Prince Harry Claimed The Royal Family Lied To Protect Prince William During Megxit

In Netflix's "Harry & Meghan" docuseries, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared never-before-seen moments from their lives, including their stepping back from royal duties in early 2020 and the media scrutiny that they, and particularly Meghan, were under. And in the midst of the discussions within the family about how they'd exit from royal duties, Harry said in Episode 5 of "Harry & Meghan" that without his permission, his name had been added to his brother's on a statement from the palace to the press.

The statement in question came shortly after the "Sandringham Summit" — the meeting Harry had at Sandringham on January 13, 2020, during which Harry, William, then-Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth discussed Meghan and Harry's ongoing role in (or out of) the royal family. A story came out that same day that said William's behavior towards Meghan had basically forced Harry and Meghan to leave the royal family. "And once I got in the car after the meeting," Harry said. "I was told about a joint statement that had been put out in my name and my brother's name squashing the story about him bullying us out of the family." The lie that Harry had agreed to the statement seemed to illustrate for him how Prince William and the institution of the royal family would be defended, no matter the cost to Harry and Meghan.

Prince Harry and Meghan realized the palace wouldn't protect them

When Prince Harry called Meghan Markle to tell her about the statement that he hadn't signed off on being made public, she started crying. In the "Harry & Meghan" Netflix docuseries, it seemed to be the final breaking point. As Meghan put it, she realized that with that statement, "it's never going to stop. Every rumor, every negative thing, every lie, everything that I knew wasn't true and that the palace knew wasn't true [...] that was just being allowed to fester ... "

Meghan didn't always have that feeling about the royal family. During Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah in 2021, she talked about how she felt at first that she'd be protected by the royal family from the media before she and Harry got married.

And while Harry and Meghan's popularity in the U.K. plummeted with their separation from the royal family, when Meghan married into the royal family in May 2018, it was seen by many as a welcome modernization of the institution. Meghan was American, a divorcee, and biracial, something that just a generation or two before would have been inconceivable — just think of King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. But Meghan's assumptions about what the royal family would do for her seem to have been misplaced, and less than two years after their wedding, Harry and Meghan had their final days as senior royals in March 2020.

Meghan Markle was written about more negatively than Kate Middleton

One of the stories that Meghan Markle had written about her was that she made Kate cry before her wedding to Prince Harry. Meghan told Oprah that the opposite was actually true. And there seems to have been a more critical spin on stories about Meghan; she even got criticism for how she held her belly when she was pregnant with baby Archie. Meghan has said that she felt that if Kate Middleton, Prince William's wife, was facing a similar type of storytelling in the U.K. tabloids, the palace would have stepped in and put a stop to it. 

So while it's hard to independently verify things like Harry saying he wasn't asked about signing his name to the statement about William and bullying — though we have no reason to disbelieve him — it's easier to compare how Kate and Meghan were written about when doing the same or similar things. Just one example is that there was apparently nothing wrong with Kate having Jo Malone scented candles brought into Westminster Abbey for her wedding according to Express, but when Meghan wanted to do something similar for her wedding, she was referred to as "dictatorial," by the Daily Mail.

Harry and Meghan seem to be focusing on their lives in California, and William and Kate seem busy with their royal duties. We hope both families are able to mend the royal rift, but with all that's gone on, it might be awhile.