Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called King Charles’ bluff on Lilibet and won

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Losing control of the narrative is anathema to royalty. The great ship of state is supposed to sail calmly despite the weather, not get tossed about on the ocean waves.

Harry and Meghan know it well. And so, no doubt, they knew exactly how disruptive it would be for the Royal Family when they declared unilaterally on Wednesday that their daughter Lilibet was a princess. They causally hid his new title in a christening announcement delivered to People magazine – as opposed to the more traditional easel outside Buckingham Palace.

The article also delved into the royal family’s absence, with one source saying Charles, Camilla, Kate and William had all been invited to the affair, which featured a ten-piece choir brought in by Tyler Perry, but did not show up. .

After an hour and two of surprised silence, the royal rabbit pulled out of Harry and Meghan’s headlights, and reporters were told the palace had no problem with the move and had, indeed, been waiting for him ever since. the beginning and would soon be update their website to reflect the new titles, and that the heist had only been a matter of Harry and Meghan agreeing and announcing it. (The royal website show now Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex as the sixth and seventh in line to the throne.)

Harry and Meghan said in a statement that the decision to use the princely title of Lilibet was ‘settled into alignment’ (note: not ‘approved’, the Sussexes’ point being that their children were entitled to the titles under the law and no one’s permission was required) with Buckingham Palace.

But the timing and manner of the big reveal made it look more like the Palace, and many courtiers had, if they hadn’t been caught off guard, certainly been caught off guard.

The newsletter at People was about as far from a coordinated joint announcement as possible and fueled suspicions that Harry and Meghan, tired of Charles’ refusal to officially declare their children prince and princess (which he could easily have done at any time since his accession from the address), decided to propose it to the royal family.

The timing was certainly exquisite: the king was going to do little more than accept when he is widely believed to be about to ensure the couple’s presence at the coronation. THE Daily Mail reported Thursday that those responsible for planning the event are actively preparing for Harry and Meghan’s participation, with a source saying: “Harry and Meghan are taken into account in all the planning…cars, seating plans, dining arrangements, everything .”

Friends and allies of King Charles and Prince William told The Daily Beast that the King would be ‘delighted’ that Harry and Meghan had decided to use the titles of Prince and Princess for their children, and that it showed they had never been discriminated against, contrary to Meghan’s claim in the Oprah interview that Archie was unfairly denied the title ‘prince’ at birth, suggesting it was due to prejudice racial.

She said she was appalled at “the idea that the first colored member of this family would not be titled the same as the other grandchildren would be.”

Meghan said during her Oprah interview that the royal family stopped Archie from becoming a prince, but it was still just a matter of convention.

Friend of King Charles

As constitutional scholars were keen to point out at the time, the rules (called Letters Patent), issued by George V in 1917, made it clear that their children would not be prince or princess until their grandfather was monarch.

A friend of Charles told the Daily Beast: “Meghan said during her Oprah interview that the royal family stopped Archie from becoming a prince, but it was still just a matter of convention. When the queen was alive , they were great-grandchildren of the monarch, so they weren’t entitled to the titles. Now they are grandchildren of the monarch, so they are.

The friend tried to put a pro-Charles spin on this week’s turn of events, casting it as a victory for traditionalist values, saying: “Charles will of course be delighted that [Harry and Meghan] clearly want the children to inherit their royal titles.

A friend of William’s when asked about the developments also referred to the Oprah interview and told the Daily Beast: “Meghan discovered there was a despicable plot to favor William’s children over Harry’s. It really hurt William. Now everyone can see that it never did.

Well, maybe.

An alternative interpretation of the week’s action and reaction is that despite the Palace’s willingness to accept the titles, and there is no doubt that they moved quickly to update their website and did all the good noises this week, it does not obscure the fact that Charles did not declare the children prince and princess shortly after the death of the queen. Would it have been so difficult for his accession speech which paid tribute to Harry and Meghan to mention “Prince and Princess Archie and Lilibet”, for example?

By not doing so and leaving the matter hanging, some would say Charles left a goal open and, this week, the Sussexes scored.

Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry visit a cafe and social enterprise called Social Bite in Edinburgh, Britain on February 13, 2018.

Owen Humphreys via Reuters

Christopher Anderson, New York Times best-selling author of a new biography of Charles, The king, told The Daily Beast: “Since the death of Queen Elizabeth, Charles’s silence on this subject has been deafening. There have been plenty of occasions when the King, in an effort to bridge the gap between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family, could have made the grand gesture and bestowed titles on Archie and Lilibet, but Charles clearly chose to. do not do it.

“Harry and Meghan have forced the hand of the Palace. Rather than continue to wait to see if King Charles will bow and finally grant them to the children of Sussex, Harry and Meghan took the bull by the horns and did it themselves. You have to admire their audacity, it’s really very American of them.

While some observers might consider it hypocritical to crown your children with titles bestowed by an institution that you believe kicked you out of the UK out of fear for your life, the Sussexes’ latest decision definitely answers the question of whether or not Harry and Meghan will ever give up their own titles. They won’t. Nor will the Palace try to strip them.

The decision made this week by the Sussexes cannot be seen in isolation from the frenetic blurring of activity on both sides in recent months. The Netflix movies may seem to those who follow the royal story as if they happened a lifetime ago, but in fact the second installment of them only came out on December 15, there less than three months old.

Since then, we’ve had the reverberating bombshell of Harry’s book and the drama around the Sussexes’ eviction from Frogmore Cottage, not to mention the ongoing willpower around their coronation invitations.

But if anyone needed proof of the disastrous breakdown in relations between the two parties, it’s surely evident in the fact that news of the Sussex children’s princely status has not been released in a joint statement. , accompanied by a photocall with Grandpa and a worthy reminder that these adorable mites are sixth and seventh in line to the throne, but in a negative story, ripe with anonymous briefings to People magazine.

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