “the Queen and the other senior royals knew of Harry and Meghan’s early stage plans to review their royal roles and move overseas” but according to sources, “it was always the Queen’s hope that they wouldn’t step away from royal life completely.”
The announcement was a shock to the queen
Even though the queen was clued in on some level, it’s still difficult for her, with Nicholl sharing that, according to one of the queen’s closest confidantes: “duty is everything to the Queen and she will find this the most upsetting part of all.”
The source explained: “At the end of the day she is 93 and this has been a genuine shock for her. After everything she has done for Harry she feels monumentally let down. All she has done is accommodate him and Meghan from the start.”
Further, the insider shared: “The family are all very upset at how the Sussexes have behaved, not least because of the impact it has had on the Queen, who has a very frail husband, the whole Andrew problem to deal with and now Harry, who is frankly behaving like a bolshie teenager. He has dropped a bombshell and left the Queen to pick up the pieces. It has not been great for their relationship. What was once a very warm and jokey grandmother grandson rapport has dissipated.”
Signs that Prince Harry and the queen’s relationship has been in trouble
Nicholl explained in the article that “there is evidence that the relationship is not as close as it once was,” even before the Sussexes made their bombshell announcement.
A source shared that the queen was unhappy with Prince Harry even before the royal wedding, explaining, “She was very upset by some of Harry’s demands and the way he went about certain things. He didn’t want to use the Queen’s staff for the wedding, he and Meghan brought in their own florist and cake makers, and Harry apparently asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry them before consulting the Queen and the Dean of Windsor, which wasn’t the correct way to do things.”
The source added: “I think she was dismayed by his attitude in general and I remember speaking to her and her being rather upset by how beastly Harry was being. Their relationship was quite badly damaged by it all.”
There were other occasions as well, including the Sussexes not giving adequate notice about Archie’s christening so the queen could attend and their decision to skip out on the annual Christmas gathering with the royal family at Sandringham.