They humbly shed their royal titles two years ago, but when it comes to showing humility or respect towards the royal family, it’s no secret that Prince Harry and Meghan sometimes miss the mark.
In fact, the Queen is probably the only one who they’re willing to defer to. So, imagine the couple’s shock last week when Her Majesty said, in a historic announcement to mark her Platinum Jubilee, that Camilla would be made Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King, putting paid to years of uncertainty on the issue.
The Queen’s announcement was welcomed, with Charles in particular taking the opportunity to publicly thank his mother, saying in a statement that he was “touched and honoured” by her gesture and that he was also “deeply conscious of the honour”.
But while Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrated the news by reposting the Queen’s message to Instagram, Harry and Meghan stayed silent. And it’s not surprising, considering Harry has a famously “fraught relationship” with his stepmother, and is reportedly shedding more light on their tricky dynamic in his upcoming memoir.
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According to insiders, Harry and Meghan are reeling from the news – especially because they know that Camilla in particular is not impressed by the way they’ve slammed the royals over the past year. As a result, they’re feeling more estranged from the family than ever, which is doing nothing to aid any hope of a reconciliation ahead of the Queen’s big Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
“There’s a feeling of bad blood that goes both ways,” says an insider close to Meghan, 40, and Harry, 37, who, despite losing their HRH titles and stepping away from royal duties, have continued to sell themselves as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. As much as they claim otherwise, it’s clear that titles still matter to them.
“Camilla is a strong, confident character who doesn’t put up with nonsense and really doesn’t approve of the way they’ve conducted themselves. For Harry, it’s hard to compute that the woman associated with destroying his parents’ marriage is set to be named Queen, while for Meghan, it just solidifies the feeling that the royals don’t have their backs.”
Last week, days after the Queen made her momentous statement, Prince Harry spoke in praise of his late mother Princess Diana, but failed to congratulate his stepmother on her honour.
Appearing in a video chat to raise awareness of HIV testing, Harry told rugby star Gareth Thomas he felt an “obligation” to continue Diana’s work, and added, “I could never fill her shoes.”
Obviously, there was no suggestion that he was attempting to snub Camilla in the process, but his silence on the matter still echoed in the Palace.
Now, we’re told, Harry and Meghan are biding their time and, despite privately stewing about the appointment, are determined to show no concern about it in public.
Meanwhile, we’re told that Harry, at least, is still planning to return to the UK for the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June, but Meghan’s feeling increasingly uncomfortable about the idea of joining him. And if she does, it’s very doubtful either of them will be fawning over the future Queen Consort.
“I don’t think we will see them bowing or curtseying to Camilla, or referring to her in regal terms,” says our source. “They will no doubt choose to stay silent on the whole matter and pretend it’s not bothering them. But it is.”