Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals at the end of March after a period of tension in which they negotiated their exit with the Queen and Prince Charles. In court documents released this month, Meghan claimed she had felt “unprotected” by The Firm, because she had not been allowed to respond to allegations made about her in the press. She previously implied she was not supported by the family when she told ITV’s Tom Bradby that “not many people have asked how I am”.
Now, the Duchess of Sussex has appeared to take another swipe at the royals during a speech for the Girl Up’s Leadership Summit.
She said: “The status quo is easy to excuse and hard to break, but it will pull tightest right before snapping.”
The Royal Family, famous for their protocol and tradition, and for many embody the British establishment, are thought to be included in the “status quo” jibe.
However, the Palace has repeatedly supported Meghan and Harry, including at six crucial moments.
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Meghan and Harry’s engagement photo
In November 2016, when Meghan and Harry were just a few months into their relationship, Kensington Palace ‒ which represented William, Kate and Harry ‒ released a statement calling out harassment of Meghan.
The statement read: “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms Markle should be subjected to such a storm.
“[Harry] knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’.
“He strongly disagrees. This is not a game ‒ it is her life and his.”
Meghan and Harry got married in May 2018
When Meghan first married Prince Harry, the family threw a huge fairytale wedding and warmly accepted her into their ranks.
There was much talk of how Meghan, a biracial American divorcee, was modernising the monarchy.
This was in stark contrast to how the Royal Family had previously treated divorcees like Wallis Simpson and Peter Townsend.
The Queen, for her part, took the newlywed Meghan on a solo trip to Chester with her, publically demonstrating her affection for the Duchess and her commitment to bringing her into the fold.
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Meghan and the Queen went on an engagement to Chester together not long after the wedding
By contrast, William’s wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, had to wait a year to be offered the same gesture.
When Meghan and Harry decided they wanted to split from Kensington Palace, the Queen offered them Frogmore Cottage in Windsor to live in, and they were provided with millions of pounds from public coffers in order to renovate the house.
During Meghan’s pregnancy, the Palace supported her decision to take time off from public engagements.
In March 2019, Buckingham Palace said in a statement that Meghan does not “currently have any more official engagements scheduled”.
Meghan was given a break from engagements during her pregnancy
This meant she managed to skip the dinner with US President Donald Trump, who she had previously criticised on American TV.
When Archie was born, Meghan and Harry broke the mould again by not announcing that the Duchess had gone into labour and refusing to do the traditional Lindo Wing photo opportunity.
The Palace supported their decision to wait several days before showing Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world.
The “status quo” even supported Meghan and Harry in their decision to step down as senior royals, an unprecedented move.
The Queen issued a statement in January this year, which highlighted her love and support for the couple, despite their heartbreaking decision.
She said: “Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.
“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two year and support their wish for a more independent life.
Meghan and Harry’s last royal event before Megxit
“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
“It’s my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
In these ways, the institution of the Royal Family has continually shown its support for Meghan and Harry in their endeavours.
Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry have seemed to continually pull away and seek to do things differently.
The Queen was said to be “hurt” by the way the couple announced Megxit before the deal was finalised, against her expressed wishes, in January.
According to Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers, the family were then “devastated” by the revelations Meghan made in her court documents, in which she claimed she was “unprotected” by them.
Now, Meghan’s attack on the “status quo” appears to be yet another veiled insult at her time as a royal as she and Harry build their new life in Los Angeles, California.