Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made slimmed-down monarchy ‘very difficult’ for King Charles

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, King Charles

Harry and Meghan have made slimmed-down monarchy ‘very difficult’ for King Charles

GETTY
Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin


Published: 22/11/2023

- 08:00

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as working royals in 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made the concept of a slimmed-down monarchy "very difficult" for King Charles, a royal commentator has claimed.

Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as working royals in 2020, the King has had to update his plans for who is included in his slimmed-down monarchy.


Harry and Meghan were always going to be included in King Charles's plans, royal commentator Gareth Russell exclusively told GB News.

However, now that the Sussexes have moved to California, there are fewer working royals to carry out royal duties.

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The royal author Gareth Russell, who wrote The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of British History at Hampton Court, spoke exclusively to GB News to explain why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could have disrupted the King's plans.

He said: "When then-Prince Charles first talked about a slimmed-down monarchy, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother were still alive.

"So not only did you have a monarch, but you also had the monarch’s sibling, and a significant number of George V's grandchildren were still working royals at that stage.

"So the Royal Family was quite large at the start of the 20th century.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan and Harry stepped down as working royals in 2020

PA

"In 2023, the monarchy was never intended to be functioning without the Duke of Sussex.

"The King had always, I think, intended to have both of his sons and their spouses whoever they may be senior working royals.

"Because of the very different choices by the Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex, for a variety of reasons, there are three senior royals who are no longer working royals.

"This means that either the Royal Family are going to have to start cutting back on the number of charities they patronise and a number of events they attend, or they are going to have to recruit three extra royals which would be the Princesses Beatrice, Eugenie and their cousin Lady Louise."

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

Beatrice and Eugenie could be considered as working royals

PA

The royal commentator continued to explain why it is unlikely that Harry and Meghan will be included in the official royal lineup in the future.

Russell added: "Buckingham Palace could not have been any more clear than the initial announcement in 2020 of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving, that the royal household would be quite willing or quite eager to have the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back at some time in the future.

"In 2020, it was still very much then-Prince Charles's hope that one day, his younger son and his daughter-in-law would want to come back to work again.

"Unfortunately what has happened in the two or three years since that announcement has made it very difficult.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan and Harry were always considered part of Charles's slimmed-down monarchy

Reuters

"There's also a significant body of British public opinion that doesn't want them to come back as working royals.

"In addition, the Sussexes have made it very clear indeed that they don't want to be working royals.

"As much as the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Prince and Princess of Wales are doing, they're not supposed to be covering as many events as they are currently.

"To be functioning in a way whereby they can still give substantial support to the various causes and charities as they have for the past, they will need to have at least three working royals in the younger generation, i.e. Prince William's generation, which will be Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Lady Louise Windsor."

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