Royal fury at Harry and Meghan's 'horribly disrespectful' parting shot

Royal fury at Harry and Meghan’s ‘horribly disrespectful’ parting shot: Palace shock at couple’s churlish insult after losing patronages – as it’s revealed how Queen told her grandson ‘you work for the monarchy, the monarchy doesn’t work for you’

  • Last night Buckingham Palace announced Harry and Meghan had been stripped of their remaining roles following their move to California
  • A dramatic statement said they could not continue with ‘the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service’  
  • The apparently furious Sussexes quickly issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen
  • They insisted they would still ‘live a life of service’ outside the royal fold

Harry and Meghan were cast out as working royals last night.

Buckingham Palace announced in a dramatic statement that they had been stripped of their remaining roles following their move to California.

Pointedly, it said they could not continue with ‘the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service’.

Minutes later, the apparently furious Sussexes issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen, insisting they would still ‘live a life of service’ outside the royal fold. They added: ‘Service is universal.’

Although officials do not want a slanging match, many are said to feel the ‘barbed’ statement was ‘horribly disrespectful’ to the elderly monarch, whose husband Philip is in hospital. 

As relations hit a bitter new low, an insider said: ‘They have made a roaring success of what they set out to do in the US, this independent life. And good luck to them. But you can’t have your cake and eat it.

The two blistering statements: Buckingham Palace announced in a dramatic statement that Harry and Meghan had been stripped of their remaining roles following their move to California. Minutes later, the apparently furious Sussexes issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen, insisting they would still ‘live a life of service’ outside the royal fold

‘If your primary role is to serve the head of state and the monarchy, then it’s very hard to do that if you are earning millions on the side. That’s philanthropy, not public service. The couple are working with some deserving charities and causes, which is great.

‘It’s just that the model of how they are doing it is different from how the Royal Family do it.’

The source stressed that the split from the Royal Family had been Harry and Meghan’s decision entirely. ‘They have chosen to live in America, they have not been exiled to America,’ they said.

Another insider said: ‘Let’s be clear, the Sussexes instigated this. They jumped. But the Queen is firm: either you are a public servant or you aren’t.

‘You can’t line your pockets while undertaking official duties.’

Although Palace officials were at pains to stress how ‘saddened’ the monarch and senior royals were by the split – insisting that Harry and Meghan were still ‘much loved’ members of the family – the rift between the two sides is now wider than ever.

Relations are so acrimonious that despite weeks of discussions, they couldn’t even agree a joint statement on the issue. ‘It’s actually all very sad,’ a source said.

Another insider said: ‘The direction of travel has been clear for a while. The Queen has been very clear from the start that this “half in, half out” model demanded by the Sussexes wouldn’t work and hasn’t deviated from that. Not once. Their original idea was to have a “third way” of being a royal. And the Queen has said quite simply “no, you can’t”.’

The Mail has been told that it was Harry who pushed to restart talks over his and Meghan’s position early this year.

According to insiders, there was a ‘puzzling sense of urgency’ to his requests that perplexed palace officials. When news of Meghan’s deal for a ‘tell all’ interview with Oprah Winfrey broke earlier this week ‘all became clear’.

This was seen as ‘shocking’ by the royal household, which had hoped to make an amicable joint announcement about the couple’s future earlier this week.

The Daily Mail revealed exclusively earlier this week that the couple were set to lose their remaining royal patronages.

They will now be forced to relinquish a series of high profile roles connected to causes close to their hearts and, most devastatingly for Harry, his three honorary military positions. The pair have also had to relinquish their roles with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, although they are set to retain their official titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, first announced their desire to quit as working royals in January last year without even informing the Queen beforehand, a move which deeply hurt the 94-year-old monarch.

The ensuing ‘Sandringham Summit’ saw the Queen, backed by the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, stand firm against her grandson and his wife, who were demanding they be allowed to move to North America in pursuit of their fortunes while continuing to serve her as ‘quasi-working royals’.

Pictured: The statement from Buckingham Palace that The Sussexes had been stripped of their remaining roles

Minutes later, the apparently furious Sussexes issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen, insisting they would still ‘live a life of service’ outside the royal fold. They added: ‘Service is universal.’

In the end the couple were forced to agree not to use their royal titles for commercial gain. However the Queen did agree to hold over some of their official patronages – most notably Harry’s military positions – while a 12-month review of their new arrangements was concluded.

It can now be revealed that over the past year a ‘battle royale’ over these official roles has raged behind the scenes, with neither side willing to concede.

Harry and Meghan have categorically refused to accept their loss of standing and insisted they wanted to continue with limited royal duties while landing contacts with firms such as Spotify and Netflix.

The Queen, however, has told the couple that their commercial careers were completely incompatible with the impartiality required of those in public service.

According to one official, she made it ‘abundantly clear’ to her grandson that when it comes to being a working royal you are either in, or you are out, telling him: ‘You work for the monarchy, the monarchy doesn’t work for you.’

With negotiations already tense, the revelation of the Oprah interview sent matters into free fall.

Harry and Meghan had kept this secret from the Palace, hoping to announce their interview bombshell once the ‘divorce deal’ was done. This angered officials, who had hoped to make a final announcement on the so-called ‘Megxit deal’ at the beginning of the week.

The couple, who announced on Sunday they were expecting their second child, were said to have ‘hit the roof’ when they saw the Palace’s draft statement, which said that in stepping away as full-time working royals they could not be of ‘public service’.

All lines of communication subsequently broke down.

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex at the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony, Buckingham Palace, London, on June 26, 2018

With a deep but unyielding sadness, the Queen had no choice but to formally write to her grandson confirming that ‘Megxit’ was final.

In its statement yesterday, Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

‘Following conversations with the duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

‘The honorary military appointments and royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of the Royal Family.’

They added: ‘While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.’

Four minutes later a spokesman for the Sussexes retorted: ‘As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.

‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.’

Harry and Meghan will still be invited to family events such as Trooping the Colour and the prince is expected to join his brother, Prince William, to unveil a statue in memory of their late mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace on July 1.

But no one was pretending last night that relations are likely to be anything other than uncomfortable in future.

‘There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Harry and Meghan have chosen to do, but they cannot do it as royals and as public servants,’ said one insider.

‘The only hope is that perhaps now that the business side of things have been removed, they can start to repair their personal relationships.’ 

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