Prince Philip: Expert reveals ‘disappointment’ on wedding day
Philip was not present for the now infamous Sandringham Summit, where senior members of the Royal Family hashed out the details of Meghan and Harry’s breakaway from the Firm. As plans were drawn up last January, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William agreed to reconvene with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after 12 months to assess whether any provisions needed changing. It appears that everyone is happy with how things have panned out, though. Meghan and Harry have made good on their promise of becoming financially independent, striking notable big-money deals with Netflix and Spotify.
And royal expert Katie Nicholl claims senior members of the Firm are in agreement that the current arrangements are “working”.
She said: “My understanding from the Sussex camp is that there has been communication with the Queen, Charles and with William as well. The general feeling is that this is working.
“This isn’t to say that people are not watching closely what these deals are, what the couple are doing and what these projects are going to be.
“But there is not this need to have this review one year on.”
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Philip looks on at Meghan and Harry’s wedding
However, when Meghan and Harry first announced their intention to “step back” from frontline royal service, the Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly furious and “truly mystified” by the Sussexes’ actions.
He is said to have asked: “What the hell are they playing at?”
After this emerged in The Sun on Sunday, speculation was rife that Philip had deliberately avoided the Sandringham Summit.
However, his absence was to be expected given that Philip, now 99, retired from royal service in 2017.
His reaction stands in stark contrast to the way Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is said to have responded.
She was reportedly “delighted”, having previously been “really worried about Meghan”.
READ MORE: Queen and Philip’s Windsor Castle heartbreak on wedding anniversary
Philip leads Meghan, Harry, Kate and William on Christmas Day, 2017
An insider added that Doria was “relieved her daughter is putting her mental health and wellbeing first”.
Post-Sandringham, the Queen issued a rare public statement that cast light on her affection for her grandson and granddaughter-in-law.
She said: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
The sentiment of her statement in January 2020 is consistent with the Firm’s reported position today ‒ sorrowful that the Sussexes’ felt compelled to leave but also full of affection and love.
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Some royal watchers, though, have pointed to Philip’s retirement as a key turning point for the Firm.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Speaking on a December 2019 episode, Mr Myers said: “Prince Philip is a fairly divisive character for some people.
“But I think the overwhelming view of people in the know, and people in the household as well, is that there has been a lack of discipline, almost.
“Harry and Meghan seem to have lost their way a little bit.”
And despite Megxit seemingly going well, the Duchess of Sussex has been warned against going too far into the world of politics.
Royal commentator Howard Hodgson told Express.co.uk: “It is quite impossible for a member of the Royal Family to comment on political matters either here or in another country.
“Therefore, if she does start a political career or even make political comments, she will leave the Queen with no choice but to banish Harry and her from the family to an even greater extent than the Duke of Windsor was subjected to.
“If she really loved Harry in the same way that he apparently does her, then she should surely take this into account.
“However, I fear that she won’t.”
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