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The Queen, 94, was aware Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were unhappy in their roles within the Royal Family but she had no idea the couple would drop a bombshell statement on their Instagram announcing their departure in January 2020. The Channel 5 documentary ‘The Queen: In Her Own Words’ explained how the turbulent time at the beginning of the year played out for the Monarch. The narrator, Andrew Scarborough, said: “In 2020 she beat Harry and Meghan in a war of words and proved herself to be the Queen of social media.”
Expert Wesley Kerr OBE said: “It was a situation like a kettle which had been coming up to boil and it boiled over.
“They issued that sudden statement saying that they world be stepping back from their role as senior royals and that they had laid out what their terms would be.”
Mr Scarborough continued: “#Megxit trended all over the world and dragged the Queen into a Twitterstorm.”
Royal editor Ingrid Seward added: “The statement came as a complete surprise to the Queen.
“She knew that they weren’t unhappy, she knew that they were in talks with her advisors but she had no idea they were going to put out their own statement.”
Mr Scarborough said: “Although the Queen had been caught off guard, a brief and concise tweet posted just hours later revealed that discussions were at an early stage.
“In just 34 friendly words, the Queen had taken back control of the situation.”
Responding to the tweet, Charles Crawford said: “She basically put out this very short business-like statement which said this is where things stand.”
The insight comes as the Queen has set off to Balmoral Castle this summer.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said arrangements for the visit in early August “will be in line with the relevant guidelines and advice”.
Visitors from two other households will be able to meet her at a time at Balmoral, under current Scottish Government rules, with a recommendation for a maximum of eight people at a time when inside. This is only possible with social distancing and “strict hygiene measures”.
Guidance indicates four other households will be able to meet the Queen at a time when outside – but with no more than 15 people in total in the group. For both indoors and outdoors, a cap of four households a day has been put in place.
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The Queen will not be able to enjoy the Braemar Gathering as she traditionally does, as coronavirus forced the Highland games to be called off for the first time since 1945.
It is also unlikely the monarch will be able to host her annual Ghillies Ball, which takes place in the estate’s grand ballroom.
The event is a dance for her neighbours, estate and castle staff during her summer stay at Balmoral but would contravene the current rules on gatherings.
The Scottish Government is set to review lockdown measures next Thursday but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned at her briefing on Wednesday not to expect the easing of many more restrictions.
Currently, face coverings are mandatory across Scotland in circumstances where physical distancing is not easy to maintain.
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