‘You can’t be half-in, half-out’: Palace aides slap down Prince Harry after he insists he wants to keep his military titles despite ‘Megxit’
- Prince Harry still holds three honorary military titles with the Armed Forces
- The Queen kept them open for him pending a 12-month review of ‘Megxit’
- Duke of Sussex ‘pre-empted discussions’ this week saying he is determined to hang on to the positions
- But Royal aides say he cannot have any kind of ‘half-in, half-out’ royal role
Prince Harry faces another clash with Buckingham Palace after friends insisted he would ‘fight’ to keep his honorary military positions.
The sixth in line to the throne still holds three titles with the Armed Forces which the Queen agreed to keep open for him pending a 12-month review of his and Meghan’s decision to quit as working royals.
It is one of the few remaining issues yet to be resolved after last year’s acrimonious ‘Megxit’.
However, sources close to the Duke of Sussex this week pre-empted those discussions, insisting he is ‘determined’ to hang on to the positions despite stepping down from royal duties in favour of a lucrative commercial career in the US in late March 2020.
Prince Harry faces another clash with Buckingham Palace after friends insisted he would ‘fight’ to keep his three honorary military positions
But last night senior royal aides made clear to the Daily Mail that Buckingham Palace’s view – that it is impossible for Harry or Meghan to have any kind of ‘half-in, half-out’ royal role – has not changed either.
One insider said: ‘The view is very clear – either you are in or you are out, and any form of ‘hybrid’ role is incompatible with representing the head of state.’
The Duke of Sussex still holds three titles with the Armed Forces which the Queen agreed to keep open for him pending a 12-month review of ‘Megxit’. Pictured: The Royal Marines crest, of which he is a Captain General
With neither side apparently willing to back down, it appears further friction could be on the cards a year after the Sussexes’ deeply acrimonious parting of ways. A royal source admitted: ‘It is an issue that is yet to be resolved. Both sides have made their views clear.’
When they first announced their decision to step back as working royals in January last year, Harry and Meghan stated their intention of carving out ‘progressive’ new roles, sealing deals in the US while carrying out occasional duties for the Queen.
The 94-year-old monarch, who was deeply hurt not to be given any advance warning of their announcement, swiftly put her grandson right on the issue.
She made it clear that both legally and ethically it was impossible for them to engage in commercial activities while undertaking official engagements on her behalf.
However, she did agree to put in abeyance for 12 months Harry’s three military roles – Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in Bury St Edmunds, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
For Harry, a proud Army veteran with ten years service and two tours of Afghanistan under his belt, this was a particular bone of contention.
He made clear his commitment to the military was undiminished – highlighting his founding of the Invictus Games for injured service personnel – and wanted time to prove that he could make his new life work.
This week a friend of the prince told the Daily Telegraph he was ‘determined’ to keep his military titles and would ‘fight’ for the right to represent the Armed Forces.
Pictured: Prince Harry inspects a parade at RAF Honington in Bury St Edmunds, for whom he is Honorary Air Commandant, on behalf of The Queen
They said: ‘His military work is one of the most important things to him. Of course, he wants to keep them.’
They also suggested that Harry wanted to spend ‘more time in the UK’ in order to meet those commitments.
He had initially planned to return to the UK regularly before the pandemic struck. But the prince, 36, is likely to come up against strong opposition from the Palace.
It made clear the 12-month review of Harry and Meghan’s activities was more of a ‘safety net’ in case things did not work out for them – and not a ‘renegotiation’ of the Sandringham summit which decided the couple’s future.
Palace aides feel that by buying a US mansion and securing multi-million-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, Harry and Meghan are clearly not intending to suggest their new lives have not worked out when talks resume.
They believe that Harry now needs to relinquish his military titles as part of a ‘clean break’.