Prince Harry should ‘focus on charity work’ says commentator
The Palace slapdown came hours after a friend of the Duke of Sussex said he was “determined to keep his military titles despite leaving the UK.” Harry, 36, remains the bearer of three honorary military titles – Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
The monarch, 94, kept the roles open for her grandson pending a 12-month review.
Now, with just weeks to go before both sides sit down to once again discuss the historic deal, Harry has come out fighting to defend his last concrete connections to the Armed Forces.
But palace aides have poured cold water on Harry’s bid to keep the titles while he sets down deeper roots in his adopted home of the US.
Megzit deal review: A palace insider has said Harry cannot keep his military roles
Prince Harry and Meghan will review their deal with the Queen in March
One insider told the Daily Mail: “The view is very clear – either you are in or you are out, and any form of ‘hybrid’ role is incompatible with representing the head of state.”
This week, a pal of Harry said his work with the military remained a top priority for him.
The claim is likely to raise eyebrows in many military circles, given the fact Harry has shown no signs of returning to the UK.
Prince Harry is hoping to cling on to his military titles
The Duke’s acquaintance said: “His military work is one of the most important things to him. Of course he wants to keep them.”
Harry and Meghan, 39, are expected to hold talks with the Queen in March to re-examine the terms of the Megzit deal, which included the option to return to the Royal Family.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that the pair will avail of this offer as they have splashed £11 million on a home in California and signed multi-million dollar business deals stateside since leaving the fold last spring.
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3.45pm update: William faces brutal backlash over failure to show Meghan support in racism row
Prince William’s failure to “support” his sister-in-law Meghan Markle when she was the victim of racist abuse has been criticised by royal commentators as the reason for “tension” with his brother Prince Harry.
William has been accused of making a “baffling choice” by not publicly supporting Meghan against hate speech.
This comes after the Duke of Cambridge posted an anti-racist messages to Twitter in response to a series of footballers being racially abused online following their matches.
Us Weekly’s Royally Us podcast hosts Molly Mulshine and Christina Garibaldi discussed the furious backlash to the royal.
Prince William’s failure to “support” his sister-in-law Meghan Markle when she was the victim of racist abuse has been criticised by royal commentators as the reason for “tension” with his brother Prince Harry
Katie Harris taking over live reporting from Laura O’Callaghan.
2.57pm udate: Queen heartbreak as close friend Lord Vestey dies days ahead of painful milestone
A close friend and former aide of Queen Elizabeth II, Lord Vestey, has died.
Samuel Vestey, the 3rd Baron Vestey, had died aged 79, it was announced today.
His passing will deal a heavy blow to the Queen, as Lord Vestey has been a key component of the monarch’s racing circle.
Lord Vestey served as Master of the Horse to the Sovereign, the third dignitary of the court, for almost two decades between 1999 and 2018.
In this role, he managed the royal stables and the Queen’s beloved horses.
2.35pm update: Sarah Ferguson celebrates incredible milestone ahead of Princess Eugenie’s royal baby
Sarah Ferguson has marked a huge milestone just weeks before she is due to become a grandmother when Princess Eugenie welcomes her first royal baby.
Fergie, 61, reached one million views on her YouTube channel which she has cleverly used to entertain and teach fun facts to children during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess of York regularly posts colourful videos of herself reading children’s stories and making sweet treats in the kitchen.
In recent weeks Fergie has spoken of her excitement about becoming a grandmother.
The former royal wife revealed one of the things she is most looking forward to is playtime with her grandchild.
2.10pm update: ‘You’re not alone’: Sophie Wessex comforts ‘struggling’ schoolgirl with personal message
The Countess of Wessex sought to comfort a young girl who said lockdown has been difficult for her by telling the youngster “you are not alone”.
Sophie said she “really empathised” with the girl going through a “frustrating” time.
The royal was taking part in a special video call to kick off the 20th birthday celebrations for Sunderland’s Foundation of Light charity.
Sophie spoke to one of the beneficiaries of the foundation named Josie, a Sunderland RTC Player.
Asked about how being at home for the lockdown was going, Josie said: “It’s okay but sometimes I struggle with my work.”
The mother-of-two replied: “It is hard, isn’t it? It must be very frustrating for you.
“I really empathise with you, it’s not easy, but you’re not alone. Good luck with everything, Josie.”
Sophie told a young girl struggling in lockdown that she was not alone
1.33pm update: Sophie Wessex visibly moved during emotional video chat – ‘Couldn’t be more proud’
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, appeared visibly moved as she joined a video call marking the important milestone of one of her patronages.
