Prince Harry has spoken of his ‘great sadness’ at leaving the Royal Family and said he and Meghan had ‘no other option’ than to quit senior royal duties – but vowed the couple are ‘not just walking away’.
The Duke of Sussex was at a formal private dinner at the Ivy, in Chelsea, for vulnerable children’s charity Sentebale, which he founded in 2006, when he made the comments.
In an emotional speech, the 35-year-old said the royal couple had hoped to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military associations, without any public funding.
Insisting that the UK would always be his home, he maintained that his wife, Meghan, ‘upholds the same values as I do’ and was ‘excited’ and ‘hopeful’ about playing a full royal role after their wedding.
But he said now ‘there really was no other option’ but to step back – a decision which, he said, was ‘not one I made lightly’.
The duke paid a stirring tribute to his grandmother, calling her his ‘commander-in-chief’ and that he was ‘incredibly grateful’ to Her Majesty and the rest of his family for supporting him and Meghan.
He said: ‘Once Meghan and I were married we were excited. We were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.
‘The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges and I know I haven’t always gotten it right but as far as this goes there really was no other option.’
The Duke of Sussex was at a formal private dinner at the Ivy, in Chelsea, for vulnerable children’s charity Sentebale, which founded in 2006, when he made the comments
In an emotional speech, the 35-year-old said the royal couple had hoped to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military associations, without any public funding, but this was not possible
Harry paid a stirring tribute to his grandmother, calling her his ‘commander-in-chief’ and that he was ‘incredibly grateful’ to Her Majesty and the rest of his family for supporting him and Meghan
The Duke of Sussex seen arriving at The Ivy Chelsea Garden on Sunday evening for the charity dinner where he gave an emotional speech
The Duke of Sussex was at a formal private dinner for vulnerable children’s charity Sentebale, which he founded in 2006, when he made the comments.
The Duke of Sussex was wearing a grey blazer, black trousers and blue suede shoes as he attended a charity event at The Ivy Chelsea Garden on the King’s Road
On Sunday evening, the Duke of Sussex met popstar Lewis Capaldi who performed at the event in London, at the Ivy
Prince Harry leaving the charity event on Sunday evening. In an emotional speech, the Duke of Sussex spoke about wanting a ‘peaceful’ life for him and his family
‘No plan for tell-all interview’, friends insist
by Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Harry and Meghan have no plans to do a tell-all interview, friends insisted last night.
The couple want to use the next year to ‘prove’ to the Queen they can make their new role outside of the Royal Family work.
Reports have suggested the Sussexes are thinking about doing an interview with a major US broadcaster, with high-profile names such as Oprah or Gayle King – a presenter friend of Meghan’s – being considered.
But a source close to the couple said they will ‘absolutely not’ be doing any interviews.
‘They are very happy and grateful that Her Majesty has agreed to this new model of working and want to prove that it is possible. An interview is not part of that,’ the source said.
It comes after last night’s statement from the Queen that Harry and Meghan will ‘not use their HRH titles’, as they look to forge a new life in North America.
As well as returning the £2.4 million spent on a lavish refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, they will pay a commercial rent – estimated at up to £360,000 a year – to retain it as their British home.
The Duke of Sussex added: ‘What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.
‘Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding.
‘Unfortunately that wasn’t possible. I’ve accepted this knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a peaceful life.’
The deal hammered out at Sandringham yesterday stipulates that the pair, who will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will cease to be working members of the Royal Family from this spring and will not perform any official duties on behalf of the Queen – effectively leaving ‘The Firm’ completely.
By quitting their senior royal roles, they will sacrifice their HRH title.
The Queen makes a VERY public show of support for a grinning Prince Andrew
by Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Prince Andrew yesterday accompanied the Queen to church in his first public appearance with her since stepping back from royal duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
Not only was it a clear show of support from the monarch for her beleaguered son, it also put a spotlight on the issue of succession.
The Queen travelled in the same car as Andrew to the St Mary the Virgin church in Hillington, Norfolk, and was happy for them to be photographed together. Andrew hasn’t been pictured with his mother since his disastrous Newsnight interview last November.
The Queen has stepped out in public with Prince Andrew for the first time this year after the spotlight swivelled from his disgraced friendship with Jeffrey Epstein to the abdication of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
It came as Buckingham Palace stressed that Prince Harry’s place in the line of succession is unaffected. While he is not going to use his HRH title, he will not be relinquishing it.
It means Harry and Meghan will not have to bow or curtsey to Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, which would have been the protocol if they had lost their HRH titles altogether. Harry – who is sixth in line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, William and his three children – has made clear the life of a senior royal is not for him or his son Archie.
So hypothetically, if anything were to happen to those above him, or others were to follow in his footsteps and ‘opt out’ of the monarchy, Andrew and his daughters would be next.
And, in the absence of the Sussexes, Charles could need the help of Andrew and his children to help share the day-to-day burden of public duties.
This evening, the Duke of Sussex said the couple would continue to lead a life of service and were taking a ‘huge leap of faith.’
He added: ‘I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.
‘Together you have given me an education about living and this role has taught me more about what it right and just than I could ever have imagined.
‘We are taking a leap of faith so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.’
In an adorable moment, Harry also revealed his son Archie, who is in Canada with Meghan, recently saw snow for the first time.
He told the audience: It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes.
‘It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you and to feel your excitement for our son Archie – who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!
‘I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander-in-chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.’
The duke also praised former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas – who is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with HIV – for changing the way people think about the virus.
He also introduced singer Lewis Capaldi who he said had flown in directly from Malaysia, via Dubai, on his way to the Grammy Awards in LA.
Harry added: ‘I can’t not mention my dear friend Gareth Thomas – who in my mind – has quite literally changed the way people think about HIV – so thank you bud.
‘By being here tonight, every one of you are helping to fight that stigma and helping a generation of children and young adults to becoming the generation that ends it.
‘There’s a lot to do, but it’s only possible by working together and receiving support from people like yourselves and like Lewis Capaldi, who has so generously flown here directly from Malaysia, via Dubai, taking tonight out as a detour on his way to the Grammys in Los Angeles – where he is nominated for best song.
‘Lewis, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us this evening. We are all incredibly grateful.’
The Duke of Sussex, was wearing a grey blazer, black trousers and blue suede shoes as he attended a charity event, and was joined by his son’s godfather Mark Dyer – who donned a blue suit – and a group of minders.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a stone’s throw away from Mr Dyer’s pub in Fulham, where Harry dined with friends on Friday.
Mr Dyer, 53, who comforted Harry after Diana’s death in 1997, was revealed as baby Archie’s godfather earlier today alongside the Duke’s former nanny Tiggy Pettifer.
Harry’s grandmother, the Queen, issued an emotional statement on Saturday, saying she recognised the ‘challenges’ the couple had faced over the past year.
Unusually, she used the first names of her grandson and his family in a public message.
Lewis Capaldi performs as Sentebale held an event on January 19, 2020, hosted by The Caring Foundation, to raise funds for Sentebales vital work supporting young people affected by HIV in southern Africa, in London
The 35-year-old was at a formal private dinner for his children’s charity Sentebale, which he founded in 2006
The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a stone’s throw away from Mr Dyer’s pub in Fulham, where Harry dined with friends on Friday. Pictured: Harry outside The Ivy Chelsea Garden on Sunday
A general view shows The Ivy Chelsea Garden, with doormen in their green outfits standing outside
Prince Harry was joined by his son’s godfather Mark Dyer (pictured) – who donned a blue suit – and a group of minders
The Queen said: ‘Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
The full speech by the Duke of Sussex on Sunday
Good evening everyone and thank you very much for being here for Sentebale charity, that myself and Prince Seeiso created all the way back in 2006 to honour our mothers’ legacy in supporting those affected by HIV and AIDS.
Before I begin I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard, or perhaps read, over the past few weeks. So I want you to hear the truth, from me, as much as I can share.
Not as a prince or a duke, but as Harry. The same person that many of you have heard grow up for the last 35 years, but now with a clearer perspective.
Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched… hurray! I also know that you’ve come to know me well enough over these past years to trust that the woman I chose as my wife upholds the same values as I do – and she does. And she is the same woman I fell in love with.
The UK is my home and a place that I love, that will never change. I’ve grown up feeling supported from so many of you and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms as you saw me find the love and happiness that I’d hoped for all my life.
We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride. Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited. We were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons it brings me great sadness that it has come to this. The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks, after so many years of challenges, and I know I haven’t always gotten it right but as far as this goes there really was no other option.
What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.
I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to – that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a peaceful life.
I was born into this life and it is a great honour to serve my country and the Queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago you took me under your wing.
You looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful, because this is so much bigger than just us.
It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes.
