Unhappy and inglorious: I was at Meghan’s teary farewell to royal life
Behind the scenes, the atmosphere was very different to the lurid speculations by the media
There is half an hour before the woman who will shortly be known as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, carries out her last private engagement as a member of the working royal family – and there is very clearly something in her eye.
We are standing in a room at Buckingham Palace as she prepares to make her way to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth service and then onwards to Canada for her new life, and it is time to say goodbye. Tears glisten in those bright friendly eyes that have charmed and endeared so many during recent days. But behind the scenes the Duchess of Sussex is not as buoyant as she has appeared to be in public. In fact, she appears to be quietly devastated.
I had been invited to the palace to sit in on a meeting with young people from the Commonwealth. Now it is over, she comes in for a hug that lasts a little longer than normal; a hold, really, before moving on for a final embrace with two of her staff, both of whom also have something in their eyes. Then she is gone – for how long, nobody knows...