Why Prince Harry decided to leave the royal family and the UK

Society 2023
Why Prince Harry decided to leave the royal family and the UK
Why Prince Harry decided to leave the royal family and the UK

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle named their newborn daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, combining the childhood nickname of Elizabeth II and the name of the prince's mother. This combination caused new fierce disputes between fans and opponents of the couple. At the end of June, the Bombora publishing house published the book Megan and Harry. A true story, in which Lady Colin Campbell predicted many of the events that happened to the couple - from an interview with Oprah Winfrey to the names of companies with which the spouses are now cooperating. We're releasing a chapter from a new book outlining the reasons why Prince Harry decided to make a big change in his life.

Diana's upbringing or strong Meghan Markle: how Prince Harry renounced his family
Diana's upbringing or strong Meghan Markle: how Prince Harry renounced his family

The author of the book about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is Lady Colin Campbell, biographer of Princess Diana. Through connections in the royal court, she managed to find sources who shared insider information about the duke and duchess. Lady Campbell spoke to the couple's friends, relatives, courtiers and colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic to answer readers' questions:

  • why Megan and Harry decided to take a bold step, renounce royal privileges and leave the UK;
  • what can reconcile Harry with William;
  • thanks to what Meghan, and not Kate, is called the second Princess Diana;
  • why psychologists and relatives are concerned about Harry's mental state and its possible consequences;
  • what does Elizabeth II really think about all this (spoiler: she is not shy about her expressions).

True love or cold calculation? Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship has been the subject of controversy from the start. Opponents accused Megan of poor acting in a scandalous interview with Oprah Winfrey, and fans made bets on how the lovers would name their daughter, who was born in June 2020. How does Lady Colin Campbell explain the Duke and Duchess' decision to break away from the royal family?

Harry made it clear that he and Meghan should have absolute control over their choices. Why would he, the second son, put the interests of the monarchy before his own - which was the purpose of the palace - if he would never become number one?

He and Meghan "seemed incapable of considering any option other than the highest office, and since they would never be King and Queen of the United Kingdom, they should have been given the freedom to become King and Queen of something else," said one courtier. The Sussexes genuinely did not understand why their plans for the future should be curtailed or controlled by the palace. They could not understand why absolute freedom to make deals as and when they please could be contrary to their unwavering duty to the British crown and people.

At the core of the issue was the dilemma of whether Harry and Meghan could ever become completely freemen without the slightest responsibility to the crown and its subjects and whether they would be obliged to constantly look after these communities, regardless of whether they are they are full members of the royal family or completely retired. This issue is still unresolved.

I am aware that William was especially disappointed with his brother's behavior. He felt that they all had a responsibility that went far beyond their personal desires and even their happiness. Harry, however, has always tended to think in more private terms than his older brother, even when others would have deemed it more appropriate to think in an institutional context. This, in essence, was the result of how Diana raised Harry. She raised him without limits, taught him to think more selfishly and emotionally than objectively, to avoid the consequences of his actions and do as he pleases, to consider himself special not because he is a prince, but because he is adored by Harry.

A little less individualism and a little more royalism might have corrected the balance. The fact is that if some of Harry's features are due to nature, even more of his features are shaped by the position he has held since birth. Diana herself broke the fine line between self-indulgence and the damage her actions were doing to the crown. However, she at least knew she had to tread carefully, even when she tried to sabotage her ex-husband or hit the royal family. Deep down, she always knew that one day her son would inherit the throne. Therefore, she could not afford to rock the boat too much, and this had a restraining effect on her.

With regard to Harry, she had no such hesitation. Harry had a fully formed second son motivating syndrome, but he did not have a sense of duty that would restrain him from satisfying personal needs and limiting him in goals or actions. And as soon as he and Meghan realized that their ambitions would be realized more outside the royal palace than inside, they began to behave with a recklessness that even Diana lacked. Harry stopped paying attention to the consequences of his actions, something his mother never did. He had a wife who didn't want to spend her whole life playing second fiddle to the Duchess of Cambridge, just as Harry himself didn't like being in William's shadow.

In addition, there were personal tensions between the two women that facilitated self-justification. Meghan dismissively refers to Katherine as "stiff" and feels awkward around her because their style is so radically different. Katherine is traditionally majestic and Meghan is the quintessential California informality, while Harry has adopted Meghan's disdain for traditionalism and now scorns William's cautious and reserved stance. Undoubtedly, Harry and Meghan have become a powerful duo that has worked well in the United States, even if it was not appreciated in the same way in the UK. They also genuinely enjoyed doing things together. They have many common goals, values, ambitions and interests. Everyone loves to be the center of attention.

