Queen Elizabeth II May ‘Seem More Aloof’ Because of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Author Says

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex might be making Queen Elizabeth II look bad despite having what appears to be a good relationship with the queen. An expert and author on celebrity and fame says the couple’s public “image” could reflect poorly on the leader of the British royal family. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are forging a new path in their post-senior ‘working’ royal lives

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth II | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Since stepping back as senior “working” royals in 2020 and no longer carrying out royal engagements on behalf of the queen, Meghan and Harry have moved forward with a number of different projects. 

They’re the hosts of a Spotify podcast called Archewell Audio. The couple also inked a lucrative multiyear deal with Netflix to bring different types of programming to the streamer. Meghan and Harry have also been quietly working on the site for their Archwell foundation.

Most recently, Harry partnered with Oprah Winfrey on Apple TV+’s mental health docuseries, The Me You Can’t See. And Meghan wrote a children’s book,The Bench, that was inspired by Harry and their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘image’ might make Queen Elizabeth ‘seem more aloof’, author says

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex represent more modern royals. Sure, they’re no longer senior “working” royals but even when they were representing the queen in an official capacity they were addressing modern issues. 

Now that they can speak more freely, the couple has dived deeper on certain issues. They’ve spoken more candidly on topics such as mental health, racism, and politics. Andrea McDonnell, co-author of the book Celebrity: A History of Fame, says Harry and Meghan’s “image” doesn’t necessarily reflect positively on the queen.

“I think it’s possible that Harry and Meghan’s image make Elizabeth II seem more aloof,” McDonnell told NBC News in June 2021. The author also noted that something similar seemed to have happened with Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, and the queen. 

“I think there are parallels to the discourse around Princess Diana,” she added. “Diana was the shining star that could connect with people and who had empathy, and those qualities put the queen in sharper contrast.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seem to be on good terms with Queen Elizabeth 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Queen Elizabeth II attending Day 1 of Royal Ascot
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Queen Elizabeth II | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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Despite Harry and Meghan’s public image possibly making the queen look more “aloof,” they appear to have a good relationship with the leader of the royal family. The couple only had good things to say about the queen during their tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021. 

Harry made sure to tell Winfrey that it wasn’t the queen or her late husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who’d made racist remarks about Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s skin color. 

Just a few months later Meghan and Harry named their daughter after the queen, giving her the monarch’s childhood nickname. Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on June 4, 2021, and despite conflicting reports, a spokesperson for the couple said the queen approved of the name choice

While Meghan stays in California with Archie and newborn Lili, Harry’s headed across the pond for the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue alongside his brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. As for the queen, she continues to carry out royal duties.