Deals with The Queen? Not so fast says, says this royal expert! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still have plenty to sort out as they move forward.
Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan Markle, 38, seem more determined than ever to forage a new path — but simply “stepping away” from royal life isn’t as easy at it seems. “You can’t sort of do deals with the Queen, even if she is your grandmother,” Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE new interview. “I mean the trouble is that they seem to fail to realize that the Monarchy’s like a firm, and everybody works for the boss, who’s the Queen. And you don’t have your own agenda,” she continued, referencing one of Princess Diana‘s best-known nicknames for the royal family (“the firm”).
While Harry and Meghan are drawing comparisons to his great-uncle King Edward VIII, who abdicated from the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, Harry and Meghan’s scenario is unique in that they still wish to do official work on behalf of the Queen — and therefore, remain working royals in a part-time sense. “If they had said, ‘Look, we’re out. We don’t want our titles, we want to live a completely private life, and we’re off,’ then that would be one thing. But wanting to have one foot in, and one foot out is very difficult,” Ingrid explains, which adds to the confusion. “They want to stay working. They want to be working members of the royal family and therefore they want to be funded for when they work for the royal family, and they don’t want to be funded what they don’t.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a fair amount of information about their financial status on their new website, and explained that they were also seeking to gain “financial independence” — suggesting that in addition to retaining some royal duties, they still want to generate income from other work. “Nobody knows the answers, and that’s why it’s caused such a furor here. Because no one’s ever done this,” she continued. “You can’t just step back from your heritage.” While it’s unclear what other work the couple may engage in, they did recently produce their own documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, and Meghan, of course, comes from an acting background. “I think they would have been much better just to say, ‘Look, we don’t need anything.’, Because Harry’s got a lot of money if his mother got $17 million pounds in her divorce,” Ingrid notes.
Though other royals, like Harry’s younger cousins Princess Beatrice, 31, and Princess Eugenie, 29, have their titles along with their own independent jobs (Beatrice works in finance and Eugenie has a position at an art gallery), Harry and Meghan’s situation still differs. “[Eugenie and Beatrice] are not in a direct line to the Royal throne [they are 9th and 10th in line, underneath their father Prince Andrew who is 8th] and they don’t have royal protection,” Ingrid notes. “But Harry and Meghan are saying they want to carry on [having protection], they want to keep doing their charity duties and they want to work for the Commonwealth, which is working for the Queen.” While Meghan has returned to Canada, Queen Elizabeth has called a meeting on Monday, Jan. 13 with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry to discuss the situation further.