Ever since her relationship with Prince Harry was revealed, Meghan Markle has been targeted by the tabloids. The media pried into her personal life until finally, things came to a boiling point.
Moving to California and a jaw-dropping interview with Oprah created an even greater divide between Meghan and the rest of the royal family. Now an insider is saying they believe there's one main reason that led to Meghan leaving royal life behind. Looking back, it all makes sense.
At First, They Announced That They Would Be Splitting Their Time
On January 8, 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan made a formal and extremely surprising announcement that they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family.
They also stated that they would be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America, while, "continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages." Harry and Meghan's initial statement was certainly a big deal and caught the Queen off guard.
It Sounded Like They Were Settling In Canada
Based on their statement that included spending half of their time in North America, many assumed that Prince Harry, Meghan and their young son Archie would be taking up residence in Canada.
Meghan has a special connection to the country, as she had lived in Toronto while filming the TV show Suits. Living around more wilderness and away from city life seemed to be the plan for the growing family as they rented a house on Vancouver Island.
Canada's Prime Minister Welcomed Harry And Meghan
Choosing to walk to the beat of their own drum, not everyone agreed with Prince Harry and Meghan's nontraditional decision to leave Britain and their Frogmore Cottage residence. However, Canada was more than happy to welcome the couple.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a tweet stating, "Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we're all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You're among friends and always welcome here."
The Media In Canada Isn't As Harsh As In Great Britain
But would moving to Canada really make a difference for the high-profile couple? After all, Canada has media, too, and they were certainly interested in having big-name celebrities around. That became obvious when Meghan was photographed without permission while taking the dogs and her son on a nature walk.
BBC stated, "Although Canadian media has certainly taken a keen interest in their exploits here, Canada just doesn't have the same tabloid culture or paparazzi as Britain or the U.S."
Meghan Had A Terrible Time Dealing With The British Tabloids
In an October 2019 interview, Meghan expressed her disdain in dealing with the highly critical British tabloids. Although she was famous before meeting Prince Harry, the media attention was nowhere near the level it became once their relationship went public.
She said, "The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair." The negative news media took a heavy toll on the mental health of the Duchess of Sussex.
She Could Never Do Anything Right, According To Them
Tough criticism from the British tabloids certainly played a role in Prince Harry and Meghan's departure from the royal family. While Kate Middleton received some tough critique when she became involved with Prince Harry, she had been groomed for the role for most of her life, and it was far different than Meghan's experience.
Everything from the way Meghan placed her hand on her pregnant belly to the jewelry and nail polish that she selected spurred negative commentary from the British press.
A Story Was Published About Meghan And Kate Arguing
It seemed as if every day, Meghan was faced with a new problem. One story that the media picked up and ran with included that Meghan was feuding with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The tabloids caught wind of a disagreement between the two duchesses, concerning the bridesmaid dress that Princess Charlotte would wear to Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding. The tabloids, who favor Kate, published stories claiming that Meghan made Kate cry. Later, Meghan revealed that it was the opposite, in fact.
Claims That Meghan Was Rude To The Palace Staff
In another incident, British tabloids claimed Meghan had a reputation for being rude to Buckingham Palace staff, including those who worked for Kate Middleton. The Sun reported that Kate became agitated with the way Meghan conducted herself in the palace.
The tabloid reported that Kate told Meghan, "That's unacceptable. They're my staff, and I speak to them." As an outsider, it could be expected that Meghan would experience some friction as she adjusted to life as a member of the royal family. But this certainly wasn't how she expected to be portrayed.
Harry And Meghan Refused To Speak To The Media
The duties of seniors members of the royal family include attending events, representing the family, and speaking to the people of the Commonwealth and the media. However, Prince Harry and Meghan drew a line in the sand when it came to their toughest critics, The Sun and Daily Mail.
The famous couple flat out refused to have anything to do with the two publications ever again. They had their representatives contact the tabloids and let them know the couple would no longer engage with them.
The Couple Criticized The Press In A Statement
While their representatives contacted the tabloids with their official statements, Prince Harry and Meghan also made a public announcement, decrying the stories that were being published about them. The statement included, "It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print-- even when they know it to be distorted, fake or invasive beyond reason."
