For the past several weeks, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been steering clear of the media.
There are likely several reasons for this, some of which are obvious, others that might not be apparent to outsiders.
As you’re likely aware, the royal family has been in crisis following news that Prince Andrew settled with his sexual assault victim using money that he received from the Queen.
The announcement that Camilla Parker Bowles will receive the title of Queen Consort when Prince Andrew ascends to the throne was viewed by many as a desperate attempt by Buckingham Palace to divert attention away from this scandal.
Meghan and Harry appear to be among those who viewed the announcement with skepticism:
The British press has made much of the fact that neither of the Sussexes has publicly congratulated Camilla.
Of course, these petty feuds and snubs have been rendered insignificant by recent developments in Ukraine.
Following the news of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor to the west, Meghan and Harry have ended their media embargo to express support for those who might be killed, injured, or displaced by this unprovoked military action.
"Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same," reads a statement posted to the website of the couple’s Archewell foundation.
Obviously, there’s nothing controversial about the statement itself.
For once, the western world is in almost-universal agreement on a contemporary issue, and the Sussexes are merely adding their voice to the chorus of millions who have already condemned Russia’s recent atrocities.
Still, their terse statement on this matter is significant for a number of reasons:
For starters, it might be a signal that Harry and Meghan are not planning to permanently scale back their media presence, as has been previously reported.
When the couple neglected to produce any content for Spotify two years after signing a podcast deal, it was rumored that the Sussexes had experienced second thoughts about planting their flag in the American media landscape, opting instead for a quiet life away from the spotlight.
While Harry and Meghan’s statement about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine places them firmly in alignment with just about every other public figure in the West, many thought the couple would remain silent, just as they did in the wake of recent news involving Harry’s family.
Furthermore, the statement comes on the heels of a controversy surrounding the Sussexes’ involvement in political matters.
Back in October, Meghan wrote an open letter to Congress, in which she urged Democrats to push for paid family leave for all Americans.
The Duchess was excoriated by several Republican members of Congress, some of whom accused her of abusing her royal title by using it to curry favor and influence in the US.
Many believed that the backlash would lead Meghan to step away from the political arena in order to focus more on voice acting and other recent pursuits.
Now, it seems that that might not be the case.
Obviously, it didn’t take Harry and Meghan much time to condemn Russia, and they’re not exactly sticking their necks out by doing so.
Still, it serves to remind the world that the Sussexes are not planning to retreat into private life as many had predicted — and quite a few had hoped.