Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Lives Are Drastically Different Now

If there's one couple that attracts the world's attention, it's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the groundbreaking royal couple that's no longer royal. Harry was known for his bachelor antics and his "fun uncle" persona, but when he met Meghan, it was like everything fell into place. Meghan, on the other hand, was a self-made woman of color and an actress — barrier-breaking for the royal family.


Harry and Meghan's whirlwind engagement had the press and public practically trampling each other to catch an up-close glimpse. Harry was no longer in his brother's shadow, but out in front with Meghan standing next to him. Meghan, like so many little kids dream of, found her prince. A fairytale, really. 

But things weren't easy for the couple — arguments over privacy, family rifts, and royal drama got in the way. In January 2020, they made the announcement that they'd be stepping down from their roles as royals, with a year-long probation period (via the BBC). That year is up, and Harry and Meghan are now permanently on their own. So what's their life going to look like? Here's everything you need to know, because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's lives are drastically different now.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can't work with their royal patronages anymore

A big part of royal life in Britain is working with charities. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a number of patronages while serving as senior royals, including the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Royal National Theatre, among others. But as part of their decision to step down from their roles as senior royals — and now that the probation period is done — Harry and Meghan will not be allowed to keep up their royal involvement with the charities. 


As noted by People, many of the charities that Harry and Meghan worked with rushed to social media to praise the couple and their contributions after the announcement was made that they'd no longer be involved on Queen Elizabeth's behalf. The Royal National Theatre took to Twitter, saying that they were "very grateful for the support offered by the Duchess of Sussex," just one example of the well-wishes the couple received. 

Meghan and Harry will continue working with different charities, namely the Smart Works Charity and Harry's Invictus Games Foundation, but they won't be working on behalf of the royal family.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry can now push back against the palace and its messaging

If the British royal family is known for anything, it's for their skillful evasion of drama. The news is always controlled, and the image is always perfect. But that's not necessarily the case anymore, because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now in control of their own messaging. 


When Harry and Meghan announced that their probation period was over, that they would be permanently leaving their roles as senior royals, the palace released a statement. "The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," the statement read. 

So what's the big deal? Meghan and Harry responded with a statement of their own, saying "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal" (via People). And according to The Times, Prince William was "really sad and genuinely shocked" that Harry released a statement of his own, calling the move "disrespectful." Either way, Harry and Meghan are in control of what they say and when they say it.


Prince Harry has to give up his honorary military appointments

This drastic change hurts quite a bit. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that their probation period was up, and that they would in fact be leaving their senior royal roles, it was also announced that Harry would lose his honorary military titles. According to Express, Harry was "stripped of his honorary military titles," including "Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command." 


This isn't something that Harry is happy about, according to royal expert Charlie Lankston. "We know that Harry has a great love of the military, we know he was devastated when he had to step away from active duty many years ago," he shared with Express. "And that, I think, is going to be what really hurts him the most. Having to give up the titles he worked so hard to get in the first place." 

Harry served in the British army for more than a decade and often spoke about his time in the service during appearances and speeches as a senior royal. This drastic change really sucks for him.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can no longer represent the Queen

Senior members of the royal family not only represent themselves when at speaking engagements or events; they also represent Queen Elizabeth herself. It's a big responsibility! All eyes are glued to every move the royal in question makes, because representing the Queen well is a royal's top priority. But as noted by the Los Angeles Times, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer be representing the Queen or the royal family in their future engagements. To that end, all lines of questioning they receive from here on out can't include questions about the royals. 


The Los Angeles Times reported that Harry and Meghan hired the Harry Walker Agency to handle all their appearances, and specified that they'd be speaking on a number of topics in the future, including racial justice, environmental issues, gender equality, and mental health. But under no condition will they accept engagements that require them to spill about their lives as royals, or the royal family. Leave it to the Harry Walker Agency to smooth everything over. After all, they represent a number of A-list people including Barack and Michelle Obama and Stacey Abrams.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now control their press appearances

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had a pretty contentious relationship with the press, and there's been a lot of drama surrounding violations of the couple's privacy. Well, Meghan and Harry are no longer bound by the palace's press desires, meaning that they get to decide who interviews them and when. As such, the couple's first sit-down interview (the first since their engagement) will be with none other than TV icon Oprah Winfrey. Set to air on March 7, 2021, it's the first time that Harry and Meghan will be speaking on their own accord, which is a big deal, given everything that's happened to them in the last year. 


