Prince Harry has “completely changed” since meeting Meghan Markle, royal insiders say, and they strongly believe she is the driving force behind their move to quit the royal family.
After Harry admitted in a recent interview that he wasn’t on good terms with his brother Prince William, a source said, “Things were already tense between the brothers when Harry met Meghan, but things became much, much worse after they got married.
“Harry and Meghan didn’t spend any time with William and Kate, and the two wives don’t get along at all – the distance and the differences between them grew into a vast chasm. William and Kate are far more formal and easily fall in step with royal protocol, Harry and Meghan went in the opposite direction – they have nothing in common.
“Similarly, Harry began spending less and less time with his old, lifelong friends, he stopped being the laddish, relaxed character he had been, he became more private and withdrawn.
“Nobody can blame Harry for wanting to protect his wife, who has had a very tough time with the British press. Harry absolutely loves her and wants her to be happy and safe, and more importantly not suffer as his mother Diana did. But now all Harry’s friends now seem to be Meghan’s Hollywood friends, like the Clooneys,” the source said.
“It is almost as if she has taken total control of his life,” the source speculated.
The source added of those previously close with Harry, “Everyone is convinced Meghan is the driving force behind this move to quit the royal family. She is the one who most wants to be back living in Canada and California, where she feels happy, and to bring their son Archie up away from the restrictive and intrusive politics of Buckingham Palace.”
On Wednesday, the pair announced they were quitting the royal family in a statement on their social media page.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the statement reads.
Soon after, Buckingham Palace released a statement of their own, calling things “complicated,” seemingly confirming they were blindsided.
“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
A look at Harry and Meghan’s time as Duke and Duchess of Sussex:
Just over two years after their engagement, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back from their royal duties. After a tumultuous time with the press, Markle family drama, a birth, and reported rifts with the royal family, the departure is a historic moment for the royal family. We’re taking a look back at their brief time as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Attending the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2018.
On their wedding day: May 19, 2018.
Arriving by carriage to Trooping The Colour — an annual birthday celebration for the sitting British Sovereign involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry — in June 2018.
Attending the christening of Prince Louis on July 9th, 2018.
The pair beam at each other during the centenary of the British Royal Air Force on July 10th, 2018.
Visiting Sydney, Australia in October 2018.
Arriving in Tonga on October 25th, 2018.
Attending a service to mark the centenary of the Armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11th, 2018.
Attending the Royal Variety Performance on November 19th, 2018.
Visiting Birkenhead on January 14, 2019.
Attending the Endeavour Fund — a charity that helps wounded British military veterans — Awards on Feb. 7th, 2019.
Attending the Wider Earth gala on Feb. 12th, 2019.
Traveling through Morocco on Feb. 25th, 2019.
Attending the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11th, 2019.
With their newborn son, Archie, on May 8th, 2019.
Arriving by carriage to Trooping The Colour on June 8th, 2019.
At the “The Lion King” European premiere on July 14th, 2019.
Attending the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 7th, 2019.
Harry and Meghan were seen most recently at the Canada House in London on Jan. 7th, 2020. As the couple is reported to be moving to Canada more permanently, perhaps this visit offers some foreshadowing to their future.
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