It seems everyone loves a good royals story and the latest stoush between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of The Firm is no exception.

Harry and Meghan have announced that they intend to step down as senior royals and divide their time between Britain and America. They no longer wish to be part of the rota which grants British journalists access to royal events.

Instead they will pursue media opportunities through their own hand-picked reporters and social media channels.

They plan to devote their considerable star power to charitable work and achieve financial independence from the royal family, presumably by cashing in on their names to strike commercial deals.


The decision has been greeted with predictable outrage on both sides of the Atlantic.

Much of the criticism has rightly focused on the way the couple made their announcement without fully consulting the Queen, leaving Buckingham Palace scrambling to put out a reaction.

Commentators have also legitimately criticised the couple's apparent desire to have it both ways - cashing in on the Royal Family's fame and status but doing none of the (relatively) hard work in daily appearances.

Some have even drawn dark comparisons with Edward VIII, who tried to keep the throne and his marriage to another American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, which threw the monarchy into chaos in the 1930s.

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At this point the speculation gets a little overheated. It's true that the embarrassing squabble comes at a bad time for the royal family, following the far more serious debacle over Prince Andrew's involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

However both episodes tie into the wider narrative of Prince Charles' plans for a slimmed-down royal operation with fewer hangers-on. We can now count out Harry and Meghan, as well as their disgraced uncle, from the famous Buckingham Palace balcony photos.

What matters in the long run is public confidence in the Royal Family and the Megxit bust-up has so far proved Charles' instincts are right.


New Zealanders, like Britons, see the essential characters in the monarchy as the Queen and her successors, Charles and Prince William.

The institution may or may not last in its present form but in this broader debate Megxit is likely to become no more than a sideshow.