A heartwarming picture featuring Prince George reportedly gave a final push to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for getting out of the Royal Family, an author has said. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they were stepping back from Buckingham Palace in January 2020.
Before making the big revelation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to have already believed the Firm was “conspiring against them” before an official photo of the Queen and her heirs was released.
In the photo, the late Queen Elizabeth II is seen with the now-King Charles, Prince William, and his son, Prince George in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.
The photograph was released at the beginning of 2020, days before Harry and Meghan first confirmed they planned to step down as working royals.
Author Andrew Morton believed that the photo was a “wake up call” for the couple and the final push they needed to get out, reported Mirror.
In his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, Morton wrote: “The royal couple suspected that the entire institution was conspiring against them.
“As they saw it, the evidence was all around them.
“The unspoken code was straightforward: the future of the monarchy was assured, with or without Meghan and Harry.”
Speaking to The Mirror’s podcast Pod Save The King, Morton said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had begun thinking about leaving The Firm much earlier than the public thought, adding that the talks began just six months after their wedding.
Morton said: “Harry was having conversations in a London hotel with Oprah Winfrey back in November 2018, just six months after they’d been married.
“So they were thinking about a different direction of travel pretty early on.
“The irony is they had been given the keys to the first class lounge when Prince Harry was given the position of Youth Ambassador to William and Catherine.
“This was effectively the Queen’s way of saying ‘you do the rest of the world, leave Royal Family to do the UK where they will eventually be the Heads of State.”
At the time of their exit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement that read: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
At the time, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said in response that discussions with the couple were “at an early stage” and added: “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”