The countdown to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal exit has begun, which means it’s only a matter of time before the couple cuts ties with the royal family.

While they may be looking forward to starting a new chapter in their lives, a royal expert suspects that Queen Elizabeth is worried about how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will behave when they are no longer under her control.

During the Channel 5 documentary, “Royals: A family in crisis,” Julie Montagu Viscountess Hinchingbrooke claimed the monarch had a reason for putting Meghan and Prince Harry’s exit under a 12-month review.

“Putting that 12-month review in place goes to show you that the Queen will be watching them like a hawk,” she explained.

“She will want to see everything that they are doing, what they are making money from, and how it is affecting the Royal Family. So, there must be some concern from the Queen about what their intentions are.”

Meanwhile, royal historian Sarah Gristwood insisted that Queen Elizabeth had to do what was necessary to protect the monarch.

“Queen Elizabeth II, and in many ways this is what we respect about her, is someone who, when push comes to shove, will put the welfare as she sees it of the monarchy above that of anyone else – herself or her beloved grandson included,” she said.

One of the conditions of Prince Harry and Meghan’s exit is that the couple will not be allowed to use “Sussex Royal” for any of their upcoming projects or organizations. Last month, the couple revealed that their trademarking requests for the name were removed.

“While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal,’ it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal,’” an announcement on the Sussex Royal website read.

“For the above reason, the trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed.”

Meghan and Prince Harry are expected to officially step down from their senior royal duties on March 31.

Harry and Meghan, Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are photographed. AFP/Tolga AKMEN