Prince Harry, Meghan Markle exit: Was chaos at Christmas the nail in the coffin?

There were some major moments of tension that took place around the holidays at Buckingham Palace between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family. Now, in hindsight, these moments beg the question: Was the chaos that consumed the palace at Christmas what finally drove Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to embark on a separate path from the royal family once and for all?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stunned the world and their own family members when they announced last week that they would be splitting their time between the U.K. and North America while striving to be financially independent.

But perhaps the monumental Megxit wasn’t as abrupt as many claim it to be. Strains within the royal family appeared to be at an all-time high around what is supposed to be the most magical time of year.

A tell-tale sign of the holiday chaos involved the queen’s annual Christmas address, which ended up being memorable for much more than just her reflection of a “quite bumpy” 2019 on the heels of her son Prince Andrew’s sexual assault scandal. While sitting at her desk, the queen was surrounded by several keepsake photos of her family, including Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children. However, noticeably absent from the several framed photos in the filmed address were Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son, Archie.

It was a stark contrast to the queen’s actions one year prior, when she proudly displayed two images of Markle and Harry, including an official wedding portrait and a family snapshot of the pair celebrating Charles’ 70th birthday, according to The Sun.

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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

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