Did the Queen's Christmas speech convince the Sussexes to leave the UK?
As much as we love seeing our families at Christmas, it can also be a time when tensions ride high. And while they might not need to argue over who does the washing up, even the Royals aren’t immune to festive family fallouts.
A new book by royal biographer Christopher Anderson suggests how one particular drama unfolded in 2019. To recap, during the Queen’s Christmas speech that year people noticed that there were no photographs on her desk of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
In Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan, Anderson suggests that the Queen’s snubbing of the Sussexes was intentional.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Anderson points out that in 2018, a photo of Archie, Megan and Harry was “very prominently displayed” as the Queen addressed the nation. The following year, he claimed, Her Royal Majesty was asked “which photographs she [wanted] in the shot next to her”. Pointing to a photo of the Sussexes, she reportedly said, “we won’t be needing that one”.
Meanwhile, the Queen chose to display a large photo of the Cambridge family, including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
“There are all sorts of subtle messages that are conveyed in this kind of soap opera that goes on,” said Anderson, who believes that the moment was a “turning point”.
“I think that was a hurtful [thing for Prince Harry to see],” said the author. “A friend of Harry’s told me that he felt that he was being erased in a sense from the family. And it was right after that, that they made their [decision to leave the UK]. I think that was one of the things that prompted them to issue the statement that they were stepping back from royal [life for a] full-time real life.”
Anderson concluded, “It seems very subtle, but when you think about it, when somebody cuts you out of the family album, so to speak, it’s a pretty strong message.”