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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are receiving support from an unlikely ally — Christina Oxenberg.
The celebrated writer is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia — the second cousin of Harry’s father, Prince Charles. The 57-year-old shared that her mother and Charles, 71, grew up “very close and they’ve always had a very good relationship — they’re great buddies.”
Oxenberg was born in New York City but moved to London along with her older sister, actress Catherine Oxenberg. Oxenberg has been detailing her upbringing in a serialized tell-all memoir that she’s been updating every week on Patreon.
“I think that Harry and Meghan are doing the right thing,” the 57-year-old told Fox News. “I think the entire family is moving as one and embracing modernity.
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back from royal duties. (AP)
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“I think everything that we’ve heard other than what’s come out of their mouths should be discounted,” she continued. “There’s been a lot of misleading propaganda. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for her majesty [Queen Elizabeth II]. It’s great for the world to see what it means to be a leader. That’s exactly who she is and what she did. She seamlessly and effortlessly corrected [things] in a way that benefitted everybody. That’s true elegance and that’s true leadership. I just have nothing but admiration and respect for her.”
Oxenberg shared that despite Markle, 38, receiving backlash after announcing she was “stepping back” alongside her husband, 35, as a senior royal, she was not alone in her decision.
“Meghan is Harry’s choice and I support him,” she said. “I support his choice as his love. It’s not an easy position for anyone, even for those born into the job, to be in. No outsider gets enough support [as a royal] and that includes insiders. It’s a job that’s almost perhaps impossible to explain to an outsider. It’s incredibly nuanced and incredibly complexed. But… if there was a problem to be fixed, it was [the queen’s] job to do — who better than her? Didn’t you see how quickly, smoothly and elegantly it was taken care of? I think the results are terrific for everybody.
“Could Meghan have had more help? Of course — but everyone else can use more help,” Oxenberg shared. “There is no handbook. And it’s different for everyone. I think she’s doing the best she can. I admire her and respect Harry’s choice.”
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Christina Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. (Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)
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Despite the reigning monarch’s eagerness to solve the “Megxit” deal swiftly and privately, Oxenberg pointed out the glaring media spotlight is difficult to escape.
“Right now newspapers in England are having an orgy of sales,” she explained. “It’s never been better for them to sell newspapers. They’re just making up everything. It’s a free-for-all because the royals work in private. They’re not having tea with anybody from the newspapers.”
Oxenberg believes “Megxit” might actually be a good thing for the British royals — in fact, she revealed it can only improve Harry’s relationship with his father as he attempts to carve out his own identity.
“It’s very hard for Brits, let alone royals, to get emotional and open up with each other,” she said. “This is a pivot for everybody. They might be closer for it. … I don’t see it making things worse. I see it only improving things.”
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Prince Charles With Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, circa 1975. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
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Oxenberg also stressed that despite the tabloids insisting there will ultimately be a crack in the royal couple’s marriage, she doesn’t believe divorce or separation is in Harry and Markle’s future.
“I think [Harry’s] a lifer,” she explained. “I think he’s in love. I think that they’re a great couple. … [I would tell them] to ignore the negativity as best as you can. Don’t even bother responding to it. You’ve got so little time on Earth, such a finite amount of energy, spend it where it’s worth spending — simple as one.
“[As for Archie], he will always be known as Archie, no matter his title. John F. Kennedy Jr. was called ‘John-John,’ which sounds like something out of ‘The Waltons.’ Did it make us feel less respectful towards him? Of course not. He’ll be fine. [Queen Elizabeth’s daughter] Princess Anne was way ahead of her time in the ’70s because she did not impose the HRH titles on her children. [Her brother] Prince Edward did the same thing with his children. Things were already changing for the royal family. It’s only going to continue. [‘Megxit’] is proof of that.”
Elizabeth, 93, and Buckingham Palace released a much-anticipated statement on Saturday confirming that Harry and Markle will no longer use their HRH titles and will move forward with their initial “Megxit” plan in the spring of 2020.
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In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. As part of a surprise announcement distancing themselves from the British royal family, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan declared they will “work to become financially independent” — a move that has shocked the world. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on the official royal family website.
The palace continued: “With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH [His or Her Royal Highness] titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their U.K. family home,” the palace said.
The refurbishment reportedly cost 2.4 million pounds, or approximately $3.1 million, the Daily Mail has reported.
“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security,” it added.
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)
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The queen simultaneously released a statement of her own voicing her support.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family,” she said.
“I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” the 93-year-old monarch said. “I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.”
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,” she added.
Harry and Markle first announced their decision to “step back” on Jan. 8, shocking the world and their family members with the news.
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry met through a mutual friend in Toronto in 2016. The royal couple will now be splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada. (Getty)
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Archie’s parents said their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
“Megxit” comes after Prince Harry and Markle’s many attempts to put an end to the scrutiny they’ve faced since their royal engagement in 2017.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.
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