The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: A Rude Awakening for Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England. - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As the United Kingdom and the rest of the world celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee marking Her Majesty’s 70th year in service, citizens from different parts of the globe sent their best wishes and gratitude to the elderly Royal for her tireless efforts over the past seven decades.

To say that the road to keep the Monarchy afloat was smooth is a far cry from the truth. As the Queen led her family to serve as beacon of hope and good will to her countrymen, the Royal family was not short of scandals in the past years. Still, they remained strong under the steadfast guidance of her Majesty, the Queen.

In recent years, one of the biggest shockers to plague the Royal family was the departure of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from their royal duties. The couple claimed that they wanted to preserve their mental health and protect the privacy of their growing family which led to their decision to flee “The Firm.” The duo, after moving to the US, also granted an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey during the pandemic to claim that Meghan and her son Archie were treated unfairly by the royals. This included racism (questions about the color of his skin), a lack of support (Meghan claimed that she was left to fend for herself as she navigated her royal duties), and the general dislike of the British for Prince Harry’s chosen bride.

Prince Harry, for his part, fanned the flames that Meghan created and divulged about his broken relationship with his family. During the interview, he expressed disgust at the fact that he was financially cut off, with the royals refusing to pay for his security. For shame, right? How dare they!

He also said that the only money that he had was the inheritance from his mother which was roughly $10-$15 million. This couple expressed their indignation, all while sitting in the spacious background of the mansion they bought in Montecito, California.

They later landed hefty Netflix and Spotify deals to create content under the Sussex “brand” and Harry landed himself the position of Chief Impact Officer of BetterUp where he is expected to oversee the mental health initiatives of the company (questions are now arising over his proposed policies for compensation for employees).

Anyways, back to the Queen’s Jubilee. After months of playing coy about their attendance, it was finally revealed that the Sussexes would be joining the celebration, after all. And what’s more, they were excited that the Queen would finally get to meet her great granddaughter Lilibet, her namesake, for the first time. Lilibet was also set to celebrate her first birthday at Frogmore Cottage, the Sussexes home in Britain (when they decide to visit) on the same day as the Queen’s celebrations.

Prior to Lilibet’s birthday, Harry and Meghan were notably absent in many of the major events of the celebration with future kings Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George leading the charge for the Royal family. Prince William’s children Princess Charlotte was praised for being poised and behaved during the events while trying to keep her younger brother Prince Louis from misbehaving (she lost that battle. Four year old Louis stole the show for being a rascal in his notable royal outing). In fact, when Harry and Meghan attended the Jubilee service, they received a mixed bag of reactions from the crowd. They were cheered and booed by onlookers while stony silence greeted them as they made their way to their seats (second row, left side compared to Charles and William who were on the right side, first row representing the Queen).

It was perhaps, the first time that Prince Harry, who is well known to be one of the most adored Royals in history, was booed by a crowd. During the memorial for his grandfather, Prince Philip, which he attended alone, the snub was not as pronounced. This time around, receiving the cut direct from his own family and his countrymen must sting. To be treated as a villain by his own family must hurt his feelings and his pride. But then, come to think of it, he was only receiving a taste of his own medicine after throwing his own family under a bus for refusing to support financially him without him doing some actual work for “The Firm,” as he called them.

On the other side of the fence, Prince Charles is slowly and certainly gaining favor from the Brits for now being more approachable, and having a good, normal relationship with his daughter-in-law Kate, and his grandkids. This was made clear by subtle gestures like Charles blowing a kiss at Kate before the service and Louis wanting to sit on his Grandpa’s lap during the parade, which the future King granted. The Royals are showing a solid front but more than a statement, it seemed that Harry’s defection played a part in the remaining working royals closeness. It seemed as if they were telling the world that they were together. They were counting on each other. They were loyal to each other, and the rest (Harry and Meghan) did not matter.

Image: Harpers Bazaar/ctto

It’s sad but Harry’s kids could have had the same relationship with their granddad and great grandma as the Cambridge kids. They could have been on the receiving end of cheers if they only they were patient in achieving their goals to achieve public adoration like that of the beloved Princess Diana. Remember that it took Kate over 10 years to be accepted and loved by the public as the Duchess of Cambridge and future queen. It only took Meghan three years to get her husband to abort their royal dreams (and yet, they cling on to the Sussex name).

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, in my opinion, was a failed attempt by the Sussexes to climb back to relevance in the Royal family. I think they must have wanted the public to get excited about their child’s birthday and her meeting with the Queen but even Paddington Bear’s skit with the Queen was better received. It could not be clearer that the Royal family has moved on without them. The Royals have cut their losses, so to speak, and no longer hold any place for Harry and his family in the popular table. That ship has sailed and now the Sussexes have to lay on the bed they made for themselves. Now saddled with obligations to deliver content for their million dollar deals with streaming companies, the pressure is on for them to sustain the public interest using their celebrity status. But without their connection to the Royals, will the Sussex name be enough to keep the public engaged? Or will the public take their cue from the royals and lose interest? Time will tell.