It will be a saddened Prince Harry who will digest the verdict of much of the British media on the denouement to Megxit. In the eyes of most of those who write about the Windsors, the Queen is above reproach and the couple who exiled themselves are once again found wanting. Their West coast inspired talk of service being ‘universal’ is the latest entry on a charge sheet of sins they’ve committed against a venerated institution.
To Harry and Meghan’s critics – and they have plenty – the equation is simple. If millions of Netflix and Spotify dollars are pouring into your bank accounts, you can’t be opening fetes in Chipping Sodbury; not that such an opportunity was likely to have ever been high on their royal to do list.
This analysis is compelling but misses a painful element of the sorry saga. A family has rejected one of its own. The matriarch ensured all olive branches were severed from the Megxit tree.
When Megxit was first added to our lexicon, the Sussexes were naively seeking to have their cake and eat it. A year on, they were just looking for a few crumbs. None were offered.
As a family – dysfunctional as so many are – the Windsors could and should have left the door ajar. They could and should have facilitated a future where the couple would return for Trooping the Colour; Harry, who served his country, would lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday each year; and they would continue to represent the Queen at some future Commonwealth events.
The royals are superb at making it up as they go along. When the Queen was at an engagement last year and clearly didn’t want to be seen wearing a mask, her officials came up with the wheeze of Covid testing all those she would encounter.