Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Meghan’s ‘ill-advised’ early interview made ‘frosty relations worse’

GMB guest says Meghan’s decision to stay home ‘is both admirable & inspiring’

Months before their royal exit, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, embarked on a tour of Africa. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to South Africa, Malawi, Angola and Botswana during a 10-day trip with their then-four-month-old son Prince Archie. Although the tour was widely deemed a great success, it also marked a major turning point for the Sussexes, with the pair confirming the long-suspected discord within the Royal Family for the first time publicly. Now, royal commentators have looked back on the moment Harry and Meghan opened the so-called royal rift to the public, describing it as an “ill-advised” move which made relations with the Windsors “100 times worse”.

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A recent Channel 5 documentary explored the Sussexes’ journey into the royal fold, chronicling Harry and Meghan’s initial courtship and their ultimate exit from the Firm.

Harry & Meghan: What Next? recounted the couple’s tour of Africa in September 2019.

“Many of their troubles seemed to disappear,” former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter said. “They got very positive press in southern Africa; they went down incredibly well. It couldn’t have done it. Had they written the script themselves couldn’t have been better.”

Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son, added: “They were the golden couple, sprinkling fairy dust all over southern Africa and then at the end of that tour, they completely shot themselves in the foot.”

Behind-the-scenes documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey followed the Duke and Duchess on their royal tour.

Behind-the-scenes documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey followed the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex and then-baby Archie on their 10-day Royal Tour of Africa.

And in an incredibly emotional moment with ITV’s Tom Bradby, Meghan discussed the pressures of her new role as a mother and admitted she was “not OK”.

She described her past year as a member of the Royal Family as “hard” and “really challenging”.

“Look, any woman — especially when they are pregnant — you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging,” she said. “Then when you have a newborn, and especially as a woman, it’s a lot, so you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed.”

The Duchess added: “It’s not enough to just survive something. Right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy and I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip.”

Referring to Meghan’s confession, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: “They talked about so being so deeply unhappy as senior members of the Royal Family which hit the world like a thunderbolt.”

Ayesha Hazarika, journalist and broadcaster, added: “The sad thing is, I think she was just being honest about how she felt. But that interview probably made things about 100 times worse in terms of already frosty relations.”

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And Richard Kay, royal journalist and old friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, argued the interview was “rather ill-advised,” saying: “They talked about how grim their lives were against a backdrop of one of the most benighted and poorest parts on the globe.”

The interview undoubtedly marked a change in the relations between Harry, Meghan and the rest of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess were now sharing their troubles with the world and a global audience became increasingly invested in the splintered royal relationships.

Upon their return, it was revealed that Harry and Meghan would be spending their first Christmas as a family of three in Canada.

Rather than joining the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family at Sandringham for the Windsors’ traditional festive celebrations, the Sussexes travelled across the pond to spend the period with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

And, as it is known now, the couple subsequently announced their intention to step back from their royal duties, later relocating to North America before settling in California.

Since their departure from the Firm, both Harry and Meghan have divulged further details about their experiences within the Royal Family, taking part in media projects, televised interviews and magazine features.

Although the couple has faced criticism for the continued discussion of their fractured royal relations, one royal commentator has claimed it is an integral part of their “Sussex brand”.

She told GB News: “I think that realistically the Sussex brand is on life-support here in the States, and they need to look like they are still associated with the Royal Family to continue to create financial opportunities for themselves.”

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