The Duke of Sussex once had a “promising” role in the Firm but now faces an uncertain and darker future, a royal author has told Express co uk.
It has left Harry even further away from his family, with the Duke of Sussex only seeing the royals on a handful of occasions since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, opted to quit their senior royal duties and cross the pond to live in the US.
The drama, which unfolded three years ago, was described by Mr Lownie, who wrote 2021’s Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as a “tragedy” given the “initial promise” Harry showed as a member of the Royal Family.
Before their removal, Harry and Meghan were among, if not the most popular royals, regularly appearing near the top of opinion polls, beneath only Queen Elizabeth II.
Now, however, those same polls find the pair at the bottom, with a YouGov poll published on January 12 revealing that just 24 per cent of Britons now think positively about Harry, with 68 per cent having a negative opinion of him. The poll found even found that the disgraced royal Prince Andrew had better popularity ratings than him.
Their move to the US, and subsequent removal of titles and patronages, like Harry’s military titles, has seen comparisons to Edward VIII, who was banished to France after quitting the throne in 1936.
So in love was he, Edward chose to leave his role to marry Ms Simpson. This was because rules at the time dictated that a monarch, who is by statute Head of the Church of England, could not marry a divorcee. Like Ms Simpson, Meghan too was divorced.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Lownie claimed that like Edward “Harry will be an exile from his country, shorn of his friends and existing in a superficial cafe society”.
Just like Harry, Edward went on to write his memoir, A King’s Story: The Memoirs of the Duke of Windsor, as did Ms Simpson, titled, The heart has its reasons: the memoirs of the Duchess of Windsor.
Other similarities between the two have often been cited. Among the most obvious is their respective popularities, with Edward once described by The New York Times as a “romantic and carefree Prince Charming blessed with the common touch” during his younger days.
The Times’ reporter, Robert Alden, noted he had been a “king of great popularity”, but the “abdication that caused a worldwide sensation visibly distressed his subjects”.
Likewise, in his younger days, Harry was often photographed out and about on the London clubbing circuit, often with beautiful young women. While The Sun once described him as “Dirty Harry”, other publications gave him the moniker of the “Playboy Prince”.
Another similarity was their shared dislike of school. In Edward’s obituary in the New York Times in 1972, it noted how the former king “did not excel academically… he proved more interested in his banjo than in his books”.
He was also a keen dancer and writing in his diary, he talked about enjoying a late night or two: “My dancing is improving, I got in at four [o’clock in the morning]. I have had not more than eight hours’ sleep in the last 72 hours!” he proclaims in another.”
Archive interviews with Harry are chillingly similar. In 2015, while on a visit to a South African youth centre in Cape Town, he said he “didn’t enjoy school at all”, adding: “When I was at school, I wanted to be the bad boy.”
More recently, Express.co.uk unearthed an incredible letter from Edward to his mother, Queen Mary, on the day his abdication had been made public. His decision brought his brother George, also known as Bertie, into the fold, cementing his status as king.
He wrote: “As I told you again last night, I have known for two years that I could not carry on without Wallis and so my mind was so fairly made and that made my decision easier.
“It was a big thing to do but I know it to be best for all in the end and Bertie will make a fine King and will be able to carry on without any upset and will find that I have left the crown and the throne as Papa left it, on the same high level it has maintained for so many centuries.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK