7 things we learnt from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s crisis documentary: their security, their home and more
Much has been said about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s decision to step back as senior members of the royal family. Fans have supported Harry and Meghan for wanting to carve their own path and protect their young son Archie, while others have felt the couple have let down the Queen. Their shock announcement has led to crisis talks taking place in Sandringham on Monday, and while aides work to find a solution within days and not weeks, Harry and Meghan’s future was discussed by their friend Tom Bradby on Harry & Meghan: A Royal Crisis? on ITV, with Chris Ship interviewing and presenting. Here’s seven things we learnt from the documentary…
WATCH: Harry and Meghan step back: an explainer
Harry and Meghan’s announcement didn’t come as a shock
While their announcement to step back came as a shock to many, Tom admitted he wasn’t surprised by Wednesday’s statement, especially given his interview in Africa with the couple last year, in which Meghan spoke about “surviving”. “Did you think at that point, two months down the line, that Harry and Meghan would be announcing that they would want out?” asked Chris. “Yes, I did think that,” said Tom.
MORE: Peter Phillips reveals how the Queen is holding up amid crisis talks
The British state must decide about Harry and Meghan’s security
Harry and his brother Prince William are given around £2.5m each from their father Prince Charles’ private fund. On their Sussex Royal website, Harry and Meghan stated they no longer want to receive anything from the publicly funded Sovereign Grant. But one of the key issues that will need to be discussed is who pays for their security, which is currently funded by the British taxpayer. Some have called for an end to this if Harry and Meghan are to step back. Tom noted: “You have to make sure that the British taxpayers don’t feel cheated, which is central.” “That’s key isn’t it?” agreed Chris. “Anyone who thinks they’re having their cake and eating it, this will be a problem for Harry and Meghan going forward, and for the royal family.” “The money thing is key,” added Tom.
“Anyone who thinks they’re having their cake and eating it, this will be a problem for Harry and Meghan going forward, and for the royal family,” said Chris Ship
Frogmore Cottage’s future will lie with the Queen
Her Majesty owns Frogmore Cottage, and therefore will decide whether the couple can continue to live there when they’re based in the UK – a wish they’ve made known. The British taxpayer paid around £2.4m to renovate the home, and Harry and Meghan would save around £60,000 a year in rent by living there for free. Ultimately, the Queen will decide if she will continue to allow her grandson and his wife to use the residence.
MORE: Who will take part in Queen’s crisis talks today?
Harry and Meghan could make a permanent move to Canada…
The Sunday Times correspondent Roya Nikkhah, who was interviewed on the programme, noted: “The thing about Canada and America is that Meghan has a good friendship base there and contacts, from when she worked in Suits.” Writer Hugo Vickers agreed, saying: “I’m quite sure that Harry and Meghan want to leave the UK, and will leave the UK, but that does not mean they will leave the monarchy. This is giving the monarchy a very exciting new dimension. There are obviously practical problems, but I see a big horizon opening up, internationally and trans-atlantically.”
Could the couple make a permanent move to Canada?
…But Harry loves his country and the monarchy
The couple may have spent the past few weeks in Canada, and some have speculated that Harry and Meghan are planning a permanent move to Canada, but Tom said: “One of the questions to which I don’t know the answer is, are they at the point where they just write off Britain? I’ve got to tell you, my hunch is, no I don’t think they are. I don’t know about her but for him, I can’t stress enough, he loves this country and he believes in the monarchy and even now it’s possible to construct something where, maybe the half-in half-out model does work, but it’s going to require a lot of careful thought and imagination and as we discussed, with an incredibly careful eye on the British taxpayer. The British taxpayer has got to feel that this is a deal that works for them otherwise, that’s toxic.”
MORE: Kate Middleton does the school run while Prince William heads to Norfolk
Meghan could become a brand ambassador
Despite being adamant on becoming financially independent, Harry and Meghan seem unclear on how they will do this. The Duchess could take on big roles as a brand ambassador and return to work in television, such as a producer, perhaps on programmes that promote the causes and charities that she has long been interested in. There have been talks that Meghan could even be a brand ambassador for companies such as Apple.
Harry will continue to focus on his voluntary work
The Duke is passionate about his charity work and will keep focussing on the Invictus Games and Sentebale. He has already spoken to Sentebale to reassure the charity that he has a life-long commitment to them. If Harry does step into the commercial space, it could be in areas that interest him such as eco-tourism.
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