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Every picture tells a thousand stories, and a group photo of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Camilla, Charles, Kate Middleton, Prince William, and their three children which has been included in the official coronation souvenir program is no exception.
The fact that the most recent photograph of the gang together they seem to have found was first published five years ago in November 2018— to mark the occasion of Charles’ 70th birthday and before Meghan and Harry’s kids Archie and Lilibet were even born—is a tell in itself.
And despite the smiling faces beaming at the camera, keen students of royal intrigue now know that behind the scenes, terrible family arguments that would ultimately lead to Harry and Meghan leaving the royal family were brewing.
We know from the Oprah interview, Harry’s book and the couple’s Netflix series that by the time this photo was taken Harry and Meghan had already had a series of explosive arguments with William and Kate.
Harry and Meghan, for example, were married in May 2018 and in the run up to the wedding they had a famous fight about bridesmaids dresses that left one of them in tears. After reports of the incident appeared in the newspapers that Meghan believed were inaccurate, Meghan asked the palace to correct the stories but they refused.
Meghan told Oprah the incident had been “a turning point” in the relationship, and that when neither Kate nor the palace stepped in to correct the record when the Telegraph story first appeared, she realized the palace machinery was not there to protect or defend her.
Meghan told Oprah that the incident happened “a few days before the wedding” which was on 19 May 2018.
You wouldn’t guess it from the happy royal campers in the photo, but in June 2018, according to Harry’s book, there had already been another flashpoint when William and Kate invited Harry and Meghan to tea to “clear the air.” The meeting went badly from the start with the couple contrasting William and Kate’s palatial living quarters with their less opulent digs, furnished “from sofa.com.” Kate then upbraided Meghan for saying she had “baby brain” saying, “You talked about my hormones. We’re not close enough for you to talk about my hormones.”
When William pointed at Meghan, she replied, “Kindly take your finger out of my face.”
More pertinently, of course, the photograph looks like a fairly ridiculous attempt to convey a message of family harmony when Meghan has boycotted the coronation, leaving Harry to attend on his own.