Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attended a film premiere in Jamaica on Tuesday, January 23, which was their first high-profile appearance as a couple in 2024 — also in attendance was the Duchess of Sussex's engagement ring, which showed up on her finger after a mysterious six-month absence.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance after weeks of avoiding public exposure, which saw them on hand to view Bob Marley: One Love. The three-stone ring, which includes diamonds that once belonged to Harry's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was given to Meghan by her prince upon their engagement in late 2017.
Reports surfaced last year that discussed allegations, sharing how Prince William was "worried" that the ring was apparently missing due to it having jewelry that belonged to Diana. "Prince William's concern over the diamonds from his mother's collection featured in Meghan's engagement ring is understandable," jewelry specialist Laura Taylor told an outlet in October 2023.
She continued: "Meghan may be keeping the ring safe to avoid losing Diana’s diamonds, knowing that if they were misplaced, it would put an even bigger strain on the relationship between the two families."
But despite the ring now being spotted, and Harry and Meghan's recent appearance being praised by their supporters, others feel that the event was in bad taste considering King Charles and Kate, Princess of Wales' health problems.
"Under normal circumstances, there would be nothing wrong with them going to a film premiere," royal expert Phil Dampier dished. "But at a time when his father is going under the knife and Jamaica is making noises about ditching the monarchy, this is rather insensitive."
He continued: "Jamaica will have a referendum, but it's almost certain they will go their own way eventually."
The duo walked the red carpet and posed for glitzy photographs next to the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, who holds anti-monarchy sentiments against King Charles III as the Caribbean nation's head of state. Jamaica is a former colony of the long-defunct British Empire but chose to keep the British monarch as their head of state after winning their full independence from the U.K. in 1962, during Queen Elizabeth II's early reign.
Holness has vowed to hold a referendum on whether or not to keep the Crown of Jamaica by 2025. He told Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, his intention to do so on camera during their tour of the country in the spring of 2022.
In their Netflix docu-series, Harry & Meghan, there are segments in the show that discuss Britain's former empire and the effects of colonization, which some critics currently claim is the Montecito royals' "hypocritical" way of shading the monarchy even more by cozying up to a former colony's current anti-royal head of government.
GBN reported on Dampier's comments.