By Jonathan Reed
Video supplied by ITV News©
It was inevitable, expected and rumours had swirled around for months of fractured relationships within the Royal Family.
An announcemnt that Harry and Meghan were moving out of Nottingham Cottage, situated in the grounds of Kensington Palace were widely reported in the Press
What was unexpected about the move was the location and even more so, the alleged reasons for the departure. The couple, who were supposedly moving into Apartment 1, Kensington Palace, right next to William and Kate, decided against the suggested move.
Instead they have chosen Frogmore Cottage, almost a 1-hour drive from London. And whilst Aides close to the Sussex’s have stated that they are fine with the distance and their main office will remain at the Palace for the time being, it has raised questions of why such a drastic move away from Apartment 1 has occurred.
One of the many rumours is the apparent lack of warmth between the Sussex’s and Cambridge’s, and in particular Kate and Meghan. They are said to not ‘get on’ and have no common interests or hobbies. This is perfectly understandable as both women are very different, but you can’t help but feel that there is something more at work here.
It has long been stated that Meghan has struggled adjusting to the confines of Royal life and in understanding to keeping her opinions to herself. Sadly, this understanding has occasionally slipped, with many of Kensington Palace staff describing her as demanding, opinionated and Diva-like. This unfortunate behaviour from the Duchess of Sussex has also garnered the interest of the Monarch herself, with the Queen allegedly speaking to both Meghan and Harry about their attitudes to staff and the traditions of the Monarchy.
So, could these rumours be true and how problematic can things become between the Royals and the Sussex’s?
It has been a hectic 6 months for the Royal couple. From engagements galore, a Royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga and the announcement of a new Royal baby, the Sussex’s have experienced a whirlwind of media stories and attention. However, it seems the honeymoon period between Meghan and the Media is at an end.
This week alone, (26th November, 2018) numerous stories have emerged of the Duchess’s ‘demanding’ attitude and her questioning behaviour towards the staff and other members of The Royal Family. It is worth noting the direction of story narrative with the couple’s move to Frogmore. Just a few months ago, it would be hard to imagine any media outlets questioning the relationship between the Royal’s ‘Fab Four.’ Kate and Meghan were touted as best friends, enjoying Wimbledon together and being doting sisters-in-law. How times have changed!
Now we are seeing two women pitted against each other, with Kate seemingly being protected by the Royal PR machine. Meghan however, is seemingly being left to the media wolves, and boy are they hungry.
It is of no surprise that scandal sells papers and eventually the Media turn against public figures. The same happened with Fergie, Diana and even Kate, for a time. This is now happening with the Duchess of Sussex.
One of the more concerning stories that emerged in the Press last week was regarding Meghan’s visit to a charity run Kitchen which helped the community cope after the horrific Grenfell Fire tragedy. Whilst at first, the Duchess received praise, the problematic revelations regarding the Al Manaar Mosque coming to light and praise quickly descended to severe questioning.
Al Manaar has over 19 links to ISIS terrorists, including the notorious Jahadi John, a terrorist who received universal condemnation after beheading Aid Workers. Also, footage has emerged of the Mosque’s Iman, Samer Darwish preaching sermons with highly dubious rhetoric. In the clips he is seen stating women should stop having periods and that they shouldn’t be allowed at funerals as they become “too hysterical.” It is highly problematic for a woman like Meghan Markle, a self-professed and proud Feminist, to be associated with language like this is any way, and much more so when you are a member of the Royal Family.
And although this has nothing directly to do with the Sussex’s moving to Frogmore Cottage and choosing to not live near William and Kate, it does help paint a bigger picture.
William and Kate are the Monarchy’s future and their influence will be felt much more than even that of Prince Charles, who is the direct Heir to the Throne. Harry and Meghan however are much further down the line of succession, and as hard as the Media have tried to push the predicted seismic changes Meghan would make, they have yet to be felt.
For many, including the Media and most likely Harry and Meghan themselves, most have realised that this breath of fresh air isn’t barely a breeze. Yes, Meghan has grabbed the headlines, but then again she is the latest Royal addition, and one whose shine is beginning to wane.
The sad truth is that the narrative of Meghan becoming Princess Diana 2.0 hasn’t really worked, and neither has this push of Meghan defining the future of the Windsor’s. Instead, articles on how she wore a dress in Fiji, which still had a label attached, or that her first royal endeavour has links to a brutal Terrorist organisation, seem to garner the majority of attention.
And the same seems to be happening to Harry. A recent poll was released showing Harry was the UK’s most popular Royal, yet the public comments linked to the adjoining article seemed to state otherwise. With many stating that, in marrying Meghan, Harry is now refusing to live in his brother’s King-shaped shadow. Could we be seeing another ‘Prince Andrew’ emerging.
Some believe that Harry is morphing into his Uncle, nicknamed “Airmiles Andy,” someone who is desperate to step out from behind his destined brother and become the “Star.” And while it has always been public knowledge of Harry’s childhood jealousy of his older brother, have these feelings re-emerged as the Queen and the Royal machine begin preparing William and Kate for the roles that will come to define them? Potentially yes, and some would say this move would help push this narrative.
Sadly, for the Sussex’s it looks as if the media are beginning to deem their once ‘Golden Couple’ free game. Already, questions regarding the final cost of the renovations to Frogmore Cottage are being asked, with many wanting to know how much it will cost the Tax Payer. Kensington Palace have refused to answer, stating that overall cost will be revealed through the annual Sovereignty declaration next year. This has, in turn allowed the Tabloids to speculate, and the more sensational the number, the bigger the reaction.
If the rumours of a Royal rift are true, and Diana’s boy’s relationship is splintering, then there will be an element of sadness. For most of their teenage and adult lives, all William and Harry have had, are each other. And whilst the Media isn’t completely laying the blame at anyone’s Royal feet, with the constant stories of Meghan’s “demanding” behaviour and Harry’s “what Meghan wants, Meghan gets,” attitude, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see where they plan on taking the storyline.
Now is the time where the Sussex’s will have to tread carefully in how they conduct themselves and certainly begin to realise where in the order of things they stand, not as a future King and Queen, but as minor Royals, whose presence and influence will fade in time. The speed of that decent will rely on them and no one else.
As they move to Frogmore Cottage and away from London and the central hub of the Royal Family, it is hard to not see this as a sign of things to come, and the question is, can a former actress used to being the centre of attention, and a younger brother desperate to be something more than the “Spare,” deal with being thrust from the limelight?