The former editor of Vanity Fair has revealed that Prince Harry chose to step down as a senior royal because he felt like he was being ‘edited out’ of The Firm.
Tina Brown, 66, told the Today show on Wednesday that the 35-year-old felt as though he was no longer a part of the most senior circle of the royal family – particularly after Buckingham Palace celebrated the new decade by releasing a portrait of the Queen and her heirs: Harry’s father Prince Charles, brother William, and nephew George.
Brown, who authored a book, The Diana Chronicles, about Harry’s mother Diana and her position within the royal family, added that the Duke of Sussex has been ‘very unhappy’ since leaving the army back in 2015, and hasn’t really felt as though he has a true place within the royal family.
Opinion: Former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown spoke out about Megxit on the Today show on Wednesday, revealing that Prince Harry feels as though he is being ‘edited out’ of the royals
Moving on: The 66-year-old author added that Prince Harry, 35, has been ‘a very unhappy man’ since leaving the army in 2015, and that he has struggled to find his true purpose as a royal
‘I know that Harry has been a very unhappy man ever since he came out of the army,’ she explained. ‘He has felt that he’s this big alpha guy and doesn’t really have a place to land.
‘And what’s happened now is that Prince William and Prince Charles – you’ve got two heirs, well actually… it’s very crowded at the top right now! – and we’re in the twilight of the Queen’s reign, let’s face it, she’s not going to go on forever, and they’re on this really accelerated flight path now to get ready to be the King and the Prince of Wales.’
According to Brown, the feeling that Harry may have had of being pushed out of the royal family’s most inner circle was further exacerbated when Buckingham Palace released a new royal portrait of the Queen and her three direct heirs.
‘I do think [it rubbed Harry the wrong way], I think he felt, “I’m being edited out,”‘ Brown said of the portrait’s release. ‘And I think that he did mind that very much, and I think [Meghan] also minded it.
‘So I think his feeling has been, “Look, I’m being edited out, therefore I want out.”‘
Hurt: Brown says that Harry’s feeling of being ‘edited out’ as a senior royal was made worse by the publication of a royal portrait of the Queen and her heirs: Charles, William, and George
Looking ahead: However, Brown believes that the Queen will ‘leave the doors open’ for Harry should he want to return to life as a senior royal in the future
Making a change: Prince Harry served in the British Army until 2015, however he was forced to leave Afghanistan in 2008 after German and Australian publications revealed his whereabouts
However, Brown notes that, whether or not this idea is based in reality, Harry’s position within the royal family has always been that of an ‘ensemble player’ – just like many of the other most senior members, including William and Kate.
‘The truth is that when you are in the royal family, when you join the royal family, you are an ensemble player,’ she said. ‘Everyone is supposed to be an ensemble player, you’re all there to support one person. There’s only one monarch and you’re there as the backup troupe.
History: Brown published a book about Princess Diana’s position within and treatment by the royal family back in 2007, ten years after Prince Harry’s mother died
‘And you’re supposed to be deployed to do all these different royal things. This year, Meghan and Harry were expected to do 200 royal appearances, all over the place.’
Brown believes that playing the part of backup also didn’t sit well with Meghan, who was moving herself further into the Hollywood spotlight as a lead role on the hit series Suits when she first met Harry.
The former magazine editor believes that Meghan felt she could be better used as an ‘asset’ to the royal family – and that she felt far too restricted by the couple’s obligations when they were acting as senior royals.
‘These [official engagements] are things like opening hospitals in Guildford… they’re not super glamorous Commonwealth tours,’ the royal author noted. ‘A lot of them are really meat and potatoes, showing the flag PR events.
‘And for Meghan who has a big celebrity of her own, I think she found that a waste of herself as an asset.’
But still, Brown is not convinced that Megxit will last forever – and she says the Queen is likely working to find a way to ‘keep the doors open for Harry’ should he want to return to life as a senior royal in the future.
‘I think she feels life is long [and] she’s a big believer in [letting] cool heads prevail, so I think she really wants to keep that door open, and not alienate him,’ she explained.
‘Because who knows? This could be like a year’s experimental thing and he’s going to want to come back into the royal family.’