In the latest salvo of the escalating war between the royals, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have returned fire in response to what was perceived by many as an openly hostile action by the new King of England.
On Saturday, a new royal family portrait was unveiled featuring King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla with William and Kate, the new Prince and Princess of Wales. Conspicuously absent from the picture were William’s brother and sister-in-law.
Royal watchers made much of this glaring omission, especially since the photo was reportedly taken on Sept. 18, when Harry and Meghan were on hand for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, so they could easily have been included in the photo.
Richard Kay of the Daily Mail said the photo was “brimming with symbolism.”
“The unspoken elephant in the room is the absence of the king’s younger son,” Kay said.
Apparently, in response to the perceived slight, the ex-royal couple, now back in California, released an “official portrait” of their own Wednesday.
In it, Harry had a sly smile, almost as if he was about to wink at the camera. Meghan is standing close to her husband and holding his hand — a gesture which raised some eyebrows when they did it during a ceremony last month honoring the late queen.
Royal biographer Tom Bower told PageSix that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were “absolutely” intending to humiliate the royal family with the release of the photo.
“It was all about, we’re back now on course to build Brand Meghan and the book, the Netflix series, the podcast,” Bower said, according to PageSix.
“You know, she has really got one interest,” Bower added, “and that’s Meghan and the casualties are the royal family and as far as she’s concerned, that’s terrific.”
In the portrait, Meghan is wearing a bright-red ensemble that some have likened to one worn by Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée whose romance with King Edward VIII prompted her lover to famously abdicate the throne in 1936.
Kristin Contino of PageSix wrote that the portrait had “some royal watchers seeing red.”
Meghan dominated the photo in her neon-red bow blouse and trousers, which Contino said were valued at over $1,100 and came from Another Tomorrow. In it, she bears what Contino called “a striking resemblance to a 1971 photo of Simpson.”
JEEZ it’s creepy 😬 pic.twitter.com/e00eej0hfv
— Jamba 🍅🥊🤠🥊🍄 (@arsewellbaby) October 2, 2022
Here we go again 🙄 Note the earrings too? Anyone would think MM savours the role of pantomime villain 😉 pic.twitter.com/HTefdMYog2
— 🔆Genevieve🔆 (@_Genevieves_) October 2, 2022
Anna Pasternak, the author of “The American Duchess,” a book about Simpson, wrote an article this week for The Daily Mail called “Wallis & Meghan, the Duchesses of Twinsor.” Pasternak wrote that, while there may be similarities between the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, there are certainly differences, as well.
“During her long exile, not once did Wallis bleat about the injustice meted out to her by the royal machinery,” Pasternak wrote.
“Now, some would say she might do well to emulate Wallis in other ways, too — and practice a dignified silence.”
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