King Charles struggled to inform Prince Harry of Queen's death
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Both King Charles III and Prince Harry extended apparent olive branches to one other in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. First, the new monarch expressed his love for Harry and his wife Meghan Markle during his first official broadcast as King, and later, the Duke of Sussex mentioned his father in his tribute to his grandmother, the Queen. However, while some described these tributes as “flickers of hope”, one royal commentator claimed it would be wrong to “assume old wounds have healed overnight”.
Victoria Arbiter, royal commentator and author, said Charles is “walking on thin ice when it comes to his second-born son”.
Writing for Australian news outlet 9 Honey, Ms Arbiter said: “In light of the Sussexes’ willingness to share ‘their truth,’ it’s imperative he uses the early days of his reign to tie up loose ends by addressing the issues that may prove detrimental to the crown.”
She added: “Eager to avoid confrontation, he’s a man who rarely fights back, but considering Harry and Meghan represent an unpredictable force he’ll be keen to quell any future barbs.”
Her comments come amid mounting speculation surrounding the titles of Meghan and Harry’s two children. Currently, three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet are styled as ‘Master’ and ‘Miss’ but following the death of Queen Elizabeth and accession of King Charles, commentators questioned if the two Sussex children’s titles will change.
Despite the fact Archie and Lilibet live in California with their parents, thousands of miles away from the Royal Family, questions over their titles have prompted a global debate.
According to George V’s 1917 Letters Patent, which limited the use of royal titles to children of the Sovereign, grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, Archie and Lilibet technically became a prince and princess upon their grandfather’s accession.
However, Archie and Lilibet remain ‘Master’ and ‘Miss’ on the official Royal Family website and no confirmation of a change has been made.
It is not clear why the titles have not yet been officially changed following Charles’ accession to the throne. When asked about the children’s titles, a spokesperson for the King said the royal website would be updated “as and when we get information,” according to Hello! Magazine.
But, according to a royal expert, Charles could be waiting for the release of Harry’s highly-anticipated memoir — which is expected to be published in the upcoming months — to make any official decisions regarding his grandchildren’s titles.
Katie Nicholl, author of new book ‘The New Royals Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown’, Charles wants to “limit” titles to the “top tier of royals”.
In the book, Ms Nicholl wrote: “We know titles matter to Charles, and he reportedly wants to limit them to the top tier of royals. He is also reportedly reluctant for his brother Prince Edward to take the title Duke of Edinburgh, even though it was their late father’s wish.
“Would Charles go as far as barring Archie and Lilibet from becoming a prince and a princess now that the Sussexes are no longer working royals?
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“According to a source close to the King, ‘it depends a lot on what happens in the coming months, particularly with Harry’s book and their TV show.'”
Harry promised a “wholly truthful” account of his life in his upcoming book, which has been tipped to be a tell-all on his life as a prince. While it was initially set to be released later this year, there have been several reports that the memoir may be delayed until next year.
It’s claimed the Duke hopes to make last-minute changes in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, with some demanding it to be axed.
However, during an appearance on GB News this week, Ms Nicholl said there was “no chance of that happening”.
She explained: “I think it will come out. I mean, my experience of books is that he’s been paid something like a £35million advance, half of which has already been paid.
“I know the Palace is understandably very concerned about what’s going to be in this book. We know from the things that Harry and Megan have said in Oprah [Winfrey] and in other interviews that they’re not afraid to criticise the institution.
“They’re not afraid to have a pop at members of the Royal Family. That Oprah interview put the Royals at the centre of a really controversial storm over those allegations of racism.
“So it’s belts and braces time — but I cannot believe that the Prince is going to hand back half of that advance and pull the plug on the book.”
Similarly, it has been reported this week that Harry and Meghan are looking to delay their docu-series on Netflix. Sources close to the couple had claimed the Sussexes wanted to “downplay much of what they have said about King Charles III” and not appear insensitive.
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