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ROCKY ROYALS

Meghan Markle is defying the royals as she goes about her ‘normal’ Canadian life and it’s terrifying The Queen

THE sight of Meghan Markle swanning around Vancouver this week can only be seen as an act of extraordinary defiance from the royals at the centre of a global backlash.

Collecting her yoga pal from the airport, beaming at the camera as she stepped off a seaplane and the image of her posing alongside staff at a woman’s refuge carried a simple message – ‘crisis – what crisis?'

The Duchess of Sussex was pictured in Vancouver this week doing a private visit to the Justice for Girls organisation
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The Duchess of Sussex was pictured in Vancouver this week doing a private visit to the Justice for Girls organisationCredit: AFP or licensors

What appeared so insolent was the fact that she went about 'normal' Canadian life - as she did pre-Harry - while the shockwaves from the bombshell they'd dropped on the Royal Family last week still reverberated around the corridors of the palace.

The ink on the Queen’s carefully worded and unprecedented statement following Monday’s ‘Sandringham showdown’ with Harry had barely dried yet she was doing what she wanted, when she wanted to.

In it the statement Her Majesty made great play of the ‘family’, revealing that although she was disappointed, she remained supportive of Harry and Meghan’s decision to take a ‘step back’ from their official duties as royals.

What else could the Queen say? As head of the ‘Firm’ she was being forced to accept the royals were losing two of their brightest stars. 

Meghan's visits took place unannounced, not far from where the duchess has been staying on Vancouver Island
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Meghan's visits took place unannounced, not far from where the duchess has been staying on Vancouver IslandCredit: Doug Seeburg - The Sun
Nor is it known whether Meghan’s unscripted engagement was cleared in advance with other parts of the royal household
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Nor is it known whether Meghan’s unscripted engagement was cleared in advance with other parts of the royal householdCredit: Splash News

But as a grandmother who cares for the well-being of her beloved grandson, how could she condemn him for following his heart?

It is difficult therefore to see Meghan’s unexpected cameo at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver on Tuesday as anything other than an astonishing act of defiance.

Here was one of the most controversial members of the Royal Family since Wallace Simpson acting as though nothing had happened. The beaming images of Meghan stank of ‘Bombshell, what bombshell?’.

The reality is senior royals including the Queen are likely to be terrified of how this radical new arrangement that has been thrust upon them will actually work. 

Will it even be possible for Harry and Meghan to step in and out of royal engagements on their own whim? 

 Senior royals are likely to be terrified of how this radical new arrangement with Meghan and Harry will work
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Senior royals are likely to be terrified of how this radical new arrangement with Meghan and Harry will work Credit: Reuters
Harry is set to return to the multi-million-pound Canadian mansion where Meghan is holed up with baby Archie
Harry is set to return to the multi-million-pound Canadian mansion where Meghan is holed up with baby Archie
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex got their way in their bid to break away from the Royal Family at a crisis summit at Sandringham
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex got their way in their bid to break away from the Royal Family at a crisis summit at SandringhamCredit: Splash News

Never before have the royals had to accommodate a Hokey Cokey couple where such senior family figures are free to put their left legs in and take their left legs out as and when it suits.

Nor is it known whether Meghan’s unscripted engagement was cleared in advance with other parts of the royal household.

Harry and Meghan seem determined to follow their own paths while retaining the right to fly the flag for the royals at times they deem appropriate.

It has yet to be announced exactly how the Sussexes' new life work being split across two continents
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It has yet to be announced exactly how the Sussexes' new life work being split across two continentsCredit: AFP

This is dangerous because the survival of the Royal institution is in no small part dependent on the entire family singing from the same hymn sheet. 

They need to work as a team, to coordinate their diaries carefully and maintain the appearance of being united in one overarching aim – the longevity of an institution that exists thanks to the goodwill of the British public.

It is difficult therefore to see Meghan’s unexpected cameo at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver on Tuesday as anything other than an astonishing act of defiance.

Duncan LarcombeRoyal author

Being a member of the Royal Family should never become the same thing as being a contestant in a popularity contest. 

If this brave new arrangement has any chance of working, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex must show a willingness to work alongside other members of their family, not against.

United they are strong but divided they may well ultimately fall.

We shared how the Queen is ‘privately furious’ about £2.4m Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent on Frogmore refurb – only to move abroad.

It comes as staff have been axed from the Windsor home.

Prince Harry has been 'grumpy, sad and bad-tempered' since marrying Meghan Markle, royal expert claims
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