It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you and to feel your excitement for our son Archie – who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!
I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander-in-chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.
I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.
Together, you have given me an education about living, and this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could ever have imagined.
We are taking a leap of faith – so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.
‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.’
She added: ‘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.
‘I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
‘It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.’
In statement issued previously on behalf of the couple by Buckingham Palace, they said that under the agreement they understood they were ‘required’ to step back from royal duties.
Earning money from lucrative contracts and still remaining active members of the monarchy would have been problematic and has caused issues for royals who have tried to straddle the two positions in the past.
Meghan and Harry have already begun a transition phase of living in Canada and the UK.
The duchess is in the Commonwealth country with son Archie, where the Sussexes spent six weeks over the festive period.
The move was agreed by the Queen, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge following the Sussexes’ unprecedented statement released earlier this month.
It is understood the couple will now spend the majority of their time in Canada, with Harry expected to join his wife sometime this week.
The Sussexes keep the style of HRH – His or Her Royal Highness – but the statement issued on their behalf said it will no longer be used from the spring ‘as they are no longer working members of the royal family’.
Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was stripped of her HRH in 1996 following her divorce from Charles.
The duke will continue to work with his charities and organisations like the Rugby Football League and Sentebale – his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV – and the duchess will remain with her good causes.
Harry will give up a Commonwealth role and his three military appointments, the most prominent being Captain General Royal Marines.
All the new arrangements are due to come into effect in the spring and will be reviewed by Buckingham Palace in 12 months.
Last night’s statement from the Queen said they will ‘not use their HRH titles’, which appeared to suggest sacrificing the three-letter prefix was the price of their newfound freedom.
But the Palace and Sussex households have now been accused of purposefully fudging the statement after it transpired Harry and Meghan have not been stripped of the title, but have just agreed not to deploy it.
Commentator Carole Malone angrily tweeted: ‘So Harry and Meghan haven’t actually been stripped of their HRH title.
‘They will keep HRH in name but will not use it. So how is that going to be monitored as they jet around the world making millions?’
Minutes after the Queen’s announcement, a communiqué on the Sussexes website referred to the couple as ‘Their Royal Highness’, immediately sparking confusion.
But it is understood they will abandon using the title this spring when Harry and Meghan officially cut ties with the Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer to use their HRH titles and will repay £2.4million of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Berkshire home, the couple have announced, as talks about their future roles concluded. Pictured is the Queen’s statement
And a statement from Buckingham Palace (pictured) read: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives’
The Duke and Duchess’ new website sussexroyal.com has been updated following the Queen’s statement, saying: ‘In line with the statement by Her Majesty The Queen, information on the roles and work of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be updated on this website in due course’
He wore a grey polo shirt to the New King’s Road venue (pictured) and was said to have been acting like a normal customer in the Fulham pub on Friday
The west London pub where Prince Harry was spotted enjoying ‘a quiet drink like a normal customer’ on Friday is owned by Mark Dyer (left, with Harry in 2016)
On Friday Harry dined for around three hours at Mr Dyer’s Brook House Pub in Fulham ahead of the bombshell announcement.
He wore a grey polo shirt to the New King’s Road venue and was said to have been acting like a ‘normal’ customer before leaving at around 11pm.
A witness told Fabulous: ‘He seemed very happy, relaxed.
‘He was sat in the middle of seven guys and they spent a good few hours laughing and joking.
‘He seems like he was just a normal guy enjoying a few beers and a meal with his pals.’
The eatery, which sits over the road from Eel Brook Common, offers main meals of up to £25 – for the roast Cornish cod.
Harry has previously been seen out drinking down the road in The Cross Keys in Chelsea, as well as Bunga Bunga just over the Thames in Battersea.
Duke and Duchess of Netflix? After the Queen’s ‘hard Megxit’ deal, Harry and Meghan plan to set up a production company… and streaming giant already wants to work with them
by Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Harry and Meghan hope to make a fortune with their own film and television production company after their dramatic break from the Royal Family, sources said last night.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to make a living by providing voiceovers and producing documentaries on ‘worthy’ issues such as mental health and climate change.
And they have received an early boost after a senior Netflix executive yesterday said the streaming giant would like to work with them.
The couple plan to continue marketing themselves under the ‘Sussex Royal’ brand for the time being, even though they have agreed not to use their HRH titles in the future, it is understood. The Prince of Wales has agreed to fund them from his private investments for now, but it is likely that his offer will be reviewed in a year after the couple have had time to get on their feet.
