To death of Her Majesty in early September didn’t just mark the changing of a monarch, but rather the end of an era some 70 years long.
That society – and indeed the Royal Family’s power and standing in it – changed during the decades that Queen Elizabeth sat the English throne is a given. Considering now how the family will move forward and the role they will have in the years to come makes for quite the interesting study.
Charles, who waited longer than any other heir apparent in history to ascend a throne, has become King, and with that title comes any number of new responsibilities that will rest more or less solely on his shoulders.
Far from helping matters is the ongoing passive-aggressive turmoil within the family itself, sparked by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to give up their official positions and move to the US.
Of all the trials and tribulations facing King Charles in the coming years, it may well be that his handling of the “Harry situation” is the one that defines his reign. After all, the whole debacle has been very out there, very public, it would seem that things are going to continue in that same vein.
Only those who have been living under a rock for the past year will have missed the fact that Harry is preparing for the release of a new memoir in January, 2023.
Spare has been promoted as being an “accurate and wholly truthful” account of his life. The Prince dropped the news that he was writing a new book four months after the now-infamous Oprah interview aired in 2021.
“Prince Harry will share, for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him,” Random House said in the press release, teasing the book as an “honest and captivating personal portrait.”
New details about Harry’s book were disclosed recently, and the release date has been set for January 10. Harper’s Bazaar speculate that the book might address Harry’s “spare” role as the second son of a King, or that perhaps he is being “spared” from the Royal Family now that he has left.
In any case, the memoir is sure to stoke the flames of tension where Harry’s family is concerned. The Prince filling the pages of what will surely be a book read by millions with disparaging stories and comments about the likes of his father, Camilla, Prince William, and the rest is a genuine cause of concern for the Royal Family.
It’s generally rumored that the memoir will paint a negative picture of Harry’s family. According to Page Six sources, the book will contain several truth bombs.
“It’s juicy, that’s for sure,” one NY publishing source told the news outlet.
“There’s a lot of new stories in there about the past that Harry has not spoken about before, about his childhood … there is some content in there that should make his family nervous,” another publishing insider added.
The Spare and the Storm
In order to find the eye of the current storm regarding Harry, Meghan and his family, one needs to go back to the early days of Harry and Meghan’s marriage.
Back then, it was hoped that the couple would symbolize a more modern shift within the Royal Family. Meghan is far removed from any sort of aristocratic elite – which the Royal Family has tended to lean on where finding suitors for its senior members is concerned – and fit well with the progressive narrative the Firm wants to be associated with.
And yet it wasn’t long at all before glaring cracks began to show.
Meghan herself has spoken openly of the the sharp decline in her mental health during her time living in the UK, while Harry has admitted their decision to move to the US had a lot to do with his unwillingness to see a repeat of history (referencing the press’ hounding of his mother, the late Princess Diana).
Just what Harry and Meghan’s daily lives were like while they were active members of the Royal Family will likely never be fully disclosed, but we can glean that a number of issues plagued them. Issues, it seems, that the other members of the Royal Family either ignored or, in some cases, compounded.
Harry spoke candidly earlier this year about the night Meghan opened up to him, revealing she had been harboring thoughts of suicide.
“The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought,” he revealed, as per The Times.
“She hadn’t lost it, she wasn’t crazy, she wasn’t self-medicating be it through pills or through alcohol, she was absolutely sober. She was completely sane, yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up.
“The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now be put into a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby.”
Yet instead of having the time to properly assess and respond to what can only be described as a dire situation, the couple were then – in their capacity as working royals – immediately forced to attend the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event.
Harry said: “What perhaps people don’t understand is, earlier that evening Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life.”
Indeed, all the signs point to the idea that Harry and Meghan faced no end of obstructions, problems and barriers during their time as working royals, though the specifics of their dilemma has never really been fully discussed.
In any case, a new report claims that on one particular occasion, the pair made a request of the late Queen Elizabeth that was swiftly – and “firmly” – rejected.
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Windsor Castle has belonged to the British Royal Family for almost 1,000 years. The huge estate has housed several senior members in more recent times, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
Harry and Meghan also lived on the estate for a time, in the building known as Frogmore Cootage, a gift from the Queen after the couple had tied the knot.
Yet, according to The Times newspaper, the cottage was not the pair’s first choice of abode. Back in 2018, shortly after their high-profile marriage, Harry and Meghan were said to have asked the Queen for another property at Windsor Castle, only to see their hopes dashed when the Queen denied them.
The Times say Harry and Meghan were keen to live within Windsor Castle itself, and went as far as to ask Queen Elizabeth if “living quarters could be made available after their marriage”.
At the time of asking, only the Queen and Prince Philip had private apartments within the actual castle.
The Queen is said to have “politely but firmly suggested” that the pair live in nearby Frogmore Cottage instead. Yet, if other reports are to be believed, this wasn’t a diss as much as a generous offer from the Queen’s point of view.
In her new book, The New Royals, royal expert Kate Nicholl’s cites the late socialite Lady Elizabeth Anson as having said: “The cottage was a big deal. The Queen’s entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage. It is essentially her back yard, her solitude, and her privacy.
“She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, ‘I hope they’ll respect it.'”
Respect it they may well have, but it makes sense to assume the Queen’s refusal to let Harry and Meghan live in the Castle was one of a number of issues that compounded their feelings of disillusionment.
I hope Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are enjoying their new life in the US, and that any bridges burned with the Royal Family can be repaired in time.
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