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Where the British (not so) Royal Family is Headed after Queen’s Passing

“London Bridge is down!”

Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died peacefully at Balmoral Castle at 6:30 pm on September 8, 2022. 

Yet at a time when the entire world should focus on celebrating the life of the longest reigning British monarch in history, many speculate that King Charles, the heir to the throne, and Prince William are plotting to strip the crown from the Dutch and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan.

Since the Queen was a mediator for many of these ongoing conflicts including Meghan’s initial transition into the royal family back in 2017, her passing has only added to the strife between Charles and his youngest son. 

For starters, Charles was visibly enraged because Harry did not fly to Scotland on time to see his grandmother one last time before her passing and because Meghan Markle did not even arrive until days later on September 13. In contrast,  the rest of the royals including Kate Middleton and Camilla rushed to Balmoral Castle without delay. 

To draw more attention to the matter, Prince Harry lost his 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 upon stepping down as senior members of the royal family in March 2020: In turn, he is barred from attending the funeral in his military uniform, increasing the dissociation of Harry and Meghan from the rest of the family. 

The details of this sour relationship in the royal family have become increasingly publicized within just the past year. In 2021, the Oprah Winfrey show hosted Harry and Meghan in a very revealing interview. Oprah intended to get Harry and Meghan to open up and give clarity on why they left their royal duties in 2020. Their move was to get away from the UK press and focus on building their family.  Conflict, however,  pierced through much further for Harry and Meghan. In the interview, Meghan revealed how the royal family did not want Archie to be a prince, expressing their concern to Meghan about how dark Archie’s skin tone would be, and that he was not going to receive the same security as the rest of the princes and princesses in line for the crown. 

This all contrasts with how Meghan was well received at the beginning, which Harry revealed in the interview was largely credited to how welcoming Queen Elizabeth was through that entire transition. Harry is full of sorrow and was very close to his grandmother. The relationship was so positive, in fact,  that Harry and Meghan named their youngest daughter, Lilibet, after the queen’s childhood nickname. Meghan and the queen had a good relationship right off the bat during the engagement in 2017, attending many meetings, press releases, and addresses together. Meghan even took a trip with the queen to Cheshire, England.

Yet since her majesty’s death, there is even more speculation on whether or not Harry and Meghan’s children will be made ineligible as prince and princess once King Charles is crowned.

The Sussex camp at first said that both Harry and Meghan were going, but she stayed in England last minute

BBC’s longstanding royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell added that “she might not be terribly warmly welcomed, to be perfectly candid about it.”

Meghan also revealed on the Oprah Winfrey show that she experienced racism in London and did not feel support so far as to say she contemplated suicide. King Charles refers to Harry and Meghan by their first names without the same respect he holds for his other son, Prince William, and his wife Kate. Fed up with the Californian royal family, the future of the monarchy will rest on William and his family who have been behaving as a royal family should.

Most of the harbored resentment comes from when the couple decided to step down from royal obligations and would split time in between the US and the UK in what the press called the “Megxit”. Prince Charles and Prince William were “incandescent with rage” and their frustration persists because their resignation was so abrupt. Harry’s father and brother in fact heard the news from the media first rather than from Harry himself.

Maybe the queen was the only one holding the family together after all.

British citizens, on the other hand, have acknowledged how Harry and Meghan, despite their conflict with the family throughout their ongoing years of marriage since 2017, are nonetheless still a part of the family.

While the future for Harry and Meghan is unclear, the Queen’s passing means an entirely new era for the United Kingdom will emerge under King Charles’s rule. Hopefully, her impact and legacy are enough to keep the empire, and her family, strong for decades to come.

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