Prince Harry: Will he ‘readjust’ his memoir, Richard Kay asks
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband Prince William made their first appearance at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday. The couple were accompanied by their seven-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte, who made her debut at the Games marking her first public appearance without her two brothers. They were spotted swimming in Birmingham, with Charlotte photographed beaming, cheering and laughing.
Kate and William have long been attending the games, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first spotted at the annual sporting event in 2013.
The following year, the couple attended the games with Prince Harry, and the three royals – often referred to as the royal trio – were spotted enjoying the events.
Kate, William and Harry regularly performed threesome royal engagements, particularly ahead of the Duke of Sussex’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
While Kate, William, Meghan and Harry were initially thought of as the “Fab Four,” the royals eventually separated their royal households and began conducting their jobs independently.
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Meghan and Harry were snubbed at a Commonwealth event ahead of their exit.
William, Charlotte and Kate at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from royal duties in 2020, reports of strained relationships between the two couples were rife, and the tensions were perhaps most evident during Meghan and Harry’s final royal outing – the Commonwealth Day Service.
The couple had announced they would step down from their senior positions and move to the United States in January.
After the service, they finally say goodbye to their life in the chancellery.
And their future roles within the royal flock were spelled out in a poignant snub; The year before, the couple had taken part in the Queen’s formal procession to the church, but this time they were shown to their seats before Her Majesty’s entry.
Harry, William and Kate often attended the Commonwealth Games together.
Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, claimed that the Sussexes expected to get into the church behind Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and William.
He claimed that the decision to leave them out made Harry “choke back tears.”
In the book, Mr Lacey wrote: “In 2018 and 2019, Harry and Meghan had walked down the aisle in the main procession.
“But in 2020, they were pushed aside in their last outing as working royals in the UK.
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During the traditional service, the atmosphere was chilly.
“As now apparent ‘junior’ members of the family, the Sussexes would simply have to shuffle to their seats and take their places on the sidelines.
“The submissiveness of a ‘ersatz’ could not have been more impressively illustrated.”
Also, in a last-minute decision, William and Kate did not join the Queen’s procession, even though they were required to do so by the rules of service.
Mr Lacey, an advisor to the Netflix series The Crown, wrote: “Within minutes the two princes and their wives slipped quietly into their seats and then waited for the Queen and Prince Charles to stalk down the aisle in their former glory.
“The only problem was that 2,000 orders of service had already been distributed at the abbey stating that William and Kate would enter and settle accounts with the main royal party – and made no mention of Harry and Meghan at all.
“So there was the snub in black and white – for all to see.
Meghan and Harry’s relationship timeline.
“Observers also noted that Harry’s face was ‘quite tight and unsmiling’ – and that as William sat down next to him, he barely greeted his brother.
“Throughout the service, Meghan beamed away with her best TV smile, but as the ceremony progressed, Harry seemed to darken.
“According to one observer, his rapid blinking even suggested that he might have been fighting back tears.”
Shortly after the service, Meghan and Harry relocated to North America before eventually settling in Montecito, California, where they now live with their two children – three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet.
The family of four recently returned to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking their first visit together to the Duke’s home country.
Meghan and Harry performed their first royal engagement since March 2020 when they attended the National Thanksgiving Service for Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral.
In a manner similar to the Commonwealth Day Service, the Duke and Duchess sat on opposite sides of the cathedral from Charles and William and behind perhaps lesser-known royalty.
Meghan and Harry returned for the Platinum Jubilee last month.
Royal columnist Daniela Elser highlighted Harry and Meghan’s descending seating arrangement at the event.
Ms Elser claimed “if there was ever a picture that summed up Harry and Meghan’s descent, this was it,” adding the move “didn’t so much speak volumes as it screamed indecent at the top of his lungs”.
Ms Elser wrote for news.com.au: “When Harry was last seen at the famous church of 17 sister-in-law William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Friday, he was forced to accept his allotted seat in cheap seats, which the made the Sussexes’ status on the B List all too painfully obvious.
“Harry and Meghan were literally put in their place.”
Battle of Brothers was written by Robert Lacey and published by William Collins in 2020. It’s available here.”