A piece in today’s Times. Who can now seriously doubt that Prince Harry has been, and remains, the victim of coercive control at the hands of his feminist wife? The decision to split their time between the UK and US is particularly significant. I predict that before the end of this year the couple will be separated, and Markle will file for divorce, keeping their child in the US. It was surely always her plan to take this course, and complaints about press intrusion merely a means to an end, to garner public sympathy, exploiting the memory of Princess Diana. One can only feel the utmost sympathy for Prince Harry, and hope his next partner isn’t a feminist.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened a rift in the royal family last night as they announced that they were stepping down as “senior members”, without consulting either the Queen or the Prince of Wales.
The Queen was understood to be very disappointed that the couple rushed to put out a “personal message” in which they said they were planning to divide their time between Britain and North America before reaching any agreement with Buckingham Palace.
In a clear rebuff to Harry and Meghan, the Palace issued a terse statement 90 minutes after they delivered their message: “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
The couple’s statement, which came after months of anguish about their role within the institution and disintegrating relations with the media, said that they were going to become financially independent and carve out “a progressive new role” for themselves.
It is the second blow to the royal family in as many months after the Duke of York stepped down from public life after his disastrous Newsnight interview over his links with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The statement was released via the Palace just after 6.30pm. However, it was described as a “personal message” from the couple, and no other members of the royal family had been consulted.
It said: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
The couple have had a turbulent year during which they have been criticised for decisions including flying by private jet while urging people to act on climate change, although they also remain popular with swathes of the public. On their South Africa tour Harry made an impassioned attack on the tabloid press, accusing it of dishonesty and intrusion.
There were also family rifts with Meghan’s father and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The couple are understood to have been upset by their exclusion from a photograph released last month showing the Queen and the next three people in the line of succession: Charles, William and George.
Their decision to split their time between Britain and the US is an unprecedented move by members of the royal family who still aim to keep a role within the institution. Their announcement that they aim to be financially independent also raises questions about their income. The duke has personal wealth — the money left to him by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, but he is supported by money from his father as well as the public cash that enables him to run his office.
In another example of the couple’s poor relations with the media, they used their website to attack the credibility of royal correspondents and said that they were setting up new media arrangements. Their website said that they would curtail engagement with British national newspapers in favour of “grassroots media organisations” and their own social media accounts.
They are withdrawing from the royal rota — the system that allows papers to share coverage of royal events — blaming “frequent misreporting”. They say that their strategy will enable them to share more with the public directly.
THE STATEMENT IN FULL
A personal message from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex:
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.
“Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
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