Though they will officially be senior working members of the British royal family until April 1, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry have completed their final royal engagements. Their final walk, Commonwealth Day on March 9, came after two years of struggles and trying to combat the British press and the public’s disdain of Meghan.
Initially, when the duke and duchess announced their intent to resign as working royal family members, they’d hope to retain their royal status on a part-time basis. Their hope was to live in North America part-time, working toward financial independence while working for Queen Elizabeth and the crown in the U.K. for the duration of the year.
Ultimately, the queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William decided that giving the Sussexes part-time status, was not feasible. However, the queen might have prevented this from happening.
Queen Elizabeth understands Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to exit the royal family
Though she never publically addressed any of the issues that the prince and duchess were facing during their time as senior members of the royal family, the queen understood what was happening. After all, she has seen the way the press can latch on to members of the royal family, harassing them at every turn.
“She has a particular sensitivity to what Harry has been going through because of her closeness to Margaret and seeing the same dramas and tensions played out two generations ago,” royal biographer Robert Lacey told People.
Unfortunatly, The Firm has adopted a stiff upper lip policy, and over the course of her seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth has always adhered to this unspoken rule. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family,” she said in a statement following Megxit. “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.”
Queen Elizabeth is not convinced Megxit will work
Though she supports the Sussexes trying to define their lives for themselves, the queen is not convinced that Megxit will be successful. After all, it’s never been done before.
‘They are making contingency plans in case the Sussexes suddenly turn round and say: ‘Can we come back under your wing?’” an insider told The Sunday Times. “You could bring them back to Frogmore to look after them. They wouldn’t return to royal duties, but they could have a period of rehabilitation and recuperation.”
Queen Elizabeth and the remaining senior royals will also be watching everything the Sussexes do. “Putting that 12-month review in place goes to show you that the Queen will be watching them like a hawk,” Julie Montagu Viscountess Hinchingbrooke said in the Channel 5 documentary, Royals: A family in crisis. “She will want to see everything that they are doing, what they are making money from and how it is affecting the Royal Family. So there must be some concern from the Queen about what their intentions are.”
Queen Elizabeth could have stopped Megxit
Some royal experts are convinced that Megxit never had to happen. If the queen had simply demanded respect for the Duchess of Sussex, perhaps the royal family would be in a very different position today.
“If the queen had once said, in her way, ‘Hey, guys, this is my grandson and his wife,” journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown told Vanity Fair. “They just got married. Back off and let them build a life for themselves,’ the hounds would have backed off. But she never did. And she still hasn’t. I find that unforgivable, actually, since she has the power. They absolutely worship her in this country,” she said.