At the age of 93, the Queen has come through many major challenges during her long reign. She now faces another: attempting to find a workable solution to Harry and Meghan’s future roles following their bombshell announcement that they intend to “step back” as senior royals and spend more time in North America.
Despite the hurt Her Majesty has been left feeling at the nature and timing of her grandson’s shock statement, she has now been working to find a feasible solution with an outcome expected in the coming days.
There are many complex issues to be ironed out – not least the issue of funding and whether Harry and Meghan will continue to receive taxpayer support. Even the couple’s wish to eventually become financially independent is fraught with its own risks as they will find it almost impossible to avoid being accused of profiting financially from their royal connections while not fulfilling the duties associated with their titles and status.
Following so soon after the Duke of York’s disastrous television interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the situation is likely to hasten the push for a “slimmed-down” Royal Family focused on direct descendants to the throne. That may be no bad thing in the long-term but even those sympathetic to Harry and Meghan’s wish for a life away from the unforgiving media spotlight in the UK cannot argue that the rushed nature of their announcement before details had been agreed behind the scenes has placed the Queen in an invidious position.