As the dust settles on the constitutional chaos, it’s easy to forget that, at its core, the abdication crisis is a sad story of a wounded family breaking apart.
There is probably no more heartbreaking illustration of this than the rumor reported Tuesday in the Daily Mail that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s kid, Archie, has only met his cousins George, Charlotte, and Louis one or two times in his life.
It now seems inevitable Archie will be only on the briefest of terms with his Cambridge cousins after the Queen approved plans last night for Harry and Meghan to give up their senior royal roles and emigrate to Canada.
Even if Harry or Meghan come back for occasional ceremonial duties in the U.K., it seems unlikely their son will be subjected to regular trans-Atlantic trips.
Indeed, Archie has not been in the U.K. since November, after his parents chose to leave him in Canada in the care of his grandmother, Doria, for their resignation mission. The date of his next arrival on British shores is currently unknown.
It seems safe to say it won’t be for some time, and when the trip does come, quality time with the Cambridges might not be high on Harry and Meghan’s agenda.
Meghan is also estranged from all of her family of origin except her mother, meaning that Archie is likely to grow up in almost complete isolation from his wider family on the maternal side as well.
Instead, Archie’s playmates are likely to be the children of Meghan’s friends, such as Jessica Mulroney, who has three children aged from 6 to 9, who were pages at Meghan’s wedding.
The extent to which this is effectively a personal crisis that has spun out of control is illustrated by a story in the Sun today saying Harry and William had a bitter argument shortly before they were pictured at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at Billingbear Polo Club in Berkshire in July with their families, one of the only occasions on which George and Archie are known to have met.
The event was the first time the families had been seen together since Archie’s birth and both Harry and William played in a polo match for charity.
Despite an apparent display of camaraderie between the brothers on the field of play, it now transpires that Harry and William fell out just before the event.
A source told the Sun: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see just how damaged William and Harry’s relationship has become. They’ll always love each other as brothers, but right now things have never been so bad. William feels betrayed and let down by Harry. Harry feels like William and Kate never gave Meghan a chance. And now they’re leaving the country in this state.”