Every time the Queen talks about the efforts of royal family members, she always fails to address those of her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
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2021 Christmas speech
We saw this happen in her 2021 Christmas speech, when she commended Prince Charles, Prince William, and their partners Kate and Camilla, for the work they recently did for the COP 27 climate change summit. She said:
I am proud beyond words that his pioneering work has been taken on and magnified by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William - admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine—most recently at the COP climate change summit in Glasgow.
This is not because Prince Harry and Meghan have not been doing anything worthwhile. The couple have been fiercely advocating for vaccine equity during the pandemic and also have their own climate change campaign. Why is it, then, that she deliberately leaves the two out of her official speeches?
While royal fans and several experts are quick to conclude that she purposely snubbed them out of spite or because of their strained relationship, there could be a more calculated reason. Royal commentator, Victoria Howard, suggested that it's all about the branding for the monarchy.
Snub or royal branding?
In 2019, the Queen gave her Christmas message while sitting on her desk that featured photos of her father King George IV, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William’s family. There was no sign or mention of Prince Harry and his wife. Most believed that it was a sign of their rifting relationship, but Howard said, at the time, that it was definitely not the case. She told Oprah Daily:
The photographs used in The Queen's Christmas broadcast are a deliberate choice, but certainly not a snub.
If you look at recent years, the photos are mostly of the Queen and Prince Philip, the parents, and her direct heirs, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George. It is part of the branding of the monarchy, if you will, to show continuity and the future of the Crown.
Although Howard was referring to the pictures on her table, this same branding strategy could explain why she only publicly talks about Prince Charles, the future king of England, his wife Camilla, along with Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, and his family.