Royal Family: Expert believes the official 2020 portrait hid a cutting message for Prince Harry

Remember the adorable photo the Royal Family released some 4 years ago with Queen Elizabeth, then-Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George? Allegedly, it had a hidden message for the Sussex couple. Here's what's happening.

Prince Harry 2020 Royal Portrait Queen Elizabeth II, Princes Charles, William, George
© Max Mumby/Getty_Images
Prince Harry 2020 Royal Portrait Queen Elizabeth II, Princes Charles, William, George

Royal Family and official portraits go hand in hand. For instance, each year we wait for the royals to release their Christmas wishes with a family portrait. In January 2020, when Queen Elizabeth was still the monarch, the Firm released a portrait showing the 4 generations of people who will sit on British throne.

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The year they had just put behind them, 2019, proved to be challenging for the royals, another ‘annus horribilis’ with Prince Andrew’s involvement with Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Philip’s rush to hospital days before Christmas and the Sussex couple’s controversial allegations on the royals. Amidst this, royal author and expert Robert Lacey has claimed the portrait was a message to the Sussex couple - Prince Harry, especially.

Was there a hidden message for Prince Harry in the 2020 official portrait

According to Robert Lacey, the Firm sent a message to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle about the line of succession. In his book, Battle of Brothers, Lacey has claimed that the picture was Charles’ idea. It meant to show how his vision of a slimmed-down monarchy has future plans but only for the heir to the throne and not the ‘spare.’

The royal author described the image as ‘fascinating, historic’ and a reminder to the viewers of the ‘essence of the royal system.’ He wrote:

The (then) current monarch with three future monarchs. All the living heirs - and not a suggestion of a 'spare'.

Lacey added that Palace sources confirmed that the portrait idea was ‘enthusiastically supported’ by Prince William as it ‘might be seen as sending his younger brother a message.’ This comes as the two brothers have always shared a a complex if not tense relationship. It is also claimed that the Sussex couple - who had only recently moved to North America at the end of 2019 - took the photo ‘to heart,’ reports Express.

While that’s one opinion, many other experts believe that the aim of the photo was just to show how the monarchy works and not to upset the pair. ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship insisted that the photo was shared to mark the start of a new decade - one that would see all the next-in-line to the throne take new responsibilities.

A portrait of four generations

The aforementioned portrait was taken a week before Christmas on December 18, 2019, in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, reports The Sun. The portrait was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie and showed Queen Elizabeth II beaming with the three future Kings of Britain.

The portrait saw Queen Elizabeth II standing between Prince William and then-Prince Charles. Meanwhile, Charles had his right hand resting on Prince George's shoulder—maybe a sign that the monarch could become George’s mentor as he gets older. The Sun’s Royal Correspondent Emily Andrews also believes that the portrait was issued to show the world that the future of the monarchy is in ‘safe hands’ with Charles, William and George. She added:

I love George’s tartan trousers - with the presence of the Prince of Wales, George’s nod to Scotland and the Duke of Cambridge’s English title, the Queen is also saying the royals fully support a hugely important United Kingdom.

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Sources Used

The aforementioned 2019 portrait of the Royal Family

The Express: Prince William 'sent Harry message with Prince George photo' - and he took it to heart

The Sun: The Queen beams alongside cheeky Prince George, Charles & William as they mark the start of a new decade in new photo

Prince Harry: Royal Family could face another blow from him, royal expert claims Prince Harry: Royal Family could face another blow from him, royal expert claims