New Royal Portrait Means There's "No Way Back" for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Claims Royal Columnist

That's one way to look at it.

Camilla, Queen Consort, King Charles III, Prince William, Princess Kate
(Image credit: Getty)

As it so often does, the Royal Family just released a new official family portrait this past weekend, which shows clear as day the "future of the monarchy," as Omid Scobie would have it.

Right now, that future doesn't seem to include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were front and center of the operation while they were working royals.

Instead, the portrait depicts King Charles and Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate, gathered for a formal reception the night before Queen Elizabeth's funeral.

For royal columnist Richard Kay, the choice of this photo as the latest official Palace communication with the world is a deliberate one, which stands in contrast to earlier official photos which would have been expected to include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"So it is not difficult to imagine how this picture will be viewed in sunny California, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are based," Kay writes in the Daily Mail.

"Might it deepen their feelings of exclusion and exile, or will it merely serve to remind them why they chose to break from the family in the first place?

"It surely can be no coincidence that the picture was taken when the couple were still in Britain and several days before they returned home to their children Archie and Lilibet.

"It must, therefore, be yet another signal that they will never again return to their central role in royal life."

There's certainly a world where this is true, but other commentators have hypothesized that Charles and William would need—or at the very least, want—to welcome back Harry into the fold in some shape or form. At the moment, it looks like it all very much rides on what happens with the Duke of Sussex' memoir, and his and his wife's other slated media projects.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.