QUEEN ELIZABETH II is said to be “disappointed” and “hurt” by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement that they will be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family – but she is particularly upset for a heartbreaking reason.
The Queen, Harry’s grandmother, is said to be especially hurt because of how much freedom she has given her grandchildren over the years. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were specifically told by the Queen not to make their announcement this week, because they still needed to sort out some issues with Prince Charles. However, the couple defied her and released their own statement, as well as posting on social media.
It announced their decision to step down, their intention to become financially independent and to split their time between the UK and North America.
This is a huge blow to the Royal Family and a personal snub to the Queen in the way in which it was done.
That aside, however, the 93-year-old monarch will be particularly sad to see Harry leave because, while she has given her entire life to duty, she allowed him and William to enjoy many freedoms denied to her.
The Queen had to shoulder the responsibility of the monarchy from a young age, after her uncle King Edward VIII unexpectedly adbidcated when she was 10 years old, making her father the King and her the heir presumptive.
Harry and Meghan had deeply upset the Queen for a heartbreaking reason (Image: GETTY)
The Queen and Prince Charles (Image: GETTY)
She began to undertake public duties during World War 2, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service when she was just a teenager.
As she approached 18, Parliament changed the law so that she could act as one of the five Counsellors of State in the event of her father’s incapacity or absence.
At 21, then-Princess Elizabeth promised lifelong service in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth, pledging: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
She was only 25 when her father King George VI died of coronary thrombosis in 1952 and she ascended to the throne.
The Queen came to the throne aged 25 (Image: GETTY)
Because Her Majesty had to fulfil this role and bear such responsibility as a young woman, she wanted to make sure her grandchildren were able to enjoy themselves more.
She allowed them to go to university, date who they liked, travel, party, and do all the things she wasn’t able or allowed to do, because duty had to come first.
It must sting all the more now that Harry appears to be turning his back on the Royal Family and on her, despite having enjoyed so much more freedom.
The Guardian’s Gaby Hinsliff wrote: “She never publicly complained of finding that early responsibility daunting, but it’s perhaps significant that she gave her grandchildren the freedom to attempt something like a normal life in their twenties.
Princess Elizabeth giving a speech to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday (Image: GETTY)
The Queen celebrating her 90th birthday (Image: GETTY)
“Around the time she was holding prime ministerial audiences with Winston Churchill, Harry was being photographed naked at a party in Las Vegas.
“No wonder she is said to feel hurt.”
Ms Hinsliff added that losing Harry and Meghan will hurt the institution of the monarchy that the Queen has worked so hard to preserve.
The young royals are key to keeping the public invested in the Royal Family, as they can dazzle them with such things as fashion, weddings and babies.
Young Prince Harry with Kanya West and P Diddy (Image: GETTY)
What’s more, there are many patrongages and commitments that need to be undertaken, now that Prince Andrew has been embroiled in a scandal and the 98-year-old Prince Philip has retired.
It is unclear who will be taking on these responsibilities now that the Sussexes will also be offloading theirs.
Ms Hinsliff said: “With the Duke of Edinburgh retired and Prince Andrew in disgrace, there was already a dwindling pool of family members available at a time when the 93-year-old monarch is not unreasonably hoping to reduce her commitments.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Image: GETTY)
“Now she is losing her grip on the ones the public most wants to see.
“So like all soap operas, the royal fairytale thrives on romance, glamorous dresses and babies; it needs its younger cast members to keep the punters hooked, and Meghan, in particular, has captured the imagination of a generation not otherwise very invested in the Windsors.
“Without her, the future of the franchise looks decidedly rockier.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK