When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the bombshell announcement that they were stepping back from royal duties, all eyes fell on the Palace to see how the Queen would take such shocking news.
- The Queen will always leave the door open for Prince Harry to return following is departure with wife Meghan and son Archie, according to a royal expert.
- Ingrid Seward says Her Majesty will never hold a grudge against her grandson, although she hopes one day he will return.
- In other royal news, it’s been revealed Archie could be stuck in the US due to a 40-year-old law.
Given her close bond to Prince Harry, Woman understands the Queen is ‘incredibly sad’ that he felt he had ‘no other option’ than to relocate his life with Meghan and their son, Archie, across the pond. Editor in Chief of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward, exclusively tells our sister publication Woman, ‘I understand that the Queen is incredibly sad to lose the support of Meghan and Harry.’
However, contrary to wider reports that Prince Harry is finding his new life in Los Angeles ‘a bit challenging’, Ingrid says that the Queen ‘knows he is happy in his new life’. And for Her Majesty, that is enough.
While her heart may break in silence over the loss to the family, the Queen has always been incredibly private and would never let her true feelings show. ‘She would keep her feelings very much to herself,’ Ingrid explains.
The prodigal son
The Queen and Prince Harry have always enjoyed a close relationship, so it’s no surprise that the Queen feels ‘sad’ by his shock departure.
With the tragic death in 1997 of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince William previously admitted that the Queen ‘has been a strong female influence’ for him and his brother and that it was important that they had ‘somebody like the Queen to look up to’.
And so, of course, there is the hope that one day Harry will return and resume his royal duties. Ingrid has previously said, ‘I think she’s looking at Harry like the prodigal son – that he will come home and she will welcome him with open arms.’
Respect above all else
While the world waited with bated breath for the Queen to shut Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, out for the way they handled what is now famously known as ‘Megxit’, the monarch has done nothing but respect their decision and express that the door is ‘open’ should they change their mind in future. ‘She knows that, contrary to the reports, he is happy in his new life. It may not be perfect for him and she knows that, but it was his choice and his choice alone. She has left the door open if he wants to change anything.’
While Prince Harry and Meghan gave an unconventional look into their private life in their documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the Queen much prefers to keep her affairs private and rarely speaks out about her feelings.
‘I think she’s very loath to criticise anything [Harry is] doing,’ Ingrid previously admitted. But that doesn’t mean she’s not been affected by Prince Harry’s decision to step down. ‘Privately, she might feel very sad about it but she will never, ever comment on it, even probably to her family. She would keep her feelings very much to herself.’
If the Queen’s long reign has taught her anything, it’s the wisdom that comes with life experience and the gift of forgiveness – and that’s why she won’t ever hold a grudge towards the Sussexes.
Being an outsider
While she may have had some reservations about Meghan – amid claims she’s become a ‘diva’ after marrying into ‘The Firm’ in 2018 – the Queen has stood by her. Not only did she single out the duchess in her statement about the couple’s departure, saying she was ‘particularly proud’ of Meghan, insiders have previously suggested that the pair get on like a house on fire. And that was evident during their first giggly solo trip together in June 2018.
Royalty expert David Starkey previously said, ‘The Queen likes Meghan. The Queen immediately made Meghan and Harry ambassadors for the Commonwealth, which is the only thing that the Queen really cares about.’
Despite the scrutiny Meghan’s faced in the media and the unconventionally public falling out with her father, it seems Her Majesty cares deeply for those that feel alienated and ostracised from the fold. ‘I think, but I don’t know for sure, that the Queen understands Meghan and the difficulties she has been through trying and failing to adjust to royal life,’ Ingrid says. ‘The Queen is very forgiving and will not hold anything against her.
‘She understands how difficult it is for outsiders, especially one with another life and marriage behind her. If they wanted to come back – which they don’t – she would welcome them.’
Queen of forgiveness
Having reigned for more than 65 years, the Queen has witnessed and played party to more drama than we’ve had hot dinners. And through every single scandal that could have rocked the boat – including Sarah Ferguson’s toe-sucking incident and Prince Andrew’s controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – she has remained calm, collected and in control at all times. And Ingrid says her forgiving disposition is engrained in her Christian values. ‘The one thing that has really carried the Queen through her long life is her Christianity and her deep religious beliefs, and one of the Christian teachings is forgiveness.’