The statement continued, "When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded."
They Didn't Move To Escape The Press After All
Following the couple's statements to both the press and the public, it appeared that their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family was due to the press. Moving to Canada supported this idea, as they ducked away from the cameras and scrutiny they faced in England.
But just when this seemed like their main motive to step down from royal life, Prince Harry and Meghan made a surprising move.
The Couple Left Canada Quickly
Taking up residence in Canada was a rather big deal for Prince Harry and Meghan. That's why it surprised everyone when they only stayed in the Vancouver Island estate for a matter of months. After that, the couple was ready to move on.
A source told The Sun (yes, the publication that Harry and Meghan wanted nothing to do with) that the couple had plans to move to Los Angeles. The source said, "Harry and Meghan have left Canada for good... This move was planned for some time."
The Queen Made It Clear That Splitting Time Wasn't An Option
When they left England, Prince Harry and Meghan elected to move to Canada, which is still within the Commonwealth, overseen by Queen Elizabeth. However, the Queen made it clear that the one-foot-in, one-foot-out approach to royal duties would not cut it.
Afterward, Prince Harry and Meghan quickly made the decision to speed up their move to California, leaving Britain and the Commonwealth realms behind. Without any commitment to the British royal family, it no longer made sense for them to stay in Canada.
Well-Connected In California
Moving to the Los Angeles area made more sense when considering the plans Prince Harry and Meghan have for the future. An insider told The Sun, "They have a big support network there. It's where their new team of Hollywood agents and PRs and business managers are based."
They added, "Meghan has lots of friends there and, of course, her mum Doria." Having grown up in the LA area, Meghan returned to her California roots. Meanwhile, across the pond in England, Prince Harry's family was reportedly less than amused with their new choice of residence.
After Being Cut Off Financially, They Needed To Make Their Own Money
The nontraditional move by Prince Harry and Meghan was considered shocking to some. But for others who were more familiar with the couple's bigger picture, it made total sense. Since Prince Harry and Meghan were cut off financially from the royal family, they needed to start making their own money.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl told CBC, "They were always heading to LA." She continued, "That was the master plan. I think with North America shutting down.... they decided to move to California sooner."
By The Time The Press Found Out, They Were Gone
During the time leading up to their departure from the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan managed to keep their plans under wraps from the tabloids. By the time the press caught on to the couple's plans to relocate to leave Canada and California, they were already moved into an estate in Beverly Hills.
While many doubted that Meghan would have an easier time with the press in LA, moving closer to the entertainment industry was in fact their intention.
Their Business Ventures Took Off Once They Arrived In LA
Once Prince Harry and Meghan arrived in LA, they got the ball rolling on their business ventures. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for a bombshell interview with Oprah while their production company, Archewell Productions, launched its first project with Netflix, Heart of Invictus.
That's why royal expert Katie Nicholl believes the couple left the royal family completely, as they needed to be financially independent of the palace.
Claiming Their Financial Independence
In a statement, Harry and Meghan included that they wanted to break tradition and "work to become financially independent" from the palace, which Meghan is already used to doing. Before marrying Prince Harry, Meghan had a lucrative acting career as part of the lead cast in the crime TV drama Suits. She also founded a lifestyle blog in 2014 called “The Tig”.
Before marrying Prince Harry, Meghan's estimated net worth was $4.8 million. She was reportedly making around $50,000 per episode of Suits, which added up to $450,000 a year.
Meghan Is Closer To Her Mother In LA
Meghan's mother Doria also lives in Los Angeles, another reason why Prince Harry and Meghan moved into the area as they raise their young children. Becoming a new mom and taking care of little ones is hard enough for anyone.
Following the turbulent year that Meghan had, with leaving the royal family and dealing with all of the pressure that comes with royal life, she could certainly use the support of her mother.
Prince Harry Leaves His Family Behind
While moving to Los Angeles means that Meghan will be closer to her family, it also means that Prince Harry will be further away from his. Although all of the duties that come with being a member of the British royal family didn't suit Harry at this point in his life, they are still his family.
