Meghan Markle and Harry’s romance discussed by expert
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer be working members of the Royal Family, the Queen announced, leading to the couple being stripped of all their patronages. Among them were Harry’s beloved military titles, as well as a host of other roles including at organisations like The Royal National Theatre, and The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. The couple said they can “live a life of service” as “service is universal” as they responded to Her Majesty’s decision.
The fallout between the Firm and the Sussexes has been felt for a year, after Harry and Meghan opted to quit their senior royal roles in January 2020, in order to lead a “financially independent” life.
Observers spoke of their anger that the Sussexes were still able to use their HRH titles, while others were sympathetic to their wishes to have a more normal life over in the US.
In the years leading up to Megxit – the term coined for their royal split – the couple were able to dodge a potentially “embarrassing” publicity mistake when their romance first started in 2016.
They were originally introduced to each other by a “mutual friend”, Prince Harry said during the couple’s first sit-down interview with the BBC after they announced their engagement in 2017.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dodged ’embarrassing’ publicity mistake as relationship grew
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their wedding day
And when they first met, Meghan added that she “didn’t know much” about Harry, but went on a blind date with the Duke.
In these early years, Ashley Pearson – a royal commentator – said the couple had to be careful in revealing too much about their blossoming relationship, in case it would ultimately end in heartbreak.
Speaking to Amazon Prime’s 2020 documentary Meghan Markle: Changing Traditions, Ms Pearson described their courtship as a “whirlwind romance”.
She continued: “When you are a royal trying to date someone who is a Hollywood actress, which is not unprecedented but it is unusual, it’s very important to stay under the radar.
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When Harry and Meghan announced their engagement
“One of the big dangers of this relationship is that there would be a host of publicity, a host of press, and then the two would break up.
“And then both of them are plagued and haunted for the rest of their lives by questions about this relationship which was never meant to be.
“So, for celebrities, it’s very important before they go public, to make sure it is really serious and it’s going to last, because otherwise it’s just embarrassing and it’s just bad publicity for everyone.”
Ms Pearson said both Harry and Meghan knew this was “going to be a potentially lifelong romance” but remained “cautious” in the early days of their relationship before they went public.
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Ashley Pearson, royal reporter
The reporter noted how Harry made “several surreptitious visits to Meghan’s condo in Toronto”, while Meghan was “being secretly brought over here to stay with Harry at Kensington Palace”.
She added: “Meghan and Harry kept most of their early courting days behind closed doors. They say she was cooking him a roast chicken when he proposed. They were used to spending a lot of evenings at home, having home cooked meals because they frankly couldn’t go out to restaurants.”
News of their relationship stunned the world, and the couple would marry in a spectacular wedding in 2018, encapsulating viewers from across the globe.
They would become two of the most famous faces on the planet, as well as the most searched couple by excited royal fans.
Harry and Meghan on their wedding day
Their popularity soared, but soon their relationship with the Royal Family appeared to strain, particularly after Harry admitted he and his brother Prince William appeared on “different paths” during an ITV documentary in 2019.
Following the birth of their first son Archie, the couple began to ask for more privacy, particularly in the immediate aftermath of his arrival.
But Ms Pearson, this time speaking on last year’s Amazon Prime documentary Harry & Meghan: The Next Step, said this had created a “fundamental disconnect” between what the Sussexes wanted, and what the public craved.
Ms Pearson noted that “when you are a celebrity you are entitled to privacy”, but this was not the case when a member of the Royal Family.
Royal Family tree
Ms Pearson admitted as royals “they in a way belong to the public” and “if people want to see a picture of the baby – you give them a picture of the baby”.
She continued: “If the people want to see the new mum, just hours after she gives birth, trotted out in stockings and high heels, then you do it. That has been done up until now.
“Whether or not that is right, that is the precedent.
“So for Harry and Meghan to treat this the way a celebrity would really treat this, which is, ‘We ask for privacy at this time’, that is not what royals do.”