Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘big mistakes’ – one year on from ‘Megxit’
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are in a "very good place" one year on from sparking a major royal crisis with 'Megxit'.
The couple dropped their bombshell statement on January 8, 2020, saying they were quitting the Royal Family.
They said they intended to step down as senior royals and become financially independent, but still support the Queen – a dual role which in the end was unworkable.
Now on the first anniversary of the announcement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have settled into a new life in the US away from the monarchy, secured lucrative multimillion-pound deals with both Netflix and Spotify and established their Archewell foundation.
But the couple have also experienced heartache, with Meghan revealing in a newspaper article in November that she had suffered a miscarriage in the summer, writing: "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."
A source said: "After a very turbulent 12 months for everyone in the world and massive changes of moving country and all the rest of it, they have also been very vocal about what they have gone through in their own personal life.
"They have a house. They have created the financial independence that they were after.
"They have launched their organisation and their organisation is under way doing amazing things already.
"And so I think that they are in a very good place."
Royal commentators have, however, taken aim at some of the decisions the pair have made in the past year.
Margaret Holder said the royal couple should not have signed the Netflix deal and stuck to their duties instead.
Speaking to LBC, Ms Holder said: "It is all about PR now with Harry and Meghan.
"Basically they shouldn't have done the Netflix deal because they shouldn't have left the country.
"They should have buckled down and done their duty and used time and patience and not asked for everything all at once.
"Things might have worked out better for them."
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam also previously warned “clashes were inevitable” after the couple decided to close their office at Buckingham Palace following their move to Canada.
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Mr Fitzwilliam believed the couple had made a “mistake” because the closure will mean they are not able to “liaise” with the rest of the Royal Family.
“The closure of the Sussexes office at Buckingham Palace is a mistake as they are keeping their patronages," he said.
Harry and Meghan now live in an £11 million forever home in Montecito, California, with their 20-month-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
They have set out their goal to "build a better world" through their non-profit organisation, recently announcing partnerships with several tech and research-focused organisations.
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Archewell is expected to focus on the issues the couple have been raising both during and before the pandemic – racial justice, gender equity, climate change, mental health, tackling online hate speech and empowering diverse voices.
But the Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter believes while with the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan 'had it all' and they shouldn't have left.
Speaking to True Royalty TV’s weekly programme The Royal Beat, he said: “Their world was their oyster and they blew it. They literally blew it, they had everything. I don’t think everything was what Meghan wanted.
“Harry was the spare and the Cambridges are the heirs.
“He accepted his role, he was always born to that.
“Until Meghan came along and she could not accept that. She couldn’t accept being in the second row.”
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Mr Arbiter added: “Harry’s biggest mistake was leaving the army. He should have never left.”
On January 8 last year, fresh from a six-week break in Canada and the day after their first royal engagement of the decade at the Canadian High Commission in London, Harry and Meghan declared they had chosen to "carve out a progressive new role" within the monarchy.
They said: "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.
"It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."
But Harry and Meghan's plan for a combined role of earning their own money and doing royal duties would have led to accusations they were profiting from the monarchy.
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Buckingham Palace reacted quickly, warning publicly that the decision was complicated.
The Queen convened a summit at Sandringham with Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry, plus key royal advisers, to find a way to solve the crisis.
In the end, the couple were faced with a hard Megxit – and on March 31, less than two years after Meghan became a member of the royal family, they stepped down as working royals completely and stopped using their HRH styles.
One of the outcomes of the Sandringham summit was that there should be a 12-month review of the plans, following the transition period.
It was thought the intention was to leave a way back just in case Harry and Meghan wanted to return to the royal fold.
However, there is still the issue of what will happen to the duke's honorary military titles.
Harry's forces appointments – Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands' Small Ships and Diving – were put on hold for a year after Megxit, and he is not currently allowed to take on any roles using them.
It will be the Queen's decision as to what happens to the titles, but there is not expected to be an announcement immediately following the March 31 anniversary.
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