Manipulative Meghan… and reclusive Harry?

The truth behind the shock royal decision and fallout

meghan markle prince harry

by Stephen Leng |
Updated on

The fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were not happy in their royal roles came as a surprise to very few – the writing had been on the wall for some time.

However, with the pair deciding to split their time between Canada and the UK, potentially giving up the public funding they receive, and with Meghan having done secret voiceover work in Hollywood, the scale and scope in which they have gone about it has been a shock.

It seems many are keen to place the blame for the couple’s unhappiness directly on Meghan, 38, with commentators – including Eamonn Holmes and Piers Morgan – calling her "manipulative" and "spoilt".

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Meghan and Harry are splitting their time between the UK and Canada ©Getty Images

During the couple’s glory days at their wedding less than two years ago, many did think it unusual that the only member of her own family to attend was her mother Doria Ragland.

Instead, there was a stream of celebrities, including the Beckhams, Oprah Winfrey, Elton John and David Furnish, George and Amal Clooney and Serena Williams. Now, those stars have become the couple’s closest confidants, and Harry, 35, reportedly began to see less and less of his loyal inner circle.

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Meghan and Harry tied the knot in 2018 ©Getty Images

The likes of Guy Pelly –his best friend since childhood – Tom Inskip and Astrid Harbordhave all seemingly fallen by the wayside. Writing online, Good Morning Britain host Piers said, "People say I’m too critical of Meghan Markle – but she ditched her family, ditched her dad, ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William and has now split him from the royal family."

A source told The Times that he no longer enjoys hanging out with his old pals and hitting the pub. They said, "He’s become a recluse, and his friends are distraught."

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They're parents to their son Archie ©Getty Images

Moreover, as we now know only too well, Harry’s relationship with his family, especially his brother William, 37, has become strained.

While William was one of three people invited to Sandringham by the Queen to thrash out the "Megxit" deal for the Sussexes, they are no longer thought to be close at all.

Wills allegedly told a friend, "I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives, and I can’t do that any more. We’re separate entities. I’m sad about that.

"All we can do, and all I can do, is try to support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page."

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The couple's relationship with William and Kate has been strained

The pair are believed to have fallen out shortly after the birth of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie last year. They are said to have had a furious row just before a polo match in which they both played in July, although the details have not emerged.

A source told the press, "It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see just how damaged William and Harry’s relationship has become. William feels betrayed by Harry. Harry feels like William and Kate never gave Meghan a chance."

Journalist Tom Bradby, who interviewed Harry and Meghan in their ITV documentary in South Africa late last year, and who has become a confidant, seemingly confirmed their feud, but suggests the blame lies with his family.

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Many are keen to place the blame on Meghan ©Getty Images

He said, "There have been a lot of fallouts. A lot of harsh things were said around the time of the wedding, and it’s gone a bit too far.

"Certainly, the rest of the family find Harry and Meghan very difficult, and from Harry and Meghan’s point of view, they’re just being driven out. It’s sad."

Apparently, William’s wife Kate hasn’t spoken to Meghan in six months. Despite that, the brothers did release a rare joint statement on the day of the “Sandringham Summit”, hitting out at reports that their relationship had been damaged.

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Kate and Meghan in July last year ©Getty Images

It read, "Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge.

"For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."

The Queen later said that the meeting had been "constructive", although she made it clear she was upset at Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as "full-time working royals".

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Meghan and Harry in November 2019 ©Getty Images

And while there’s been dismay from some about their decision to split their time between North America and the UK, for Harry, there is a good reason for him to want to do it – Meghan’s mental health.

An insider said, "He feared staying in the UK too long would lead to Meghan having a meltdown."

A friend is reported to have said, "She wasn’t sleeping well and started having anxiety attacks about her future."

Check out: 9 Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana


All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

In 1987, Princess Diana wore tartan at Bute Highland Games in Scotland and two decades later Meghan wore a Burberry tartan coat for an official visit to Scotland during her engagement.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

It seems both royals are a fan of pairing red and purple. Princess Diana wore the combo during a visit to Hong Kong in November 1989 while Meghan wore it on a visit to Birkenhead in January of 2019.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

Both Meghan and Diana chose a monochrome colour palette for visits to Royal Ascot.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

The off-the-shoulder pink Carolina Herrera dress Meghan wore to Trooping the Colour was rather similar to Princess Diana's look worn at the Royal Ballet in Germany in 1987.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

Both have sported tailored blush pink dresses. Princess Diana wore a Versace coat dress in 1995 while the Duchess of Sussex wore a modern take on the trend when visiting the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

For the the premiere of Just Like a Woman in 1992, Princess Diana wore a red gown by Victor Edelstein and Meghan channeled the look for an appearance on the Today show.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

Meghan's second wedding dress (a Stella McCartney design) was noticeably similar to a high-necked evening gown worn by Princess Diana at a reception at Spencer House in London.

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All The Times Meghan Markle Dressed Like Princess Diana

At Commonwealth Day in March 2019, Meghan wore an emerald green Erdem coat not dissimilar to the one worn by Princess Diana in 1982.

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Meghan's mum Doria is backing the couple ©Getty Images

Her mum Doria is backing the pair 100 per cent. A source told a newspaper, "Doria is very much about being true to oneself, so she will encourage Meghan to take the road less travelled."

Other reports have suggested that, despite the speculation they will live between the UK and Canada, in all likelihood, Meg will never return to Britain.

Bella magazine
©Bella magazine

A friend reportedly said, "She doesn’t want to raise Archie there, and Harry doesn’t want to travel back and forth. She’ll make extended visits, but that’s it."

And online commenters seem to agree, with one saying, "Bet you that Meghan will never set foot in the UK again."

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Now, Meghan seems to have secretly returned to work, in what seems to be a job set up by Harry when he met the CEO of Disney at The Lion King premiere last year, when he was overheard saying she wanted to do voiceovers.

So, could Tinseltown be their ultimate goal? It seems so. "It’s by no means an immediate thing, but there is a long-term plan to end up back in the US, with a second home in Canada, where they will spend a great deal of time," an insider said.

It would make sense for them to move to California, where her friends and mother are based. But they will reportedly only do so when President Donald Trump is out of office. What happens next remains to be seen, but this decision will likely have consequences beyond what we know so far.

You can read more celebrity news in this week's Bella magazine - out now.

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