A new official portrait of Britain’s royal family shows that Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are out of the picture both literally and figuratively, according to one royal family watcher.
The picture, published Saturday, shows King Charles with Queen Consort Camilla, William, Prince of Wales, and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales. The photo was taken on the evening before the final funeral ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth II.
📸 Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort with Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 1, 2022
In an Op-Ed by Richard Kay that was published in the Daily Mail, Kay intoned that “every royal picture tells a story” and this one speaks volumes about the future of Harry and Meghan.
“The unspoken elephant in the room is the absence of the King’s younger son,” Kay wrote.
“So it is not difficult to imagine how this picture will be viewed in sunny California, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are based. Might it deepen their feelings of exclusion and exile, or will it merely serve to remind them why they chose to break from the family in the first place?” he wrote.
Noting that the picture was taken while Harry and Meghan were still in Britain, Kay wrote, “It must, therefore, be yet another signal that they will never again return to their central role in royal life.”
“One reason that they chose to walk away in the first place was because they did not wish to share the spotlight,” he wrote, adding, “In America, they are at the [center] of their own production. But in Britain, there is a new royal order – and it revolves around four people, not six.”
Pondering whether the image is, for Harry and Meghan a “dagger to their hearts,” Kay said the picture is not just a snapshot.
“There is a finality about this photo that suggests there is no way back for a couple who could have been at the [epicenter] of royalty, but are now at its margins,” he wrote.
“I think it’s very sad. In the days Harry was here, there was an opportunity, given they were just a couple of hundred yards away from each other for a meeting or dinner or gathering of some sort where they could actually just try to thrash things out,” she said.
However, royal watcher Duncan Larcombe told Fox News that Meghan is “like a minefield that keeps going off. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It creates this sort of frenzy around Meghan because she’s got a kind of ‘love her or loathe her’ character. Others might say she’s such a divisive character.”
“I feel desperately sorry for Meghan,” Larcombe, said, noting that she was not aware of what it meant to be a member of the royal family.
“When you’re in a movie premiere, it’s because you’re in the film, or you’re a Hollywood actor, or you’re a celebrity on the red carpet. It’s about you, that’s your image, it’s about what you get,” Larcombe said.
“When you’re on the red carpet as a royal, it’s about the people you’re coming to meet, you’re doing it out of duty,” he said.
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