Prince Harry gets a royal brushoff as he and Meghan Markle grow desperate

Prince Harry arrived solo in the U.K. for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games on May 8. His wife Meghan Markle chose once again to snub the nation responsible for the title that continues to enable her public attention. But Harry received a painful snub as it was announced by his spokesman: “In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not the Duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it, unfortunately, will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full programme.” 

In Markle’s case, the dirty little not-so-secret is, instead of feeling slighted, many Brits are delighted about her absence, as they were when she declined to attend King Charles III’s coronation last May. Lucky them. Since 2022, the former actress hasn’t set foot in the country which gave her a royal title.  

The reason behind Charles’ inability to meet Harry is another thing entirely. Far from being callous, the king’s decision is a wholly justified and laudable act of self-preservation in response to a son and daughter-in-law who have injected intolerable stress into Charles’ already challenging first year on the throne. 

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Harry and Meghan’s treachery goes far beyond causing family problems. Their betrayals have deeply offended the citizens of the country Harry’s family leads and serves. So too, they have repelled many Americans who see through their hypocrisy and grift. 

The rift Harry and Meghan caused with the royal family has resulted in their popularity plumbing the depths in the UK. Even as a new Ipsos poll shows a boost in popularity for the royal family since the coronation last year, the results for the California couple are devastating. Both Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Prince William’s popularity have jumped to 69%, while Meghan’s has plummeted to 25% and Harry’s languishes at 31%. 

Whatever reasons Meghan may offer for not joining her husband in London, it would be hard to imagine her absence not being linked to a motivation to avoid booing and other humiliating public receptions there.  

The Sussexes’ betrayals and attacks on the monarchy have irreparably damaged their trust and reputation within royal circles and the wider public. The worst offenders were Meghan’s 2021 Oprah interview in which she accused the royal family of racism, and Harry’s 2023 memoir, “Spare.” 

The repercussions from their bad behavior continue to reverberate, with the couple facing bracing scrutiny in America. Hollywood’s perception of them as “talentless” and “grifters,” not to mention the mocking they received from comedians and cartoons alike only served to further tarnish an already deflating global public image.  

While Meghan chose to skip the U.K. visit, the former working royals are making a joint trip to Nigeria, a possible future host country for the Invictus Games. During the visit, the pair will meet military service personnel and participate in cultural events in classic royal style.  

The tour has an unmistakable, quasi-royal feel, raising speculation of desperate attempts by the Sussexes to cling to remnants of their former life, though they famously rejected that life when they stepped back from royal service in 2020. 

Rather than fading into obscurity, the couple has sought to maintain relevance through engagements and public appearances, often suspiciously timed with major royal events or announcements. Indeed, it would be difficult to refrain from the conclusion that Harry and Meghan’s antics are thinly veiled attempts to represent a rival court to Buckingham Palace or brother Prince William’s Kensington Palace.  

Harry and Meghan are not the first former working royals to have used overseas tours to maintain an air of their former status. In 1937, the year after he abdicated the throne, the Duke of Windsor and wife Wallis Simpson traveled to Germany on a quasi-royal tour that mimicked the official royal diplomatic status that the duke surrendered when he abdicated.  

Many speculated that among the former king’s motivations were to give Wallis Simpson an experience of the status denied her when the U.K. refused to confer upon her a royal title. Likewise, Harry and Meghan’s upcoming tour of Nigeria evokes their struggle to maintain relevant in their post-royal existence. Yet, their actions betray a sense of desperation, as they attempt to forge a new identity in the shadow of their past lives. 

Once celebrated as the young golden couple of the British Royal Family, Harry and Meghan have been the architects of their own popularity plunge. Their journey to Nigeria may serve as the latest effort to reclaim a semblance of their former glory, but the slamming of doors, especially in Britain, deprives them of their greatest source of notoriety.  

If the latest events are any indication, it is difficult to imagine the Sussexes will ever find a road back in the land that is the source of what makes this problematic pair relevant in the eyes of the public. 


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