Meghan and Harry ‘creating long lasting legacy’ says expert
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially stepped down as senior royals last March, having announced the move just two months before. Prince Philip was not actively involved in the Megxit discussions, or so-called Sandringham summit, as he had retired from public duty in August 2017. But despite not having an official input, a royal expert has said the Duke of Edinburgh wouldn’t have been best pleased by the Sussexes’ decision to quit.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson, who has recently released a new book on Prince Philip, said he tried to advise Meghan and Harry to stick at public life.
He said: “I think he was just trying to say to her and Harry, it’s not easy but you’ve got to knuckle down and get on with it.
“You’ve got to respect it but if they’ve got a life to lead they’ve got to lead it.
“I think we expected that to be within the Royal Family.
“But as they couldn’t, obviously it was disappointing and it’s a dereliction of duty really because you signed up for the gig.”
When probed on whether the Duke would have been dismayed by the Sussexes’ departure, Mr Jobson said: “I would say that he would hope that they would have given more time to it, yes.”
Mr Jobson also said that despite reports Prince Philip did not get along with his granddaughter-in-law Meghan, they actually “got on alright”.
He further discussed the matter in his new book, and said: “Philip had struggled greatly with what he saw as a lack of respect shown to the Queen by Harry, whose behaviour, he felt, had been unbecoming of a prince.
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“‘Both Her Majesty and the Duke have a soft spot for Prince Harry.
“‘But on this matter they both felt he and his new wife had behaved recklessly and without proper consideration to the consequences to the institution they had both signed up to serve, the Crown.
“‘Yes they thought their behaviour was unpredictable and showed a total lack of respect,’ said a senior member of the Royal Household.”
The biographer also noted Philip’s initial reaction to Meghan and Harry’s statement laying out their intentions to become “financially independent”.
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He wrote: “Philip was spotted leaving Sandringham in the morning, after he was reportedly made furious by Meghan and Harry’s intention to step back as senior royals.
“The Duke of Edinburgh, who was seen sitting on the passenger seat of his Land Rover wearing a seat belt, is understood to have said, ‘What on earth are they playing at?’ after the Sussexes’ issued their statement.
“One senior member of the Royal Household told me that the Duke’s fit of pique was due to seeing his wife unsettled and upset by the couple’s behaviour.”
Following Meghan and Harry’s announcement, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William held talks with Harry to discuss terms of the couple’s exit.
They agreed the Sussexes would formally step down from the end of March 2020, with a review to take place a year later.
The couple, who had been living in Canada, bought a home in Santa Barbara, California, just months later.
Robert Jobson has written several books on the Royal Family, including the No.1 selling book ‘Diana: Closely Guarded Secret’ in 2002.
His most recent book, ‘Prince Philip’s Century: The Extraordinary Life of the Duke of Edinburgh’ is available to buy now.
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