Prince Harry warned Queen ‘will be watching’ next step Duke takes with Meghan Markle

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced in January they had decided to take a step back from public life, agreeing with the Queen they will take a year off before deciding whether to end their royal careers entirely. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have since relocated to Los Angeles with their one-year-old son Archie but were forced to postpone plans for the launch of their private charity organisation, Archwell, because of the pandemic. Prince Harry has been warned the Queen will continue to “watch carefully” to see how the couple goes about in establishing themselves away from royal life.

Speaking to ET, royal expert Katie Nicholl said: “We are seeing Harry and Meghan do something that hasn’t actually been done.

“I think it’s the case of the Palace watching and waiting to see what they’ll do. And they will be watching, and they’ll be watching very closely.”

Ms Nicholl suggested attempts from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to use their royal connections in the future could spark a “prickly” response from the Royal Family.

Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan had requested permission to continue using their brand Sussex Royal once their royal careers were on hold but the Queen dismissed the suggestion.

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The royal commentator continued: “There is a sense of trepidation about the couple going at making a business alone.

“They are testing the water and anything that smacks of cashing in on their royal connections or over-commercialisation is going to meet a very prickly response from the Palace.

“Meghan and Harry are thinking very hard about what they want to do, how they are going to make money.

“Public speaking is absolutely going to be one of the key ways for them to make money but I think they are going to be very careful about what they speak publicly about.”

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Ms Nicholl continued: “It’s certainly not going to be about life behind palace walls.”

Prince Harry became the first senior member of the Royal Family to give up his royal career since the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had originally planned to continue their work as representatives of the Queen but on a smaller scale.

However, following talks with Her Majesty, Prince Charles and Prince William, Harry agreed to a one-year transition to test the waters during which he and Meghan would carry out no official duties.

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The Queen also agreed to have her grandson and his wife maintain their HRH style but ordered them not to use their titles for commercial purposes. 

Meghan and Harry have kept a low profile since their departure but have made some virtual appearances during the lockdown to voice their support to charities.

Prince Harry last week took part in a message to England Rugby thanking supporters for their work during the pandemic, and earlier last month he issued a heartfelt video to Invictus Games participants after the event had to be postponed.

And Meghan Markle in May delivered a commencement speech to the graduating class of her former school,  Immaculate Heart High School, during which she discussed her personal experience with racism.

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