The Queen's Christmas photo snub to Meghan and Harry that made them quit royal life

The Queen Christmas speech, The Queen's Christmas photo snub
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's Christmas photo snub to Meghan and Harry that made them quit royal life has been revealed.

The Queen's Christmas photo snub that led to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reportedly quitting the royal family occurred when a photo of them with baby Archie was removed ahead of her traditional Christmas Day speech, a new book claims.

The new book, Brothers and Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan by Christopher Andersen, alleges that the Queen asked for the Sussexes image to be removed and this is said to have caused upset among Harry and Meghan.

It's claimed that this sparked the change that saw them rock the royal family by announcing that they were stepping back as senior working members of the Royal Family and starting a new life overseas in LA.

According to the book, it's understood that the framed photo was initially on a desk alongside other family images, including a family portrait of William, Kate, George, Charlotte, and Louis which stands in the middle. Prince Charles and Camilla appear in a photo which marked the 50th anniversary of his investiture as Prince of Wales., and the Queen's father George VI and the Duke of Edinburgh are placed on either side.

But prior to the recording, The Queen's Christmas photo snub took place when her Majesty is said to have ordered an aide to remove the photo, which featured Harry and Meghan holding their son Archie, who was aged seven months at the time.

According to the book, a source said the Queen “looked over the tables where the photographs she had so lovingly selected were arranged".

Queen Elizabeth II told the director that all photos but one of the Sussexes were fine, it is alleged.

You can see the final arrangement below which was used on the Queen's broadcast.

A photo posted by on

The monarch, who is resting following her brief hospital stay, is claimed to have pointed at the framed image and said, “That one, I suppose we don’t need that one.”

It has been suggested that the Queen snubbed Harry and Meghan because they had chosen to spend Christmas in Canada with Meghan's mum Doria Ragland.

A palace spokeswoman told the New York Post, 'We don’t comment on books of this kind as to do so risks giving it some form of authority or credibility.'

For the 2019 speech, the Queen was filmed in the Green Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, beside a table with framed photographs.

Meanwhile, in her 2018 Christmas Day speech, her Majesty had included Harry and Meghan in a group family photo.

Speaking about the Queen's Christmas photo snub, Royal commentator Ingrid Seward said at the time it was unlikely the Queen’s photo selections represented a deliberate snub to Harry and Meghan.

But she added, “It does seem to represent the idea of a slimmed-down monarchy.”

Ms Seward continued, “All the media problems with Harry and Meghan must have worried her. However, she would never be so underhand as to deliberately omit their picture.”

Fans will have to wait and see what photographs make an appearance as she prepares to spend Christmas with the whole family in Sandringham this year without Harry and Meghan once again.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)