How the Queen’s Christmas Speech was 'final straw' for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ahead of royal exit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were reportedly upset with the Royal Family after the Queen's Christmas Speech

Queen’s Christmas speech was 'final straw' for Harry and Meghan ahead of royal exit
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's 2019 Christmas Speech in was the 'final straw' in the breakdown of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship with the Royal Family, according to the Sussexes' most famous biographer. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's withdrawal from the Royal Family in January 2020 was spurred on by a 'subtle sign' in the Queen's Christmas speech, according to the biography, Finding Freedom

It's understood that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were upset after Her Majesty failed to include a portrait of them in her televised 2019 festive message, resolving to quit the Firm shortly after viewing the annual special. 

The late monarch traditionally delivered her Christmas Speech from one of her royal residences, surrounded by seasonal decorations and framed images of her loved ones. In 2019, photos of her father, King George VI, her husband Prince Philip, and King Charles III with Queen Consort Camilla could all be seen on her desk in Buckingham Palace as she reflected on the year's past events. 

A portrait of the Prince and Princess of Wales with their three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, was also included. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who lived in Frogmore Cottage with their newborn son, Archie, and worked as senior members of the Royal Family at the time, were nowhere to be seen. 


Queen's Speech 2019

(Image credit: Getty)

According to Finding Freedom authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Bryant, the Sussex couple was none too pleased with the apparent snub. 

Harry and Meghan felt like they "had long been sidelined by the institution and were not a fundamental part of its future", with the photos of the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day 2019 serving as a 'subtle sign' of this exclusion. 

Despite Buckingham Palace sources telling Finding Freedom that the images symbolized the line of succession, Prince Harry and Meghan believed it was "yet another sign they needed to consider their own path." 


(Image credit: Getty)

The book also claims that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been planning a royal exit as early as six months after their 2018 royal wedding. 

In their bombshell interview with Oprah in March 2021, the couple made accusations of racism against Buckingham Palace and claimed that the Firm had failed to help Meghan when she was struggling with mental health problems. Harry also alleged that the Royal Family had removed the Sussexes' security after their emigration to the US, leaving the couple with no alternative but to pay for a private protection team. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.