United Kingdom

Meghan and Harry ‘made key exit mistake’ that strained bond with Royal Family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could have made their departure from the Royal Family “less controversial” had they worked to avoid a key mistake, a PR expert argued.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would quit their royal roles with an unprecedented statement affirming they wanted to guarantee the family more privacy but were ready to continue working for the monarchy on a part-time basis.

The late Queen quickly rejected the proposal and convened a special summit at Sandringham with then-Prince Charles and Prince William to thrash out the details of Harry and Meghan’s new relationship with the institution.

PR commentator Andy Barr suggested “better communication” between the two parties “would have made the move less controversial and removed the tinge of sadness that many across the globe now feel.”

Barr noted that Harry’s decision did not “resonate well with the Royal Family” because of their commitment to their duties but a compromise could have been found to maintain their personal bond.

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He said: “Airing your family grievances via a globally best-selling book and a ground-breaking documentary was never going to resonate well with the Royal Family let alone their team of advisors.

“The real power play here was between the armies of communications and brand advisors that both sides employ.”

The PR expert suggested an agreement on keeping details of their decision private would likely have kept the situation from souring as well as fuelling worldwide speculation about the family’s issues.

Speaking to The Mirror, Barr added: “If the Royal Family and Harry had been more stern in their ruling that neither side should brief negative messages about each other to the press then much of the discussion could have been done behind closed doors, directly and with more dignity.”

Harry has claimed relationship with his father and older brother has been frosty since before his official departure.

And the repeated allegations the Duke and Duchess levelled at senior members of the institution further exacerbated the divide.

Harry has briefly returned to the UK to attend important family events such as the funerals of his grandfather Prince Philip in April 2021 as well as the late Queen’s in September of last year.

He also put in a brief appearance at the King’s Coronation in May but Meghan and their two children remained in California on the day of the event.

Since the release of the Duke’s memoir in January, and the decline in public support it caused, the couple have appeared to moved on from their criticism of the senior Royal Family in favour of focusing on new projects.

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