Sunday, 19 May 2024

Harry ‘still longs’ for royal association despite criticism of family

Lady Victoria Hervey: Prince Harry is ‘so delicate now’

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Despite revealing personal insight into the monarchy and, some would say, launching an attack on the Royal Family, Prince Harry has insisted he believes in the institution and wants to reconcile with its members. The Duke of Sussex has claimed he wants his family “back” — namely his father King Charles III and brother Prince William — and explained that his hopes for a “reconciliation” led him to speak out. He asserted that he “genuinely” believes the monarchy should continue and has now publicised the “royal ties” between himself and the UK-based Windsors by revealing that his two children have taken on their princely titles. It is a move that some commentators believe indicates that the Duke “still longs” for an association with the Royal Family.

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This includes the hosts of Pod Save the King — Zoe Forsey and Russell Myers — who last week discussed the Sussexes’ recent announcement regarding their children’s titles.

Ms Forsey said: “This is a sign that Harry and Meghan want their children to still have those royal ties, which suggests that — however much they’ve criticised, what they’ve been through and their treatment — those links are still important to them.”

Last week, it was announced that the Sussexes’ 21-month-old daughter had been christened, and a spokesperson for Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, said: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor,” and in doing so, revealed Lilibet and her older brother had taken on their formal titles.

A royal source later confirmed the King was notified of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s intention to refer to their children as Princess Lilibet and Prince Archie Harrison, saying: “The appropriate conversations have taken place ahead of today’s news [of Lilibet’s christening].”

Discussing the news, Mr Myers said: “I think Harry still longs for that association [with the Royal Family],” before suggesting that the Prince is “torn between his upbringing” and his royal roots.

In his memoir, Harry spoke about “coming from a broken home which will no doubt have hurt the King and the rest of the Royal Family,” said Mr Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror.

He continued: “I think Harry said that, by his father’s own admission, he had failed him at certain points and perhaps he would have done things differently along the way.

“But Harry longs for this association and he’s hoping that it can be different for his children. But by the same token, how can he think that when he believes the Royal Family is not changing its ways.”

While Harry has indicated that he does not see a future role for himself within the Royal Family, he has insisted he “genuinely” believes in the British monarchy.

 

During an interview with Good Morning America soon after the publication of Spare, the Duke spoke candidly about what a 21st-century monarchy could look like.

“I think the same process that I went through regarding my own unconscious bias would be hugely beneficial to them,” he said. “It’s not racism, but unconscious bias if not confronted, if not acknowledged, if not learned and grown from, that can then move into racism. And the way that I understand it is that we all want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

He went on to say the royals missed a “huge opportunity” in modernising the monarchy through what his wife represented as a biracial woman.

Of Meghan, he said: “It’s what she said to me right from the beginning, representation. And I, as a privileged white man, didn’t really understand what she was talking about.”

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As well as hopes for a reconciliation, Harry said a large part of his determination to speak out was driven by a hope to help his own two children as well as current and future generations of royals.

“I also worry about other young kids within that family if this continues,” he said, referring to the Royal Family. “Because who’s to say that someone else doesn’t fill my shoes and that their partner, whether it’s a husband or a wife or boyfriend or a girlfriend, doesn’t get treated exactly the same as Meghan did?”

Ms Forsey sees the Duke and Duchess’s title announcement as a positive step towards a royal reconciliation, as she explained: “I think when you dig very deep and you’ve cut everything else away, this is a positive thing.

“They’re not saying, ‘we want nothing to do with the royals anymore’, which other people have been suggesting. It does say they do want those royal ties which I think could have been a positive thing.”

Her comments come less than two months before the Coronation of King Charles III, due to take place on May 6.

Harry and Meghan have been invited via “email correspondence” but are yet to confirm their attendance.

For some royal commentators, their decision to use Archie and Lilibet’s royal titles suggests that tensions are subsiding and a Coronation appearance from the Sussexes may be likely.

Ms Forsey said: “Wanting that prince and princess link and confirming it in the christening… hopefully means that we might get to see them later in the year [for the Coronation].”

Similarly, royal commentator Afua Hagan told Express.co.uk: “The lines of communication are improving. There has been a defrosting of royal relations — from both sides,” before adding: “It is a good indication that they will attend the Coronation and indicates where their head is at. They still want to have ties to the Royal Family.”

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