Biographer Andrew Morton is drawing parallels between Prince Harry and Princess Margaret.
Life as a royal is not as glamorous as it seems. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle realized this when they decided to break free from the monarchy and step down as senior royals last year. How has the Queen taken the news? According to a royal expert, Queen Elizabeth has "infinite patience" with her grandson Prince Harry as she understands the challenges of being "the spare". The story is all too familiar with Her Majesty whose sister Princess Margaret also struggled to be the second-born in the royal family.
Iconic royal biographer Andrew Morton unpacks the devoted but also stormy relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret. https://t.co/kL2CXXh9Ns— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) March 29, 2021
Andrew Morton, the author of the new biography Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters shared his insights with Vanity Fair. “I think the Queen knows that being the spare is hard and a part of her recognizes that Harry was sometimes a bit of a lost soul just like her sister,” Morton said. “She has always wanted to protect Harry and I think in part that’s because she watched Margaret fall victim to the system. Shutting out Margaret didn’t help and the Queen has learned from that. She didn’t want history to repeat itself with Harry.”
The author's book sheds light on the two sisters who had rather different personalities and what the crown demanded of them. “Margaret often felt that she was in Elizabeth’s shadow,” Morton told the outlet. “She was four years younger, and tried to make up for the age difference by wearing the same clothes and doing the same things as her older sister, but there was a hierarchy and Margaret always came behind the Queen. She found out very soon in life that she would be number two.”
Biographer Andrew Morton believes Queen Elizabeth has shown “infinite patience” towards Prince Harry because she recognizes the challenges faced by younger royal siblings. https://t.co/8Yk6CCT2J6— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) April 1, 2021
The royal expert draws parallels with Harry and William. When the young royals were growing up, the older Wales brother was treated differently and was often invited to tea with the Queen Mother. William was born to be king and was often treated as such. But Diana always insisted that her sons should be treated equally and did everything she could to make Harry feel as important.
“The Royal Family is a hierarchy and if you’re not number one that can be challenging,” said Morton. “There are also many parallels between the relationship between Elizabeth and Margaret and William and Harry. William is dutiful, serious, considered, cautious, just like the Queen. I think one of the main differences between Margaret and Harry was that Margaret was always loyal to the crown.” Despite breaking away from tradition the Queen has been more forgiving towards Harry. “She has a lot of affection for Harry. She was there the day Harry lost his mother and has been there for him ever since,” Morton said. “She has deliberately taken him under her wing. I think as a grandmother she has been far more understanding than as a mother at times.”
Princess Margaret 'Understood the Queen in a Way No One Else Could': Inside Their Complex Bond https://t.co/uRhL16ymTh— People (@people) March 31, 2021
According to ET Online, in the famous interview with Oprah, Harry did touch upon his relationship with his grandmother. The 36-year-old said that he has "spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years. My grandmother and I have a really good relationship... And an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her." But his relationship with his brother still needs some time to heal. "I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we-- you know, we're on-- we're on different paths. The relationship [with William] is space at the moment. Time heals all things," the Duke of Sussex said, also noting that he felt "there's a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar."
After the interview, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen saying, "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the statement read. "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Steve Parsons - WPA Pool, (R) Fox Photos / Stringer