Meghan and Prince Harry stated “service is universal” after the Queen announced her decision to strip them of their royal and military patronages. Their apparent response to the statement issued by Buckingham Palace on their future royal links was deemed “horribly disrespectful” by some palace officials, according to royal correspondent Rebecca English.
Prince William was also “really sad and genuinely shocked” by the Duke of Sussex’ decision to push back on the Queen’s statement, The Sunday Times claimed.
However, former British Special Forces soldier and friend of Meghan and Harry Dean Stott said the Sussexes’ statement must be taken into the wider context of the work done so far by the couple and what they want to achieve after Megxit.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “We’re all focusing on them stepping back.
“I made some comments last year that there are so many positives we can take from this, especially their love for philanthropy.
“Obviously them being within the royal spotlight, there’s a lot of protocol and red tape.
“But actually, their decision to step back gives them more opportunity and freedom to do more and help more.
“So I think [the statement] is probably taken in context.”
Mr Stott continued saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “very much a modern couple and like to do things differently”.
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He added: “So they see that they can still do a service but in their own way.
“It keeps one end of the party happy and Harry and Meghan in the position that they can still be in that public limelight but obviously always giving back.”
Meghan and Prince Harry are “extremely passionate” about philanthropy, he added.
Meghan and Prince Harry were asked by the Queen to relinquish all their royal and military patronages on Friday, after the couple told the monarch they don’t intend to return as full-time working members of the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess lost their roles as president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – with which they remained in touch during the pandemic.
Meghan also lost the patronage of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, who had been passed on to her by the Queen in January 2019.
The Duke, on the other hand, had to relinquish not just his royal patronages but also his three honorary military titles – including the one of Captain-General of the Royal Marines passed on by Prince Philip in 2017.
Following the Sussexes’ statements, an insider told the Daily Mail: “They have made a roaring success of what they set out to do in the US, this independent life.
“And good luck to them. But you can’t have your cake and eat it.
“If your primary role is to serve the head of state and the monarchy, then it’s very hard to do that if you are earning millions on the side.
“That’s philanthropy, not public service. The couple are working with some deserving charities and causes, which is great.
“It’s just that the model of how they are doing it is different from how the Royal Family do it.”
Another said: “The direction of travel has been clear for a while.
“The Queen has been very clear from the start that this ‘half in, half out’ model demanded by the Sussexes wouldn’t work and hasn’t deviated from that. Not once.
“Their original idea was to have a ‘third way’ of being a royal.
“And the Queen has said quite simply ‘no, you can’t’.”
Meghan and Harry officially stepped down as senior royals in late March last year.
Over the past 12 months they have struck two lucrative deals with streaming giants but have also kept in touch with their patronages across the pond and got to know local communities and organisations in LA and the US.
They also launched their Archewell Foundation, through which they recently supported Genesis, a women’s shelter that got devastated during the winter storm in Texas.