The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as setting up a Clinton Foundation-style charity, the Daily Mail has been told
Friends say Harry and Meghan will be ‘forever grateful’ to the Queen for thinking ‘outside the box’ and have promised they will not bring the royals into disrepute through any ‘dodgy deals’.
The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as setting up a Clinton Foundation-style charity, the Mail has been told.
Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have earned a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said yesterday the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan, adding: ‘Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.’
Meghan has already signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity.
Last week video emerged of Harry highlighting his wife’s talents to Disney chief executive Robert Iger during the European premiere of The Lion King in July.
Since leaving the White House the Obamas have begun to earn a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix
The duke has already collaborated on an Apple TV series on mental health with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who is also a friend. A source said: ‘The sorts of deals they will do will be more along the lines of the documentary series the duke is executive producing on mental health for Apple TV with Oprah and the voiceover that the duchess has done for Disney. It’s a new model, admittedly, but they are determined to prove to the family that this can work.
‘Given the duchess’s work [as an actress] before she married and the duke’s interests, it is likely that this is the route they want to go down.’
The source ruled out any autobiography deals, although Harry, who has become an accomplished public speaker, could take to the lucrative lecture circuit.
Netflix’s chief content officer said yesterday that the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan
But insiders insist the couple will not rush to seal any commercial deals, adding: ‘Neither of them want to do something that will upset Her Majesty and the Royal Family.
‘The expression that they used in wanting to uphold the values of the Queen is genuine. There will be no dodgy deals.’
One of the biggest issues is how Harry and Meghan will be able to market themselves by their chosen brand name of ‘Sussex Royal’ when they are no longer senior working royals.
But a source said: ‘There are still a lot of details to be worked out but if it’s the use of the word ‘royal’ in a charitable sense then what is the problem?
‘The Queen has made clear they will forever more be members of the Royal Family.’
This battle has only just begun: Scarred by previous debacles, the Queen has moved deftly (and swiftly) to assert her authority and seal a deal. But ROBERT HARDMAN fears the repercussions from this Royal upheaval are far from over…
As with any major negotiation, the devil is in the detail.
And the more that we study the new template for 21st century reluctant royalty, the more issues that arise – from heraldry to trademarks and some very odd new titles.
The Queen has certainly kept to her side of the bargain, having said last week that she wanted to resolve the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘in days’.
This has been serious royal reform conducted at record speed.
Uppermost in the Queen’s mind, I understand, were two previous members of the family whose drawn-out unhappiness backfired badly on the monarchy itself.
The Queen has certainly kept to her side of the bargain, having said last week that she wanted to resolve the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘in days’
The first was Princess Margaret, whose hopes of marrying her late father’s divorced equerry, Peter Townsend, were put on hold for two years until she no longer required the Queen’s permission (by which time, she was having second thoughts anyway).
The second was the Princess of Wales, who spent three years inside the royal fold while separated from the Prince before finally seeking a divorce.
In both cases, the Queen let things drag on and on in the hope of some sort of happy resolution. In both cases, it merely prolonged the agony for everyone.
This time, the Queen has decided to apply a different strategy: speed and pragmatism – with a return ticket included, just in case things do not go to plan.
There has been a lot of talk about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ from last week’s Sandringham summit, as the Palace pointedly refuses to call it (‘it was a family meeting,’ says a spokesman).
In her statement Her Majesty The Queen praised how Meghan had swiftly become part of the family and thanked the couple for the work they had done
Sporting analogies rather miss the point since both sides can claim to have won, yet no one is feeling remotely triumphal.
The Sussexes have secured the new existence they yearned for, though certainly not on the terms they had envisaged.
They had hoped to create a hybrid arrangement, mixing official duties with private commercial work. However, as this paper has made clear in recent days, any aspiration to be half-in/half-out could never work.
The couple will now be post-royal rather than semi-royal.
In the process, they have also quashed one of the regular charges thrown at them, namely the use of public money.
Having agreed to repay the £2.3million of Sovereign Grant spent on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, they are in the clear.
For her part, the Queen has deftly reasserted her authority at the age of 93 and averted a family schism.
Even so, it has been a painful process for a worried grandmother. And she is acutely aware this is not an issue that can now be put to one side. Rather, this is just the start.
For as one set of negotiations is resolved, a whole new chapter of awkward and perhaps insoluble dilemmas now opens up.
