Meghan Markle and Harry: Expert discusses ‘impact’ on royals
The Duke of Sussex has officially lost his military appointments after the Queen announced that he and the Duchess will not be returning to the royal fold. This will be devastating for Harry, who has maintained a close connection to the military after retiring from active duty. Buckingham Palace released a statement today that confirmed the Sussexes’ decision to continue living independently and said the Royal Family are “saddened” by this.
The Palace added that the Queen has informed them that “in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duty that come with a life of public service.
“The honorary military appointments and royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of the Royal Family.”
Harry will therefore lose his military appointments: Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving.
However, the Duke is still deeply passionate about his ties to the military, after spending a decade in the Army and going on two tours of Afghanistan.
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Prince Harry is losing his military appointments as he and Meghan are not returning to royal fold
Robert Lacey wrote a book about Harry and William’s relationship
Robert Lacey, author of ‘Battle of Brothers’ explained how the military gave Harry a purpose in life, which he did not naturally get as the ‘spare’, unlike his older brother William who always knew his destiny was to be King one day.
However, Mr Lacey argued that Harry now gets his purpose from his wife and the life he can see with her.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Mr Lacey told Ms Gripper in October: “There is no denying the impact that Meghan has made on Harry’s life and, depending on your point of view ‒ there are many points of view, as we know, out there ‒ this impact was certainly positive from point of view of giving Harry a new sense of purpose and direction.
Meghan, Harry and Archie now live in the US
“He enjoyed this for a period of time in the military, when he had what he regarded ‒ quite rightly ‒ as the great privilege of serving in acting duty alongside his comrades.
“That was a fruitful period in his life.
“Having had to retire from the armed services with age and so on, he was looking for a new direction, Meghan supplied it.
“We know both of them feel that this new direction is the way ahead for him, but it has been at the expense of the Royal Family, since so many of his aspirations have turned out not to fit in with royal convention.”
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However, Mr Lacey also emphasised that Meghan was not the only factor that persuaded Harry to step down as senior royal.
He asserted that, in many ways, both Harry and William are products of their upbringings, the instability of their parents’ marriage and indeed the “ruthless logic” of the Royal Family and the line of succession which has treated them so differently.
He said: “There are factors that made it tending towards inevitable.
“I can’t claim that I saw it coming and I think you’re quite right to point out the crucial role Meghan has played in this.
Meghan Markle and Harry won’t return as working royals
“As we know, because he’s said so, Harry doesn’t like what happened being called Megxit, because he’s actually said for the record, “this was my decision, not my wife’s decision’.”
He added that Harry has been treated more “harshly” by the royal system that favours the main bloodline.
This means that when he was young he was so close to the action, as he was next in line after William, but he is destined to be pushed ever outwards as time goes on.
He compared Harry to other royal ‘spares’ like Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew who also found it difficult to carve out a clear role for themselves within the Royal Family.
After meeting Meghan, Harry’s priorities shifted and he now puts his wife and family first.
The couple had their first child Archie in 2019 and are expecting their second child this year.
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‘Battle of Brothers’ was written by Robert Lacey and was published by William Collins in October 2020. It is available here.