She took part in the Foundation of Light’s 20th birthday celebrations by joining its director and a few of its members in a video chat.
The Countess of Wessex, who is the patron of Sunderland AFC’s charity, expressed her pride for the work the organisation does on a day-to-day basis.
She said: “I couldn’t be more proud to be patron.
“I’ve been really lucky to see the whole thing changing and developing and just becoming more engaging with everybody and fulfilling so many people’s dreams.
“And to have been able to launch Beacon was a real highlight for me and I know it was the combination of so many dreams and so much efforts from so many people.”
12.47pm update: ‘Enough is enough!’ Queen’s last straw after Diana ‘flip flopped’ over disastrous marriage
The Queen was forced to step in to end Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s tense marriage after one particular incident that left her feeling “frightful”, according to a royal expert.
Diana’s decision over whether to end her marriage to Prince Charles was “made for her” by the Queen, a royal commentator has claimed.
The Queen finally ordered the estranged couple to divorce in 1995 following the broadcast of Diana’s tell-all interview with the BBC.
Biographer Robert Jobson told Us Weekly’s Royally Us podcast that the Panorama episode was the catalyst.
He told listeners: “The truth is Diana was flip-flopping a lot around the marriage.
“Yes, they were separated and then we had the Panorama interview and other things like that.
“But obviously this marriage was a car crash.
“I still think she still loved the Prince of Wales.”
The Queen was forced to step in to end Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s tense marriage
12.25pm update: Kate Middleton now ‘template’ for future marriages as Duchess ‘realised’ key royal lesson
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge has become a “touchstone” for the future of the Royal Family, according to commentators who explained what has allowed the future queen consort to “blossom”.
Her ability to “buckle down” and perform her role as a senior royal has been praised by experts.
The future queen consort has now become “the template for those who wish to marry into the Royal Family“.
Commentators discussed why the Duchess has been able to achieve this on Channel 5 documentary, ‘When the Middletons Met the Monarchy’.
ormer BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond said: “Catherine has just fit in perfectly.
“Even if she didn’t want to dress a particular way or wear gloves or go through certain formalities, she’d buckle down and do them.
“She regards that as her role.”
11.33am update: Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace staff ‘jumping ship’ amid ‘toxic’ Jeffrey Epstein scandal
Prince Andrew’s staff at his flagship project Pitch@Palace are “jumping ship” amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, which has left the Duke “toxic”, according to a royal expert.
Pitch@Palace is a Dragon’s Den-style platform which aims to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs by brokering deals between tech start-ups and wealthy investors.
However, it has reportedly been put on pause after Andrew‘s billionaire friend Johan Eliasch quit as director and 15 staff resigned in the space of a year.
Royal expert Russell Myers has claimed this is due to uncertainty over whether the Duke of York will return to frontline duties or even his business activities.
Mr Myers argued that Andrew himself will be “toxic” unless he resolves the issue hanging over his head ‒ the scandal over Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and the FBI investigation.
Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace staff are ‘jumping ship’ over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal
10.55am update: Camilla gives emotional statement on cause close to her heart ‘Extremely challenging time’
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, issued a poignant statement on a cause close to her heart in which she expressed her gratitude and hopes for the future.
She marked World Cancer Day with a brief statement addressed to people with cancer and those working to find a cure against this “devastating disease”.
The Duchess of Cornwall said: “As the proud president of Maggie’s, I wanted to mark World Cancer Day by sending my very best wishes to all those who are living with cancer at this extremely challenging time.
“You are very much in my thoughts and prayers today.
“I should also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, those who are working to create a future without cancer.
“You give us hope that, together, we will be able to defeat this devastating disease.”
10.19am update: Queen to shatter royal tradition this weekend – painful day in store
The Queen is to break with royal tradition this weekend when she is set to mark a painful anniversary at Windsor Castle.
It will be the 69th anniversary of her accession to the throne this Saturday.
This event coincides with her beloved father King George VI’s death.
The King died at Sandringham House in 1952, while then-Princess Elizabeth was touring the Commonwealth with Prince Philip.
To honour his memory, the Queen usually prolongs her winter stay at Sandringham until the anniversary of King George VI’s death.
But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the monarch is breaking with the tradition she started decades ago and will quietly mark this momentous day at Windsor Castle, where she is self-isolating.
The Queen will mark a painful anniversary this weekend
9.51am update: Prince Harry’s ‘perfect’ lawsuit ‘telling sign’ of what could come for Meghan’s court case
Prince Harry’s “big win” in his recent lawsuit could be a “telling sign” for what is to come from his wife’s court case, royal commentators have said.
