It’s no secret that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship has been unconventional from the beginning. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have faced many trials together, going as far back as when they first started dating in late 2016.
Meghan and Harry’s relationship has been tested from the start, as she and her family dealt with a lot of public harassment when they first started dating. Most of this harrassment stemmed from the fact that Meghan is an outsider to the “royal circle,” as she is an American actress with a mixed ethnic background.
Meghan and her family endured both sexist and racist comments both online and in traditional newspapers only a few months into she and Harry’s relationship. To address this issue, the Kensington Palace was forced to release a statement requesting that both the public and the media “pause and reflect before any further damage is done.” It was clear with the issuing of this statement that the relationship between Meghan and Harry and the public was becoming strained, which could further heighten tensions between the couple and the royal family as well.
Although it can be difficult to speculate what happens behind closed doors, it appears to me that after this issue of harassment, Markle decided to embrace her unconventionality more publicly, particularly on her wedding day and in the birth of her son.
She chose to have an unusually modern ceremony, in which she did not have her own father walk her down the aisle and she also included a more contemporary cake and music as well.
Her rebelliousness against the crown continued when she gave birth in May of 2019, as she chose to not have any of the traditional photos taken of her and her new baby leaving the hospital and she also chose not to announce her son’s godparents at his christening.
Noting all of this backstory, it should come as no surprise that in January, Meghan and Harry announced that they were formally stepping down from their senior duties as Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and more recently announced that they will no longer be working members of the royal family and will no longer use their official titles.
Yes, this is as much of a bombshell as you think it is. This is one of those unprecedented, never-before-seen moments that people are going to be talking about for a long time. For decades the british monarchy has been something of a spectacle to the public, as people have been both fascinated and curious about the royal family’s personal lives and duties.
In my opinion, this split has essentially shattered this “high class” and almost perfect image of the royals, as it exposes that maybe the palace, carriage rides, crowns and sophisticated clothing isn’t all it's cracked up to be. If it was, why would a royal and non-royal decide to leave it all behind and start living a normal, financially independent life?
I also believe all the previous harassment and backlash Meghan endured after her unconventional choices throughout their relationship could’ve inspired this desire to break from the royals and to start a more private, less restrained lifestyle.
On the other hand, it is also possible that Meghan walked into the marriage knowing that they would be married as royals and she would receive all the glitz, glamour and attention that comes with it, but already had a plan to change Harry to follow the contemporary lifestyle she was already accustomed to.
One can continuously speculate and guess as to why they split with the monarchy, whether it is their actual desire for financial independence or if it is an attempt to dodge some criticism and expectations, but truthfully I don’t think we will ever know for sure.
Honestly, the Palace can release statement after statement about their love and support for the couple, but regardless, I think the public will never actually know the real, hard truth about their motive behind their decision.
One thing we can all know for sure, however, is that this decision to split from the royal family marks the epitome of unprecedented behavior in the british monarchy which can, and will, further impact the overall royal image for decades to come.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Torch.