The Sussexes will pay back £2.3million of taxpayers’ money spent on renovating Frogmore Cottage (pictured) in Berkshire
For now, the answer to most of these questions is ‘wait and see’. By sensibly announcing a ‘review’ of the Sussexes’ arrangements after 12 months, both sides have bought themselves some breathing space. Nothing is final, for now.
The public may want answers sooner than that, however.
Take the question of how we should refer to the couple. A royal spokesman has said, once the new arrangements take effect in ‘the spring’, they will be known as ‘Harry, Duke of Sussex’ and ‘Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’.
When I put this to a distinguished authority on protocol yesterday, he replied with astonishment: ‘What? So, they are already divorcing?’
For the only people who put a Christian name before a title are either divorced wives or widows of hereditary peers.
They do so, by tradition, to distinguish themselves from the current holder of the same title. (It was for this reason that, say, the Countess Spencer became Raine, Countess Spencer on the death of her husband, the last Earl Spencer.
We can surely expect to see a rebranding and relaunch of ‘sussexroyal.com’ in the near future, although it is going to cost the couple a small fortune as they apply for new trademarks for every aspect of their fledgling empire
That way, there could be no confusion with the wife of the new Earl Spencer who was automatically the new Countess Spencer).
So, ‘Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’ would only be correct if Meghan was either widowed or divorced. As for ‘Harry, Duke of Sussex’, no such male title has ever existed.
Some might dismiss this as arcane stuff for pedants and Downton Abbey addicts. However, the whole point of protocol and etiquette is that people want to know the rules.
At every royal event I have ever attended, the most frequent questions from the guests are: ‘How do I bow/curtsey?’ and ‘What should I call them?’
So what should we call a couple who will no longer call themselves ‘HRH’ but will, nonetheless, retain the style of ‘HRH’? For their royal status is, in effect, mothballed rather than abolished.
They will both remain ‘HRH’ on their passports and in official documents. Again, this might seem a minor point. But try telling that to the host who is just about to introduce Harry or Meghan at some gala event.
They can hardly begin with the usual: ‘Your Royal Highness, Ladies and Gentlemen…’ Nor would it be correct to say ‘Your Grace’ – the form of address for an ‘ordinary’ duke. A Palace adviser admits there is, as yet, no definitive answer but suggests using plain ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’.
As for bowing or curtseying, the official advice is: ‘Don’t’. But if some people do, Harry and Meghan are not going to complain.
Money-wise, there is a serious problem at the heart of their new, independent operation: Sussex Royal. They have spent months establishing it as a charitable, corporate and digital entity. But the name is, surely, a non-starter.
If you are not going to trade on your royal connections – and they have forsworn not to – then you simply cannot create a new brand for yourself with ‘royal’ in the title.
We can surely expect to see a rebranding and relaunch of ‘sussexroyal.com’ in the near future, although it is going to cost the couple a small fortune as they apply for new trademarks for every aspect of their fledgling empire.
I even see trouble ahead with something as simple as their stationery. They will want to keep their cypher – their initials entwined under what looks like a crown – which appears on everything.
But some people will argue that this is another example of trading on their royal status.
This is not true, since the ‘crown’ in question is actually a coronet, a heraldic device which applies to all members of the peerage.
In other words, hundreds of peers do the same. However, to a wider world with little time for such niceties, it may just look like another example of trading on royal links.
All these are issues which will keep officials inside all the royal households busy for months.
None of this, I suspect, will weigh as heavily on the Duke’s mind as the loss of his military patronages.
He was immensely honoured to be appointed Captain-General of the Royal Marines, in particular, and his loyalty to the wider family of the Armed Forces has been exemplary. But he must relinquish the ceremonial role.
One close to him acknowledges that occasions like Remembrance Sunday will ‘hit particularly hard’.
For there seems little chance of Harry being invited to line up behind his father at the Cenotaph to lay a wreath.
He will, of course, be welcome to join the Queen and other members of the family on the balcony overlooking Whitehall but for such a dedicated ex-Army officer it may feel too much like a demotion.
I would not be surprised to see him attending other commemorations on his own.
However, it is significant that none of his current stable of military organisations will look for a replacement during the 12-month review of the new arrangements. Read between the lines and the Queen has kept as many bridges open, in case of a change of plan.
He remains a passionate president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – with Meghan as vice-president. Meghan is also patron of one of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Spread across all 53 member states of the ‘family of nations’, these are charities which can be promoted and supported just as easily, whether the patron happens to be in Windsor, Ontario, or Windsor, Berkshire.