As noted by People, the interview is set to cover a large portion of Meghan's life, from her time as a royal to her role as a mom to the public scrutiny, and everything in between. Harry is set to join her later in the interview, and we for one can't wait to watch. The awkward part is that the Commonwealth Day service, which will feature the senior royals, is set to air on the same day. Yikes.

Meghan Markle no longer has to abide by the strict royal dress code

Royal women always look put together. Their hair is neat, their clothes are tailored, and their makeup is perfect. And that shouldn't come as a shock — they're photographed from every angle every time they step out in public. But for those who aren't as well-versed in all things royal, it should be known that there's a strict royal dress code — and now that she's no longer a senior royal, Meghan Markle doesn't have to follow it. 


For example, royal women are required to hold their purses firmly in their left hand. Nail polish that's anything other than nude or light pink is strictly forbidden. Dresses and skirts are always preferred over pants, and they must be a ladylike length. Wedge heels are an absolute no-go when the Queen is around, coats aren't allowed to be taken off while in public, and the rule of thumb is pantyhose, always (via Cosmopolitan). 

Phew, that was quite the list, and these are restrictions that Meghan no longer has to abide by. So bust out your jeans and red nail polish, Meghan. Honestly, we can't wait to see it.

Neither Prince Harry or Meghan Markle will use "royal" in their daily lives or branding

There are a lot of questions concerning Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal status, so we're here to set the record straight: Harry and Meghan are still royals, but as noted by the Sussex Royal website, they will not use the word "royal" or any iteration thereof in their daily lives, nonprofits, or any organization that they create. And as additionally noted on their website, while the British crown technically has no jurisdiction in the United States — where Harry and Meghan now live — the couple are adhering to the wishes of the palace. 


Harry and Meghan will still be known by their titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but we wouldn't be surprised if they introduce themselves by their first names from here on out. And as far as their nonprofits and organizations are concerned, Harry and Meghan have already amended accordingly. As noted by Insider, their charity was going to bear the name Sussex Royal, but after Harry and Meghan left their roles as senior royals, the organization's name was changed to Archewell.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's life changed drastically when they became financially independent

The aspect of royal life that everyday people may overlook is the fact that the family's life is paid for by UK taxpayers. And if you've been paying an ounce of attention, you know that the royals live pretty lavish lifestyles. But when they announced their plans to step away from royal life, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also said that they'd work towards financial independence — and they've done it. 


According to ABC News, Harry and Meghan are completely independent from Harry's father, Prince Charles, and his funds. They also paid back all the taxpayer money that was used to renovate their England residence, Frogmore Cottage. So where's their money coming from? A Netflix deal, for starters, and who knows what business ventures the power couple will pursue next. 

Harry and Meghan's financial independence may have made things awkward for the royals though. As noted by Express, critics called out the royal family for living off of taxpayer money, with one saying, "we should not be spending a single penny on them beyond providing a salary and an office for the Queen." Sticky situation.

Meghan Markle's second pregnancy may be drastically different than her first

There are royal protocols for just about everything, and that includes pregnancy. As noted by Reader's Digest, Meghan Markle was bound by protocols when she was pregnant with her first child, Archie, and some of them are a little unrealistic. 


For starters, royal women have to keep their toes covered and they almost always wear heels — we can't imagine squeezing our quarantine feet, which have been adorned by slippers and nothing else, into heels, let alone if we were seven months pregnant. And for all of you out there who don't think shoes while pregnant is a big deal, talk to the moms whose feet grew by two sizes while they made a baby. 

Other protocols include a very modest maternity wardrobe, travel is very restricted, there's no baby shower, and the baby has to be christened in the royal robe modeled after Queen Victoria's design. But because she's no longer a senior royal, it's likely that Meghan will have far more freedom during her second pregnancy, which she announced on February 14, 2021. Someone get Meghan some slippers stat.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have to hire their own security now

Did you ever expect Donald Trump to get involved in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's post-royal life? Well prepared to be surprised, because the former president weighed in on the couple's changing security detail. As senior royals, Harry and Meghan were protected by SO14 Royalty Protection Group, a branch of the Metropolitan Police that works specifically to protect the royal family. 


But due to their departure from royal life and their move to the United States, Harry and Meghan had to rethink their security plans. Cue Donald Trump. The former president tweeted that the United States would not pay for Harry and Meghan to have a security detail, an assertion that was refuted by their representative (via Insider). But we do know, via the Daily Mail, that Harry and Meghan hired a world class security team once in Los Angeles. Their team was picked by Ronald Reagan's former chief of security, and is costing them about $9,800 per day. An unnamed source put it best: "They aren't cheap, but if you want the best you have to pay for it." 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now control their own business ventures

As senior royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were known mostly for their charity work and for their roles as representatives of the crown. But now that they're living by their own accord, a huge component of their lives is changing: their occupation. 


As noted by People, Harry and Meghan can add podcasters to their collective resumes, as they launched a podcast through their production company, Archewell Audio. Their podcast was created specifically for Spotify, and they appeared during Spotify's Stream On event in February 2021 to talk about their company and their upcoming projects. "We created Archewell Audio to make sure that we can elevate voices that maybe aren't being heard and hear people's stories," Meghan said. Harry echoed the sentiment, saying that a huge component of Archewell Audio is about creating is community and a space where people can "share their own vulnerabilities within that safe space." 

So what did the couple do to launch their podcast? Just got a couple of their friends, like Stacey Abrams and Elton John to collaborate on a special episode. No big deal.


Meghan Markle likely won't wear a tiara ever again

A drastic aspect of royal life is the jewelry, and materialistic or not, we're all a little obsessed with the jewels that the royal women wear; we can't even imagine how they feel wearing such decadent pieces. And to be honest, a lot can be interpreted from royal jewelry selections. 


According to Harper's Bazaar, Kate Middleton has borrowed jewelry from Queen Elizabeth often, including dazzling diamond earrings and massive diamond bracelets (so many diamonds to keep track of), perhaps signaling a certain level of comfort within an otherwise very distant family. But tiaras are especially a big deal in the royal family, as they're only ever worn for extremely specific events, namely, royal weddings. 

Meghan Markle only wore a tiara once as a senior royal, and that was on her wedding day. The tiara was beautiful, but it was most likely the first and last time she got to indulge in such a royal tradition. As noted by Insider, the fact that Meghan now doesn't use her royal title, chances are that tiaras are not in her future.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can now take photos and sign autographs with fans

Here's a drastic change that will most likely be welcomed by Meghan Markle: she and Prince Harry can now sign autographs. For the former actress, this will likely be a positive change that will take her back to her days on the screen — but for Harry, this will be an entirely new circumstance. 


As noted by The Sun, there are few requests from the public that royal family members have to turn down, but signing autographs is one of them. Blame royal protocol, again, but it bans family members from giving out any kind of signature for fear that their handwriting could be forged. The Sun reported that it's been noted that Prince Charles has said, "Sorry, they don't allow me to do that," when asked by the public for an autograph. 

Want an even more obscure rule? Royals aren't allowed to sign body parts for fear of handwriting forgery. What wild times we live in. But now that Harry and Meghan are no longer bound by the obscure rules of the royals, we could be seeing their John Hancock pop up.


If one aspect of Prince Harry's life will stay the same, it's the schism between him and his family

Fighting with your family is the worst. It leaves feelings hurt, egos bruised, and relationships in tatters. And if one element of Prince Harry's drama-filled life is going to remain the same (for the foreseeable future), it's his complicated relationship with his family. 


As noted by Elle, Harry and his older brother, Prince William, initially started fighting about Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle and the speed at which it was progressing. Additionally, according to royal historian Robert Lacey, who authored the book Battle of Brothers about the royal siblings, William got so angry with Harry at one point during their feud that they couldn't even sit at the same table together. 

Things also aren't exactly peachy between Harry and the other royals. For example, as noted by The Times, the royal family refused to lay a wreath on Harry's behalf at the Cenotaph, a tradition that he's been taking part in since 2009. Will the bonds between them ever heal? Time will tell.