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2 Royals Were Hit Harder by Prince Harry and Meghan’s Exit Than Prince William and Kate; ‘It Affected Their Lives the Most’



Many royal family members were reportedly caught off guard and shocked by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement to step down from their roles as senior royals in 2020. While many believed the Sussexes’ decision did not sit well with Prince William and the Princess of Wales (formerly known as Kate Middleton), a royal expert has said that most people don’t realize it hit two other royals even harder and really “affected their lives.”

Who had to step up when Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down

The duke and duchess’s last royal engagement was the Commonwealth Day Service on March 9, 2020, at Westminster Abbey. While many royal watchers were focused on the frosty relations between Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate, they didn’t notice that Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie (formerly the Countess of Wessex) barely acknowledged or interacted with the Sussexes either.

Royal commentator Jeannie Bond explained that could be because Edward and Sophie’s lives have actually been “affected” most by Meghan and Harry leaving.

Bond told OK!: “Arguably, the departure of Harry and Meghan has affected the lives of Edward and Sophie more than anyone else. They have always done their fair share of royal engagements, but now they are recognized as senior and key members of the royal family. Their children are older than William and Catherine’s, so they don’t feel quite the same pressures to be home with their kids.”

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Edward, and Sophie attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020

The couple received new titles from King Charles

For years Edward and Sophie had enjoyed a low profile within Britain’s most famous family, but that changed when they started picking up more royal engagements in Meghan and Harry’s absence. Working on behalf of the Crown has earned them a place in King Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy.

As Bond pointed out: “They really are playing a central role in the new, slimmed-down royal family.”

Members of King Charles' slimmed-down monarchy gather on the Buckingham Palace central balcony following the Coronation

The king also bestowed new titles on his brother and sister-in-law. On March 10, 2023, it was announced that King Charles made Edward the new Duke of Edinburgh and Sophie the Duchess of Edinburgh.

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “His Majesty the King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’s 59th birthday. The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’s lifetime. 


“The Dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952. The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.’

Edward’s former title the Earl of Wessex was passed to the couple’s son, James.

Source: Cheat Sheet

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