I fully expect to see Harry – and possibly Meghan, too – alongside the Queen at the annual Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey in March. It is an event packed with charities from all over the Commonwealth.
It is also an occasion which, in future, may act as a bridge between the Sussexes and the rest of the family.
Harry does, of course, have unfinished business before his new ‘independent life’ can start. Today, he will hold a series of bilateral meetings with the presidents of Malawi and Mozambique plus the prime minister of Morocco.
The Government’s UK-Africa Summit is kicking off in London and Foreign Office ministers are keen to play the royal card as much as possible.
Before the events of recent days, Prince Harry had agreed to welcome some of the heads of state.
Later on, all 21 African delegations – plus spouses – will head for Buckingham Palace where the Duke of Cambridge will host a special summit reception.
It is not only the first big Palace bash of the year. It will also be the first time the Queen has asked Prince William to host a major state occasion inside royal HQ, another stepping stone in the long preparation for the top job that will one day be his destiny.
Prince Harry will not be at his brother’s party.
I am told that it is simply down to a ‘diary clash’. No doubt, he would once have made a point of being on hand to help his brother with a big event like this. In the present circumstances, of course, it would eclipse the entire summit if he did show up.
Today will be another reminder of just what the monarchy and the UK are about to lose. For the Duke himself, it will be a reminder of the position he is about to abandon.
Canada may have its appeal but no one is going to ask him to spend a day schmoozing with heads of state – as Harry will this afternoon.
There are so many pitfalls ahead, so much to be regretted.
Just as well, then, that the wise Queen has left so many doors ajar.
Prince Charles is ‘massively sad’: It’s the psycho drama at the heart of Megxit — the thorny relationship, so coloured by Princess Diana, between the three princes. And, as RICHARD KAY reveals, it’s having unforeseen consequences
There was perhaps just one consolation for the Prince of Wales yesterday — he was at Birkhall in Scotland, just about as far away from the centre of the royal drama over Prince Harry’s departure as he could be.
Time and again at moments of crisis and great sadness Charles has sought solace in the familiar hills above the royal estate at Balmoral. He retreated there after the death of his beloved grandmother in 2002, and it was where he received the devastating news that Princess Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris five years earlier.
On both occasions Harry was there, too. In the grief the prince suffered over the Queen Mother, Harry was a good-humoured companion, while in 1997 Charles was a hugely comforting presence amid the great shock of his ex-wife’s death.
In loss and sorrow, father and son forged deep bonds, a closeness that has endured in the face of frequent outbreaks of domestic adversity: Harry’s teenage drug-taking years, the stumbling out of nightclubs, the embarrassment of that naked romp in Las Vegas and the rift with William.
Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles watch the athletics during the Invictus Games in 2014 in London
And it is why he has been so wounded — ‘floored’ was the word being used yesterday by aides to describe the prince’s mood — over the Harry and Meghan affair.
No one, he believes, could have been more welcoming to his daughter-in-law or more willing to stick his neck out for his son.
When the couple went to him with their plan for a wedding at St George’s Chapel — in the face of critics unhappy that Meghan had been married before — it was Charles who persuaded the Queen to allow it to happen.
‘He pushed his mother to give his son what he didn’t manage to achieve for himself when he wed Camilla — marrying a divorcee in church,’ says a friend.
Not only that, but when Meghan’s father was unable to attend the ceremony, the prince agreed to Harry’s request to walk his wife-to-be down the aisle.
Prince Charles laughs with his sons as he lifts Prince Harry onto Prince William’s shoulders at Kensington Palace in 1985
He supported their move to Frogmore, paying out tens of thousands of pounds on fixtures and fittings for their new home, and allowed them to split away from William and Kate at Kensington Palace and establish their own court at Buckingham Palace.
Yet all this was not enough. Harry’s bid for freedom has left the Prince of Wales ‘massively sad’, according to one friend. ‘He feels it will be seen as another mess on his doorstep: first the disaster over the mother, now the disaster over the mother’s son.’
For Harry, the relationship with his father, while warmer than that between Charles and William, has always been complex.
Harry’s public testimony three years ago about his own mental issues confirmed the long shadow cast over the prince by the catastrophe of losing his mother so young. He disclosed how, as an adult, he came close to a mental breakdown while still struggling to come to terms with her death, and sought psychiatric help.
