Royal Expert Says Prince Harry Saw Meghan Markle As An Escape Route From His Famous Family

Earlier this year, new claims emerged about why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle really left the royal family, reigniting a conversation that shows no signs of slowing down despite the fact Megxit happened in early 2020. According to the Mirror, in Valentine Low's latest book, "Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown," the author posits that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex initially planned to take a short sojourn from their roles, as opposed to leaving them completely.

In fact, their foreign affairs adviser was actively trying to figure out how such a break would work. Low revealed: "A paper was written outlining the options, and the couple were said to like the idea of a year in Africa." Obviously, it didn't work out, and they ultimately opted to defect from the monarchy and relocate to the States instead. "Money and security were probably the two big problems that scuppered" their plans, as the royal author explained. 

The Guardian also confirmed that the Sussexes once discussed being part-time royals, but the idea was shot down by Buckingham Palace. And, yet, it seems Harry was always planning to exit one way or another. In fact, he saw Meghan as the easiest route. 

The Duke of Sussex didn't want to be a prince anymore

As the Mirror notes, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the decision to step down from their high-profile roles, it was reportedly because they felt like The Firm was completely against them. However, royal expert Andrew Morton claimed on the outlet's "Pod Save the King" podcast that "Harry was having conversations in a London hotel with Oprah Winfrey back in November 2018, just six months after they'd been married," suggesting they were making plans to leave early on.

The late Queen Elizabeth II wanted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to handle global outreach while the Prince and Princess of Wales held things down at home. Regardless, the Sussexes' minds were made up, with Morton contending: "They were thinking about living in New Zealand and they even spoke to the Prime Minister of New Zealand about this — so they had all kinds of plots and thoughts for their future." Much like their half-in-half-out idea, it didn't pan out because Harry simply didn't want to be a royal anymore. Moreover, "He saw Meghan as a way out." 

As Marie Claire reported at the time, when the celebrity couple sat down with Winfrey for their groundbreaking interview, Harry asserted that he had to remove his family from the situation because there was nobody else protecting them. "If you'd had the support, you would still be there," Winfrey argued, to which the duke responded: "Without question."

Meghan and Harry's relationship with the royals is even worse now

In the years since they left the royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have set an entirely new precedent by openly speaking out about their difficult time with them, most notably in the Oprah Winfrey interview. As a result, their relationship with the rest of the monarchy is even worse than when they initially defected. Even the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II didn't help them mend fences.

It might have actually had the opposite effect, with royal author Christopher Andersen informing Us Weekly: "I think that [reconciliation] might have been the intention, but the king's decision to initially not permit Harry to wear his uniform and during this funeral [and the] fact that, at times, it seemed as if Harry and Meghan were being shoved in the background and even shunned — that did a lot of damage, I think."

Whether they can fix things in the future, Andersen reckons we'll just have to wait and see. But, with Harry's bombshell memoir coming out shortly, as well as the Sussexes' Netflix docuseries, it's likely going to be an uphill battle. As Andersen reasoned, "There's no way to avoid the fact that it's going to rub the king the wrong way." Further, per Page Six, the couple also rejected an invitation to join the rest of the royals for Christmas.