Prince Harry is reportedly desperate to return to the UK, although his wife Meghan Markle does not share that enthusiasm. Find out more about the couple's relationship with the Royal Family.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are two of the most discussed people in the British monarchy, and that has not changed since they stepped down from royal duties. The lovely couple met for the first time in 2016.
Their meeting was not by chance but orchestrated by a mutual friend. During Harry and Meghan's first joint interview after announcing their engagement, the Prince revealed: "Ah yes, we first met - we were introduced actually by a mutual friend."
Photo of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle. [Left] | Portrait of Prince Harry at an event. [Right] | Source: Getty Images
However, the couple did not disclose the identity of the mutual friend who introduced them to each other. Later, E! News confirmed the mysterious friend to be Harry's childhood friend Violet von Westenholz.
Meeting Meghan positively impacted Harry's life. His late mom Princess Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton, revealed that he was a very angry young man taking on the world before meeting Meghan.
Morton further revealed that Meghan insisted that Harry should go for counseling for his anger issues after falling for him. Meghan's life also changed forever.
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England.| Source: Getty Images
Before their relationship, Meghan was a Hollywood princess and had appeared on several TV shows, including "Suits." Also, she was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson for two years, but their relationship did not produce any children.
So much has happened since Meghan and Harry's royal wedding. In fact, the dynamics of their relationship with Buckingham Palace have changed greatly. Find out all the details here.
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
THE ROYAL FAMILY'S REACTION TO HARRY & MEGHAN'S RELATIONSHIP
After Harry and Meghan's relationship became public knowledge, more details about the couple were revealed. In November 2016, a source told People that Harry was so serious with Meghan that there was a possibility they would get engaged.
The insider revealed that Harry had already introduced Meghan to his father, Prince Charles. They added:
"Harry is pretty serious about her and she is pretty serious about him."
A close friend of the couple added that Harry and Meghan had so much in common and said they were sure the lovebirds would get on very well.
In December 2016, a source told Us Weekly that Queen Elizabeth fully supported Harry's relationship with Meghan. At the time, the Queen had not met Meghan but was delighted her grandson was in a loving relationship.
While the details of Meghan's meeting with Prince Charles were not revealed, Meghan disclosed how she prepared for her first meeting with Queen Elizabeth during her and Harry's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan revealed she did not research Harry's family before meeting the Queen. Harry then asked her if she knew how to curtsy and taught her how to do so right before meeting Queen Elizabeth.
When Meghan eventually met the Queen, she apparently did a "very deep curtsy" and chatted nicely with the monarch. Besides the Queen, Harry's older brother Prince William also supported his relationship with Meghan.
William even approved of Harry's plea to trolls to leave Meghan alone at a time when the paparazzi hounded her. Meghan has a close bond with her mom, Doria Ragland.
Thus, it was not surprising that she was supportive of her relationship with Harry. However, Meghan's relationship with other family members is not as good, with most of them accusing her of freezing them out.
HARRY & MEGHAN TIE THE KNOT
Harry proposed to Meghan in November 2017. During their first joint interview, the couple revealed that the proposal happened on a quiet Sunday night at Nottingham Cottage.
They were cooking a roast chicken when Harry suddenly proposed, taking Meghan by surprise. Meghan's engagement ring is a stunning three-stone sparkler.
It features a center diamond from Botswana, where they vacationed before the proposal. Two side stones from Princess Diana's collection surround the center diamond.
Harry explained that he chose a yellow gold band for the ring because it is Meghan's favorite. Meanwhile, he included his mother's diamond to ensure she was with them on their journey.
Harry and Meghan got married on May 19, 2018. Their wedding ceremony was held at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. On May 6, 2019, the couple welcomed their first child and son Prince Archie. Archie is now two years old and has grown quickly.
A source revealed he is coming into his own and now goes to preschool. Also, Archie is developing a lovable and sweet nature that makes Harry and Meghan feel blessed beyond words.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
MEGHAN & HARRY'S FAILED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ROYAL FAMILY
Although the royal family and Meghan and Harry had a good start at the beginning of the couple's relationship, things started going in another direction later.
In November 2019, Harry and Meghan caused stirs when they gave an unfiltered perspective on their heavily dissected lives in a documentary. This went against the usual silent strategy the royal family usually operates by.
At the end of the documentary, it was evident that the couple was drained with royal life. Harry revealed that being a royal family member involved constant management, putting on a brave face, and turning the cheek to many things.
Meghan echoed those sentiments with her summary of the media furor. She said she initially tried to adopt the British sensibility of a stiff upper lip, but it ultimately led to internal damages.
Many reactions trailed the documentary, with some praising Harry and Meghan for being honest while others within the British monarchy were worried about its candid nature.
Another issue raised in the documentary was Harry's relationship with William as he acknowledged that there were tensions between them. However, he said they were brothers and always would be.
The alleged tensions between Harry and William were given more credence after Harry and Meghan split from their joint charity with William and Kate Middleton earlier in 2019.
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan shocked the world by announcing their decision to step back as senior royals. The couple's decision to step back from their roles as senior royals was seen by some as their way of escaping from the poisonous Buckingham Palace.
However, in a statement, Harry expressed great sadness that he and Meghan would no longer be working royal family members.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry walk through a trench during the commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017. | Photo: Getty Images
While speaking at a charity event in London, Harry said the UK is his home and a place he loves, and that would never change. He added per CNN:
"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. "It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges."
Harry admitted that he had not always gotten things right but said there was no other option to take than to step down from royal family duties. He revealed:
"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."
HARRY AND MEGHAN'S ACTIONS SINCE STEPPING DOWN
After stepping down as senior royal family members, Harry and Meghan lived temporarily in Canada before moving to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Since their move to the United States, a lot has happened in the couple's lives. First, they have progressed with their plans for a non-profit empire through their Archewell Foundation.
They also unveiled new Hollywood careers with a Netflix deal that would give them a global platform through several mediums, including documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows, and children's programming.
Meghan also published her first children's book titled "The Bench," which was inspired by her own family experience. The couple also added to their family with the birth of their second child and first daughter, Lillibet Diana, on June 4, 2021.
However, the major talking point since Harry and Meghan's move to the US was their tell-all interview with Winfrey, in which they revealed scathing details about their time in Buckingham Palace, leading to wide-ranging global reactions.
Some of the issues Harry and Meghan touched on included the Prince's relationship with his dad and brother and Meghan's rumored rift with Kate.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
During the interview, Oprah referenced Meghan and Kate's attendance at the Wimbledon finals in July 2019 and asked if Kate was helping Meghan to ease into the royal family. However, Meghan appeared to dodge the question and said per The Sun:
"My understanding and my experience for the past four years is that it's nothing like what it looks like."
That statement followed Meghan's revelation that Kate made her cry days before her wedding, adding that she had forgiven her. She revealed Kate was a good person and gave her flowers to apologize.
Members of the royal family reacted to Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview differently. When asked about Harry and Meghan's racism allegations, William said he had not spoken to his brother yet but would do so.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles giggled and walked away when asked about the interview while Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the Queen. Queen Elizabeth expressed sadness about Harry and Meghan's challenges in the statement.
She said the issues raised, especially about race, were concerning and would be taken seriously and addressed privately. The Queen concluded by saying family members would always love Harry, Meghan, and their kids.
ANY MEND IN SIGHT?
It's been two years since Harry and Meghan stepped down from the royal family and almost a year since their tell-all interview with Winfrey. A lot has happened since then, and the couple's relationship with the royal family has altered as a result.
Harry and Meghan maintain a good relationship with Queen Elizabeth, who they only had nice words for even during their chat with Winfrey.
However, the relationship between Harry and his dad is reportedly not so good, especially after Harry's allegations against his dad. There appeared to be hope that the father-son duo was getting back on good terms after Charles praised Harry's work on climate change.
Prince Charles, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Catherine, watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, as members of the Royal Family attend events to mark the centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018. | Source: Getty Images
Harry's relationship with William is also quiet at the moment as there has been little progress in improving relations. Meanwhile, Kate has not set eyes on Meghan since she moved to the US.
Also, Kate's relationship with Harry, which was very good initially, is not as good as it once was. Looking to the future, Tom Bower wrote in The Sun that Meghan has no intentions of returning to the UK. Bower said:
"At the moment, Meghan's ultimate destination is unclear, but she certainly has the backing to make a bid to star as an American politician. In parallel, Britain is a lost cause for the Sussexes. She has no intention of returning."
If Bower's thoughts about Meghan are true, they differ from Harry's. The Duke of Sussex is reportedly desperate to return to the UK.
Top experts believe this is the case after Harry petitioned the UK government to secure his children's protection. In a panel conversation for the Daily Mail, Ken Wharfe, a former guard for Princess Diana, said:
"The fact he has gone down this legal route to try and secure protection suggests to me that he is desperate and there is a real reason for him to come to the UK. He has two children that the Queen hasn't effectively seen yet."
Although there have been other signs that Harry and Meghan are keen to end the royal rift, they have not been clear-cut. With the duke's desperation to return to the UK, one can only hope that it leads to a final resolution of any conflict. Only time will tell.