Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt has claimed the royal family should have been more flexible towards the Duke of Sussex after the fallout from his sensational interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said the institution failed to understand what an asset they lost when Meghan Markle left for California. Speaking to the Irish Times, Mr Hunt believes the royal family could have done more to accommodate Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
He said: “Meghan was able to give a speech in South Africa about being a woman of colour who entered an institution that, to survive and prosper, needs to continue being the head of state in several other realms which are Commonwealth countries, and it failed to do enough to keep her within the institution.
“I mean, it’s an institution that adjusts and makes things up as it goes along.
“There’s a flag up, there’s a flag down.
“They can adjust their history when they need to.
“They’ve managed to find a mechanism whereby civilian Prince Edward can attend the Cenotaph wearing a military uniform.
“They could have found a mechanism whereby Harry could have carried on.
“The fact that they didn’t smacks of a level of cruelty.”
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan announced on Instagram they would “step back as ‘senior’ members” of the British royal family.
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He added: “The Royal family’s greatest challenge is that on one level, it is utterly ridiculous that we’re talking about a 95-year-old and expecting them to start skipping and doing cartwheels down the street.
“We all know 95-year-olds and we’d expect them to be sitting in a chair with their feet up, watching the racing and drinking a cup of Horlicks.
“But for them, because abdication is just a no-no, the minute they start to say she is putting her feet up, then the public question will be: who is the head of state?
“And that’s a whole world one gets the sense they really don’t want to enter into, either counsellors of state temporarily or, indeed, a prince regent more permanently.”
Buckingham Palace have been contacted for a comment but have yet to reply.