The Queen has been criticised for not leaving the door of the Royal Family ajar for Meghan and Prince Harry. Royal commentator Peter Hunt said the monarch’s decision announced on Friday resulted in the Firm casting out “one of its own”.
He wrote in The Spectator: “A family has rejected one of its own.
“The matriarch ensured all olive branches were severed from the Megxit tree.
“When Megxit was first added to our lexicon, the Sussexes were naively seeking to have their cake and eat it.
“A year on, they were just looking for a few crumbs. None were offered.”
Meghan and Harry first spoke about their desire to step back as senior royals to carve out a progressive new role within the Firm on January 8 last year.
In their bombshell statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke about their desire to live abroad and become financially independent from the Sovereign Grant while remaining part-time working royals still attending a number of functions and royal engagements.
However, following a summit in Sandringham 10 days later, the Queen said there could not be a half-in, half-out position within the Royal Family.
As a result, the Sussexes were allowed to live abroad and pursue financially profitable ventures.
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But, in turn, Meghan and Harry had to relinquish their right to carry out royal engagements and stop using their HRH styles.
The Duke of Sussex also saw his honorary military titles put on hold for 12 months.
On Friday, 11 months after Meghan and Harry’s official departure as senior royals, the Queen announced all royal and military patronages held by the Sussexes had to be returned and distributed among working members of the family.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
“Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties 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.
“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”
This move has been condemned by Mr Hunt, who argued the Windsors “could and should have left the door ajar”.
He added: “They could and should have facilitated a future where the couple would return for Trooping the Colour; Harry, who served his country, would lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday each year; and they would continue to represent the Queen at some future Commonwealth events.”
Mr Hunt added the Royal Family has shown it can “adapt and accommodate” to changes and challenges throughout the decades – and should have done so “for someone who is a grandson, a son and a brother – someone who has been damaged by the ties that bind him.”
Meghan and Prince Harry, who left the UK in mid-March last year and, due to the travel restrictions in place, have yet to return, issued their own statement after the Queen shared her decision.
A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Following the Queen’s decision, Meghan lost the patronage of the National Theatre and Association of Commonwealth Universities.
She is also no longer the vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Similarly, Prince Harry lost his position as president of this organisation and the patronages of The Rugby Football Union and The Rugby Football League.
The roles of Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of RAF base Honington and Honorary Commodore–in–Chief of Small Ships and Diving have also been left vacant.