Meghan Markle and Prince Harry put their royal careers on hold shortly before the UK was placed in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have joined the thousands of volunteers helping the most vulnerable while the Royal Family sought to lift the spirits of Britons and Commonwealth citizens. Speaking to Express.co.uk, author Phil Dampier suggested Meghan and Harry had missed out on the opportunity of seeing their public image boosted when they chose to depart.
Mr Dampier, the writer of ‘Prince Philip: Wise Words and Golden Gaffes’, said: “I think the lockdown has been good image-wise for all of the royals except for Harry and Meghan.
“They are the big losers in this because they now look somewhat isolated and somewhat irrelevant in this country.
“They still might have a massive role to play internationally or in America but I think people just shrug their shoulders in the UK.
“They’re just not really interested whereas all the other royals have gone up in popularity and have also played their roles very well.”
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While mostly shielding across the UK, members of the Royal Family have virtually kept up with their engagements. The Queen even joined a video call with carers for the first time in her long career this week.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have remained mostly quiet through the lockdown, with only some pictures emerging of the pair going door to door to deliver essential items to vulnerable Los Angeles residents.
Prince Harry also issued a video message in May praising discussing the “dramatic changes” people have had to accept to mark what would have been the opening day on the Invictus Games.
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She added: “I can’t imagine that at 17 or 18 years old, which is how old you are now, that you would have to have a different version of that same type of experience.
“That’s something that you should have an understanding of, but an understanding of as a history lesson, not as your reality. So I am sorry that, in a way, we have not gotten the world to a place that you deserve it to be.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams described the speech as “perfection” and insisted the Duchess had reminded the Royal Family had lost an important team member when Meghan and Harry chose to call it quits.
Mr Fitzwilliam said: “Meghan’s virtual address to the graduates at the Immaculate Heart School in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was perfection.
“What made the speech so special was the way it combined both a vivid and apocalyptic vision of what she has never forgotten when the Los Angeles riots scarred her adolescence and the positive message of hope that it contained throughout for those whom she saw as the leaders who would help to make this a better world.”
The commentator added: “She acknowledged with deep regret that she was addressing graduates who faced a future in a very imperfect world, what she felt they should know only as history they had instead to face as reality.”
“When she married Harry, I hoped she would bring her unique articulacy as a woman who was proud of her mixed-race heritage to thrive as a senior working member of the royal family.
“It is at moments like these that we know how much we have lost when someone of her calibre feels the need to move abroad.”