In the wake of the much-publicized "Megxit," Prince Harry's relationship with the British royal family and the U.K. public has been a subject of intense scrutiny. As the Duke of Sussex prepares for an upcoming European tour, insiders and royal commentators weigh in on the challenges and perceptions he might face.
Before his departure from royal duties, Prince Harry was a familiar face at official events, often seen alongside his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William. However, the dynamics have shifted considerably since then. Renowned royal biographer Andrew Morton, in a discussion with Sky News Australia, stated that Harry is "well aware" of the sentiment that "no one wants to see him" during his upcoming visit. This sentiment was echoed by another insider who mentioned, "There’s no expectation that the family’s going to show up or acknowledge it or that anybody wants to see him."
One of the speculated reasons for this perceived coldness is Harry's decision to avoid Buckingham Palace during his visit. Morton suggests that this might be to sidestep the protocol of having to "[curtsy] to Kate Middleton." This speculation gains weight considering the recent revelations and comments made by Harry about his family, especially in his Netflix series, Heart of Invictus. In the series, Harry candidly spoke about the lack of support he felt from his family after the tragic loss of his mother, Princess Diana. He shared his struggles with emotional suppression, stating, "I didn’t have that support structure, that network, or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me."
Harry's reflections on his trauma are not limited to his royal life. He also delved into the emotional challenges he faced while stationed in Afghanistan. The prince recounted his inability to express or even feel emotions, a realization that dawned upon him during his military service. "I was unable to cry, I was unable to feel. I didn’t know it at the time," Harry revealed. It was only later in life, around the age of 28, that he began to confront and process these suppressed emotions.
As Prince Harry's return to the U.K. looms, the public and media will undoubtedly be watching closely. The visit promises to be more than just a trip; it will be a litmus test of the Duke's relationship with his homeland, his family, and the British public. Whether bridges can be mended or new chapters written remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: Prince Harry's journey, both personal and royal, continues to captivate audiences worldwide.