Has the Harry and Meghan photo in the Queen's reception room disappeared?
TORONTO -- A framed photo of Prince Harry and Meghan appears to have been removed from a table in Queen Elizabeth II’s Buckingham Palace reception room, as questions continue to swirl about a possible rift within the Royal Family.
The photo’s absence is evident in a photo of the Queen receiving the High Commissioner for Grenada, Lakisha Grant, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
In the image of the two women meeting, a framed photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and another of Prince William and Prince Harry standing in military uniform can be seen placed on a table to the left of the fireplace.
As innocuous as the arrangement may seem, eagle-eyed royal watchers were quick to notice that a photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which had resided on the same table previously, had been removed.
The photo of Prince Harry and Meghan used to sit in front of the photo of Prince William and his wife Kate on the fireside table, according to past photos showing the Queen receiving guests in that room.
For example, in one photo taken in the Queen’s audience room in July, when she was meeting then-newly elected Conservative Party Leader Boris Johnson, the photo of Prince Harry and Meghan can be spotted in front of the photo of Prince William and Kate on the table.
The photo’s disappearance comes days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stirred up media attention for giving unusually personal interviews to ITV’s Tom Bradby for the documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” which aired on Sunday.
In the documentary, the couple shared revealing details about the struggles they have faced while under the constant scrutiny of the press.
In one particularly emotional clip, which has been viewed millions of times online, the Duchess admitted that adjusting to motherhood in the limelight has been “challenging.”
“It’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes,” she explained. “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
Prince Harry, too, made headlines for acknowledging in the documentary that he and his brother Prince William have experienced tensions and are on “different paths.”
“You have good days and you have bad days,” he said in the interview.
The documentary has reportedly been a source of conflict in the Royal Family with a palace source telling the BBC that Prince William is “worried” about the Duke and Duchess.
CTV Royal Commentator Richard Berthelsen said he thinks there is some truth to stories reporting a conflict between the two princes.
“There was a lot of speculation that the rift was between the duchesses and there was this sense that it was all these young women that were fighting… In fact, I’ve often thought that it was really about the boys,” he told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
Berthelsen said he doesn’t understand what Prince Harry and Meghan’s strategy is in agreeing to do the interviews for the documentary.
“They seem to be either naïve or maybe a little too calculated in being just vague enough in some of their answers that people can read into almost anything they want to,” he said. “I think this is really not helping in creating a stable environment for them and in fact it’s creating greater media interest.”
As for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s future in the Royal Family, Berthelsen said he thinks Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales, may need to intervene soon to figure out how they will conduct themselves in their charitable work.
“[To] find out whether they want to continue on and the terms in which they want to continue because this kind of interview is not going to work in the way the Royal Family functions,” he said.
Buckingham Palace has not commented on the documentary or any of its revelations.