Since their return to the UK, Harry and Meghan have faced one humiliation after another. A new photo perfectly illustrates their disastrous trip.
If you want to get an idea of what the fuck Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex are doing in London right now, all you have to do is search for images of James, Viscount Severn of the Queen’s Thanksgiving Service. will be held at St. Paul’s Church on Friday.
The boy is, of course, the 14-year-old son of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and young James is currently 15th in line to the throne, meaning he hopefully knows someone who can find him a good job in investment banking – running a family business of opening memorial plaques and cutting ribbons is simply not in the plans.
And yet, while James enjoyed an honored front-row position at St. Paul, his cousin Harry — the prince, a two-time war veteran and sixth in line for the top job — was ignominiously stuck in the row behind him. teenager.
If ever there was an image that summed up the origins of Harry and Meghan, this was it. Former working representatives of the queen on the front line, members of the inner sanctuary of the Palace, should be left to humiliating behavior for a sullen teenager.
Seating plans, such as the arrangement of tables and the photographs chosen for the queen’s Christmas speech, are serious business in the palatial world, and the Sussexes’ location in what amounted to Siberia inside St. Paul’s did not so much speak volumes as screamed obscenely from above. his lungs.
The last time Harry was in the famous 17th-century church, at the National Memorial Service at Grenfell Tower in 2017, he sat grimly in the front row next to his brother and sister-in-law, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess. from Cambridge, on Friday he was forced to accept his allotted seat in the cheap seats, the Sussexes’ B-list status became all too obvious.
Harry and Meghan were literally put in their place.
And all this before the Sussexes were booed off duty by some members of the crowd, the first members of the royal family, to my knowledge, to receive such a humiliating reception. (Last month, Liverpool supporters booed William in the FA Cup final, something Liverpool supporters have done for decades when it comes to the performance of the English establishment.)
Now, with two days of the four-day anniversary celebration under royal belts, it’s clear that for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who flew in in a private jet for the occasion with their two young children in tow, this trip is proving to be far from pleasant in a public sense. at least.
When the couple hit the road two years ago to get rich and make an impact, and spend their days coming up with nifty hashtags, it seemed like they still had a lot of cards. Harry, having fallen in love with the Suits star and drawn her into the working royal ranks, accidentally found exactly what the monarchy didn’t know what it was looking for.
They were an adored golden couple and the royal family needed them, badly enough, to bring youthful verve to a dying royal brand and connect with the younger generation.
When Megxit hit the headlines and Zeitgeist magazine in January 2020, the possibilities for where they would go next seemed limitless and exciting. World, beware!
What no one expected was that their star would lose its luster so quickly.
Returning to London this week, for the first time since the emotionally charged final round they had in March 2020, he is in something of a cloud.
Report in May time reported that the publication of Harry’s memoir might be delayed, and that same month it was reported that the duo were filming something that sounds like it bears more than a passing resemblance to a reality show. This is hardly the kind of work for which they are now invited to Davos or to the yacht of Jeff Bezos, is it?
Although they couldn’t expect a warm welcome at Blighty, the social reception they received was not so much cold as it was downright Ice Age worthy.
The day before their comeback, a new poll by YouGov showed that their popularity had fallen to an all-time low, which is a big achievement for two people who have been consistently falling in the public eye for several years now.
Then, on Friday, a large military spectacle Trooping the Colour, traditionally timed to coincide with the sovereign’s birthday, took place. (We have George III around 1760 to thank for turning this into an annual tradition.)
The last time Trooping was held in London in 2019, Harry and Meghan were in the spotlight, starring in the carriage procession from Buckingham Palace to the Horse Guards Parade and then appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
And this time? While they were spared the need to travel from the Palace to the Horse Guards by bus like the Yorkes, Tyndalls and Phillips, the Sussexes made the trip by station wagon before joining 70-odd other Windsors to watch from the General’s office. -major. .
None of the few photographs of Harry and Meghan during the landing showed them talking to any of the more senior members of the royal family, only being photographed with the Tyndall and Phillips children and at one stage chatting with the 86-year-old Duke of Kent.
This was followed by a Friday Thanksgiving service. While Her Majesty once again made certain concessions to the couple – for example, they arrived in a Range Rover rather than a bus reserved for the Queen’s other grandchildren and cousins, and the Sussexes were given their own entrance to the church – the endearment ceased and the cold business of the monarchy began. .
After walking down the 150-meter aisle, Harry and Meghan took their seats. Their top-level status faded, and instead they found themselves sandwiched between Princess Eugenie’s husband and former tequila ambassador Jack Bruskbank on the one hand, and Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret’s daughter and 28th in line to the throne, on the other.
The message from the Palace, putting the Sussexes on cheap seats, seemed to be this: did you want to leave? Excellent. But it’s time to reap what they have sown.
The royal composure continued on social media. Prince Charles’ Instagram account at Clarence House posted a series of images from that day, and the image chosen by his son and daughter-in-law was not only him and Zara Tindall, not their own image, but came after the series of images of the Cambridges and siblings Charles and the elaborate depiction of the church. Not exactly what the son and daughter-in-law of the future king can count on.
(In contrast, Charles was seen sweetly kissing Kate on live television.)
Also, while the rest of the extended royal family enjoyed lunch at London City Hall after the service, Harry and Meghan returned to their home in Windsor instead.
While so far we haven’t seen any backstage hostility seep into the public space, as we did during the final Commonwealth Day service in 2020, the cracks in this weekend’s display of royal unity are very clear.
While we have had instances where Harry and Meghan have been treated with a higher status than Her Majesty’s other non-working grandchildren, we have also not seen anything remotely resembling a genuinely warm display of support.
So far, all the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have gotten from this trip to the UK is to suffer moderate public humiliation in the name of Queen and country. If they had any hopes of enjoying a fresh dose of royal stardust and reminding the world that they were indeed the “beloved” members of the queen’s family, they would have been greatly disappointed.
The big test comes on Saturday night London time when the Queen’s younger members of the family are expected to attend a concert at Buckingham Palace. Freed from restrictions and formalities like seating charts and seniority, will we see the Sussexes chatting with their cousins? Will we see a slight thaw between Cambridge and Sussex? Will we see anything remotely resembling Harry’s smile?
And how expensive can Meghan wear a cashmere dress?
The more important question is, did the Sussexes achieve anything during this trip other than knowing exactly what the back of the head of James, Viscount Severn looked like? Hopefully for their private jet bill.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.