QUEEN Elizabeth II “fears” Meghan Markle’s celebrity status could “overshadow” the Royal Family’s charitable work in the same way Princess Diana dominated the media in the 90s, royal commentator Angela Mollard has said.
Meghan Markle, who is around eight months pregnant, and Prince Harry are preparing to move from central London to Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle, ahead of the arrival of their first child. Kensington Palace announced last week that both the Cambridges and Sussexes have officially split their royal households. But the Queen allegedly told the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge they could not separate completely from the rest of the Royal Family when it comes to charitable events and commitments.
Speaking on the New Ideas royal podcast, the royal expert said: “They very much wanted to sort of develop a ‘brand Sussex’ – philanthropy and humanitarian arm that would advance their own causes and the things that they care about.
“Now, great idea in principle but you have to be very careful within the Royal Family that the whole attention goes to people according to their hierarchy.
“So, the Queen obviously gets number one spot, then Prince Charles and then, of course, Prince William.
“Now, Meghan has this ability to sort of spin gold and celebrity over everything she does. And I think there was probably some fear that in starting up something like this, the kind of Amal Clooney and Angeline Jolie style position in the world, that she could actually overshadow.
“These are my words, this isn’t the Queen’s. I think this is how I see it, that the Queen has vetoed this because this is a family and they have to work together as a team and their communication and PR department have to liaise together. What she has done is said ‘you are not setting this department up out at Windsor, which is where Frogmore Cottage is. It is part of the Buckingham Palace press team’.”
Ms Mollard said the decision to split the royal household is “quite significant” because both William and Harry have always worked together and had aligned teams.
But the royal expert said the move is “quite normal”, adding: “I think it should be seen as practical that the Queen is clearly keeping a strong arm and guiding very much how it is going to operate. They are not allowed to go rogue.”
The royal expert insisted the move is a “really smart” decision, adding: “Someone of Megan’s status and previous star performance has the ability to position herself very much as an Angeline or Amal.
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“Now, nothing matters more with the Royal Family that that brand is cohesive. They can’t be a sort of offshoot.
“We saw with Diana after she did tremendous work with landmine victims, with people with AIDS. But it became a tit for tat. So Charles’ works was completely overshadowed by Diana’s because she was so beautiful and so photogenic.
She added: “It must have been so frustrating for him to be overshadowed.”
Ahead of their move from central London to Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle, Meghan and Harry are to base their new Household Office at Buckingham Palace while William and Kate remain at Kensington Palace.
Kensington Palace will now be solely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s household.
Less senior royals like Prince Andrew and Princess Anne come under the jurisdiction of Buckingham Palace, while Clarence House is the court of Prince Charles and Camilla.
In a statement, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen has agreed to the creation of a new Household for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, following their marriage in May last year.
“The Household, which will be created with the support of The Queen and The Prince of Wales, will be established in the spring.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK