Megxit & Hexit (and Brexit)
There are all forms of relationships, new relationship, establishing relationships, established relationships and relationships that are on their way out – exiting relationships.
There are changes and exiting of relationships at the country-based level. Colonies have been declaring independence for years. For example, Cameroon from being a former German colony, Madagascar from being a French overseas territory, and Somalia from being a former Italian Colony.
Then there are countries who have joined together. For example, those countries that meet the ‘Copenhagen criteria’ conditions for European Union (EU) membership and have supplied successful, are part of the EU. There are still a number of countries that are seeking membership – for example, Albania, Montengro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. These countries are seeking to establish relationships.
There are countries exiting relationships such as ‘Brexit’, where a well- known country seeking to separate from the EU – the country exit by the United Kingdom from the group of countries known as the EU. Colloquially, the attempts to separate and change the nature of the relationship between Great Britain and the countries of the EU is known as Brexit.
There is a newer separation that we been made aware of. The new separation is Meghan Markle and Harry Windsor from the family. This separation is not country-based relationship separation as in the case of Brexit – although we are likely to see changes in country relationships and diplomacy because the new separation.
Arguably the biggest separation or divorce of 2020 (to date) Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they together separate from the British Royal family.
What have we seen as a result of the separation?
Changes in relationships with the public and media:
They have formed new relationships and engagement with the world and will continue to do so. Previously they have been covered by a group of reporters (both print and broadcast) who are given special access to royal engagements known as the “Royal Rota”. The Royal Rota is the press group that covers the British royal family and they are invited to attend and report on royal events. Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer take part in the Royal Rota and will instead invite specialist media to specific events. It is understood, although we will have to wait and see, that there will now be greater access to them and in particular their cause-driven activities. No longer working with the Royal Rota, they may seek new relationships and engage with grassroots media organisations and emerging journalists.
Changes in financial relationships:
They plan to financially separate. Perhaps a little bit “same same but different” to a property settlement (in family law matters) where the parties reach settlement with a view to become financially separated.
They will become financial independent and will no longer receive monies from the Sovereign Grant.
Perhaps this could be considered a financial/property settlement with the United Kingdom government – and it is anticipated that they will not be receiving a portion of the taxpayer-funded grant allotted to the Royal family.
Changes to the relationship with Royal family:
Perhaps like parents who have children together who have to continue some form of relationship post separation (whether good or not so good), the Sussexes will also have a relationship with the Her Majesty The Queen but the new arrangements will likely allow them to work externally and have greater financial autonomy.
A relationship will continue, but it will be different from when they were ‘together’.
What do they get in the divorce from the ‘property settlement’?
It is thought that Harry and Meghan intend to keep in the ‘property settlement’ what a family lawyer might call ‘the former matrimonial home” – perhaps they will be keeping their UK home – known as Frogmore Cottage.
The Queen will keep Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been living at Nottingham Cottage previously prior to moving into Frogmore cottage. The Queen owns Nottingham Cottage and will likely be retaining this property.
Travel and security
It would seem that the proposal for travels costs will be privately funded for private travel. While in the UK, they will have security guards which are supplied by London’s Metropolitan Police and this will continue to be taxpayer-funded while they are in the UK or on official visits. The reasoning behind this is that Henry and Meghan “are classified as internationally protected people” and are therefore required to be supplied Security Guards.
Name Change / Name Titles
Change of name often comes up as an issue to resolve when relationships breakdown, so what for Harry and Meghan? It is not clear as yet, but it looks as though they may retain their titles.
How do we tell everyone about the separation?
There are many family law matters that I have been involved in where one party feels ‘blindsided’ by the separation. They feel as if they did not know it was coming and are completely shocked by the separation. It is one thing to be blindsided in the reality television show franchise in the game of Survivor, but for it to be done unexpected by a family member is a different story.
Allegedly, Queen Elizabeth II was not consulted about the Sussexes’ official statement before it was release and neither were heirs Prince Charles and Prince William. The official Buckingham Palace statement, swiftly issued after the Sussexes’ Instagram announcement, suggested that no decision had yet been made.
Statement from Buckingham Palace on discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.
What about the kids?
It is understood that the Duke and Duchess will raise their son, Archie, between the United Kingdom and North America.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” the couple said.
Where to from now?
Before the announcement and decision to leave, perhaps some alternative dispute resolution could have helped. Perhaps a mediation, for example, would allow them to voice their concerns and wishes prior to the separation and they could have all explored innovative and creative solutions that could go some way to preserve the relationship and have a united front, particularly given the combination of business and family. It is not too late to try some form of dispute resolution.
“Landmines are an unhealed scar of war. By clearing the landmines, we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity.”
- The Duke of Sussex (in a speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at a HALO Trust minefield, Dirico, Angola)
What scars need to be healed with the separation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the Royal Family? What peace is to be found? And what opportunities may come?
There is no warranty as to the correctness of this blog and information may change. No reliance should be placed on his blog.
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