It’s no secret that things have been rocky between the Duchess of Sussex and her half-sister Samantha Markle since she began dating Prince Harry, with tensions reaching a fever pitch when their father Thomas Markle was apparently shunned from the royal wedding in May 2018. And now Samantha has weighed in on the recent announcement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The world was rocked on Wednesday when Prince Harry and Meghan publicly revealed that they intended to take a step back in 2o20, effectively resigning from their roles as senior members of the British royal family. And, to add insult to injury, it seems the pair dropped the bombshell without forewarning the Queen, Prince Charles or Prince William.
Meghan’s estranged half-sister Samantha Markle, who shares the same father as the duchess, has now given her thoughts on the matter, describing Meghan’s actions as “insulting” and “hurtful” to her family during an Australian television interview.
“I was surprised on one hand, but not on the other,” the 55-year-old told Sunrise on Friday morning. “As I had said at the beginning of all this, with regards to the family rift, there wasn’t really a family rift per se and we all felt very ghosted.
“It was my contention [that] ‘If she’ll do this to our family, she’ll do this to yours’. And the world sort of mocked me … I was just being very honest and saying look, I love her, she’s my sister, but humanitarians and diplomats don’t behave like this.”
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) January 9, 2020
She added: “As I saw royal protocol broken and the rift between the royals, especially Harry and William, increase, I thought there’s something going on here that contradicts the definition of humanitarian and diplomat. I see a divisiveness, selfishness and I thought why isn’t she working harder to bridge the gap with our family and with the royals.
“It felt quite selfish and now I’ve watched the royals go through quite a lot of controversy, there’s been quite a bit of public dissent, regarding expenditures from the wedding on up and I think now to find out there’s going to be this exodus … It’s really insulting and I think quite hurtful. I am shocked that this is happening to the British royal family.”
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
In a statement released on social media earlier this week, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan said they would make the transition this year, carving out “a progressive new role within this institution” by balancing their time between the UK and North America while “continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen”.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” the statement said.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
Their unprecedented announcement has sparked a range of reactions, from people supporting their decision to look after the interests of themselves and their baby son Archie Harrison, to those who think the couple should cut ties altogether rather than cherry picking which duties they will carry out in future, and who gets to report on them.