Meghan Markle: Commentators discuss ‘emotional’ speech
Royal author Tina Brown has claimed in her new book Meghan and Prince Harry shared the desire, prior to their wedding in May 2018, of “being the instruments of global transformation who, once married, would operate in the celebrity stratosphere once inhabited by Princess Diana”. However, this wish risked clashing with the pecking order within the Royal Family, an existing hierarchy to which the Duchess appeared to be “oblivious”, according to Ms Brown.
Ms Brown wrote in her new book The Palace Papers: “In the ranking system of the entertainment world, star power — wattage — equals leverage … Alas, she seemed oblivious to the one critical factor that would determine the outcome of her plans for the future: primogeniture.”
Despite their huge popularity, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would still come after Kate and Prince William as well as Camilla and Prince Charles in the Firm’s strict pecking order.
Following the birth of the Cambridges’ three children, Harry had gone from third-in-line to the throne to sixth-in line.
And, as the Duke of Cambridge is set to become King after his father the Prince of Wales, Mr Brown noted “when Kate became Queen, Meghan would have to curtsy to her”.
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Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family in 2018
Meghan and Prince Harry carried out their last-ever royal engagements in March 2020
Meghan and Prince Harry met during the summer of 2016 and, as the Duke told comedian James Corden during an interview in February last year, they quickly fell in love.
Their relationship came to light in October that year and Meghan and Harry made their first official public appearance 11 months later, when they attended together the 2017 Invictus Games taking place in Toronto.
Prior to her marriage to Harry, the Duchess renounced to her acting career and relocated to the UK, willing to take on an active role as a working member of the Royal Family.
Indeed, she carried out a few engagements alongside Harry prior to her nuptials and, in February 2018, the couple appeared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the first Royal Foundation Forum in London.
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Meghan and Prince Harry with Kate and Prince William in February 2018
Harry and Meghan had the chance to show off their star potential during their first joint tour abroad in October 2018, when they visited several nations in Oceania – including Australia and New Zealand – drawing huge crowds.
A few months after the Sussexes’ wedding in May, the palace announced the new Duchess of Sussex would take on four patronages – two of which had been passed on to her by the Queen.
The Duchess championed these patronages and promoted several initiatives in their support – including the creation of a capsule collection for women mentoring charity Smart Works.
Meghan and Harry announced in January 2020 they intended to carve out a new role for themselves within the Firm.
Meghan and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games
Meghan and Prince Harry now live in California
According to a statement they shared on their now-defunct Instagram account Sussex Royal, they wanted to become financially independent from the Sovereign Grant while continuing to represent the Crown and the Queen through royal duties and visits.
After this half-in, half-out solution was reportedly deemed unworkable by senior members of the Firm, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would step down from their full-time working roles.
As a consequence, they had to return all their royal patronages and honorary military titles.
They also had to renounce to represent the Crown and no longer receive police protection funded by taxpayers.
Meghan Markle’s life in pictures
After they officially relinquished their roles at the end of March 2020, the couple relocated to a mansion in Montecito, California, with their son Archie Harrison.
They have since launched their organisation Archewell, which includes a video and audio production powerhouse as well as a non-profit foundation.
Among the causes they have championed over the past two years there have been female empowerment and racial justice, vaccine equity and the fight against online misinformation.
Meghan and Harry have also struck financial deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Meghan and Prince Harry during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games 2022
Moreover, they both ventured into the start-up world.
The Duchess invested in an instant latte startup based in California, Clevr Blends, while Prince Harry became the Chief Impact Officer at mental health and coaching firm BetterUp.
In his recent interview with NBC’s Hoda Kotb, the Duke of Sussex spoke about how “nothing has changed” for him and Meghan when it comes to devoting their lives to service after they stepped down from their royal roles.
He said: “For the two of us, this is a life she signed up for and we were committed to doing this together as a couple forever.”Because of the circumstances, we’ve now moved that life of service to the States and we’ll continue doing what we were doing before.
“So in that regard, nothing has changed for us. It is just a little bit more complicated to have to sort of restart.”