Outside of his military service, where he was stationed in Australia, Prince Harry has always called England home. Now he would be living overseas for the majority of his time while his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II is 95-years-old, and his father, Prince Charles is 72.
Harry's Family Won't See Archie And Lilibet For A While
As the royals continue to isolate in England and travel still posing health risks, it's yet to be determined when the next time Prince Harry's side of the family will be able to spend time with Archie and meet baby Lilibet.
When Harry's grandfather Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2021, Prince Harry flew to London. Together with his family they mourned their loss and attended Prince Philip's memorial service. Pregnant at the time, Meghan stayed behind in California with 2-year-old Archie.
Prince Harry Took A Job At A Tech Company
No longer a working member of the British royal family, the Wall Street Journal was the first to announce in March 2021 that Harry took a job as Chief Impact Officer for a tech company in Silicon Valley.
Harry will begin working for BetterUp, a startup company that specializes in mental health services and coaching. The company listed Harry as an executive on their website, noting his experience as a "humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist."
The 'Sussex Royal' Brand Caused Controversy
For weeks, the royal family discussed Harry and Meghan using the brand name "Sussex Royal" since they had stepped down as working members of the royal family. The Queen and other senior officials felt it was inappropriate for the Sussex family to use the word “royal” and to profit from the title in their future endeavors.
Yet, the couple has spent considerable time and money on trademarking the brand and creating a Sussex Royal website. The name also covers their newly-established charity, Sussex Royal, The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other items such as their popular Instagram account.
They're Launching A New Charity
In December 2019 it was revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had applied to trademark their Sussex Royal brand as they make plans to launch a new charity entity. The trademark included the rights to charitable fundraising, books, calendars, education, and social care services, according to BBC.
The couple applied for the trademark on June 21, 2019, the same month that they split off from Prince William and Kate's foundation.
The Queen Was Too Busy To See Harry
During an exclusive clip after the Oprah interview, Prince Harry mentioned that the Queen invited him back to the UK. But when he got there, a private secretary told him that she was busy. Orpah replied, "Doesn't the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?"
Harry answered, "No when you're head of The Firm, there are people around you that give you advice." He also revealed that some of the advice "has been really bad" and makes him "really sad." It was another reason why Harry and Meghan left for the States.
Meghan Had A "Frightening And Constant Thought"
While she was pregnant and a royal, Meghan Markle had a very difficult time with her mental health. She told Oprah that her depression was "real and frightening and constant thought."
Meghan recalled a moment when the couple went to a 2019 event at the Royal Albert Hall. Although Harry said that she should not go, she did not want to be alone. Harry gripped her hand so tightly that his knuckles turned white. "We are smiling and doing our job, but we are both just trying to hold on."
...And The Palace Did Not Help Her
One of the scariest parts of the interview was when Meghan detailed how the Royal Palace refused to help her. While struggling with her mental health, she went to the Palace's Human Resources Department. But they could not give her any aid.
"They said, 'My heart goes out to you, because I see how bad it is, but there's nothing we can do to protect you, because you're not a paid employee of the institution,'" Meghan told Oprah.
The Palace Has "Silenced" Meghan
Meghan revealed that, just after marriage, she was not allotted the same protections as the rest of the family. "They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband," she said.
Oprah asked, "Were you silent or silenced?" and Meghan answered, "The latter." Her friends and family were all told to answer "no comment" to most questions to keep up appearances.
The Family Members Are Not "Running The Institution"
Although Meghan talked about the issues with the Palace, she did not mean her family. The Royal Family were all kind to her; but they are different from "the people running the institution."
In fact, Meghan said that "The Queen has always been wonderful to me." She told stories about how the Queen gifted her some pearl earrings and a matching necklace, and how she draped blankets over their legs in during a car ride. "It made me think of my grandma," she said.
The Couple Did Not Blindside The Palace
In early 2020, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced that they would leave the Royal Family. Despite reports that they "blindsided" the palace, Harry asserted that this was not the case.
"I never blindsided my grandmother," Harry argued. "I have too much respect for her." He told Oprah that he had three conversations with the Queen before officially leaving the Palace, and at least two with his father. "My grandmother had been welcoming throughout," he added.