The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are setting a new precedent for a royal couple under the British monarch.
After the couple stepped down as senior royals, they shortly lived in Canada before relocating to Los Angeles in March. Rumor has it that Prince Harry is due to return to England as per the Queen’s request due to his recent political involvement, which is a violation of the royal agreement.
The Duke and Duchess were intending to spend their first Christmas together in California, which would mark the second Christmas they’ve spent without the Queen and the royal family. The Prince and Markle are known to play by their own rules, not foreign to rejecting royal duties or constraints.
The pair opened up about the strife dealing with the pressures of being in the royal family as well as carving out a path of their own. At a private J.P. Morgan event in February, Harry said he wanted a different life for his family — Markle and their son Archie — and doesn’t regret stepping down from the royal family.
He expanded on how the decision was long-waited and made after much deliberation. The Prince has also dealt with issues of his own that stem from losing his mother.
Us commoners will never know exactly what transpires within the royal family, but a source told Entertainment Tonight that reports of family drama tend to be exaggerated.
One can place the culprit of Harry’s distance from the royal family on Markle’s American background, but can you really blame them? Merging the ever-sophisticated British demeanor with Markle’s mixed background and American stubbornness is a recipe for complications of some sort.
While the couple have acclaimed a questionable reputation, opting for a different route has allowed Harry and Markle to do things on their own terms and with more liberation. There have been many instances in which they broke royal tradition and brought modern elements to the monarchy, like speaking up about the importance of voting in the U.S. election.
Markle, an American citizen, is the first member of the royal family to publicly exercise her right to vote. Harry mentioned that he has never voted in order to remain politically neutral but encouraged his followers to be watchful of hate speech and misinformation. They have also been devoting their time to causes they care about such as feminism and human rights.
To add to the list, the Duke and Dutchess have informally interacted with fans, been no stranger to public displays of affection — unlike their royal coterie — and held a wedding that included non-traditional elements like a gospel choir and a Black bishop. Although both the Prince and Markle have had their fair share of criticisms thrown at them, Markle has seemingly received the worst of it. Why? You guessed it, sexism and racism.
The Duchess revealed on the “Teenager Therapy” podcast that in 2019, she was the most trolled celebrity in the world.
“Now, eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave with the baby. But was able to just be manufactured and just churned out — it’s almost unsurvivable,” Markle said.
Inducting the first Black Duchess into the royal family was a historic event for the British monarch. Times have allowed for marriage norms to be broken and increased diversity, although limited.
Anytime a woman, let alone alone a woman of color, enters a realm she is forbidden from, she will be eyed with elevated scrutiny. Every move will be met with a higher standard, and as a threat to the purity and sophistication upheld by the monarch.
The British tabloids striked at Markle as soon as she and Harry first began dating. And now, the couple is most noticeably condemned for keeping details of their life private, including Archie. Some may think they are feigning a dramatic resistance against the Crown, while others may applaud them for prioritizing themselves and their family. I’m leaning toward the latter, because they deserve a break, don’t you think?