Royal rule breakers. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan (née Markle) may have shocked the world with their plans to take a step back from their royal duties in January 2020, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have seemingly been planting the seeds for years.
Harry and Meghan, who met in 2016, exchanged vows in front of family and friends at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England in May 2018. Shortly after the nuptials, sources told Us Weekly that the former actress, who moved to England to be with Harry, was “very overwhelmed with all the rules of the palace.”
“She understands why they’re there, but she’s still learning,” one source said at the time. “The palace has been really good and supportive of her, but she’s still learning her new life.”
A second source told Us at the time that Meghan struggled with the palace’s rules about social media and making public comments to the press. The Suits alum specifically struggled when she wasn’t allowed to speak out regarding her drama with her father, Thomas Markle, who was caught staging photos with the paparazzi days before Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
“She’s essentially not able to prevent these kind of stories. Now, everything has to go through official palace,” the insider told Us in July 2018. “She doesn’t have her own publicist, she can’t make any comments on Twitter and she can’t reach out to him to tell him to stop speaking to the press. Her father’s comments have an effect on everything.”
Harry and Meghan welcomed their first child together, a son named Archie, in May 2019. The pair made it clear that they weren’t going to follow royal tradition when they opted to keep their son’s christening intimate and private. (The event usually isn’t kept from the public.)
“The queen accepted Harry and Meghan’s decision to keep the event private,” a royal insider told Us in July 2019.
“William thinks his brother is going overboard keeping Archie out of the spotlight,” the source noted.
Harry and Meghan made waves on January 8, 2020, when they officially announced their decision to take a “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.”
Scroll through for a complete breakdown of the couple’s unique royal path: