Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (née Markle), made a bid for independence for their own royal work recently — a bid that Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles have denied. Yikes. Why did they deny it? And why is this such big news? Let’s break it down.
The Sunday Times reported that Harry and Meghan have visions of building a global “Sussex brand” of philanthropy. Because of this, allegedly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex lobbied for their very own court. That is a pretty big move, especially since it implies Harry and Meghan want to expand beyond their roles in the royal family.
“They wanted their household to be entirely independent of Buckingham Palace, but were told ‘no,'” a royal insider claimed to the newspaper. “There is an institutional structure that doesn’t allow that kind of independence. The feeling is that it’s good to have the Sussexes under the jurisdiction of Buckingham Palace, so they can’t just go off and do their own thing.”
The Sunday Times also reported that the Meghan is determined to continue serving as an “activist” — a vision that the queen seemed to acknowledge on International Women’s Day when she appointed Meghan as Vice President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
So why is it a big deal that the queen and Charles gave a resounding “no” to Harry and Meghan’s independence bid? Buckingham Palace represents the Queen. Kensington Palace represents Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as — at least for now — Harry and Meghan. For Harry and Meghan to want to break away from Kensington Palace as their representation is another sign the couple wants to establish their own identity — which is a pretty modern move considering the royal family all but operates as one unified front. Neither palace has commented on the Times report.
So far, we’ve been unable to get any information about Harry and Meghan’s reaction to the major veto from the queen to take their independence any further. This unexpected bid for a separate, Sussex court comes just a week after the queen approved a new household, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England. Frogmore Cottage, at Windsor Castle, is reportedly now fully renovated and newly occupied by Harry and Meghan — who are expecting their first child in late April or early May.
The royal statement on the new home at Frogmore explained that Queen Elizabeth had “agreed to the creation of a new household for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, following their marriage in May last year. The household, which will be created with the support of The Queen and the Prince of Wales, will be established in the spring.”
This bold push by Harry and Meghan for even greater independence is an intriguing — and admittedly juicy — twist in the tale of reported growing tensions between Prince Charles’ and the late Princess Diana’s sons and their respective wives. We’ll keep a close eye on this to see what happens next.