The Duke and Duchess of Sussex caused widespread anger among royal watchers, who claimed their comments urging Americans to vote broke convention, which ensures members of the monarchy do not comment on political matters. Constitutionally, the role is vital in the UK, where a monarch – for example – has “the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn”. But critics argued this breached that mantra, which was first installed by Queen Victoria during her long reign during the 1800s and 1900s.
This process came about in 1867, with journalist Walter Bagehot delivering the slogan that all royalty in the UK now formally align themselves with.
This came as part of the gradual process Victoria decided to bring in that saw the monarchy place a greater emphasis on morality and family values.
The monarch opted to alter this approach in a bid to rejuvenate public relations, after the perceived frustrations with her predecessors dampened British views of the Royal Family.
But her decision to move away from politics sparked renewed interest, with the idea of a “family monarchy” striking a chord with the blossoming middle classes.
Victoria was initially unsure of her actual political role but the monarch was hopeful of maintaining it for as long as she could.
Britannia.com added: “Most significantly, Victoria was a queen determined to retain political power, yet unwillingly and unwittingly she presided over the transformation of the sovereign’s political role into a ceremonial one and thus preserved the British monarchy.
“When Victoria became queen, the political role of the crown was by no means clear; nor was the permanence of the throne itself. When she died and her son Edward VII moved from Marlborough House to Buckingham Palace, the change was one of social rather than of political focus; there was no doubt about the monarchy’s continuance.
“That was the measure of her reign.”
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Although Harry and Meghan famously quit senior Royal Family life in January this year, they still retain some titles as members of the Windsors.
This caused anger as it appeared to therefore break the protocol Victoria installed in order to save the Firm.
But, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson argued that the Duke is “not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity”.