When Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior royals and relocated to Canada at the start of the year, many assumed that the Queen wouldn’t be impressed with the couple.
But while she admitted that she would have ‘preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family’, she also insisted that she was ‘entirely supportive’ of the Sussexes’ decision to break away.
‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ Her Majesty said in a statement. ‘I support their wish for a more independent life.’
But royal expert Lady C tells Woman magazine that behind closed doors, she thinks it’s a different story…
‘Disappointing and divisive’
Lady C told Woman: ‘The Queen is a very astute woman and if I have been able to come to the conclusions that I have – on rather more limited knowledge than the Queen possesses – I will be very surprised if logic has defeated her.’
She adds that the Queen is undoubtedly disappointed. ‘I know that there is tremendous disappointment because there was tremendous hope that Meghan would bring something to the Royal Family that would be inclusive as opposed to divisive.’
Another royal expert, Richard Fitzwilliams, also believes that the Queen is more upset with the couple than meets the eye.
He said: ‘Harry and Meghan won’t use their titles or perform royal duties but over and above the line drawn here, the Queen is showing her displeasure at the way they have behaved, despite her emollient words, which are so supportive.’
He adds: ‘To take away military appointments from Harry, who has served in Afghanistan twice, emphasises that the Queen feels he has let down the monarchy.
‘The Royal Family was already reeling from the crisis with Andrew, when Harry released a statement without telling senior royals who had, apparently, been involved in discussions on this for months. The Queen has shown dedication to duty her whole life and clearly feels let down.’
While many think that Meghan has been treated unfairly – which could have led to her departure – Lady C insists that, on the contrary, there was a positive attitude towards her before her marriage to Prince Harry.
She told Woman: ‘Meghan has not been given such a terrible ride. Camilla was given a far worse time, but she showed that she’s a woman of substance. Meghan has shown she’s a woman of straw.’
The royal expert adds: ‘Everybody in royal and aristocratic circles was very positive about the fact that Meghan had qualities and possessed traits that would reinforce the positive steps taken by British society – that she would be a living representative of all of the diversity and inclusiveness that are now features of British society.
‘Nobody expected that she would fail to adjust in such an outstanding manner. It was a shock to everyone.’
Lady C goes on to praise the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, saying: ‘The Cambridges are doing what Meghan and Harry should be doing, being proper members of the team.
‘The purpose of the British Royal Family is to represent the nation – the Queen included – and responsible royals understand that they have a duty to the nation. You do it irrespective of your mood because that is your duty. But of course, you need to have a concept of duty rather than a concept of entitlement.
Sympathy for Her Majesty
Lady C suggests that those close to the Queen her are now feeling sorry for her. She tells Woman: ‘Meghan, in the run-up to the marriage, put forth a very positive act that led people to believe that she wanted to be a team player.’ Adding: ‘There is great sympathy in the Palace not only for the Queen, but for Harry, all of the Royal Family and for the British nation.
‘There is tremendous disappointment that it’s not working out the way that people had hoped it would and that Meghan hasn’t turned out to be the positive embodiment and the outstanding success that they hoped she would be.’
Royal fans also feel sorry for the Queen, and have taken to social media to say so.
One commented: ‘So sad for Harry. This is basically an abdication of a royal prince. So sorry for our Queen who has never put a foot wrong since 1952 and also the rest of the family.’
Another added: ‘I feel so sorry for Her Majesty the Queen. This must have been so difficult for her. But I have to say, first class decision.’