Meghan and Harry have just made another joint appearance in a special edition of TIME100 Talks. Amid their discussion on the “global crisis” of “misinformation and hate” taking place on social media, the couple mentioned how they were enjoying “quality time” with their son Archie. The Sussexes have not been afraid to recognise how much they are enjoying their freedom now they have left the royal frontline and live in Santa Barbara, California.
In the last six months, the couple have shown their independence by cutting all royal ties. For instance, they have paid £2.4million back to the public purse for their Frogmore Cottage renovations, allegedly stopped the allowance from Prince Charles and signed up to their own Netflix deal to produce documentaries.
Back in February, the couple had claimed they had “no other option” but to step back from the royal frontline earlier this year, as they struggled with the scrutiny that accompanies their roles.
The Royal Family’s foundations were then left shaken — but some believe their departure may actually have been triggered by some of the senior royals.
Discussing the Sussexes’ dramatic decision, commentator Simon Jenkins explained: “I blame the Queen.”
He asked: “Why were the couple, so distant from the throne, in this absurd position in the first place?”
Meghan and Harry had become two of the star players in the Firm and attracted an even larger global audience to the institution.
Mr Jenkins continued: “The truth is that they were victims of a policy dating back to the Sixties, a decision by the Queen to embark on a new concept of monarchy.
“It was crudely to make a family soap opera.”
The commentator is referring to the divisive 1969 documentary, ‘Royal Family’, which has since been removed from any public spheres on the Queen’s instruction.
Prince Philip proposed the idea to the Queen as a way to bring the royals into the new era of the Sixties, as interest in the new generation of the monarchy was starting to wane.
The fly-on-the-wall documentary was created through 75 days of filming and reportedly showed how ordinary the Royal Family truly were.
The programme aired in 1969 — but was shown for the last time in 1972, when the monarch decided it had done more harm than good.
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The then BBC Two controller, Sir David Attenborough, even said the documentary was “killing the monarchy” by eroding the mystery which surrounded it.
The Queen happened to agree — but, according to Mr Jenkins, the Royal Family had already been set on a path to celebrity.
Mr Jenkins claimed the monarch wanted to make the royals relevant by making sure it was “touched by the glamour of youth”, as seen with weddings and photo-opportunities, as well as the traditional pomp and ceremony.
The charitable patronage and sponsorship were to contribute to this, too.
He noted how this has affected the Sussexes, explaining: “By any standards, Harry and Meghan have become staggering celebrities.”
However, they could not cope with the constant spotlight, and by voluntarily leaving, they have triggered a wobble within the Royal Family’s celebrity image.
Writing in the New Statesman back in January, Mr Jenkins speculated: “Mr and Mrs Sussex can at least reflect on how they have helped end a great mistake in a blaze of sensation and enjoy some peace and quiet.”
Yet, the only part of royal life Meghan and Harry appear to have clung onto is the celebrity status.
They have been making waves through controversial speeches and discussions on voting in the US election over the past few months.
With regular appearances and video calls, the Sussex appear to have cast off the royal form of celebrity and created a new form for themselves.