British Andrew Morton, who achieved global fame through his biography of Princess Diana, says that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step away from the royal family in early January 2020, after seeing a photo distributed by Buckingham Palace. In this photo, Queen Elizabeth stands proudly in the palace’s throne room with her three direct heirs and heirs to the throne: current King Charles (age 74), his son Prince William (age 41), and his eldest son Prince George (age 10).
Prince Harry, fifth in line to the throne, cannot be seen in the photo. This left the prince and his wife “speechless,” Andrew Morton wrote in his book, “Meghan: Hollywood’s Princess.” “The couple believed the entire establishment was conspiring against them. And as they saw it, there was evidence of it all around them. The unspoken message was clear. The future of the monarchy is secure, with or without Harry and Meghan.”
According to Morton, the photo, and the fact that this particular photo was distributed, was the deciding factor in reconsidering their relations with the royal family. Two days after publication, Prince Harry and Meghan announced their departure from the royal family. She said at the time: “We plan to step back from our jobs as senior royals and work towards becoming financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen.”
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