The Sussexes really enjoy being the superstars they have become. They are in awe of their dream of becoming philanthropic luminaries on the world stage, recognized and celebrated for their unique gifts as the only superstar royal couple who can now function as independents. Harry had long been annoyed that he was playing side characters. There is no doubt that if he had married a girl like Chelsea Davy or Cressida Bonas, he would have accepted his fate and led a traditional British life. However, as soon as a stranger like Megan opened up other possibilities for him, his eyes flew open, and his love for her blinded him. Through her, he caught a glimpse of a previously unimaginable lifestyle that allowed him to indulge himself in ways he had hitherto found unthinkable.

Harry would likely have been happier staying in Britain and not severing his ties the way he later did, but he knew the only way his marriage would sustain was to follow Meghan into her vision of what their life could be. From her point of view, the only way to become big players was to move the scene from the UK to the United States, and not just anywhere, but to California. There, Meghan's knowledge of the entertainment industry will become an asset that will possibly bring them generous rewards - not only financially, but also in terms of prestige and the international recognition they crave.

By accepting that the best way to achieve their goal is to create their own platform rather than share it with their brother and sister-in-law, Harry and Meghan felt liberated. Undoubtedly, Harry had to make difficult decisions, many of which he would have preferred to avoid and which would not have been necessary if he married another woman. But there was also the other side of the coin. The Sussexes will no longer be limited to a system that always remains a secondary player. They will be able to step out of the shadows and become the pioneers that they consider themselves to be and have been recognized in Meghan's home country. They, especially she, were extremely unhappy that both of them were part of a lifestyle that would always take away from them the centrality that their vision and ambition demanded.

Only by embarking on a new path will they be able to create a platform where they can shine brightly as center players, rather than sharing the stage with Katherine and William, where the two had such obvious advantages. Although a small number of public figures in the UK, such as actress Helen Mirren and writer Hilary Mantel, understood the need for a star to shine brightly, such a view did not have national support. By all accounts, Harry and Meghan not only left the royal family and the British people, but also showed disrespect for them by announcing their departure without prior notice to anyone in the royal family.

This fact was confirmed by Buckingham Palace, who told BBC royal correspondent Johnny Diamond that he was "disappointed" by their decision, that the royal family was "hurt" by the announcement and that they "have not consulted any of their members". To clarify the situation, the palace released its own statement, contradicting the statement of Harry and Meghan: “Negotiations with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complex issues that will take time to resolve.”

In court language, this meant: “Meghan and Harry were trying to make a drastic change with us. We are ready to give up an inch, maybe even two, but they want to go a mile before the race even starts. They hurried, attacked us with their fists, and also took all sorts of privileges that we cannot allow them to have without damaging the monarchy. Although they were unintelligent, we expect to be constructive and give them as much as we can.”

The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles must have experienced a real sense of déjà vu because Harry and Meghan's ploy was reminiscent of Diana's behavior during divorce negotiations, especially regarding her future title. Like Meghan and Harry, she began negotiations with the family in private, and when it seemed to her that they were not going as quickly and not as satisfactorily as she wanted, she tricked Charles into meeting with her. Diana started before the flare gun was fired, that is, before the conclusion of the final agreement, falsely claiming that she and Charles had agreed on some issues, although this did not happen.

Among other things, it was about the fact that she was ready to abandon the title of "Her Royal Highness" and be referred to as Diana, Princess of Wales. Since she was the mother of the future king, there was a possibility that she would once again become HRH Princess Diana. On the other hand, if she became Diana, Princess of Wales, and remarried, for example, to Dodi Al Fayed, she would already be simply Lady Diana Fayed, and not Her Highness Princess Diana, Mrs. Dodi Al Fayed. She outwitted herself, and I was told that the queen, furious that Diana had deceived Charles, decided to take her at her word, which caused her to lose the title of royal highness.

Never forget about the human factor. Harry is the son of Charles, the brother of William, the grandson of the Queen. They all love him. They all knew very well that Harry would have been perfectly happy to remain an active member of the royal family, do charity work and maintain his military connections, if he had not married a woman who wanted to capitalize on his royal status and start an independent life with him.

