Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex recently wrapped up their final royal engagements and officially exit the royal family on March 31, but will their absence be noticed? The couple has already moved to Canada with their son Archie to begin their life out of the spotlight, but one expert claims that Meghan’s exit, in particular, will be a huge loss for the royal family.
Prince Harry and Meghan announced their bombshell plan
After taking an extended break from their royal duties during the holidays, the Sussexes returned to drop a bombshell announcement — they wanted to take a step back from their roles.
Queen Elizabeth worked to iron out the specifics and gave her blessing to Prince Harry and Meghan, releasing a statement in support of their plan at the time.
The queen noted, in part: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
The statement further noted: “I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
Expert calls exit ‘a time of sadness’
While Prince Harry and Meghan certainly need this exit in order to live a life away from the spotlight, one royal expert believes that the royal family may experience a loss with Meghan leaving.
In speaking with Express, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams touched on how this is a new chapter for Prince Harry and Meghan — but there’s an adjustment for the royal family as well.
“As Megxit approaches, it is also a time of sadness,” he explained. “Harry and Meghan have an intense dislike of the press but they should also remember the joy with which their engagement and then their marriage was greeted by both the people and the press in Britain and also around the Commonwealth.”
Why their exit is a loss for the royal family
Meghan, in particular, had a broad appeal, with Fitzwillams sharing, “Meghan, a biracial American divorcee was a charitable activist who championed women’s empowerment and equality and potentially had enormous appeal to the young.”
He continued, “In the Commonwealth 60 per cent are under 30 and the majority are persons of colour who could now see the royal family as more representative both of a more diverse Britain and of the wider Commonwealth.”
Fitzwilliams further pointed to Meghan’s strengths, including work in activism and her appeal as a fashion icon. “Her articulacy, evident in her speech on women’s rights at the UN Women Conference and her activism, her opposition to sexism at the age of 11 became famous, as well as her status as a fashion icon, as an actress the red carpet was familiar to her.”
He added, “All these things tended to indicate she would be an ideal partner for Harry who is so keen to follow in Diana’s footsteps.”
Meghan also showed that, unlike Prince Harry’s other girlfriends, she was better suited for the royal life. “She would also be the perfect partner as he coped with the pressures of royal life and also, as he has told us, with mental illness,” Fitzwilliams noted. “His former girlfriends couldn’t cope with the pressure of the limelight, but we thought Meghan could.”
The Sussexes’ next chapter, the royal expert notes, is a time for the nation to weigh what the couple have given up but also what Britons have lost as well. “As they achieve their independence, at a considerable cost, we might also reflect on what we’ve lost.”