Queen Elizabeth II’s death could help start a reconciliation between Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family.
The couple had been on infrequent visits to the UK when the Queen died Thursday, but were reunited with Harry’s brother William and wife Kate at Windsor Castle on Saturday. I was performing.
All dressed in mourning clothes and looked together at the growing flowers left by the public before greeting well-wishers in separate pairs and saying little about their relationship status.
But the decision of the quartet, formerly known as the “Fab Four”, to step in front of the camera together seems like a sign of progress in mending a deeply broken relationship. I saw.
A British royal reporter suggested ‘the olive branch’ to his younger brother, who has become increasingly critical of the family since heir to the throne William left the front line of royal duties.
Just two days ago it was a different story. Harry, 37, drove alone to the Balmoral estate where the Queen had previously died.
William and several close relatives (minus Kate) had previously arrived together in one car, but arrived too late to meet the Queen before she died.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said Thursday’s separate arrivals indicated the brothers were “estranged.”
He claimed that Harry and Meghan were seen “to have done a lot of damage to the royal family in recent months” with their broadsides against the monarchy.
“In the future, the ball is in their court and it depends on how they want to play,” Fitzwilliams added.
– “Different paths” –
Things used to be so different.
After the prince’s mother Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, the two touched the world by walking behind her coffin at her funeral.
William is 15 and Harry is 12.
They appeared to share a close bond as adults, uninterrupted by William’s marriage to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton and starting a family in 2011.
However, relations soured in 2018 after former British Army Captain Harry married mixed-race American TV actress Meghan in Windsor.
He said in a 2019 interview that he and his brother were “going their separate ways.” A year later, Harry and Meghan sensationally announced their move to America.
In the couple’s subsequent explosive Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, Meghan publicly claimed Kate made her cry.
But the most damaging claim was that the unnamed royal speculated about the skin color of Meghan’s future children, who are mixed-race.
William later told journalists that the royal family was not a racist family.
The brothers’ relationship was visibly frosty when they reunited last year and unveiled a statue of their mother.
They didn’t meet during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Most recently, Meghan said in a lengthy interview with The Cut magazine that she now feels “free” to tell her own story.
– ‘Unpredictable’ –
However, there have been temporary signs that the estrangement may ease after the Queen’s death.
In his first speech as Britain’s new king, Charles specifically expressed his “love” for him and Meghan, despite Harry telling Winfrey that his brother and father were “trapped” in the monarchy. and seemed open to reconciling with his exiled son.
“He offers olive branches, but he does so with great care because he knows they are unpredictable,” Fitzwilliams said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are popular with young people, but they may be running a big risk of publicly criticizing the monarchy, he added.
“There is no doubt that Sussex will get a lot of attention now,” noted Fitzwilliams, with public opinion in the UK already firmly aligned with the rest of the family.
Saturday’s joint appearance with William and Kate, who became Prince and Princess of Wales after Prince Charles ascended the throne this week, may herald a new chapter in family relations.
But Harry, who was due to release his controversial memoir by the end of the year, could easily backtrack.
“Obviously they will be attending the funeral, I can’t say more than that,” Fitzwilliams said.
“If Harry’s memoir makes him less critical, that’s different.”