Here was a man, then 32, blessed with every possible privilege, admitting his suffering was still so great that he’d had to seek psychiatric counselling.
How well he had hidden it from the public. Who could have imagined that the clown prince joshing with sprinter Usain Bolt in Jamaica, laughingly drinking rum and dancing with the locals in Belize, was privately carrying such deep emotional scars? Known for having a fiery temper — he has lashed out at paparazzi photographers at least once — he revealed that he took up boxing to help control his aggression, just as his mother tried kick-boxing as an emotional outlet after the break-up of her marriage.
Of course, there was one area where both boys held a shared view: Camilla. But both William and Harry have never enjoyed an easy relationship with her
Diana always saw herself as a strong woman, ever vigilant about both her sons, but especially Harry, whom she knew was vulnerable.
The princess would have been aghast at the thought of Harry as a 17-year-old drinking after hours at the Rattlebone pub in Sherston, a few miles from the Highgrove estate, and smoking cannabis in the shed round the back. Few doubt that had she still been alive, he wouldn’t have done it.
His problem at that time was that he felt very alone. Prince Charles was largely absorbed in his own problems, trying to win public acceptance for Camilla, and William was away at university in Scotland.
Back in those teenage years, Harry was certainly a worry to his father, as well as palace courtiers. It was not so much his pursuit of women but the way the absence of a mother’s guiding hand and moderating presence had unleashed his wilder side. During his geography and art A-levels revision, he partied away in Kensington until 2am, puffing his way through a packet of cigarettes in an evening (he quit smoking after meeting Meghan).
But it was when both boys came to record tributes to their mother to mark the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017 that the rawness of their relationship with their father became starkly clear for all to see.
Only Harry could bring himself to reference his father — from William there was not a word.
Before Meghan came on the scene, it was Harry who was the bridge-builder between Charles and his brother. After the prince’s gentle complaint that he did not see much of his first grandson, Prince George, Harry encouraged William to be a little more welcoming to their father.
Diana always saw herself as a strong woman, ever vigilant about both her sons, but especially Harry, whom she knew was vulnerable. Pictured: Princess Diana and Prince Charles leaving St.Mary’s Hospital in Paddington with Prince Harry in September 1984
Of course, there was one area where both boys held a shared view: Camilla. In many ways the Duchess of Cornwall has played a faultless role, never assuming the position of stepmother in the young princes’ lives and steering clear of family confrontations.
But both William and Harry have never enjoyed an easy relationship with her. Three years ago when the brothers were working on plans to put up a statue to their mother — they are still working on them — they invited a number of Diana’s friends to contribute memories.
Several were invited to Nottingham Cottage, Prince Harry’s bijou home at Kensington Palace before his move to Windsor. One recalled how, when discussing their mother’s sadness over the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles, Camilla’s name had come up.
Harry’s face darkened. ‘He didn’t want to talk about her,’ said the friend. ‘William said nothing, too. It spoke volumes.’
Indeed, the story of the statue, which is due to be placed near Diana’s old home at Kensington Palace, has been another source of tension. ‘There has been disagreement over the preliminary models, what period in the princess’s life the statue should represent,’ one of the princess’s old friends says. ‘It will be a great shame if these latest developments jeopardise this project.’
To the wider public the story of how brothers once whisper-close could have fallen out so spectacularly is one of the saddest aspects of the whole saga.
Prince Charles is anxious for this existential crisis to pass quickly, but he has been dismayed by suggestions that racism has been underlying the criticism of Meghan
For all their polished, easy-going charm both boys are notoriously thin-skinned. It’s true that Harry reacted in a hot-headed way when his brother urged caution in the early weeks of the romance with Meghan. And it’s also true that neither William nor Kate were quite as welcoming to the American-born actress as they could have been.
The problem was that having taken aggressive positions with each other, both boys failed to draw back. No wonder the broadcaster Tom Bradby, a friend of both boys, reported that there was a wry smile from Harry when he learned that the crisis had brought Charles and his older son, once barely on speaking terms, closer because of the behaviour of the younger.
There was sibling rivalry too, envy even, over the Sussexes’ global popularity. ‘William is very conscious of his position, and having seen how his mother used to upstage his father, he has no intention of allowing Harry to do that to him,’ says a courtier. ‘They’re a complicated pair.’
For Charles, who at the age of 48 and set in his ways found himself a single parent to two teenage boys, the years after Diana’s death were tricky. With so much of his own life regimented and given over to royal duty, who could blame him if he took an easy route with his sons?
