The Summit at Sandringham (which I’m told we’re supposed to stop calling a “summit”, but certain things stick, you know?) happened a week ago today. Late Saturday, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen confirming that the deal was done on Sussexit. This statement is not as informal as the one that came out a few days ago but there are some remarkable details.
Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are stepping back from ALL royal duties. They will no longer use their HRH titles and will repay Sovereign Grant funding spent on Frogmore Cottage but mostly live in North America. Transition period complete in Spring 2020. pic.twitter.com/QfDapzvFIq— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 18, 2020
Right off the top, Her Majesty is stressing here that there have been “many months of conversation” and Prince Harry also acknowledged the same in his remarks yesterday (which we’ll get to in another post) so this didn’t come out of nowhere which speaks directly to those “blindsided” accusations that were being floated in the days following Harry and Meghan Markle’s Instagram post announcing their intentions. The reason all of this has been expedited is because of the leak and their subsequent attempts to take back control of the narrative.
Last week the Queen had to lower herself to include a sentence about money, extraordinary in and of itself because you know these people do NOT ever speak publicly about money. This week, while the Queen’s statement did not include any financial mentions (once is more than enough, MY GOD), there is another notable sentence:
“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
As has been made very clear, the UK tabloid media has been a major source of the Sussexes’ frustration. The coverage has been racist and unbalanced and much of what’s gone on behind the scenes had to do with their approach to the royal rota, aka “the Cartel”, and how that differed from the way other members of the British royal family wanted to handle that relationship. The Queen doesn’t exactly spell out what the “challenges they have experienced” are but this is as close as she’s ever going to come in acknowledging how Harry and Meghan have been treated. Is it a proper scolding of the tabloids? Of course not.
But you could read it as a concession. Because remember, the Queen’s words are chosen carefully. And the Royal One rarely gets into the dirt. There are people out there who don’t think the Sussexes have anything to complain about. She’s just put in writing that they do. I’m curious about how that particular line was negotiated. Because you know the anti-Sussex viper courtiers would have choked on it.
So this is the way forward: Harry is still a prince, he’ll always be a prince, he was born a prince, and he and Meghan are still a Duke and a Duchess but they will no longer use “HRH” titles because they’re no longer working members of the royal family. Which I don’t know that they’d be fussed about considering they chose for Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor to not be titled.
Stepping back from military appointments, though, has to sting for Harry. He served. He has always made service personnel and veterans’ affairs a priority. Being in the military was one of the most significant experiences of his life. To have that taken away is certainly a loss. And perhaps an indication of how hardline the negotiations were. If you want to characterise Buckingham Palace as “sticking it to” Harry in any way, this would be the thing to point to. Like, fine, you want out? You don’t get to take ANYTHING with you, including the thing that means the most. Because what you’re asking for is a betrayal!
Um, ok. Is it worse than a member of the British royal family being embroiled in a sex trafficking scandal because of his friendship with the dead rapist pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein?!
Seriously. No matter how you feel about Harry and Meghan, none of their drama could possibly be seen as more scandalous than the beloved second son of Queen Elizabeth being accused by sex trafficking victims of participating in the sex trafficking, right?!
Oh please. In comparison, that was a shrug for these people. You can hang out with a man who rapes girls. But wanting to pursue some measure of independence? How dare you! And look, as soon as a resolution on Sussexit was announced, there’s Andrew accompanying the Queen at church, the first good look photo we’ve had of him, all smiles, since he reluctantly quit public royal duty after his shambolic interview with BBC Newsnight. And The Sun’s now reporting that he’s been his mother’s “rock” through the Sussexit situation.
Coincidence or conspiracy.
Again, oh please.
How grossly opportune for them to parade him out now, conveniently, as everyone’s preoccupied with his nephew’s future – and there’s only one way to see it: they’re exploiting Sussexit as a rehabilitation tool for Prince Andrew, who was friends with a dead rapist pedophile. Would you want to stick around?