A photo of Prince George that emphasised his path to the British throne was said to have awoken Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the reality of their position in the royal family.

Royal commentator Neil Sean said a 2020 snap of the young royal which was taken with those directly in line to the British throne was a "wake-up call" for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It showed him standing beside his grandfather Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II. His father, Prince William, also stood behind the monarch. The photo was released at the start of 2020 to mark the new year.

Then in March, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their departure from the royal family. They stepped back from their senior roles in favour of a private life away from the media and to become financially independent.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Sean pointed out that the picture showed "a new, streamlined monarchy." He did not say that it was the reason for the Sussexes departure as they have reportedly already planned it months before the photo's release.

"Harry and Meghan had decided more or less within the first few months of meeting that they could have a different life. It wasn't exactly mapped out word for word, what we've ended up with, but certainly, for Prince Harry, he wanted to have a different role in his life," he said adding, "We'd seen that already with him trying to branch out within the military, and of course, alongside Kate and William, he started those mental health charities."

Sean suggested though that Prince George's photo could have been a "wake-up call" for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to realise that they "would never really truly be the superstars of the British monarchy."

"That's not to say that they don't garner as much more interest than other senior members of the British monarchy, but sometimes it can be the wrong interest," he explained.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have indeed gained the public's interest especially following their Oprah interview. Now royal watchers are said to be anticipating other explosive revelations from the couple ahead of the release of the duke's memoir later this year.

Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, with their children Princes Louis and George and Princess Charlotte. Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images