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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Give ‘Support’ to Kate Middleton and King Charles

Harry and Meghan offer olive branch?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly reached out to Kate Middleton and King Charles to offer their support as they face their respective health crises.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Kate was having abdominal surgery for an as-yet unknown condition (with a long recovery period that will mean she will be out of the public eye until around Easter), and that Charles would this coming week be receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate.

A source told the Mirror: “The King and the Princess of Wales have received support from Prince Harry and Meghan regarding their health. The Duke and Duchess contacted both parties in different ways to pass on their concern and best wishes.”

If the report is correct, the good wishes and conciliatory message follow an extended period of vexed relations between the Sussexes and the royal family. After the dirty linen aired by Harry in his memoir Spare, and air of mistrust between all parties, it was revealed in a Dutch edition of Omid Scobie’s Endgame, reportedly in error, that Kate and Charles were the alleged “royal racists” who questioned the color of then-unborn Prince Archie’s skin.

The Telegraph reported this week that Harry may have heard the news about the two royal health crises on Wednesday via news alert, rather than via royal aides direct (even though such communication had been attempted).

(l to r) Princess Beatrice, Christopher Woolf and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi attend the "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 08, 2023 in London, Britain.

BRITAIN-ROYAL/CAROLS

(l to r) Princess Beatrice, Christopher Woolf and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi attend the “Together At Christmas” Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 08, 2023 in London, Britain.

Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters

The Times also revealed this week that Charles had quietly ensured that Harry—along with Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice—would never be prevailed upon to act on his behalf as “counselors of state.”

Dickie Arbiter, a former press secretary to Queen Elizabeth, told the Mirror it was “good” that Harry and Meghan had “recognized his sister-in-law has gone in for what is obviously serious surgery, and his father is going in to have surgery at 75. It’s the right thing to do to acknowledge it. I’m pleased for Catherine and the king. It’s unusual and unprecedented to have two senior royals in hospital at the same time. January is usually quiet on the royal front, and it makes sense that both operations are done now, sooner rather than later. The queen would always have wanted the relationship rebuilt but she wasn’t going to see it in her lifetime. There were too many other things going on.”

Asked if he thought the relationship could ever be fully rebuilt, Arbiter told the Mirror: “Don’t hold your breath.”

Kate and William are “100 percent family first”

Kate Middleton and Prince William are changing priorities in the wake of her abdominal surgery earlier this week, and subsequent months-long recuperation. The Sunday Times reports that while royal aides often invoke the couple’s “unwavering commitment to duty,” for now the mood has changed to “100 percent family first, day job second”.

A royal source told the paper: “The kids are always at the center of their universe. That will continue to be the case. They want to make sure they have as much normality as possible going forwards.”

That focus on family was crystallized in the statement Kensington Palace released, announcing Kate’s surgery. “The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible,” it said.

William, the Times said, is now doing both drop-off and pick-up for their three children (Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis), and is being helped at home by their nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Britain's Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, accompanied by their parents Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a settling-in afternoon at Lambrook School, Britain, September 7, 2022.

Britain’s Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, accompanied by their parents Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a settling-in afternoon at Lambrook School, Britain, September 7, 2022.

Jonathan Brady/Pool via Reuters

Kate, the paper says, will stay in hospital—the very exclusive London Clinic—for another week before convalescing at Adelaide Cottage, the family’s Windsor home. William has signaled he will “combine being by his wife’s and children’s side throughout,” and the couple aren’t expected to be back performing official duties until after Easter.

However, aides told the Times that Kate’s work “will not stall,” with projects focused on children’s years still commanding her attention. An aide said: “Her passion for the early years is clear, there will be a huge continuation of that campaign and she will be keen to be out continuing that conversation with the nation as soon as possible.”

The Times also reports that William will not cut ties with the Church of England when he is king, and will uphold the tradition of the monarch being the church’s “supreme governor,” despite recent rumors to the contrary. The paper points out that “William is not a regular churchgoer and does not have the strong faith of the late Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles,” yet sources close to William told The Times “the conversation has never come up,” and said he was not considering changing the monarch’s relationship with the church.

Danish royals to get ‘The Crown’ treatment

Long considered one of the more staid, bourgeois and uninteresting of the European monarchies, the Danish royals rediscovered their capacity for shock in recent years with a trifecta of headline-grabbing moments.

Most recently, of course, Queen Margrethe II abdicated after a reign lasting 52 years, announcing her decision in a live TV address on New Year’s Eve. Many suspected she made the move to keep her daughter-in-law, the new Queen Mary, sweet after her husband, Frederik, was photographed hanging out in Madrid with a wealthy socialite friend, raising suspicions he was having an affair (which have been denied). The year before, Margrethe dramatically announced that the children of her second son, Joachim, were to be stripped of their royal titles to streamline the core royal family. He moved to America in response.

Then-Crown Prince Frederik, left, and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark look on during their visit at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, November 7, 2023.

Then-Crown Prince Frederik, left, and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark look on during their visit at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, November 7, 2023.

Ritzau Scanpix/Ida Marie Odgaard via Reuters

Little surprise, then, that Margrethe’s life is now, according to the Guardian, to be the subject of a The Crown-style TV show, titled Af Guds nåde (By the Grace of God), made by the team behind the hit Danish noir thriller Borgen.

Producers told the Guardian the series will “embrace the royal family for better or worse,” and is the story of “a girl and her family”.

The show’s executive producer, Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen, said: “Regardless of whether you are royalist or not, and no matter how you spin it, she has a huge meaning for us as a people, in our little duck pond, but also out in the world.”

Prince who?

Prince Harry might want to screen his royal chums across the water more carefully. After he was pictured posing with a German who styles himself Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe at the Living Legends of Aviation awards, the Mail on Sunday got in touch with the head of the family, Prince Alexander of Schaumburg-Lippe, who said: “It’s very painful for me, this guy has been harvesting our name for his personal gain. Prince Harry cannot stoop lower than appearing with him. I would advise him to stay away from this man.”

The Mail says Mario-Max “claims he has the right to use the title after he was adopted by a distant relative of the family when he was 23 years old.” Schaumburg-Lippe is a region of Germany that used to be an independent principality. The region was absorbed into the German republic after the second world war.

Expensive habits

The Daily Mail’s account of how Harry ended up dropping his libel case against the paper is, while unashamedly partisan, still fascinating reading about a “puzzling dispute” that has left Harry facing a massive legal bill, said to be around $900,000. Harry had disputed a report in the Mail on Sunday which claimed he had misrepresented an offer to pay for his own security. However, after a string of stunning legal successes for Harry and Meghan against the British tabloids, and with a number of cases still wending their way through the courts, we have likely not seen the last of litigation from Harry and Meghan against their tabloid tormentors.

Circa 1535, King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) and his second wife, Anne Boleyn (1507-1536).

Circa 1535, King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) and his second wife, Anne Boleyn (1507-1536).

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This week in royal history

On Jan. 22, 1901, Queen Victoria died at Osborne House, Isle of Wight; she is buried at the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore, Windsor. On Jan. 25, 1533, Henry VIII married his second wife Anne Boleyn at the Palace of Westminster, London. Anne was beheaded in 1536, and Henry next married Lady Jane Seymour the same year. (She died of postnatal complications in 1537, after giving birth to the future King Edward VI.)

Unanswered questions

Could Kate and Charles’ medical issues really help build a basis of a reconciliation with Harry and Meghan? Will Kate ever reveal what medical condition she has, and how will both Kate and Charles being out of action affect the visibility and work of the royals over the next few months?



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