Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wreaked havoc two years ago by leaving the UK and speaking out about the Royal Family. Still, the Duke of Sussex has his grandmother's best interests at heart.
In January 2020, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced they had decided to step down as senior royal members after months of reflection and internal discussions.
The couple revealed they wanted to branch out to become financially independent but noted they would continue to support Queen Elizabeth II fully.
The pair hinted it was because of the monarch's encouragement over the years that led them to feel the need to adjust their lives. The Sussexes shared they would divide their time between the UK and North America while continuing to honor the Commonwealth and their patronages, stating:
"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born."
The Duke and Duchess said they would continue collaborating with Her Majesty, Prince Charles, Prince William, and all relevant parties.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending an Invictus Games Friends and Family reception at Zuiderpark on April 15, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. / Source: Getty Images
BBC later reported that no other royal – including the Queen nor the Duke of Cambridge – was consulted before the statement release. Buckingham Palace was "disappointed," and senior royal members were reportedly "hurt" by the announcement.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman revealed discussions with the royal couple on their decision to step away from their duties were "at an early stage," adding:
"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
THE RIFT BETWEEN THE COUPLE & THE ROYAL FAMILY
Prince William and Prince Harry arriving for the unveiling of a statue of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on July 1, 2021 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
In a televised tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Markle, who is half-Black, revealed concerns and conversations raised among Royal Family members when she was pregnant with her first child Archie about "how dark his skin might be."
When Winfrey asked the Duchess of Sussex if the issue was that he would be "too brown and that would be a problem," Markle explained:
"I couldn't follow up with why, but if that's the assumption you're making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one."
The television host also asked her husband what concerns his family posed to him about their then-unborn child's race. Prince Harry said he would not share the conversation but that he was stunned by it:
"That conversation I'm never going to share, but at the time, it was awkward, and I was a bit shocked. That was right at the beginning. What will the kids look like?"
When coming to his strained relationship with his older sibling, the prince admitted that their relationship had been iffy and hoped that time would eventually heal their animosity.
"The relationship is space...at the moment. Time heals all things, hopefully," said Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex revealed that he and Prince William were leading separate lives.
He expressed his love for him, adding they had been through a lot together and had a shared experience. "But we walk different paths," he divulged.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the ceremonial funeral procession of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, London. / Source: Getty Images
A year later, the brothers' relationship is still in shambles. In March 2022, a source told Entertainment Tonight that the relationship between the once inseparable royal siblings remains "complicated."
Royal expert, Katie Nicholl, revealed Prince Harry did not receive an invite to his older brother's party held in Kensington Palace to thank those involved in getting their late mother's statue.
Nicholl added it was apparent that things between the pair were still unpleasant and that it was evident the Duke of Sussex would not attend Prince William's 40th birthday. "It's obvious that this is now a distant relationship. There is an ocean between them," said Nicholl.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
She added there are a lot of unresolved issues between the princes that a scenario of a happy family reunion was improbable at this point.
Meanwhile, the Sussexes are yet to bring their brood to the UK since they stepped down as senior royals. The couple's daughter Lilibet was born in June last year at a Santa Barbara hospital. The Queen has yet to meet the little one in person.
One commentator Eric Schiffer told Daily Express that Prince Harry and Markle know very well that their kids are their lucky charms in making amends with the Royal Family ultimately:
"Harry and Meghan know that their children are their secret weapon, ultimately make things happen to bring their family back together."
PRINCE HARRY STILL PROTECTS THE QUEEN
Prince Harry pictured chatting to Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Recently, news about the monarch made headlines after she tested positive for COVID-19, though she and her late husband had been vaccinated.
In February 2022, Buckingham Palace revealed the royal matriarch tested positive for coronavirus. Her Majesty experienced mild cold-like symptoms:
"She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all appropriate guidelines."
UK media previously reported that the sovereign was fully vaccinated and confirmed that she and her spouse Prince Philip, had received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in January 2021.
In addition to her health issues, the Queen has also been absent from a few events, such as the traditional Easter Sunday service. The monarch, who has been experiencing mobility issues, did not attend the service, which is a staple in the royal calendar.
Meanwhile, her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Markle recently visited her, and they had a talk with her on their way to the Invictus Games. The duo even made the Queen laugh.
Queen Elizabeth II with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry watching the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
According to the prince, he was able to laugh with his grandmother over tea alongside the Duchess of Sussex. The Duke said the matriarch has a great sense of humor, especially with him.
During an appearance on the "Today Show," Hoda Kotb echoed his statement saying the Queen always mentions how he makes her laugh. Asked if he made her laugh again, Prince Harry said he did, adding it was refreshing to catch up with her.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry pictured at the St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, London. / Source: Getty Images
While holding the conversation, the Duke of Sussex said he wanted to ensure that his grandmother was well-protected and surrounded by the right people:
"I'm just making sure that she's, you know, protected and got the right people around her."
His wife had spoken warmly of the Queen during their interview with Winfrey. Markle shared the monarch had always been good to her, recalling their first engagement.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widness, England. / Source: Getty Images
"The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. We had breakfast together that morning, and she gave me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company," said the Duchess.
The royal matriarch gifted the actress with pearl earrings and a matching necklace while they were seated in a car going between engagements. During the CBS interview, Markle's husband told Winfrey that he had spoken to the Queen more than he had in years:
"I've spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have in many, many, many years. My grandmother and I have a good relationship and understanding, and I have deep respect for her."
DESPITE CONCERNS FOR THE QUEEN - THE DUKE STILL MAINTAINS THE US IS HIS HOME
Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle with their son Archie at the Tutu Legacy Foundation on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. / Source: Getty Images
Although Prince Harry has expressed honor and respect for the Queen, he still maintains that the US is now his home for now. "You know, home – home for me, now, is, you know, for the time being, in the states," he said.
The Duke revealed that America feels like home for him for the time being because residents in the US welcomed him and his family with open arms. Prince Harry added they have a good community in Santa Barbara.
The couple first became parents when they welcomed their son Archie on Mary 6, 2019, who weighed 7lbs. 3oz. The Duchess gave birth to their second child Lilibet on June 4, 2021. Their daughter was born at Santa Barabara Cottage Hospital in California and weighed 7lbs.,11 ounces.
Markle and Prince Harry settled at a 7.4-acre estate they purchased for $14.7 million in Montecito. Their neighbors include Hollywood stars such as Ellen DeGeneres and Winfrey.
The mansion has nine bedrooms and sixteen bathrooms; it features a wine cellar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a tennis court. There is also a library, an office, and a spa with a separate dry and wet sauna.
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