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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid their respects by laying a wreath and flowers at an obelisk in memory of two fallen Commonwealth soldiers. They then released several photographs of the event, which showed Meghan in a black wool coat and Harry in his Army uniform, along with all his medals. Critics said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ decision to release these photographs was “attention-seeking” and “tacky”, while others suggested they could have just released a picture of the wreath itself.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Ms Gripper read out comments from listeners, some of whom criticised the Sussexes’ decision, branding it “cringeworthy” and “staged”, while others defended the couple, saying it was respectful and appropriate for Harry as a veteran himself.
Mr Myers said he was “shocked” by the sheer number of photographs released and said the main criticism is that it “once again had been made about themselves”.
He suggested that they could have taken just a picture of their backs and another of the wreath they laid.
Instead, the numerous pictures of the Sussexes themselves may have taken away from their message, which is one of giving thanks to those who gave their lives.
Mr Myers said: “Perhaps they shouldn’t have been in the photos.
“If you’d just had their backs and another picture of the wreath they’d laid, I think that would have been appropriate.
“It’s just, I think, the criticism labelled at them saying that it once again had been made about themselves is a case to answer unfortunately.
“Because I was just shocked at the number of photographs that were then put out to the world’s media.”
Mr Myers also addressed the Sussexes’ claim that it had been a private visit to the ceremony due to the presence of a photographer.
He agreed with one of the listeners’ comments that the couple should have potentially used the word personal instead of private.
He said: “How many [photos] were taken, how were they then chosen to put out to the world’s media?
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“And if it was a personal visit ‒ I mean, they’ve said private visit, it’s not ‒ I agree with the listener there saying the language is important as well, they should have potentially said it was a personal visit.”
Another debate around Meghan and Harry around the time of Remembrance Sunday was the report that the Duke had requested that a wreath be laid for him at the service in London.
Buckingham Palace reportedly denied his request.
One listener suggested the Palace wanted to “humiliate” the prince, while another believed it was the courtiers who “wreath-blocked” him, because the Royal Family would not be so “petty”.
However, Ms Gripper pointed out that if Harry wanted to lay a wreath it didn’t need to be part of the official ceremony, because the Cenotaph is a public monument.
She said: “I think that if Harry wanted to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, it doesn’t have to be as part of that ceremony.
“The Cenotaph is there, it’s on a public road ‒ after the official ceremonies happen, people can lay wreaths.
“It is a public memorial and when I was in London a couple of weeks ago there was a wreath of sunflowers that someone had left there, which was beautiful.
“If he wanted to leave a wreath and pay a private respect he could have done so, but it didn’t need to be as part of that ceremony.”
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