Prince Harry ‘highly unlikely’ to lose royal title says expert
Harry and Meghan appeared completely loved-up in their most recent Christmas card, which showed them playing with their one-year-old son Archie. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have won over legions of supporters by breaking royal custom and showing public displays of affection ever since their first public outing as a couple in 2017. Their whirlwind romance lasted just 15 months before Harry popped the question and made Meghan his royal bride.
During the ITV documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’ which aired last year, Meghan amplified their loved-up message.
In response to some of the criticism the couple have faced, she said: “I would hope that people, the world, will get to the point where they just see as a couple who’s in love because I don’t wake up every day and identify as being anything other than who I’ve always been.
“It’s just, I’m Meghan and I’ve married this incredible man and this, to me, is just part of our love story.”
Many also believe that it was Meghan’s misery behind Palace walls which pushed Harry to decide they should both leave their lives as working royals behind earlier this year.
Yet, Sean Smith explained in his biography, ‘Meghan Misunderstood’ that, prior to meeting Meghan, Harry’s love life was struggling.
He wrote: “Prince Harry could not get a date.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Harry and Meghan are rarely seen in public without holding hands with one another
“Quite simply, he was the most eligible bachelor in the country — probably the world — so popping up on Tinder to swipe right was not an option.
“Harry really wanted to meet someone special and settle down.
“His days of being a teenage tearaway were long gone.”
However, his fame made it hard for him to establish a stable relationship.
Harry dated Zimbabwean businesswoman Chelsy Davy between 2004 and 2010, but they called it off due to the pressure of having a public relationship.
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Harry dated Chelsy Davy for approximately six years before they split up over media scrutiny
She later said she found the media attention far too much to deal with, especially when she was only young herself.
She told The Times: “It was so full-on: crazy and scary and uncomfortable.
“I found it very difficult when it was bad. I couldn’t cope. I was trying to be a normal kid, and it was horrible.”
Chelsy is said to have realised what she would have to give up to be with Harry at Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William’s wedding in 2011 — and she came to the conclusion she could not sacrifice as much as Harry’s sister-in-law.
However, she has since insisted she will “always be good friends” with Harry.
From 2012 until 2014, Harry dated actress Cressida Bonas, whom he met through his cousin Princess Eugenie.
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Harry and his second serious girlfriend, Cressida Bonas
Harry and Meghan became engaged after dating for 15 months
When they broke up, many believed it was because she struggled with the media attention — especially as engagement rumours began to circulate.
However, author Robert Lacey wrote in his new biography, ‘Battle of Brothers’, that it was Harry’s behaviour towards the press which drove them apart.
He claimed: “Cressida Bonas, his last serious girlfriend before Meghan Markle, came to feel he was a damaged and self-obsessed young man.”
He added: “She complained to friends that Harry had a neurosis about the media.
“He’d rant and complain about the paparazzi lurking where clearly there were none, she said.”
Mr Lacey pointed out how Ms Bonas posted on her Instagram page “enigmatically” with a caption which read: “No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are, how you treat people ultimately tells it all.”
Meghan and Harry went public with their relationship in 2017
Then, a few months before he met Meghan in 2016, Harry reportedly told TV presenter Denise Van Outen: “I’m not dating and for the first time ever I want to find a wife.”
He also said in a newspaper interview at the same time: “I am not putting work before the idea of family and marriage. I just haven’t had the opportunity to meet many people.”
He reportedly had been single for more than a year when his friend Violet von Westenholz suggested he should meet Meghan.
As Meghan was already a successful actress in her own right, some royal watchers speculated that she would be able to manage royal life under the microscope.
However, she and Harry have since blamed press scrutiny on several occasions for their struggles on the royal frontline.
Meghan also said in the summer that she had been told she was the “most trolled person in the world in 2019”.
Harry and Meghan’s relationship timeline
Many royal fans have since assumed the couple wanted more privacy when they decided to leave the Firm this year, especially after Harry said the negative press they had received left the couple with “no other option” but to step down.
However, they have been subsequently criticised for publishing any promotional photographs which could have stolen the spotlight from the Royal Family.
Others believe they are stepping into the celebrity sphere by setting up their own podcast series and Netflix deal.
While Harry’s public image may have triggered his breakups with both of his ex-girlfriends, and Chelsy and Cressida were both invited to his wedding with Meghan in 2018.
‘Meghan Misunderstood’ by Sean Smith was published by HarperCollins in 2020 and is available here.