His attitude was to take the path of least resistance. This sometimes allowed him to be seen to be weak and as the boys got older they would exploit it. They saw him as a fuddy-duddy and regarded him with affectionate ridicule. One aide goes further and says both boys ‘bullied’ their father.
‘They showed him little respect and never deferred to his diary of engagements,’ says the aide. ‘This was important because the Royal Family is run on business lines with each part working to support the other. It means not upstaging each other.
‘Yet on three occasions when the Prince of Wales was undertaking important business on behalf of the Government, the boys made announcements themselves that stole the headlines.
‘Of course, he didn’t say anything. He was angry and hurt, but he was never as decisive as he should have been.’
All this and more was on the prince’s mind as plans for Harry’s post-royal resolution was being drawn up. The loss of Harry’s military patronages was key.
‘The respect for the Royal Family from the armed services is enormous, unquantifiable — but being half in and half out does not help the forces or the royals,’ said a source.
Both Charles and the Queen viewed the issue as non-negotiable. So, too, crucially, did William. Even though the brothers no longer get along well, William knows how much his Army years and connections mean to him.
Was this a punishment for breaking away? Undoubtedly, some will see it as such. For the royals the issue was clear: there had to be a lessening of status for the couple.
Prince Charles is anxious for this existential crisis to pass quickly, but he has been dismayed by suggestions that racism has been underlying the criticism of Meghan.
‘He has found that quite unedifying,’ says a friend. ‘With his close links to the Afro-Caribbean community he has fostered over many years, he finds that idea offensive.
‘He genuinely believed that Harry’s marriage to a mixed-race American divorcee not only signalled the diversity of modern Britain but also quite possibly marked the beginning of a new era for the House of Windsor. It was why he pushed so hard on letting them marry in church. He was saying ‘this is the modern way and we must move with the times’.’
For now his dream of a slimmed-down monarchy is turning into a nightmare, with the Royal Family shrinking before our eyes. It is why he insisted the couple should retain their HRH titles, even if they can no longer use them.
‘There’s a way back if things don’t work out,’ says one figure.
Among courtiers, the intervention of the Duchess of Sussex’s father Thomas Markle in which he attacked his daughter and son-in-law for turning their backs on royalty provided the only moment of light relief.
‘When Mr Markle accuses them of cheapening the royal brand, we’ve reached a pretty poor pass.’
Royal rift is repaired as ‘Princes Harry and William make up after secret Palace peace talks’
Prince Harry’s rift with William has been repaired but he is still at odds with Charles following the Duke of Sussex’s dramatic exit from royal life.
The two-year quarrel stopped after they realised it was ‘now or never’, with Harry expected to fly to Canada to rejoin wife Meghan Markle and baby Archie.
Secret peace talks, assisted by the Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge, were separate from conversations involving the Queen over Harry’s future role.
The two-year quarrel stopped after they realised it was ‘now or never’, with Harry (right) expected to fly to Canada to rejoin wife Meghan Markle and baby Archie
A source told the Sun: ‘William and Harry have spent time together privately away from the official Sandringham Summit working on their relationship and discussing their future.
‘It has been ground-breaking in terms of saving their bond as brothers and has been totally driven by them.
‘But Kate and Meghan, who was in Canada, did join in with some of the talks on more than one occasion — which is another sign of a real thaw in their relationship. Things are better.’
Secret peace talks, assisted by the Duchess of Sussex (right) and Duchess of Cambridge (left), were separate from conversations involving the Queen over Harry’s future role
Support: The Duke of Cambridge (left) and the Duke of Sussex (right) with Aimon Srivaddhanaprabha, in July 2019 with the wife of late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash – but despite the smiles the brother reportedly had a row before the event. Yet they have now made up
They added: ‘Given Harry is now permanently moving away, there was a realisation if they didn’t sort things out now, they never would.’
Harry and William have been at odds for two years. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have now quit royal life and renounced their HRH titles.
The couple have already begun a transition phase of living in Canada as well as the UK.
Meghan Markle appeared fresh and happy as she drove herself to the airport in Canada on Friday, but was accompanied by a security guard
The Duchess is in the Commonwealth country with son Archie where the Sussexes spent six weeks over the festive period.
Despite patching things up with William, it is understood Harry has not made the breakthrough with father Charles.
Their relationship was described as ‘far more complicated’, with there being a ‘lack of trust there’.