MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry will no longer be considered senior ‘working’ members of the Royal Family. Express.co.uk spoke to an expert on why the Queen is desperate for Meghan not to be treated like past members of the family.
The Royal Family was dealt a shock blow when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced plans to “step back”. The Queen’s response to their decision was full of love and understanding. Does the Queen’s approach indicate the Royal Family has learned from mistakes of the past?
In the past, the Royal Family has been criticised for how it has appeared to treat its own family members.
In the case of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, many believed she was unfairly treated on the subject of her marriage.
Margaret was once engaged to Group Captain Peter Townsend who, as a divorced man, was seen as an unsuitable match for the young princess.
Margaret and Peter did not marry, a decision which many attributed to the disapproval of the Church and the Royal Family.
But prior to Margaret, the Royal Family also encountered difficulties with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Edward VIII was forced to pick between the Crown and the love of his life, and after choosing the latter the abdication crisis of the 1930s ensued.
The Queen Mother and Wallis Simpson reportedly disliked each other, with some reports even indicating the Queen Mother had some input over Wallis and Edward leaving the country after the abdication.
Numerous reports have also indicated the Queen Mother used to refer to Wallis unkindly as “that woman”.
But according to a royal biographer, it appears the Queen is desperate not to repeat such tragedies in her own family when it comes to Harry and Meghan.
Express.co.uk spoke to Anne Sebba, author of Wallis Simpson biography ‘That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor’, about the Queen’s response to Harry and Meghan’s decision.
Ms Sebba noted how when talking about her grandson, the Queen has avoided using the “A-word”.
She said: “Have you noticed how no one is using the ‘A word’?
“Nobody is actually talking about abdication.
“Abdication has such negative connotations of giving up what is such a privilege to do, but the Royal Family won’t use that word.”
Following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell decision to leave their senior royal roles behind, the Queen released a statement via Buckingham Palace, in which she stressed how Harry and Meghan will “always be much loved” family members.
The Queen also praised Meghan for how she has “so quickly become one of the family”.
Ms Sebba commented on how the Queen’s response to Meghan and Harry’s decision was much kinder than that of her mother’s, the late Queen Mother.
She said: “Did you notice how the Queen went out of her way to thank Meghan and say ‘I think she’s really tried to fit in’?
“(In contrast to) the idea that Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, would actually go out of her way to say we’re very sorry to lose the lovely Wallis Simpson.
“I think this is a much more mature monarchy and a more sensitive Queen, she’s learned.
“She saw how her mother was really bitter and damaged by what happened, and I think she’s going to do whatever she can, maybe beyond her powers, to try and limit the damage.”
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told the Telegraph the Queen spoke as a grandmother in her statement.
He said: “I don’t ever recall a statement that reads like this, particularly from the Queen.
“She makes it clear that this is a grandmother speaking, perhaps more so than the head of state of 16 Commonwealth realms.
“I think she is trying to say she has been as accommodating as possible and would make it as straightforward as she could, but would rather none of this was happening.”