The Palace slapdown came hours after a friend of the Duke of Sussex said he was “determined to keep his military titles despite leaving the UK.” Harry, 36, remains the bearer of three honorary military titles – Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
The monarch, 94, kept the roles open for her grandson pending a 12-month review.
Now, with just weeks to go before both sides sit down to once again discuss the historic deal, Harry has come out fighting to defend his last concrete connections to the Armed Forces.
But palace aides have poured cold water on Harry’s bid to keep the titles while he sets down deeper roots in his adopted home of the US.
One insider told the Daily Mail: “The view is very clear – either you are in or you are out, and any form of ‘hybrid’ role is incompatible with representing the head of state.”
This week, a pal of Harry said his work with the military remained a top priority for him.
The claim is likely to raise eyebrows in many military circles, given the fact Harry has shown no signs of returning to the UK.
The Duke’s acquaintance said: “His military work is one of the most important things to him. Of course he wants to keep them.”
Harry and Meghan, 39, are expected to hold talks with the Queen in March to re-examine the terms of the Megzit deal, which included the option to return to the Royal Family.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that the pair will avail of this offer as they have splashed £11 million on a home in California and signed multi-million dollar business deals stateside since leaving the fold last spring.
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8.14am update: Meghan Markle’s sister says ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ in tell-all book on family
Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle has released her tell-all memoir about her life as a relative of the Duchess of Sussex.
In the long-awaited book, published by Central Park South Publishing, Meghan’s sister claimed a staged photoshoot of their father Thomas Markle was part of an exposé.
The author admitted to having accepted a purported deal to portray her father in an “honest light” after he was “horribly labelled” by the media.
However, the Duchess’ elder sister claims the photoshoot was leaked to UK newspapers who accused the Markles of “staging photographs”.
In an extract obtained by Newsweek, Ms Markle, also known by the name Samantha Grant, wrote: “I got a call from someone offering to connect me with a photographer friend by the name of Jeff [Rayner], who promised to discreetly take photographs of my father, putting him in an honest light, because other photographers had been so disparaging, intentionally.
“I received no money for the deal per my request, and the goal for my father was not money, because he had been turning down $50,000 interviews.
8.05am update: Prince Harry’s ‘outspokenness’ pushed Queen ‘into a corner’ over military titles
Prince Harry’s “outspokenness” in the wake of his and Meghan Markle’s step down from royal duties is said to have forced Queen Elizabeth II “into something of a corner”, according to a royal expert.
Daniela Elser suggested the Queen has been “forced” into stripping the Duke of Sussex of his military titles due to Harry’s support of “political” movements following Megxit. It follows reports the Queen “is expected to strip him of key military patronages”, while the Duke is “determined” to keep the titles.
Ms Elser suggested the Queen does not want to strip Harry of his military patronages, but is under pressure to do so.
She wrote on news.com.au: “If the Queen does ultimately decide to rescind her grandson’s prized military roles, it won’t be because she has to but because she feels like his actions over the last year necessitate it. What I can’t get past is that surely it didn’t have to be this way.
“Rather, the impression that reports out of the UK have cast is that Harry’s outspokenness at certain points over the past year has backed the Queen into something of a corner.”
7.55am update: Kate Middleton ‘unscripted message’ highlights royal’s ‘most natural video appearance’
The Duchess of Cambridge has shared “one of her most natural video appearances” where she ventured into the countryside.
filmed herself with a special message for Children’s Mental Health Week, which started on Monday.
Kate was seen outdoor near her Norfolk home, where she has been isolating with her husband and three children during lockdown.
The footage showed the Duchess, who is patron of the children’s charity Place2Be, sporting a woolly hat and a matching navy jacket.
She delivered an “unscripted” speech, which alongside her natural makeup choice, marked a difference from her usual virtual engagements.
In the video, Kate said: “While this is Children’s Mental Health Week there has never been a more important time to talk about parental wellbeing and mental health too.”