The businessmen had been imprisoned on charges of child sex trafficking. The Duke of York went on BBC News Night in an attempt to defend his 20-year friendship, but it backfired and he was forced to step away from royal life.
Then in January 2020, after a lengthy holiday hiatus, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry announced their intent to step back as senior working members of the British royal family.
Though they’d hoped to continue on with their duties part-time, the royal family shut down that proposition. Now, the Sussexes are in Canada ready to carve out the next phase of their lives as financially independent private citizens.
In late February 2020, the Sussexes returned to the U.K. for the first time since announcing Megxit to complete their final royal duties. Despite their final royal event, Commonwealth Day, which appeared to have some awkward moments, it’s clear that Queen Elizabeth still adores the duke and the duchess.
Though it appeared to come out of the blue, and they had to iron out several logistics, the queen understands why Meghan and Prince Harry are choosing to leave the royal fold. During her early years as queen, she witnessed how challenging royal life was for her younger sister, Princess Margaret.
“She has a particular sensitivity to what Harry has been going through because of her closeness to Margaret and seeing the same dramas and tensions played out two generations ago,” royal biographer Robert Lacey told People.
Additionally, no matter what has occurred behind the scenes, the queen has always spoken highly of the Sussexes. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family,” she said in a statement following Megxit. “I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
Since there certainly has been some hurt feelings following Megxit, and the Sussexes left Archie in Canada during the final royal engagements due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the queen has invited the Sussexes to visit her in Scotland this summer.
“Harry and Meghan are believed to have accepted the Queen’s invitation to visit her this summer at Balmoral, her Scottish retreat, and are planning to take their son with them,” The Sunday Times reported. “The Queen would love to see more of Archie, as would Prince Charles and the rest of the family.”