THERE’S no better example of the old adage about a picture painting a thousand words than the shot of Prince Harry and Meghan leaving Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night.
Deep in thought, the Duke of Sussex stares out the window of his car dressed in his full military regalia, perhaps for the last time, having received one last standing ovation from the great British public.
The Duchess of Sussex had pained expression on her face as they left the Royal Albert Hall
Is he thinking: What have I done? Is this REALLY the right decision? What am I giving up?
Or perhaps it’s suddenly dawned on him: I AM loved in this country.
The Duchess, meanwhile, has a more pained expression as she looks on at her clearly sad husband.
Is she thinking: What have I done? Is this REALLY the right decision? What am I making him give up?
Meghan waving to crowds of well wishers at today’s Commonwealth Service
Or perhaps it’s suddenly dawned on her: He IS loved in this country and I’ve encouraged him to walk away from it all.
Of course, it could just have been a moment in time – but there has been a real sorrow behind the Sussexes farewell tour, which finished today at the Commonwealth Day service.
In part, that’s because it’s just gone so well.
Harry and Meghan have shown the type of star power they could have brought to the issues that mean so much to them, like the military and feminism.
The smiling couple leaving the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night
The idea that the British media and the British public are in some way fundamentally opposed to this couple is total baloney.
We celebrated their burgeoning relationship, took great joy in their engagement and their wedding day was cause for national celebration. It’s the happiest day collectively I remember experiencing in the UK since the 2012 London Olympics.
We backed Prince Harry in his various good causes like the Invictus Games.
And we saluted the daring approach Meghan was making to modernising the Royal Family. I welcomed her approach and had much excitement that she could finish what Princess Diana had started.
They were attending the Mountbatten Festival of Music in London
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall
But there was criticism too. And aside from the vile trolls in that cesspit otherwise known as social media, most of it was fair and balanced.
Like, for example, the couple preaching about our carbon footprints and the need to change our behaviour, while taking four private jet flights in 11 days.
They may not have liked it, but they clearly thought about those objections because the couple now claim they will do what they can to fly commercially.
There were many objections from within the Royal Family about the couple’s behaviour and demands – and there are two sides to this story.
Harry and Meghan at Westminster Abbey in London today
The couple chatted to schoolchildren as they left today
Many courtiers will tell you Harry and Meghan were rude and didn’t respect the hierarchy and pecking order that’s essential for smooth royal operations.
But those close to Harry and Meghan have a very different perspective. They’ve told me that the couple felt they were under attack by royal staff members and other households from day one.
We worried about the obvious changes to Harry, who went from happy go lucky to angry and brittle.
We also questioned why so many of Meghan’s old friends and family members – including her own father Thomas – were no longer in her life.
The Duke and Duchess leaving the Endeavour Fund Awards in London last week
From a personal perspective, I value my school friends and blood relatives more than anyone else because they’ve known me for so long and know how to bring me down to earth whenever that might be required.
But those small criticisms pale into insignificance when you compare the column inches and media coverage devoted to the issues that Harry and Meghan care about.
Watching Meghan on stage at Robert Clack School in Dagenham working the crowd of teenagers like a true Hollywood princess, it’s very obvious the Royal Family are about to lose a superstar – and no one is celebrating that.