December 1, 2022
Queen Elizabeth’s death may prompt royal reconciliation for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Queen Elizabeth’s death may prompt royal reconciliation for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

London:

The death of Queen Elizabeth II may help start a reconciliation between Prince Harry and wife Meghan and the rest of the royal family, following an alleged rift in the United States and their relocation.

The couple, who went on a rare visit to Britain at the time of the Queen’s death on Thursday, reunited with Harry’s brother William and wife Kate at Windsor Castle on Saturday. It was their first joint public appearance since relocating to the States in early 2020.

The mourners all dressed in black robes watched the soaring edges of flowers left by the public before greeting well-wishers as separate pairs, revealing something about the state of their relationship.

But the quartet’s decision – once called the “Fab Four” – to hang out together in front of cameras – appeared to be a sign of progress in repairing the badly fractured relationship.

Britain’s royal journalists said the heir to the throne William had proposed an “olive branch” to his younger brother, which has drawn criticism from the family since leaving frontline royal duties.

It was a different story just two days earlier, 37-year-old Harry, tearful-looking, arrived alone in a vehicle at the Balmoral estate, where the Queen had previously died.

William and several other close family members – but not Kate – had previously come together in the same car, but it was too late to see them before the Queen passed away.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said Thursday’s isolated arrivals showed the brothers had “isolated”.

He argued that Harry and Meghan have “caused a lot of damage to the royal family in recent months” with their broad stance against the monarchy.

“For the future, the ball is in their court and it depends how they want to play,” Fitzwilliams said.

‘Different Roads’
Things used to be so different.

Following the death of Diana, the prince’s mother, in a 1997 Paris car accident, she touched the world by walking behind her coffin at her funeral.

William was 15 years old while Harry was just 12 years old.

They appeared to share a close bond as adults, unbroken by William marrying long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2011 and starting a family.

But relations turned sour after the 2018 wedding of former British Army captain Harry to Meghan – a mixed-race American television actress – in Windsor.

He said in a 2019 interview that he and his brother were “on different paths”. A year later, Harry and Meghan sensationally announced their move to America.

In the couple’s post-explosive Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, Meghan publicly claimed Kate made her cry.

However, the most damning claim was that an unnamed royal speculated about the skin color of Meghan’s future child of mixed race.

William later responded by telling a reporter that the royals were “not very much” a racist family.

Relations between the brothers were apparently frosty when they reunited last year to unveil a statue of their mother.

They did not meet during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

Recently, Meghan told The Cut magazine in a lengthy interview that she now feels “free” to tell her story, which some saw as a threat to the monarchy.

‘unexpected’
However, there have been possible signs of a possible softening of the estrangement since the death of the queen.

Despite Harry’s claim to Winfrey that his brother and father were “stuck” in the monarchy, Charles appeared ready to reconcile his self-exiled son in his first speech as Britain’s new king , in particular expressed “love” for him and Meghan.

“He’s offering an olive branch, but he’s offering[it]very carefully because he knows they’re unpredictable,” Fitzwilliams said.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are popular with young people but may take a big risk to openly criticize the monarchy, they said, especially in times of national mourning and its aftermath.

“There is no doubt the Sussexes will attract a lot of attention right now,” Fitzwilliams said, adding that British public opinion is already firmly in the rest of the family.

Saturday’s joint appearance with William and Kate, who became Prince and Princess of Wales this week after Charles ascended the throne, could open a new chapter for family ties.

But with Harry expected to release his potentially controversial memoir by the end of the year, things could also go back smoothly.

“Obviously they’ll be attending the funeral. More than that, it’s impossible to say,” Fitzwilliams said.

“If he has stopped being critical of Harry’s memoir, that’s different.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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