- People around the world were shocked when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their royal exit, including, reportedly, many members of the royal family.
- According to royal author Matthew Dennison, Queen Elizabeth II was "hurt and disappointed" by the Sussexes' decision to step back from royal duties, but she still put the monarchy first when it came time to decide how to handle the change.
- “Elizabeth had never been a sentimental woman; she had acted in the only way she understood," Dennison said of the way the Queen handled the situation.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit hit the royal family hard—but the Queen refused to let it affect the monarchy.
In his upcoming book The Queen, royal author Matthew Dennison offers some insight into how the news of the royal exit affected the Queen and how her longtime philosophy about the job of monarch ultimately dictated her response.
"Elizabeth was hurt and disappointed," Dennison writes in the book, according to an excerpt published by Us Weekly. Even though she had strong feelings about the exit on a personal level, the Queen immediately put the monarchy first when deciding how to proceed and made it clear that Harry and Meghan couldn't use their "royal highness" titles if they weren't working royals.
In the excerpt, Dennison explains why the decision was very much in line with the Queen's philosophy about the role of the monarch:
"Elizabeth’s official statement expressed loving finality: ‘It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.’ It was an attempt to reassert control in the interests of damage limitation, and a decisive but dark beginning to a new decade. Elizabeth had never been a sentimental woman; she had acted in the only way she understood.
As throughout a life in which she had consistently honoured her father’s belief that ‘the highest of distinctions is the service of others’, she had placed the monarchy first, safeguarding its mission of service and duty that could never, she was certain, be a part-time calling."
The Queen is set to be released on September 1, if you want to read more of Dennison's insights into Elizabeth and the inner-workings of the royal family.