The words "financial independence" caused horror in the palace for all the reasons previously voiced. No one who loved Harry believed that he yearned for financial independence. Before his marriage, he was quite satisfied with his financial situation. Had he married Chelsea Davy or Cressida Bonas, he would have been content with what was on offer to the royal duke, rather than wishing for some sort of expansion and life as a we althy American entrepreneur. He had more than enough money for his own worldly needs, as well as for a wife who would have been content with the life of an ordinary royal duchess.

Meghan, however, did not want this way of life. She did not want hard work, preferring the glitz and glamor of the entertainment world. In the year and a half that the Sussexes were married, they got to know the stellar lifestyle of friends like Elton John and George Clooney closer than ever before. Meghan's attitude to all things sybarite hasn't changed a bit since she confessed to The Tig how much she enjoys the perks of great we alth. She wanted it for herself, and Harry, eager to please her as always, was willing to go along with her ambitions.

No one in the royal family was happy with Harry and Meghan's plan to have one foot in the royal camp in the UK and the other in the commercial market of the United States (Canada was universally recognized as nothing more than a convenient intermediate stepping stone). However, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and William were willing to work towards a modus vivendi that would allow Meghan and Harry to leave the royal fold with honor and forge their own path in the world with equal honors. By this time, they have already realized that Megan is a formidable person who acts completely different from them. She was without a doubt one of the most powerful people I have ever encountered, said her good friend Serena Williams, who sang her praises.

With her husband's support with his mantra of "what Meghan wants, she gets", the royal family had no choice but to come to terms with their new way of being. As Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting, Lady Glenconner, put it, "Meghan didn't stick around for long because she didn't realize that being a royal is a very hard job and sometimes quite boring. It's not just fun and glamour. There's a lot going on behind the scenes, so it shouldn't be for show." Meghan not only wanted more glitz, a more exciting and exciting lifestyle, but being a business woman, she also wanted it to pay off. She and Harry set out to achieve all this by using royal status for financial gain, basking in the glory and polishing it with Hollywood style popularity.

Reconciliation of the irreconcilable was a challenge facing the royals. They were well aware that Meghan, as an American, enjoyed the kind of love in the United States that only a royal of local origin can enjoy. The positive reaction to Harry and Meghan's stepping down from royal duties has been overwhelming. The Americans did not understand how important it was to the British Crown and the British people that the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex be carried out with minimal damage to all parties involved, and the American media did not address any of the British national concerns. Reporting in the US was essentially superficial, missing subtle points about the British and even often tactlessly sidestepping information of this nature.

There was also the misconception that Meghan was the victim of racism and snobbery. The accusations of snobbery were simply ridiculous. Sophie Rhys-Jones and Catherine Middleton were also middle-class girls, and they successfully adapted to the royal family, so Meghan's similar origin could not be a problem. Same story with racism. In fact, Megan's race worked in her favor. People on both sides of the Atlantic should simply accept that a woman as mature as Meghan, smug and strong-willed, will almost inevitably find it difficult to adjust to a new environment with values and expectations radically different from those she is used to.

Blaming the British bias over Meghan's inability to adapt would be as unfounded as blaming her for the malicious motives that led her to refuse to do so. The fact that the Duchess could not and did not want to do this did not mean that she was a bad person, just as Britain's inability to dissect its values, customs, traditions and expectations for the sake of its convenience does not make us, the British people, racists. If Megan were a completely white, blue-eyed blonde who behaved in exactly the same way, she would have caused exactly the same reaction. It would likely have happened faster and harsher in tone for obvious reasons.

The question of how best to deal with a couple who were so eager to get their way, regardless of the cost to the family, the nation and the institution of the monarchy, was now de alt with by the royal family. A member of a European royal house told me that the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Prince William were "going out of their way to negotiate" with Meghan and Harry from the very beginning. “They are still trying. I believe they will continue to make efforts for a very long time, because what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex want is really incompatible with a constitutional monarchy.”

Therefore, after the meeting of the Queen with Harry, Charles and William, a one-year pause was introduced to see how their commercial activities would develop. "It will be a long and difficult process of trial and error, with flexibility coming more from the royal family and demands and complaints coming mostly from the ducal couple." “Right now, the royal family believes the Duke and Duchess have betrayed them.”

About the author: Lady Colin Campbell is a British aristocratic writer, television and radio presenter, public figure, author of many books about the British royal family, which became New York Times bestsellers. She is called the woman who knows all the secrets of the royal court. Lady Campbell's books are filled with previously unpublished facts in the media and invariably cause a wide public outcry. Her book The Real Diana was voted by critics as the best biography of Lady Di.

Popular topic