The two royals ‘affected the most' by Prince Harry and Meghan leaving royal life - and it’s not Prince William and Kate

An expert has revealed the royals ‘affected the most' by the Sussexes’ departure as working royals in 2020 - and it might surprise some fans

The two royals ‘affected the most' by the Sussexes’ departure according to an expert. Seen here are Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visiting a local farming family
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

The two royals “affected” the most by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure for the US aren’t Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to a royal expert. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to “step back” as working royals shocked fans across the world and was a major moment for the Royal Family. Since settling in their Santa Barbara home, Prince Harry and Meghan have got candid about their experience of royal life. Their absence has also seen working members of the immediate and extended Royal Family step up more than ever to support firstly the late Queen Elizabeth and now King Charles. 

Amid ongoing rumors that His Majesty could wish to “streamline” the monarchy, the small group of royals who undertake engagements are especially important. Now the BBC’s former royal correspondent Jennie Bond has shared which royals’ lives she feels were impacted “more than anyone else” when Prince Harry and Meghan left the UK.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit the Pavilion Building

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Ireland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Opening up to OK!, Jennie expressed her belief that Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh and their responsibilities have become more “recognized” ever since. 

"Arguably, the departure of Harry and Meghan has affected the lives of Edward and Sophie more than anyone else,” she claimed. "They have always done their fair share of royal engagements, but now, as Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, they are recognized as senior and key members of the royal family.”

In March this year King Charles bestowed the significant title of Duke of Edinburgh upon his brother. This prestigious title was formerly held by the late Prince Philip, suggesting a huge amount of trust felt by King Charles towards Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie.

Royal Family gather on the Buckingham Palace central balcony

(Image credit: Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Jennie put forward the idea that given the couple’s children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex are older than Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, this gives the Edinburgh’s more availability for royal engagements. 

"Their children are older than William and Catherine’s, so they don’t feel quite the same pressures to be home with their kids,” the royal expert speculated. “They really are playing a central role in the new, slimmed down royal family.”

Prince Edward and Sophie have been noticed by fans more than ever in recent years, playing a huge diplomatic role and advocating for causes close to their hearts. They undertook a pre-Jubilee Tour of the Caribbean in 2022, just like Prince William and Kate Middleton. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex on stage at the Camille Henry Memorial school on April 28, 2022 in Castries, St Lucia

(Image credit: Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Duchess Sophie became the first royal to ever visit Iraq last month and Prince Edward has paid a visit to Germany. The couple also featured prominently at the coronation and appeared in the procession, on the Buckingham Palace balcony and in the group portrait. 

Duchess Sophie previously explained to The Sunday Times magazine after Prince Harry and Meghan’s departure that she’s as busy as she’s ever been, but that perhaps this is being spotted more now.

“There are only so many hours in the day,” she said. “People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been.”

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!