Prince George photo was a ‘wake up call’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—they wouldn't be the stars in the Royal Family

This sweet Prince George photo marked the start of 2020 just weeks before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back.

Prince George photo 'wake up call' for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Future // Image 1: Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Gotham/FilmMagic via Getty)

A sweet Prince George photo released back in 2020 was reportedly a major “wake-up call” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle about their position in the Royal Family. 

  • Just weeks before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back as senior royals a new photo of those highest in the line of succession was released.  
  • Prince George featured in this sweet snap and now it’s claimed it showed the Sussexes that they wouldn’t be the “superstars” of the Royal Family.  
  • This royal news comes as the reason why the Queen is unlikely to attend her close friend's funeral is revealed.  

Every time a new Prince George photo is shared fans are delighted to see a new glimpse at the future king, from his highly-anticipated birthday portrait, to his appearance in the Cambridge family Christmas card 2021. At just eight years old, however, and despite being one of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George isn’t often photographed officially. Though perhaps one of the most memorable recent examples came in January 2020 when a special new picture was released.

Alongside him were Prince William, Prince Charles and the Queen, showing all those highest in the royal line of succession. The snap marked the start of a new decade and it was just weeks later that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepped back” as senior members of the Royal Family.

Now it’s been suggested that whilst the release of the Prince George photo didn’t directly inspire their decision, it could’ve been a “wake up call” of where they stood in The Firm going forwards.

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As reported by The Mirror, royal commentator Neil Sean had taken to his YouTube channel to share his thoughts on how the photo showed “where the next phase” of the monarchy is.

He reportedly declared, “We have Prince Charles, Prince George, and of course Her Majesty the Queen. And this was going to be showing, alongside William, where the next phase is. Well, of course, if you look at the picture, it makes perfect sense. Obviously, that is the next line-up.”

Neil also expressed his belief that the Sussexes had already been considering what kind of life they wanted together before the photo was released. 

“Harry and Meghan had decided more or less within the first few months of meeting that they could have a different life,” he claimed. “It wasn’t exactly mapped out word for word, what we’ve ended up with, but certainly for Prince Harry, he wanted to have a different role in his life."

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

He continued, "We’d seen that already with him trying to branch out within the military, and of course, alongside Kate and William, he started those mental health charities.”

The royal commentator also went on to suggest that the Prince George photo could possibly have made the Sussexes realise they wouldn’t be the “superstars” of the Royal Family going forwards.

He stated, "I do believe that it could have been something of a wake-up call to realise that perhaps he and Meghan would never really truly be the superstars of the British monarchy. That’s not to say that they don’t garner as much or more interest than other senior members of the British monarchy, but sometimes it can be the wrong interest.”

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive at Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

This comes as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas as a family of four in the US. It’s not known when they might return and reunite with Prince George and the rest of the Royal Family, though fans will no doubt be hoping that the Sussexes attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations later this year.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!