The Duke of Sussex won an apology and substantial damages from the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline after they claimed he had snubbed the British Armed Forces.
Us Weekly’s Royally Us podcast hosts Molly Mulshine and Christina Garibaldi discussed what this could mean for Meghan’s legal action against Associated Newspapers.
Ms Mulshine told listeners: “He basically said that this is not true, his lawyer said it was not true and he actually won in court.
“I think this is a perfect example of the type of lawsuit that royals and public figures should be going after.”
9.24am update: Prince Harry plan backfires: Duke massively misjudged huge gamble, expert warns
Prince Harry has seen his Megxit masterplan backfire dramatically, a royal expert has said.
According to the statement they issued on Instagram on January 8 last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to retain their titles and patronages in full.
However, their plan backfired as it became clear Buckingham Palace would not accept a half-in, half-out solution.
Prince Harry is hoping to retain his three remaining honorary military titles in the Megzit deal review in March.
Outlining how important his work with service personnel and veterans is for Prince Harry, royal author Hugo Vickers told the Daily Telegraph: “He misses the camaraderie of being in the forces.
“He was in a happy place when he was serving in the Army, then he met Meghan and since then life has been great.
“But I don’t think he foresaw things turning out quite as they did.”
The duke still holds three honorary military titles
8.49am update: Prince Harry is ‘very detached’ from the Army
Royal biographer Hugo Vickers has said it will be difficult for Prince Harry to keep his ties to the military from his home in the US.
Mr Vickers told The Telegraph: “He’s very attached to the Army – but now, sadly, he’s very detached from it.
“It’s very difficult for him to keep up his association, stuck out in Los Angeles.
“He was good at the Army, too. It was when he burst into life. It gave him a structure, as did the Invictus Games, the tournament for injured and sick military personnel.”
8.14am update: Meghan Markle’s sister says ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ in tell-all book on family
Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle has released her tell-all memoir about her life as a relative of the Duchess of Sussex.
In the long-awaited book, published by Central Park South Publishing, Meghan’s sister claimed a staged photoshoot of their father Thomas Markle was part of an exposé.
The author admitted to having accepted a purported deal to portray her father in an “honest light” after he was “horribly labelled” by the media.
However, the Duchess’ elder sister claims the photoshoot was leaked to UK newspapers who accused the Markles of “staging photographs”.
In an extract obtained by Newsweek, Ms Markle, also known by the name Samantha Grant, wrote: “I got a call from someone offering to connect me with a photographer friend by the name of Jeff [Rayner], who promised to discreetly take photographs of my father, putting him in an honest light, because other photographers had been so disparaging, intentionally.
“I received no money for the deal per my request, and the goal for my father was not money, because he had been turning down $50,000 interviews.
Royal Family tree
8.05am update: Prince Harry’s ‘outspokenness’ pushed Queen ‘into a corner’ over military titles
Prince Harry’s “outspokenness” in the wake of his and Meghan Markle’s step down from royal duties is said to have forced Queen Elizabeth II “into something of a corner”, according to a royal expert.
Daniela Elser suggested the Queen has been “forced” into stripping the Duke of Sussex of his military titles due to Harry’s support of “political” movements following Megxit. It follows reports the Queen “is expected to strip him of key military patronages”, while the Duke is “determined” to keep the titles.
Ms Elser suggested the Queen does not want to strip Harry of his military patronages, but is under pressure to do so.
She wrote on news.com.au: “If the Queen does ultimately decide to rescind her grandson’s prized military roles, it won’t be because she has to but because she feels like his actions over the last year necessitate it. What I can’t get past is that surely it didn’t have to be this way.
“Rather, the impression that reports out of the UK have cast is that Harry’s outspokenness at certain points over the past year has backed the Queen into something of a corner.”
7.55am update: Kate Middleton ‘unscripted message’ highlights royal’s ‘most natural video appearance’
The Duchess of Cambridge has shared “one of her most natural video appearances” where she ventured into the countryside.
filmed herself with a special message for Children’s Mental Health Week, which started on Monday.
Kate was seen outdoor near her Norfolk home, where she has been isolating with her husband and three children during lockdown.
The footage showed the Duchess, who is patron of the children’s charity Place2Be, sporting a woolly hat and a matching navy jacket.
She delivered an “unscripted” speech, which alongside her natural makeup choice, marked a difference from her usual virtual engagements.
In the video, Kate said: “While this is Children’s Mental Health Week there has never been a more important time to talk about parental wellbeing and mental health too.”
— to www.express.co.uk