Queen showing ‘graciousness’ with Prince Harry says expert
Prince Charles and Prince William have been tipped to include back Prince Harry into the royal fold in the future to support the Firm in carrying out its massive workload, royal author Tina Brown said. The author of the newly-released book The Palace Papers believes the Firm’s focus at the moment is on the heir to the throne and the Cambridges – but the pressure is “excessive” given the reduced number of working royals.
Appearing on the Guardian’s podcast Today in Focus, the expert was asked what the smaller Firm is starting to look like and who is driving it.
She said: “It’s looking a bit skeletal, because they weren’t supposed to be losing Andrew or Harry, so a bit of a problem slimmed-down monarchy at the moment.
“I think there is a great effort to try to make everybody focus on the heir, Charles, and William and Kate.
“But there is a lot of pressure on that.
The Royal Family ‘are going to need Harry back’ in the future, according to Tina Brown
Kate and Prince William with George and Charlotte on Saturday
“I think there is excessive pressure on the Cambridges at the moment to be essentially taking up the slack for both Harry and Andrew.
“And I do think at a certain point they are going to need Harry back, particularly probably after the Queen dies, because he was an asset.”
Speculation regarding Prince Charles’s vision of a slimmed-down, more cost-effective and modern Royal Family have been swirling around for several years, despite the Prince of Wales never commenting on these reports.
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Prince Harry and Meghan are no longer working members of the Firm
A visual representation of the smaller Firm reportedly envisioned by the Prince of Wales was provided during the Diamond Jubilee, when the Queen stepped out on the balcony accompanied only by Charles, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were believed to be part of Charles’ vision of the future monarchy, Prince Harry and his wife bowed out of the Firm as its working members at the end of March 2020.
They have since carved out a new path for themselves in California, where they have relocated with their son Archie Harrison.
In June last year, they also welcomed a daughter – Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana.
The Queen and her close relatives during a balcony appearance in 2012
The Cambridges, Charles, Camilla and the Queen appearing on the balcony on Sunday
Members of the Royal Family during the Party at the Palace concert
Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step down as full-time working royals just months before the Duke of York said, in November 2019, he was temporarily stepping back from public duty.
His statement came just a few days after Prince Andrew’s disastrous interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis entirely focused on his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Earlier this year, the Duke of York returned his military and royal patronages to the Queen.
Buckingham Palace also said in the same announcement dating back to January Andrew would continue not to carry out royal engagements.
Key events in the life of the Queen
Prince Harry and Meghan returned to the UK last week to celebrate in person the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The royals travelled across the pond with their children, providing a chance to introduce them to members of the Firm.
The Sussexes were spotted watching the Trooping the Colour parade alongside most working and non-working royals from the Major General’s Office overlooking Horse Guards Parade.
The Duke and Duchess were also at the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday.
Prince Harry and Meghan taking their seats inside St Paul’s Cathedral
Meghan and Harry sat in the second row, behind the Earl and Countess of Wessex, during the service.
This was likely due to the royal pecking order and the fact Meghan and Harry are no longer full-time working members of the Firm.
Prince Harry and Meghan did not attend any other public event during the bank holiday weekend.
They spent Saturday privately with their children to celebrate the first birthday of Lili and left the UK on Sunday, before the Queen made her latest balcony appearance.
The monarch was accompanied on the balcony only by her direct heirs – Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George – the Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall as well as Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte.