The couple announced, via Instagram, that they were stepping down from their "senior" royal roles. 1
Just a week into the new year in 2020, the couple released a statement informing people of their decision to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family and revealed they would be spending more time in North America. "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages," the couple stated. "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
It was reported that the couple didn't discuss their departure with anyone in the royal family. 2
After the couple announced that they would be stepping away from their roles as senior members of the royal family, it was reported that they hadn't consulted with or informed anyone in the clan, not even Queen Elizabeth, about their departure. "BBC Understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight, the Palace is understood to be ‘disappointed,'” a BBC reporter tweeted in January 2020. While some people were supportive of the couple's decision to build their own lives outside of the royal family, others were highly critical, blaming Meghan for causing a rift between the prince and his family.
Meghan Markle took a stand against a royal tradition for new moms. 3
In April 2019, when she was expecting son Archie, it was announced that the former actress would not pose with her newborn baby on the hospital steps just hours after giving birth, which had become a royal tradition that both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton had followed before Meghan. The couple posed for photos with their son on their own time, days after his arrival in May 2019.
Meghan opened up about the ups and downs of her life as a royal. 5
The former Suits star opened up during an interview aired on October 2019 and shared her experience with the negativity that came along with marrying a royal. She was clearly emotional as she expressed how difficult it has been.
Prince Harry announced he was suing the British press for the mistreatment of his wife. 6
Prince Harry released a statement in October 2019, revealing that he was filing a lawsuit against Mail on Sunday for the negative things published about his wife. "Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences--a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," he wrote at the time.
Meghan appeared on the cover of 'Vanity Fair' and spoke about her relationship with Harry. 7
In an unusual move for someone dating a royal, the Suits star sat down with Vanity Fair for a profile that was featured in the October 2017 issue of the magazine.
She opened up to the publication about dealing with the fame after their relationship went public. 8
"It has its challenges, and it comes in waves--some days it can feel more challenging than others," she told Vanity Fair at the time. "And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support."
She was the victim of racist remarks from the public and the media. 9
In November 2016, The Daily Star Online, for instance, wrote that Harry “could marry into gangster royalty--his new love is from a crime ridden Los Angeles neighborhood.”
Some British people didn't react well to her being biracial. 11
Meghan's mother is African American and her dad is white, which caused some controversy, and she received some negative and often racist comments from the people of England. So terrible. She was the first American (and divorcée) to become a part of the royal family through marriage in almost 81 years. The last time was when Wallis Simpson married King Edward VIII, resulting in him renouncing the throne.
Some believed that she wasn't even well received within the royal family due to her race. 12
When Princess Michael of Kent arrived to Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas luncheon in December 2017, many noticed the racially offensive "blackamoor" brooch that she was wearing. Blackamoor jewelry is known to fetishize and use of images of slavery for their pieces. "Ummm, did anyone else clock this? Notorious racist princess Michael of Kent wearing a Moor broach while attending lunch with Meghan Markle," one Twitter user commented at the time. The luncheon was to be the first time the royal was meeting Meghan, so whether or not it was intentional, it definitely was in poor taste.
Meghan broke a little royal protocol for her engagement shoot. 13
After getting engaged in November 2017, the couple released the official portrait photograph to mark their engagement in December. The dress she's wearing for the shoot was a bit too sheer, which is not part of the royal dress code.
Meghan's dad's side of the family created so much drama for her. 14
Her half-brother, Thomas Markle, was arrested in January 2017 on a weapons-related charge after he was reportedly involved in an argument with a woman in his Oregon home. He allegedly pointed the weapon at the woman's head.
Meghan shocked everyone with her wedding dress. 15
And not for a good reason. The duchess raised some eyebrows when she chose a boatneck neckline as her wedding gown, giving the world a look at her collarbone, which somewhat violates the royal family dress code because of the showing of too much skin. Yikes!
Her dad, Thomas Markle, did not walk her down the aisle. 16
Her dad reportedly suffered a heart attack just weeks prior to the royal wedding in May 2018. He was not able to fly to England to be by his daughter's side as she walked down the aisle to marry Harry. Everyone knows the real reason Mr. Markle wasn't there: The crazy paparazzi picture scandal where he was paid to "pose" for candid pics that were then sold at very high prices.
Her dad continued going to the press with interviews about his daughter. 18
He claimed that his daughter was not happy with the royal family's rules and said she was under too much "pressure" as Harry's wife.
Her half-sister, Samantha Markle, gave an extensive and explosive interview about their relationship. 19
Her sister did several interviews about her famous sister about their broken relationship, and even alleged that the actress has no relationship with her father's side of the family and that the duchess doesn't help their dad financially.
Meghan's assistant suddenly quit in November 2018. 20
Her personal assistant, Melissa, reportedly quit. "It's a real shock, why would she want to leave such a prestigious job so soon?" a source allegedly told the Daily Mail. "Melissa is a hugely talented person." Since the pair got married, three of their close aides have either left their positions or have been transfered elsewhere within the palace.
Meghan is older than Harry. 21
The former actress was born in 1981, while her now-husband was born in 1984. Age is nothing but a number when it comes to love, but it is a bit unusual for a royal pair.
She was married prior to dating Prince Harry. 22
Meghan married actor Trevor Engelson in 2011, but the pair divorced in 2013. After her engagement to Prince Harry was announced, some royal family fans were upset to find out that the royal was marrying a divorcée.