The Queen is dead, long live the King.
Unless you’ve been living under a fairly sizable rock this past week or so, you’ll have likely been inundated with news of every kind regarding Queen Elizabeth‘s passing.
The word first broke regarding the Queen’s death on Thursday last week. Worrying reports had emerged during the day suggesting that she was in ill health, then the serious nature of the rumors was confirmed when royals from all over the UK and beyond began to make their way to the monarch’s Balmoral home.
Queen Elizabeth’s reign saw 15 different prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to the newly-appointed Liz Truss. It should go without saying that Her Majesty will be remembered as one of, if not the most, iconic figures in British history.
In a statement last Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace said:
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The flag atop Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast at 6:30 p.m. local time, while an official notice announcing the Queen’s death was posted on the gates to the palace, as is tradition.
The Queen’s eldest son and heir, Charles – the former Prince of Wales – has now become King of the United Kingdom and the 14 Commonwealth realms.
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” King Charles said in a statement.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
King Charles added: “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Naturally, there’s been an almost unprecedented attention given to the royal family in the wake of the Queen’s death. Unsurprising, really, given that she reigned for an incredible 70 years.
Yet it’s not just Queen Elizabeth who’s been the subject of media headlines all across the globe.
The British royal family is so much more than a monarch and his/her relatives. It’s a veritable institution, one whose members are watched and followed every day of their waking lives.
Sometimes, of course, such scrutiny can cross the line and become, quite frankly, too much. The tragic story of Princess Diana – hounded by the press so often that it took a very real toll on her happiness – is evidence of this. The same fate, it could be argued, almost befell Meghan Markle, before she and Prince Harry decided to step back from their royal duties for good and move to the US.
That move, however well intentioned, caused a rift of sorts between Harry and Meghan and the royal family, but it was nothing compared to the fallout of the couple’s now infamous sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In July of 2020, Meghan and Harry moved into their new home in Montecito, California. The area is home to many celebrities that want away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood; celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ellen DeGeneres are all residents.
The couple stayed out of the public eye to the best of their ability following them leaving the UK. However, everything changed as they sat down with Oprah Winfrey for their first big primetime interview.
That’s when things took a huge turn for the dramatic.
Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah laid the framework for plenty of criticism, but it seems as though a large portion of the damage was already done, since the couple shared plenty of shocking claims during their sit-down.
Meghan claimed that family members had “concerns over how dark his skin might be when he was born”, in reference to their then-unborn son, Archie.
It was truly one of the most stunning revelations from the interview.
“That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him,” Meghan said. She declined to reveal who was involved in those conversations, saying, “that would be very damaging to them.”
For her part, Queen Elizabeth confirmed in a statement that the Royal Family would address allegations of racism within Buckingham Palace.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the Queen said.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Needless to say, Harry’s relationship with his family – particular with his brother, Prince William, and his father, now-King Charles – was significantly damaged by the interview with Oprah.
Since then, things have been frosty between the parties involved.
Indeed, as per reports, Harry’s status as an outsider was only reinforced when he arrived at Balmoral on the day of the Queen’s passing. It’s believed he was not invited to dinner with King Charles and Prince William on the Thursday evening, instead dining with the rest of the family.
Yet, the same reports suggest there is now hope with regards to Harry potentially mending the relationships with his brother and father.
It’s long been speculated that Harry would potentially find a way back into the royal fold in the event of his grandmother’s death. Just what sort of role he could play moving forward remains to be seen, but Charles is sure to know that a wholly unified monarchy is stronger than one troubled by fractions, disputes and in-fighting.
In any case, reports state that Harry offered an olive branch to King Charles while in the process of paying tribute to his late grandmother. Harry and Charles haven’t shared many words at all over the past few years – some reports insinuate that they haven’t spoken at all – but it appears steps are being taken to bridge their divide.
In a statement on the Archewell Foundation website – established by Harry and Meghan – Harry pledged to honor his father.
The statement read: “And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III.”
With plans now in full-swing ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, Harry and Meghan have made it known that they will be staying in the UK until after the ceremony. This may mean that they opt to fly their two children, Archie and Lilibet, across the Atlantic with their grandmother on Meghan’s side, Doria Ragland.
One insider is said to have stated: “The family has already spent more than a week apart, and the state funeral isn’t for another eight days. Meghan and Harry will stick around until the end of the royal mourning period, which ends seven days after the service.”
Meanwhile, the once-unbreakable bond between William and Harry could be repaired while the latter is in the UK. Reports state that William and Kate extended an invitation to Harry and Meghan to greet well-wishers and take in floral tributes laid outside Buckingham Palace in the Queen’s memory.
William is believed to have wanted to negate any tension and show a united front alongside his younger brother.
Fans were delighted to see Princess Diana’s sons once more walking side-by-side, and the wish is that they can now bury any remaining hatchet.
I don’t know about you, but I for one hope that Prince Harry can reunite with his family and put the past in the past.
That said, what do you think will happen? Should Harry forgive his family, and vice-versa? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
Meanwhile, share this article on Facebook to pay your respects to Queen Elizabeth, arguably the most well-loved and well-respected monarch of all time!