Meghan and Harry missed huge opportunity for royal redemption before losing titles

Meghan Markle and Harry: Experts on relationship with Queen

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It has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning to royal life, which means they have officially lost their royal patronages and military titles. This loss will be a blow for the couple and Harry is believed to be particularly upset by the loss of his military appointments. The Palace statement read: “Following conversations with the Duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”

The Sussexes quickly responded with a statement of their own, insisting that “we can all live a life of service” and “service is universal”.

This statement has been branded as “petulant” and “unnecessarily aggressive” by royal sources.

One royal expert said he felt like there had been a huge missed opportunity for the royals to manage their exit gracefully and that it came across as “rather sad”.

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

Mr Myers said: “There was a good story about how the Duke of Cambridge is said to be really sad and genuinely shocked at his brother’s behaviour towards the Queen surrounding their departure.

“I like the source quotes, which is similar to what I’ve been hearing which was, ‘Don’t disrespect your Granny, don’t answer the Queen back, it’s just not how it’s done.’

“And I think there was some more language in the reports during the week from various sources connected to the other senior royals calling the statement ‘petulant’, saying that it was ‘unnecessarily aggressive’, and I have to agree, I’m afraid.

“I just thought they could have really taken this opportunity to say, You know what, we’re going on this path, thanks but no thanks, it wasn’t for us.’

“And fair enough, the concept of service is universal, I think you’re totally right about that, there are many many avenues to service, as you explained and as we will find the Sussexes no doubt discover.

“However, it could have been such a great opportunity for them to say ‘We really appreciate everything that has been done for us’, because what really have they lost out on?”

Mr Myers added that he did not think Meghan was “that bothered” about losing her patronages and argued that it would never have worked trying to run them from Los Angeles anyway.

He argued that, while most patronages only get a handful of royal visits, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes with royal aides and courtiers working hard on it.

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Without the support of the “royal bubble”, Meghan and Harry would struggle to give their patronages the attention they need.

One of Meghan’s patronages was The National Theatre, which will be looking for considerable support, given how the arts have been suffering so much under coronavirus restrictions over the past year.

The royal editor continued: “Harry has missed out on his military titles and associations. Is Meghan that bothered about losing the patronages? I’m not sure she is.

“Because if she’s a patron of the National Theatre, well arguably that needs some real attention and focus, not only for that organisation but for the grassroots aspects of the arts in this country, which have been desecrated due to coronavirus.

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“That is arguably a full-time job, someone needs to be really, really promoting that and you can’t really do that from LA.

“So, if that was the decision they’ve taken then they should have just walked away from them rather than saying ‘we want it all and we want to carry on these associations and we might be back in a few months or we might be back next year’ ‒ it doesn’t really work like that.

“And regardless of whether there are a handful of royal events with a patronage, I do think there is a lot of work behind the scenes and that needs to be in the royal bubble.

“That needs to have Palace aides and courtiers working on it with those associations and putting ideas in front of the relevant member of the royal family who has that patronage.

“And that just wouldn’t have worked and I have to agree this was a huge, huge missed opportunity for the Sussexes and just came across as rather sad, I thought.”

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