BY ELISE TAYLOR
From the outside, it always seemed like Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton were thick as thieves: Photo ops showed them palling around and smiling, joint appearances were common, and the trio even launched a mental health initiative together. So when Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged, the public bestowed a new nickname upon them all: the Fab Four.
But soon, rumors of a rift emerged—only to be confirmed by Harry himself last October: “We’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he’ll always be there for me,” he said of his relationship with his brother in Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. A few months later, the Sussexes announced they were quitting royal life. Things weren’t fabulous, and perhaps they never were.
On March 9, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, and Kate Middleton will be reunited for the first time since the Sussexes’ bombshell decision. Buckingham Palace confirmed they will all attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, along with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall.
What can we expect from this last hurrah? Likely, well, nothing much. The royals are masters at keeping up appearances. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (temporarily) kept feud rumors at bay with their friendly demeanor at last year’s Commonwealth service. After weeks of tumultuous public relations, the family will presumably want to seem as united as possible.
It’s also likely that it won’t be the last appearance for the foursome. The Sussexes will reportedly still take part in major royal events, like the annual Trooping the Colour. So while this appearance has some significance to it—on March 31, the Sussexes will officially step down and transition to a private life—it doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatic moment.
Instead, it might serve as a poignant reminder of what could have been: a monarchy with a future in the fabulous four, rather than a now uncertain path forward.