Setting the tone. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were sending a message to the British royal family after making their departure permanent — and royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams thinks they were “clearly angry.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on February 19 that Harry, 36, and the Suits alum, 39, would “not be returning as working members of the royal family” after their initial January 2020 step down from their senior roles. Queen Elizabeth II added, “While we are all saddened by their decision, the duke and duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”
In response to the palace’s official statement, the couple acknowledged that they have proven to still be “committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world” and that “service is universal.”
Fitzwilliams, who regularly contributes to outlets like CNN and Sky News on royal matters, was just as “blindsided” by the pair’s strong words as he was by their exit last year.
“We know they’re unhappy, I totally accept that,” the consultant told Us Weekly exclusively in the latest episode of the “Royally Us” podcast. “I’d like to see a more balanced approach. … The language used [and] to appear to lecture the queen … that sort of statement is very unhelpful, but what it showed is how angry they are.”
Harry and Meghan relocated to California in March 2020 with their 21-month-old son, Archie. Earlier this month, the pair revealed that they are expecting their second child together after the former actress suffered a miscarriage in July. As they prepare to transition out of the royal spotlight, the twosome are “relieved” to be starting their new chapter.
“Harry and Meghan finally feel free,” a source previously told Us. “They have so much to look forward to.”
A separate insider noted that the queen, 94, was holding out hope that her grandson and his wife would change their minds about their exit. Fitzwilliams, however, doesn’t think that the pair “have any second thoughts” about stepping down.
“The queen has made it absolutely clear that they would always be welcome back if they had a change of heart. I don’t think anybody sees any chance of it [happening],” he told Us. “If it happened, I think the royal family would be delighted.”
Next month, Harry and the Los Angeles native are set to give their first televised sit-down interview addressing their rocky path with the royal family. The move came as a shock to Prince William and Duchess Kate, who’ve had a tense relationship with the Sussexes over the years.
“At the moment, relations between the brothers are very, very distant,” Fitzwilliams said, predicting that Harry and Meghan will “be pretty icy” about the Cambridges during their tell-all.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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