Their supporters will argue it’s no great loss. Like Boris and Oprah, Harry and Meghan have global first name recognition. Meghan remains a duchess and Harry a prince and a pretender, at a distance, to the throne.
But it will hurt. Nothing is left of their half-baked plan to change what it meant to be a senior member of the royal family. The status quo has been sustained. What’s striking is that Harry, with his deep insider knowledge of how his family functions, clearly thought they might succeed. He convinced himself that he could live and earn in Canada and remain Captain General of the Royal Marines.
A harsh Windsor reality has replaced that misguided optimism. But the palace portcullis isn’t fully lowered. The prince’s honorary military role won’t be filled for 12 months. Princess Anne, who’d been tipped to replace her nephew, remains in the wings. By April next year, the Queen will be 95 and who knows what shape the monarchy will be in. No one could have predicted these last few months, not least those enmeshed in it. So only the foolhardy would wish to say with any certainty that this is the last we’ll see of Harry and Meghan as full-time royals.