The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had their “decree absolute” in their divorce from the monarchy, with Harry and Meghan’s camp giving “two fingers” to the institution in response, a royal author has said.
As Harry and Meghan were stripped of their royal patronages and Harry lost his honorary military roles, a spokesperson for the couple said: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Royal writer Penny Junor said of the response from the Sussexes: “It sounds petulant. They sound disappointed and hurt and I can understand that.”
She told the PA news agency: “It’s sort of two fingers at the institution – the men and women that run it.
“I don’t think it would be to the Queen because I imagine they think the Queen is being advised, which she is.”
Ms Junor described the conclusion to Megxit as the final step in a troubled divorce proceedings, following on from Harry and Meghan quitting as senior working royals last year.
Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that the couple would not return as working royals, and that it was not possible for them “to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”.
Harry has lost his royal rugby patronages, Meghan her patronages of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, as well as the couple’s roles with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Harry will also no longer be Captain General of the Royal Marines, nor hold two other honorary military appointments.
Ms Junor said: “It does draw a line. It’s hurtful but every divorce is hurtful. This is the decree absolute.
“People lose things in a divorce. They lose pets, they lose houses, they lose children, and there was no way this was going to end well.”
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan had said in response to the Palace statement: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Ms Junor said the conclusion to Megxit could act as a blueprint for future spares to the heir.
“I do think it’s very sad because we have now definitely lost Harry and Meghan – two very popular people who bought something more special,” she said.
The author added: “Harry and Meghan are obviously very upset, but I’m not quite sure what they expected.”
Royal commentator Peter Hunt told LBC that history will judge the Queen poorly for her decision not to allow Harry and Meghan to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.
Mr Hunt said: “My feeling is that where we stand now is actually that history will come to judge the Queen poorly for this decision.”
He added: “This is a family decision. This is a decision by a monarch about a grandson.
“He is her grandson and he is the son of a future king, and a compromise could have been concocted.”
Mr Hunt said: “They could have rewritten the rules if they had chosen but the Queen and the Palace have chosen not to, and I think Harry will be feeling very sad and possibly slightly bitter today.”