Prince Harry and his wife Meghan faced fresh criticism on Tuesday in the wake an emergency royal meeting to discuss their shock announcement to step back from frontline royal duties.
British newspapers raked over Tuesday’s meeting at which Queen Elizabeth II agreed to allow the young couple to split their time between Canada and the UK until a solution was found.
“It means only one thing — Harry and Meghan have won!” royal commentator Philip Dampier wrote in the Daily Express. “They metaphorically held a gun to her head and she has given in.”
The Sun tabloid’s editorial said: “Our Queen’s surrender to the petulant, selfish demands of Harry and Meghan may prove the biggest mistake of her reign.
“This couple have simply raised the bar for self-obsessed, arrogant entitlement.”
The Daily Mirror said the monarch “displayed a selflessness sadly lacking from the way Harry and Meghan have disrespectfully treated her”.
The Daily Telegraph called the decision “The Queen’s reluctant farewell”.
The final decisions on the couple’s future will be thrashed out in the coming days.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, unilaterally announced last week they were stepping back as senior royals and wanted financial independence from the monarchy.
The pair, who have a baby son, Archie, have hinted in recent months at their unhappiness about life in the public eye and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he understood their concerns.
“I am a massive fan… of the queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country,” he told BBC television. “I’m absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out.”
– ‘Complex matters’ –
Queen Elizabeth, 93, summoned her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, and his two sons Princes William and Harry to her Sandringham estate in eastern England for crisis talks on Monday.
Meghan was in Canada after briefly returning to Britain last week.
In a rare personal statement afterwards, the monarch said the discussions were “very constructive” but admitted the Sussexes’ decision was not what she would have wanted.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life,” she said.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
The queen said the Sussexes made clear they did not want to be reliant on public funds, while a transition period had been agreed in which they will spend time in Canada and Britain.
“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days,” the sovereign said.
– Racism to blame? –
Harry, 35, is sixth in line to the throne behind 71-year-old Charles, William, 37, and his brother’s three young children.
Meghan, 38, a mixed-race American who had forged her own television acting career, was seen as a breath of fresh air for the royal family when she married Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
But in October last year the couple admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding and Archie’s birth in May 2019.
The couple have lashed out at negative press coverage since their marriage, with Harry claiming British tabloids had mounted a “ruthless” and “malicious” attempt to vilify his wife.
Online and television debate has raged since Wednesday over whether tabloid coverage had been racist towards the duchess.
A YouGov poll suggested that while 46 percent of respondents supported the couple’s decision, 57 percent thought they had treated the queen unfairly in their way of going about it.
– Finding funding –
How the Sussexes will be funded is one of the key issues to resolve. Five percent of the couple’s income comes from public funds.
The rest comes from Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall hereditary private estate. It dates back to 1337 and has officially reported assets worth £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion, 1.3 billion euros).
The British police meets their security costs.
Besides Britain, Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Canada and 14 other countries.
The Canadian government has yet to decide whether it will assume the security costs when Harry and Meghan are in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards the security costs of royal visits.
© 2020 AFP
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen announces 2022 presidential bid
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen isn’t wasting time. She announced her intention to stand in France’s 2022 presidential elections.
“My decision is made,” Le Pen said Thursday as she presented her New Year’s wishes.
Le Pen said she is proposing a “grand alternative to put the country back on its feet” and create “national unity.”
Le Pen reached the runoff in the 2017 election but lost badly to Emmanuel Macron, who is now in the midst of one of the most difficult periods of his presidency. In addition to the grassroots yellow vest movement that’s seeking social and economic justice, Macron is facing a strike over reforms to the country’s pension system that has run for 43 days.
Dutch art sleuth finds rare stolen copy of ‘Prince of Persian poets’
A stolen 15th-century book by the famed Persian poet Hafez has been recovered by a Dutch art detective after an international "race against time" that drew the alleged interest of Iran's secret service.
The gold-leafed volume worth around one million euros ($1.1 million) was found to be missing from the collection of an Iranian antiques dealer after his death in Germany in 2007.
It sparked a decade-long search for one of the oldest surviving copies of the "Divan of Hafez" -- the collected works of the poet who remains extremely popular in Iran and has inspired artists worldwide.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Trump doesn’t realize how much trouble he’s in — and GOP unsure how to defend him
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said President Donald Trump is fooling himself on impeachment.
Trump insists he did nothing wrong in his actions toward Ukraine and complains that he's the victim of an impeachment "hoax," but the "Morning Joe" host said that most Americans disagree.
"He's talking to himself when he talks about a perfect phone call, yeah," Scarborough said. "He says it's a hoax, because what he's facing now isn't even what he was facing with (Robert) Mueller. There's more of a split when it came to what the American public believed, but he said it's a hoax and nobody can believe this is happening, and etc., etc., etc., and yet over 70 percent of Americans want a full and fair trial."