Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the headline royals right now, so when Prince Philip passed away overnight, the question immediately arose of how they would respond. Would they post a gushing tribute or remain silent? Prince Harry is expected to return to the UK for the funeral, but will pregnant Meghan accompany him or remain at home in the US?
At least one of those questions was answered today, when the couple turned their official Archewell website into a tribute to Prince Philip. Their post read: “In Loving Memory Of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021, Thank You For Your Service…You Will Be Greatly Missed.” This tribute was brief and to the point, and of course, the internet has thoughts.
A number of outlets went the pearl-clutching route, like News Corp, who ran with the headline “Meghan and Harry slammed for ‘ice cold’ tribute to Prince Philip”. Their piece included several tweets from Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of UK tabloid The Sun, who slammed the statement for its lack of affection, and said LA has “ruined” Harry.
I am astonished at the lack of affection in the Harry and Meghan statement. It read; "Thank you for your service. You will be greatly missed." He wasn't a distant relative they hadn't seen in years. Philip was his grandfather for God's sake. Where's the love? LA is ruining him.— Kelvin MacKenzie (@kelvmackenzie) April 9, 2021
Their ice cold "thank you for your service" farewell to Prince Philip signals to me a detachment from his family which must lead tol Harry and Meghan giving up their titles or having them removed. PR advice galore and yet no affection. They really are pieces of work.— Kelvin MacKenzie (@kelvmackenzie) April 9, 2021
Meghan and Harry’s statement is certainly brief, especially in contrast to the official tribute from the royal family, which is lengthier and expresses “deep sorrow” at the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Other outlets, however, framed their tribute quite differently. The Herald Sun went with the headline “Prince Harry expresses grief over Prince Philip’s death” and a piece that focused on Harry’s “distress” over his grandfather’s passing.
Amidst all of this, posh UK rag Town and Country Magazine pointed out that no members of the royal family have offered their own individual tributes, and that this unsigned tribute is, in the truest sense, actually on behalf of the Archewell organisation rather than the couple themselves.
I suppose the takeaway from all this is that no matter what Meghan and Harry do, their every move will be scrutinised heavily. No further details of Prince Philip’s funeral have been announced, however, it has been confirmed that it will be a small ceremony rather than a more elaborate state funeral.