Why Prince Harry is so unhappy with the exit deal and why he thought it could have been different

I’ve got some details of the tough negotiations last week between the Queen’s courtiers and Prince Harry.

And they do help to explain the exasperated tone of Harry’s speech last night in which he made it clear, when all is said and done, he isn’t very happy with the outcome.

Yes, he wanted to quit his current role as a senior member of the Royal Family.

But Harry desperately wanted to keep representing the Queen and the Commonwealth both here in the UK and in his new home in Canada and the United States.

  • Watch Prince Harry's Sentebale speech in full:

Harry and Meghan went into the discussions with the Royal Family arguing that they should have a role that was much like Prince Andrew’s daughters, Eugenie and Beatrice, or like Prince Michael of Kent (who as grandson of King George V is a first cousin of the Queen).

Each of them has an HRH title and yet they are all able to earn an income whilst taking some public money from the Sovereign Grant - for whatever work they do representing the Queen.

And the Monarch also pays for Prince and Princess Michael of Kent to live in one of the apartments at Kensington Palace. It is also where Eugenie lives, while Beatrice has a residence at St James’ Palace.

Harry and Meghan went into the discussions with the Royal Family arguing for a role much like Prince Andrew’s daughters. Credit: PA

As for employment, Prince Michael has a consultancy business, Princess Eugenie works for the art dealer Hauser and Wirth and Beatrice has a job at the data company, Afiniti.

So you can see why Harry and Meghan had thought it was possible that they could establish something similar for themselves.

In the Sussexes’ initial statement, they spoke of a desire to continue to “fully support” the Queen and to “honour our duty to the Commonwealth".

But not any more.

The Sussexes with the Queen at her Young Leaders Awards Ceremony in 2018. Credit: PA

Fast forward ten days, and Harry and Meghan will be without any royal role at all, he has no military title and his position as a Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth has been taken away.

They keep their HRH titles but won’t use them – which I took as an acknowledgement from the Palace that they didn’t want to repeat the mistake of the Diana years when she was “stripped” of her HRH style. That would – as it did then – look like some form of petty punishment.

But I can’t help but wonder if Harry and Meghan have been punished in most other ways.

The rules – as were laid out to him – were that he was not going to be a "working royal" so he couldn’t continue in any job which involved representing the Queen.

Nor could he keep any patronage or role that was bestowed on him by the Queen.

That explains why he loses his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador (a Queen appointment) but not his role as President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (not a Queen appointment).

Harry with the Duke of Cambridge at a Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Credit: PA

As for the military, the decision was made that he couldn’t be a ceremonial head of any unit in the British Army or Royal Navy if the majority of his time was going to be spent outside the UK.

I should be clear, Harry didn’t want to lose any of this.

But he was told, there is no half-in, half-out model for someone like him.

He was told, if you want to "step back", if you want that "more peaceful life" - as he put it - then you have to cut your ties with the institution.

Of course, there was no direct comparison for the courtiers who were given the monumental task of sorting this out.

Unlike Harry, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie do not have military titles nor do they have patronages bestowed on them by the Queen.

And Harry is a son of a future king, unlike the Yorks who are the children of a future king's brother.

But the frustration Harry felt about losing so much in this new arrangement, was expressed in his speech on Sunday night.