Royal author Robert Lacey claimed Harry saw the four-generational photo of the Queen with Prince Charles, William and young Prince George as a reminder from his older brother about his place in the line of succession. The snap was released in January before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced bombshell plans to step back as senior royals.
Writing in his new book Battle of Brothers, Mr Lacey said: “The new royal picture that the Queen did release on January 3 to mark the new decade showed Queen Elizabeth II herself, the future King Charles III, the future King William V — and, going even further, King George VII in the shape of little Prince George, just coming up to seven years old.
“What a fascinating and historic image to remind us of the essence of the royal system!
“The current monarch with three future monarchs.
“All the living heirs — and not a suggestion of a ‘spare’.
“According to insiders, this formal photograph, taken in the Buckingham Palace Throne Room a week before Christmas 2019, was the idea of Prince Charles, anxious to promote his cause of the ‘slimmed-down monarchy’.
“Palace sources have also let it be known that the plan of depicting the direct line of royal succession was enthusiastically supported by Prince William, which might be seen as sending his younger brother a message.
“The message was received and it was taken to heart.”
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“She would be providing no brand endorsement opportunities this year for Sussex Royal.”
Meghan and Harry revealed sensational plans to step back as senior royals in January.
The Queen held a crisis summit with Charles, William and Harry to discuss the Sussexes’ future roles.
It was later announced they would no longer be working members of the Royal Family.
They officially ended royal duties on March 31.
Meghan and Harry are now starting new lives in America with their young son Archie.
They have bought a mansion, reportedly costing £11 million, in California.
Their careers outside the Royal Family include a deal with Netflix to make shows for the streaming service.