Monday 10 December 2018

This is why Meghan Markle was placed separately to Queen Elizabeth all weekend

Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge , watch a National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge , watch a National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge followed by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 - 11am on the 11th November 1918. This day is commemorated as Remembrance Day with special attention being paid for this years centenary. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan during the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts. Photo: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leave after an Armistice Service at Westminster Abbey in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch a National Service of Remembrance, on Remembrance Sunday, at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watches a National Service of Remembrance, on Remembrance Sunday, at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watches a National Service of Remembrance, on Remembrance Sunday, at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance to commemorate all those who have lost their lives in conflicts and mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, at the Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain November 10, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
The Duchess of Sussex during the remembrance service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall, central London, on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War
The Duke of York, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May, during the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, during the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

While the most senior members of the British royal family stood for a moment of silence on Sunday, there was someone notably missing - Meghan Markle.

While Queen Elizabeth was flanked by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, the other high profile Duchess of Sussex was adjacent to them on a different balcony, joined by German First Lady Elke Budenbender - this, a few hours after being placed several rows behind the same group at another Armistice Day event, was the cause of much speculation about Meghan's place in the family.

It hasn't helped that excerpts of a new book by Robert Jobson paints a less than pretty picture of the couple behind the scenes and alleged tantrums thrown by the bride-to-be, which prompted Harry to utter the phrase, "What Meghan wants, Meghan gets."

It was also reported at the weekend that three senior staff members have left after just a few months in their respective roles after the May wedding.

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watches a National Service of Remembrance, on Remembrance Sunday, at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watches a National Service of Remembrance, on Remembrance Sunday, at The Cenotaph in Westminster, London, Britain, November 11, 2018. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS

Kensington Palace would not comment on the departure of staff, or the allegations made in the new book, but royal experts state that her positioning at public events has little to do her personal standing and all to do with royal hierarchy.

As monarch, the queen takes centre stage, while next in line Prince Charles follows, alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May and then by Prince William, whose role is changing as the family prepares for Charles to take a more centralised role over the coming years.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told PEOPLE that "there's a pecking order" with royal functions .

"She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order," he said. "There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out first with his wife. Meghan was still in a good position. She was central rather than the alternative of being in the front row and along the balcony to the left or right."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England

Read more: Kate Middleton fled to Ireland with her mother after her break-up with Prince William - and we have the exclusive pictures

Last week, a story was published which details a reported heated exchange between Meghan and her grandmother-in-law over her choice of wedding tiara.

"Meghan had her heart set on this tiara with emeralds and Prince Harry hit the roof when they were told it was impossible for her to wear it," a 'well placed' source said, according to The Sun, adding that after a 'very heated exchange' with staff, the Queen stepped in and told Prince Harry: "Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she's given by me."

According to the source, the tiara was out of bounds for the big day as the royals couldn't be certain of its origin - and were reportedly concerned it may have come from Russia.

The Duke of York, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May, during the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts
The Duke of York, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May, during the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts

"The provenance of the tiara could not be established. There were concerns it could have come from Russia originally," The Sun quotes the source as saying.

There have been a number of changes behind palace doors in recent months and Harry and Meghan are said to be planning on separating their court from Kate and William, especially as they are about to welcome their first child next year. As of now, all four are represented by Kensington Palace, but it's expected that Meghan and Harry will create a new court next year to focus on their specific agendas and responsibilities, as reported by the Sunday Times.

Royal expert Sally Bedell Smith said that Harry's recent wedding "changed the dynamic" as he begins to forge his own path separate to that of his brother, who is second in line to the British throne and therefore has a clearer path of what's expected in comparison to his younger brother.

“The arrival of Meghan has changed the dynamic of the relationship in a fairly significant way,” Ms Smith told People.. “It is inevitable and practical because it gives Harry and Meghan some freedom to build up their own collection of interests and charities.

“Meghan has very strong views on what she is interested in and that may be what Harry shares, but not what William and Kate share.”

Last month, after the article was first published, Smith told Vanity Fair that the brothers' closeness was always as an "anomaly", especially compared to Prince Charles and his siblings.

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