Newspaper headlines: ‘Freedom at a price’ as Queen seals ‘hard Megxit’

Sunday Express front page 19/01/20

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There’s only one story in town on Sunday’s front pages – the deal struck between the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the pair’s future. Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will not receive public funds for royal duties. “Freedom… at a price,” says the Sunday Express. They will become known as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The Sunday Times front page 19/01/20

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“They’re out,” says the Sunday Times. The paper reports the Queen issued a statement saying Harry and Meghan would “always be much loved members of my family”. It says the deal “amounts to the abdication of the royal ‘rock stars'”.

Sunday Mirror front page 19/01/20

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The Sunday Mirror says Harry and Meghan were “cut loose from the royals” as the Queen ordered a “hard Megxit” (though we’re not convinced they were her exact words…) The couple agreed to pay back £2.4m of taxpayers’ money spent on refurbishing their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage.

The Mail on Sunday front page 19/01/20

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The Mail on Sunday says under the terms of the “historic deal thrashed out at Sandringham yesterday” the pair will cease to be working members of the Royal Family from the spring and will not perform any official duties on behalf of the Queen, “effectively leaving ‘The Firm’ completely”.

The Sun on Sunday front page 19/01/20

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“Payback time,” is the headline of the Sun on Sunday. The tabloid reports that Prince Charles, Harry’s father, will continue to fund the couple with his private money.

Sunday Telegraph front page 19/01/20

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“Harry and Meghan cast out,” is the Sunday Telegraph’s splash. The paper says the “seismic statement” revealed the Sussexes’ departure would be “much more complete than previously thought”. Elsewhere, the paper reports the prime minister is preparing to impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants moving to Britain on the first day after the Brexit transition period ends in December. “No 10 to shut door on EU migrants to years early,” it says.

The Observer front page 19/01/20

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The Observer is the only Sunday paper not to lead on the royals, instead reporting that Boris Johnson will warn his cabinet to focus all their energy on developing policies for post-Brexit Britain – or face the sack in a reshuffle within weeks. In its royal story, the paper quotes the Queen as saying she was “particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family”.

Daily Star Sunday front page 19/01/20

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“Harry gets heir dryer off Queen,” puns the Daily Star. Describing it as the “Queen’s revenge”, the paper says the monarch “had the final say on Harry and Meghan’s future last night, effectively cutting them out of the Royal Family”.

The Sunday People front page 19/01/29

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“Harry and Meghan out in the cold,” is the headline on the front of the Sunday People as it reports the pair plan to live most of the time in North America.

The Sunday Telegraph believes there are no winners as a result of what many of the front pages are calling “Megxit” – the exit of the Duke an Duchess of Sussex as front-line royals.

There is a comment piece on the front, which expresses broad support for the Queen’s decision – which the paper says was not to let Harry and Meghan “have their cake and eat it”.

But it suggests that some might find the idea of stripping Prince Harry of his military appointments “overly punitive”. And it argues the Queen and the Royal Family have lost one of their most popular figures.

Under the headline “can’t have the chateau and the gateau”, the Sunday Mirror welcomes the fact that Harry and Meghan will no longer be allowed to use their HRH titles.

“Only those who do the work of Royal Highnesses should be allowed to call themselves such,” it says. It goes on to commend the way the Queen has handled the situation, concluding that she has “acted decisively but compassionately”.

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The Sunday Express says the two statements released yesterday evening by the Queen could not show more clearly the heartbreak she is suffering as a result of Harry and Meghan’s departure.

It points out that with the couple planning to spend much of their time in Canada, the Queen is in effect losing her grandson and his wife, whom it says “she had tried to guide through the role required of her”.

There’s a piece in the Mail on Sunday written by Princess Diana’s former private secretary, Patrick Jephson.

He believes Saturday night’s statements pose more questions than they answer. Primary among them is what will come of Sussex Royal, Harry and Meghan’s trademark.

“We must assume,” he says, “that any restrictions on its use – and some kind of oversight mechanism – are still under discussion”.

The Sunday Times reveals that Boris Johnson is considering a plan to move the House of Lords to York.

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WPA Pool

It reports that disused government-owned land, close to the city’s railway station, has already been identified as a possible place to build a new second chamber.

The Sunday Times says that if York was chosen, it would be the first time it had been a centre of political power since the 17th Century – during the English civil war. But it also suggests that Birmingham is in the running.

According to the paper, a final decision will be made by a constitutional review to be launched in the spring.

The headline on the front of the Observer is: “PM to cabinet: shape up or I’ll sack you within weeks”.

It says the prime minister is to tell ministers that they must focus all their energy on developing policies for post-Brexit Britain.

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Those who fail to come up with good ideas will, the paper says, face the sack in an impending reshuffle.

The Sun on Sunday has the same story, but concentrates on a different aspect of it – an order by Mr Johnson that ministers should work flat out on their policy ideas, while avoiding being interviewed on the television or radio.

The headline is: “Shut yer gob, keep yer job”.


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