Military men in Britain appear to be unhappy with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to break ranks with the rest of the royal family.
Last week’s “Megxit” announcement appeared to come as a surprise to other members of the royal family, including the Queen herself.
It apparently raised concerns in the military that Harry, who had served in the army for ten years and was made Captain General (ceremonial head) of the Royal Marines last year, may have shown a lack of respect for the Queen.
Speaking to The Telegraph, an unnamed former senior Army figure said that Harry “was a commissioned officer who pledged allegiance to the Queen and the Queen is his grandmother, so when push comes to shove, Queen and country come first”.
James Glancy, a former Special Boat Service captain who had served with Prince Harry in Afghanistan, called him a “great public servant” in an interview on LBC.
However, he added, Harry’s “behaviour in the last year is not becoming of somebody that holds these important positions, these patronages, including that of the Captain General.”
Capt. Glancy, a decorated war hero, maintained that others in the Royal Marines were “very upset, if not disgusted by the disrespect to the Queen by not discussing this” and that he wouldn’t raise a toast to the Prince if he goes ahead with “semi-privatising his role” as a royal.
Derek Hunt, whose son Nathan also served with Prince Harry in Afghanistan and later took his own life after developing PTSD, said:
“Nathan kept Prince Harry alive in Afghanistan. He’d have been blown up had my son not found those IEDs. After everything they went through together, I think it is terrible to see him turning his back on everyone.”
“We all thought Harry really understood what life is like for veterans and their families, as if he was one of us and by our side – but he's shattered that impression now. It’s like he's lost his spark, like he's not the same person.”
The Queen has summoned Harry, his brother William and their father Charles for crunch talks at her private estate of Sandringham in Norfolk to discuss Harry and Meghan’s future role in the family. Meghan, who is currently in Canada, is expected to partake in the talks over the phone.
It comes days after a surprise announcement by the Sussexes that they would step back from their roles as “senior” royals.
Harry has hardly forgotten how his mother, the late Princess Diana, was treated by the press, and his wife, who is currently suing the Daily Mail for publishing a private note she had sent to her father, has found herself in a similar situation.
The couple said they wouldn’t abandon their titles and would split their time between North America and the UK, where they would retain their lush residence at Frogmore, enjoy security protection and enjoy part of the monarchy’s funding, while looking for sources of private income.
There have been unconfirmed rumours that Meghan has reached a voiceover deal with Disney and Harry will produce a documentary about mental health for Apple TV+.