What were they thinking? Megxit announcement condemned as ‘disastrous’ on year anniversary

Meghan Markle and Harry: Experts discuss 'spread of positivity'

Meghan and Prince Harry announced their intention to step back as full-time working royals and carve out a progressive new role for themselves within the institution on January 8, 2020. This split was seen as “disastrous”, one royal commentator noted.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “Harry and Meghan precipitated a crisis when they declared their intention to step back.

“It was brutally sudden and ended with the Sandringham agreement which led to them stepping down – with which they were unhappy.

“Their plan was impractical and would have led to conflicts of interest as they wanted to become financially independent and this meant commercial ventures, which might have been inappropriate if they had remained senior working royals.

“The Royal Family has to contend with losing three senior working members in two months and obviously, considering the high hopes after Meghan joined it, this was disastrous.”

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Megxit, as the Sussexes’ split from the Royal Family was quickly dubbed, came only a few weeks after the Duke of York announced he would temporarily step back from public duties following his car crash interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis.

Meghan and Prince Harry spent their last three months as senior royals between Canada, where they had travelled in mid-November with their son Archie Harrison, and the UK.

In March, they carried out a whirlwind series of public engagements, culminating in the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

They eventually bowed out of their old royal life on March 30, when they published their last Instagram post on Sussex Royal.

Their exit as full-time working royals came as the UK plunged into the first national lockdown.

Mr Fitzwilliams said the Royal Family emerged from the crisis by supporting the country through its initiatives, helping charities and calming panic with Queen’s inspirational addresses.

He said: “Throughout the year they became a focus for national unity as Britain was hit by the pandemic.”

Across the pond, Meghan and Harry remained in touch with their patronages based in Britain and tied links with other US charities.

The hands-on royals also started volunteering for local organisations, and in April they were seen delivering meals to people shielding in the Los Angeles area.

In August they took part in a donation drive organised by Baby2Baby and in November the Duke of Sussex was photographed putting together parcels for veterans and their families.

One year on, the Megxit saga has yet to end, despite Meghan and Harry having clearly established their post-royal lives in California.

In March, at the end of the 12-month review period, Prince Harry is to reconvene with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William and discuss whether there are still sticky issues to be dealt with or any changes the parts desire to make to the Megxit deal.

As revealed in February last year, the review was agreed by the royals to “ensure the arrangement works for all parties”.

Among the issues that may need to be discussed there are Prince Harry’s honorary military titles.

The Duke of Sussex was stripped of his three military patronages as a consequence of Megxit.

While Prince Harry is reportedly unhappy about this, the Queen is believed to be gearing up to reassign this patronages to other senior royals.

In late 2020, Prince William was tipped to become the next Captain General of the Royal Marines, a role which had been passed onto the Duke of Sussex by Prince Philip.

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