Prince Harry and Meghan Markle May Have ‘Overplayed Their Hand’ with Megxit, Royal Critic Claims

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
Prince Hary and Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren’t the first royals to quit 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 Queen Elizabeth finds them important enough to keep around regardless of the terms they put forth. But did Harry and Meghan overestimate their value to the family by forcing them to make this choice?

Queen Elizabeth cares more about duty than she does about happiness

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 stiff upper lip,” Meghan Markle said during the now infamous ITV interview. “I tried, I really tried. But I think what that does internally is probably really damaging.”

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.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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 popularity after abdicating — instead, he took the first train out of London following his announcement 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?

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 always won. Prince Harry and Meghan may have forgotten that crucial truth.