Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave the royal fold earlier this year stunned fans around the world. The seemingly sudden announcement left royal spheres thinking the Queen had been disrespected, meaning some supporters felt deeply disappointed and infuriated. However, other royal watchers have since criticised the drawn out process of Meghan and Harry’s voluntary withdrawal from the Royal Family when compared to Prince Andrew’s so-called “retirement” last year.
Andrew faced renewed public backlash after his friend, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested on charges relating to sex trafficking last summer.
Epstein killed himself before his trial but Andrew still faced intense scrutiny over their association and so attempted to explain it during a BBC Newsnight interview.
However, the interview was dubbed a “car-crash” by a shocked public.
The Duke of York then announced he was to step back from royal life indefinitely, noting how his Epstein association had caused “a major disruption” for the Firm.
The two royal crises have been repeatedly compared over the last few months, with some saying Andrew should have received harsher treatment from the Palace, rather than Meghan and Harry.
Dickie Arbiter, former royal spokesman, even told Good Morning Britain back in January that Meghan and Harry’s shock decision had caused more emotional upheaval.
He said: “The Queen will be very angry.
“Probably more angry that she felt after Andrew’s car crash interview last year.”
The journalist Harriet Hall also claimed in The Independent this week that “the pressure felt by Meghan and Harry from the Royal Family appears far more than Prince Andrew has faced”.
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Nigel Cawthorne, author of newly released ‘Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace’ also claimed to Express.co.uk that a recent event showed the Palace was continuing to treat the Sussexes and the Duke of York in the same way.
He alleged: “The quiet removal of Prince Andrew’s social media site at the same time as Harry and Meghan’s is a significant indication that the court is treating the three royals in exactly the same way.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account, Sussex Royal, used to be linked to the official Royal Family’s website.
However, it has recently been removed — Megxit negotiations with the Queen concluded that Meghan and Harry could not use the word ‘royal’ anymore because they left the Firm.
Andrew has had his social media links to Twitter and Instagram taken down from the same page, too, although all three still have biography pages on the official royal website for their key causes.
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Mr Cawthorne continued: “Prince Andrew is still an HRH and technically on a sabbatical, but it is nigh beyond doubt that the autonomy he enjoyed since 1982 has come to an irrevocable end.”
Meghan and Harry still have their HRH titles but are not able to use them following Megxit.
The royal author continued: “As Prince Andrew has craved public attention from an early age it must be a bitter pill, one as painful and humiliating as if Twitter had removed Donald Trump’s account.
“The Yorks’ social accounts were the last paraphernalia of Andrew’s royal independence, and the palace is signalling what lies ahead.”
The royal expert also speculated to Express.co.uk: “If Andrew were ever to return to a public role, he would have to submit every plan and engagement to his brother first with no more direct recourse to the Queen.
“Prince Charles will finally have won the power struggle with his younger brother for their mother’s esteem.”
It has been claimed that Charles was one of the driving forces who pushed for Andrew to resign from the royal frontline, although that has not been confirmed.