New Claims Emerge About Why Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Really Left The Royal Family

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plans to embark on a UK tour earlier in 2022, royal insiders balked at the idea. As one former Buckingham Palace employee told the Daily Beast, the couple had some nerve conducting what amounted to a semi-royal tour, considering that "their proposal for being hybrid working royals was comprehensively rejected [at the Sandringham Summit]. It looks like they are just going ahead and doing it anyway."

The main problem, as royal expert Duncan Larcombe explained, was that most people wouldn't see any difference between Meghan and Harry attending events such as the WellChild Awards and active members of the family doing likewise. In fact, WellChild was an event they would've gone to as senior royals, which made the situation potentially even more confusing. 

Per The Guardian, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex initially floated the idea of a "half-in, half-out role." When they were told that they were either in or out, Meghan and Harry opted to step down instead. However, a new report suggests their discussions went slightly further than we initially believed. 

The Sussexes initially just wanted to take some time off

The Mirror reports that, according to a new book by Valentine Low, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex actually toyed with the idea of taking a year away from the royal family rather than leaving completely. Low makes the shocking claim in "Adapted from Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown," revealing that Sir David Manning, the former British ambassador to the US, had even been actively drawing up plans to figure out how it would work.

Manning worked closely with Prince Harry and Prince William as their foreign affairs adviser. He felt it was only fair for the Sussexes to be allowed to pursue their own philanthropic interests for a while and for Meghan Markle to reconnect with her loved ones across the pond without the tabloids watching her every move. 

Funnily enough, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip lived in Malta shortly after marrying, while William and wife Catherine Middleton started their life together in Anglesey, Wales.

According to Low, "A paper was written outlining the options, and the couple were said to like the idea of a year in Africa." Unfortunately, it never transpired, with the author suggesting, "Money and security were probably the two big problems that scuppered it." 

In an excerpt from her book, "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown," published by Vanity Fair, Katie Nicholl claimed the queen was "very hurt" when the Sussexes defected from the royal family.

Meghan and Harry got what they really wanted in the end

They might not have got what they wanted right off the bat, but many people claim Meghan Markle and Prince Harry currently live out a "third way" of being royals. As The Spectator argued, "representing the queen one day [and] earning serious money the next was always untenable," leading critics to dismiss the idea of the couple's proposed "progressive new role" when it was first announced. 

However, it's obvious now that the outcome was the same regardless. Aside from making a new life for themselves in California, the Sussexes have negotiated multimillion-dollar deals with the likes of Netflix and Spotify while they continue to fight for the issues they care about most. 

In a piece for Yahoo! News UK, "Finding Freedom" co-author Omid Scobie noted how Harry's speech at the UN General Assembly highlighted just how far he's come and how happy the formerly "spare heir" is with his new life. "Seeking a life of greater purpose has been a long and mostly solitary journey for Harry," he said.

Stepping down has proven to be the best decision he ever made, even despite the fact that nobody believed the duke could do it, Scobie said. "Years later, and without a penny from the British taxpayer, Harry has created the life he has long dreamed about. A life that, dare I say it, he couldn't have achieved if he remained a working member of 'The Firm.'"