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Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis ‘may thank Prince Harry’ for America move

Jeremy Vine: Meghan and Harry must 'step up to the plate'

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Last month marked two years since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping back from their role as senior members of the Royal Family, instead choosing to split their time between the UK and North America. After initially spending a short while in Canada and the US, the couple bought a house in Montecito, California. They have since welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana into the world. Coronavirus restrictions initially prevented the Sussexes from returning to the UK if they wanted to, though Harry has made the trip back on a few occasions since those were lifted.

Meghan has not stepped foot on British soil in more than two years, though they are expected to return for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations later this year.

Royal expert Robert Lacey wrote in a comment piece for the Daily Beast in February 2020 — shortly after the Sussexes stepped back — that other royal ‘spares’ may “have reason to thank” Harry in years to come.

Mr Lacey said Harry and Meghan’s ambition to “avoid dependence on taxpayers’ money or handouts from Dad is admirable” but such ambitions will “founder if this prompts contrary dependence on over-wealthy banks or dubious patrons”.

He said: “But the couple seem to be aware of this, and the massive popular appeal they enjoy in Canada and the US could prove quite transformative.

“One day William’s younger children, Charlotte and Louis, may have reason to thank their uncle and aunt for pioneering a brighter, freer and more creative international destiny for royal ‘spares’ than a carriage-borne wedding and seats on the board of a dozen predictable British charities.

“Domestic traditionalists jibe and sneer at it all, and it is a tragedy that much of the British press has joined in the refusal to allow this unconventional pair to be themselves.

“Poor Harry — he has never fitted in. He has always been a rebel and now he has found his soulmate.”

The ‘spare to the heir’ is by no means a new phrase. It means that any child born after their sibling — the heir — is secondary to them and is seen as a ‘spare’ part to the Firm.

There have certainly been some hugely successful spares, including Henry VI and the Queen’s father George VI, but other spares have struggled to carve out a role for themselves.

Mr Lacey argued Harry headed for the “new world” as Meghan embodies the “remedy he has been seeking after years of unhappiness and maladjustment in the old”.

Both Meghan and Harry are juggling a number of projects this year. Though their Spotify and Netflix projects have been somewhat underwhelming so far, more has been promised on these.

Harry is serving as Chief Impact officer at mental health startup Better Up, and is set to release a memoir at some point this year.

Meghan, meanwhile, released children’s book The Bench last year, and is reportedly preparing to revive her old lifestyle blog ‘The Tig’.

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The Duchess started the project in 2014, and it is named after her favourite red wine: Tiganello.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Meghan’s lawyers filed a new application to trademark ‘The Tig’ name in July last year.

The site featured a range of personal essays delving into the relationship she had with her mother, as well as inviting some of her nearest and dearest to write columns for the site.

Both The Tig and her own Instagram account were shut down before she married into the Royal Family.

Mr Lacey urged Harry and Meghan to say “good riddance” to their previous Sussex Royal titles.

He wrote: “The world does not love them because of their regressive and rather snobbish ancient titles — it doesn’t matter at all that they are called the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“They stand for what they are, the charismatic and yes, possibly haughty and certainly naught Harry and Meghan.

“That is the identity they should now be pursuing to shape their future.”

Prince Charles is widely known to favour a ‘slimmed-down’ monarchy, with only those in the line of succession in the limelight, rather than the swathes that traditionally frequent the Buckingham Palace balcony on big occasions.

Charles’ monarchy is likely to consist of himself and Camilla, the Cambridges, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

Charlotte is eligible to become the next Princess Royal once William is king and Princess Anne has passed away, while Louis will become the next Duke of York after Andrew has died.

Their futures appear to be firmly planted in royal service.

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