Queen Elizabeth II did not "boot" Prince Harry and Meghan Markle out of the royal family because they missed Christmas this year. That's the premise of a phony tabloid report. Gossip Cop can debunk it.
"Kicked Out Of The Royal Family!" screams the headline on the cover of Star this week. Inside, a lengthy article makes a number of bogus claims about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the other family members. The story is built around a false narrative about the Queen's annual Christmas Broadcast in which the 93-year-old monarch described 2019 as "quite bumpy" for the family.
The unreliable outlet describes the setting for her annual remarks by saying, "The queen was surrounded by beautiful photographs of her loved ones, Prince Philip, her son, Prince Charles, as well as grandson Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton, and their three children. Noticeably absent from the picture gallery? Harry, Meghan, and their 8-month-old Archie." The tabloid then attempts to push the idea that Queen Elizabeth was sending a message to the Sussexes.
A so-called "source" is quoted as saying, "The queen is cutting off Harry and Meghan." The tabloid contends she'll be stripping them of their titles, kicking them out of their royal home, and revoking the income for their royal duties. The dubious source adds, "After months of trying to bring them to their senses but getting nowhere, she wants to wash her hands of them for good." Prince Harry, according to the magazine, "couldn't believe it when she told him" and was blaming his wife.
What's actually hard to believe is anything about this story. The couple skipping Christmas with the queen was the supposed final straw for the monarch, according to the article, but that decision was made months ago and is hardly without precedent. Prince William and Kate Middleton often spend Christmas with Middleton's family, though this year they were with the queen. Prince Harry and Markle spent Christmas in Canada with her mother.
The description of the queen's speech is also one of the biggest problems with the article. The tabloid does accurately describe the scene, but it fails to explain the meaning of the photos on the desk next her. One is of Prince Charles and his wife, Camila. One is of Prince William, Middleton, and their children. The third photo, which the tabloid didn't mention, is of the queen's father, King George VI. The significance of those three is that all were, are, or will be, the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom. Behind the queen is a photo of her husband and a fifth photo that is shown clearly.
Yes, Prince Harry and Markle are not featured, but nor is the queen's daughter Anne, her sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward or any of her other grandchildren, like Princess Eugenie or Princess Beatrice. She simply wanted to focus on the lineage of the monarchy this year. Both Prince Harry and Markle have been feature before during past Christmas addresses. There is absolutely nothing to read into here. After that narrative implodes, the story simply carries no weight and the whole thing was likely made up.
It's not surprising that a tabloid would invent a story like this. Just this week, Gossip Cop highlighted how often we debunk stories about Prince Harry and Markle leaving the royal family in one way or another. In fact, one of those articles that we busted earlier this year came from Star's sister publication, the National Enquirer, which claimed on its cover that Queen Elizabeth "disowned" and "booted" Markle and Prince Harry out of the family. It seems the latest story is just a rehash of that untrue report. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are still very much part of the queen's family in every way.
Update: On January 8th, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family in a statement on their official website. The couple also announced they would be splitting time between the United Kingdom and North America. The duke and duchess made it clear that they will still support the queen and the rest of the family. They were not "kicked out" of the family by Queen Elizabeth.
On January 13th, Her Majesty issued an official release that read, in part: "My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family."
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.