Meghan Markle: Commentator on ‘star power’ after royal tour
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Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, celebrate their wedding anniversary on Thursday May 19. The ceremony, at St George’s Chapel, was attended by an array of famous faces, including Sir Elton John, Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney. It also drew huge crowds of royal watchers to the streets of Windsor and tens of millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the Royal Wedding on TV.
Meghan and Harry’s union provided hope for a modernising monarchy and, alongside Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, they were nicknamed the “Fab-Four” and dubbed the “future of the Royal Family”.
However, two years after their royal nuptials, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals.
Their exit was followed by a bombshell interview with Oprah, during which Meghan and Harry revealed their reasons for leaving the Royal Family.
The duchess painted a dismal picture of being silenced and unsupported, making serious allegations against the Firm and their approaches to racism.
Clive Irving, author of ‘The Last Queen’, claimed that Meghan was not “applauded for giving the household a badly needed wake-up call,” but instead “regarded as an annoying alien force unwilling to fit the regime.”
He went on to quote Tina Brown, author of new best-seller ‘The Palace Papers’, who wrote in her book that Meghan felt “excluded” and “rebuffed”.
She claimed that the duchess “felt excluded or rebuffed by British reserve, which among the Royal Family and the Palace, was at the extreme end of the usual upper-class denial of emotion.”
Just months before their shock exit, Meghan opened up on struggles she had faced as an American trying to make it as a working royal.
In the 2019 ITV documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’, the duchess said: “I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper lip’ — I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
ITV’s Tom Bradby was travelling with Meghan and Harry during their ten-day tour of Africa.
The duchess revealed that she had struggled under the pressures of press interest in her public life in the Royal Family.
Meghan told Bradby that it was a “very real thing to be going through behind the scenes” and replied “yes” when asked if it’s “really been a struggle,” and how she was “not really ok”.
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Notably, at this time, Harry issued an unprecedented statement in which he accused sections of the British tabloid press of pursuing a “ruthless campaign” against his wife.
The trip ran from the end of September to early October, and in December it was confirmed that the couple were taking an extended holiday over the festive season.
Instead of spending Christmas at Sandringham, following the age-old royal tradition, the Sussexes spent the holidays in Canada with Meghan’s family.
Upon their return to the UK in January 2020, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess were stepping down.
The couple left their lives in Windsor in favour of a fresh start in the US, and now reside in Montecito, California with their two children — Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana.
Next month, the family will make their first trip across the pond altogether to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with the Royal Family.
While they will not appear on Buckingham Palace balcony for the highly anticipated Trooping the Colour, they are expected to attend other Jubilee events, such as the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Their visit indicates that bridges are being built following wide speculation of a rift between the couple and the family.
‘The Palace Papers’ was written by Tina Brown and published by Century. It is available here.
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