It is almost a year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ceased to be working members of the royal family, having decided to make their own life in North America. Whatever the personal reasons for their departure, neither of them appears to regret their actions. They are proud of themselves for making the break and in doing so have already amassed considerable earnings through their various financial endeavours as Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Whatever style they choose to use when doing this Harry is still a Prince of the Blood and the son of a future king; Meghan is his wife. It is therefore difficult to separate them from their royal status, however much some people wish the Queen would do so. Her Majesty will not do that, but she is no pushover. It was recently reported that it was her and her alone who refused permission to allow Prince Harry to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday last November.
Although Harry is her grandson and has seen active service, the Queen is of the opinion that you can’t pick and choose what you do when it comes to the monarchy. Both she and Prince Philip firmly believe that either you are in or you are out, and although the Sussexes are still part of the family, their new life in California has taken them down a different path.
If the Queen was looking forward to a return to normality in 2021, like most of her subjects, she has been disappointed. Her Majesty hopes to return to her working life at Buckingham Palace as soon as she can, but already this year’s garden parties have been cancelled. Some 8,000 people attend each of the three London garden parties in May and the planning, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, was deemed impossible. The most cheering thing for many (especially the monarch) will be the return of sporting events with spectators allowed to attend.
There are no guarantees, of course, but it is – and always has been – the duty of the royal family to keep up morale when times are tough. They did a sterling job in 2020 providing both cheer and continuity.
On three separate occasions late last year, the Duke of Cambridge joined workers from The Passage to help pack food for rough sleepers and make hot meals for those recently moved off the streets into hotel accommodation. As a child, William was introduced to the homelessness charity by his mother and it had a massive impact on him. He has continually supported their work over the years, once sleeping rough in order to gain some small understanding of its harsh realities.
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The topsy-turvy life of Elizabeth Stuart, ancestress of British monarchs and for a time Queen of Bohemia, by Coryne Hall
The final days of King George VI in the place that both he and his elder daughter felt so much at home, by Ingrid Seward
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