Meghan Markle and Harry ‘would never shine’ in UK as Palace only supports ‘heir and spare’

Meghan Markle and Harry confirmed to attend Queen's Jubilee

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Royal author Ian Lloyd believes the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have struggled to “shine” had they remained as senior royals within the Firm as there is normally “no obvious role” for the second child of the future sovereign. The expert said Prince Harry isn’t the first member of the Royal Family to be sliding down the line of succession to the throne after having been highly prominent within the Firm as the Prince of Wales’s “spare”.

The author of the biography ‘The Queen: 70 Chapters in the Life of Elizabeth II’ told “The problem with being the second is that you grow up with your sibling and you are equal – Diana treated Harry and William as equals, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth treated Elizabeth and Margaret like equals when they were children.

“But then what happens is that when the older one becomes sovereign or the heir it feels the second sibling more or less disappears.

“Princess Margaret was second-in-line from 1936 to 1948 and, considering World War 2, Elizabeth could have been killed and Margaret become Queen as a result.

“But had she lived up to now she would be something like 26th-in-line to the throne, so in other words she just of disappeared off the radars with the passing of the years. 

“And I think that’s what Harry finds difficult.”

Speaking about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s former position within the Firm, he added: “There is no obvious role and I think Meghan thought she could come in and make a role and sort of take on the Royal Family but the Palace and the organisation won’t do that.

“They only ever support the heir and spare, so Meghan and Harry would never shine in this country.”

Meghan officially joined the Royal Family in May 2018, when she tied the knot with Prince Harry. 

But, with the intention of “hitting the ground running”, she started attending engagements and events months before she received the title of Duchess by the Queen.

The Sussexes quickly gained huge popularity, in particular across Commonwealth countries as shown by the crowds gathered to meet them during their first tour abroad in Oceania in October 2018.

Nevertheless, they had to abide by the pecking order, which sees Prince Harry sixth-in-line to the throne.

Meghan fulfilled her role as a senior member of the Firm for 21 months, during which the Duchess became patron of four organisations, took part in foreign visits and launched several initiatives – including a capsule collection aimed at raising funds for one of her patronages, Smart Works. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as working members of the Firm at the end of March 2020 and have been carving out a new path for themselves since.

Prior to relinquishing their senior positions within the Royal Family, however, Meghan and Harry had announced in January that year their intention to create a new role which would have seen the couple still representing the Queen and the Crown through royal duties while also pursuing financially profitable deals after having ditched the Sovereign Grant.

However, this solution was not deemed workable by senior royals.

After stepping down, the Duke and Duchess can no longer carry out royal duties, use their HRH styles and hold royal and military patronages. 

On the other hand, they gained the freedom to pursue financially profitable deals and live abroad.

In the summer of 2020, Meghan and Harry moved into their home in Montecito, a star-studded Santa Barbara neighbourhood.

They later announced to have struck a deal with Netflix and Spotify, two streaming giants for which they are to produce video and audio content respectively.

The Duke is currently working as executive producer on a docu-series, Heart of Invictus, focused on a group of participants to the Invictus Games, a multi-sport tournament for ill, sick and injured veterans and service personnel he founded. 

On the other hand, Meghan is preparing for the launch in the early summer of her first podcast, Archetypes, set to explore the labels and stereotypes created by the society that try to hold women back.

In late 2020, the Sussexes also launched Archewell, their organisation including two production companies and a non-profit foundation.

Over the past months, the Duke and Duchess have also created other partnerships, including one with sustainable investment firm Ethic.

Moreover, in March 2021 it was announced Prince Harry became the chief impact officer of mental health and coaching firm BetterUp.  

Ian Lloyd’s ‘The Queen: 70 Chapters in the Life of Elizabeth II’ is available in hardcover now. 

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