PRINCE Harry and Meghan had a dig at the Queen yesterday as they were stripped of their royal roles following Megxit.
Her Majesty said they could not continue with “responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”.
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The pair hit back saying: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had wanted to keep representing their military, Commonwealth and other royal patronages — while making millions from private deals.
But the Queen — advised by senior courtiers and after talks with Princes William and Charles — stood firm.
Yesterday the pair — who will still keep their royal titles — were accused of sticking up two fingers to the Queen with their statement.
Senior royals were said to be furious after the couple’s swipe at Her Majesty and the Royal Family.
'TWO FINGERS AT THE INSTITUTION'
Sources said there was deep unhappiness at their “hurtful jibe” especially as 99-year-old Prince Philip lay sick in his hospital bed.
Royal author Penny Junor said the couple’s response was “two fingers at the institution — the men and women that run it”.
She added: “It does draw a line. It’s hurtful but every divorce is hurtful. This is the decree absolute.
“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.
“Harry and Meghan are obviously very upset, but I’m not quite sure what they expected.”
Royal biographer Angela Levin said: “I think there’s been a lot of rumours that the Queen would do this.
"The Queen, as we know, is devoted to her duty and to her country. She loves her children and being a grandmother.
Harry and Meghan are obviously very upset, but I’m not quite sure what they expected.
“But in the end her sense of duty is more important than grandchildren or children or great grandchildren. She wants to keep them close as a family, but they cannot push their luck too far.”
The Sussexes’ decision to quit royal life indefinitely came a month before the March 31 deadline for a review of their new post-Megxit life.
Meghan was not involved in the talks with the Queen who spoke only to Harry directly via video call.
Harry also held “amicable” talks with other senior royals, including brother William and dad Charles, as early as January.
'HALF IN AND HALF OUT'
Harry told Her Majesty he and Meghan wanted to keep their military and royal patronages.
But the Queen and her courtiers became increasingly alarmed at their lack of control over the couple and ruled it impossible for them to continue with royal duties from the US.
The Sussexes were told they could not be “half in and half out.”
Within days of being told of the Queen’s decision, Harry and Meghan announced they would be doing a bombshell interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
In a rare statement The Queen confirmed their eight military roles and patronages were being revoked and redistributed to “working members of the Royal Family”’.
It said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.
“Following conversations with the Duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”
It added that “the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family”.
Three minutes later a statement from Harry and Meghan was released.
It said: “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.”
The couple — who are expecting their second child — can keep their HRH titles but are banned from using them in their new roles.
A senior Royal source said yesterday: “Her Majesty had no choice. You cannot pick and choose a royal life. When you leave Tesco, you can’t use the staff discount card.”
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