Could Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Become Private Citizens?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have become famous for eschewing royal tradition, but new reports have posited the theory that they could leave royal life behind once and for all, and become private citizens.
While that may sound unlikely, it's not necessarily as shocking as you would think — in recent weeks, the true impact of negative press about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has been revealed, and rumors have swirled that they might move to Africa or California (there were even whispers of a move to Canada).
A source described as being "close to" the Sussexes told CNN that Meghan and Harry have "single-handedly modernized the monarchy," and claimed they were surrounded by "inexperienced" staff who don't know to best support them. The Daily Beast reported that some observers feel as if Meghan and Harry have "burnt so many bridges" that they could soon abandon royal life altogether. But could it really happen?
Let's take a look at the theories and evidence at play.
The Sussexes' Break from Royal Duties
It's not exactly off-course for royals to take a break from their royal duties (Prince William and Kate Middleton did so over the summer), but Meghan and Harry will be taking their "much-needed family time" in November, reportedly traveling to America to spend Thanksgiving with her mother, Doria Ragland.
Doing so has ignited speculation they could be moving west. In May, it was reported that they were hunting for a second home in California, and Edmund Fry, the man who gave Meghan her royal etiquette lessons before marrying Harry, said in September that he has "heard heard that they are interested in Malibu."
Still, it's all speculation — the Sussexes could very well just be taking a break to see her mother, and may be looking for another home in addition to their Frogmore estate, not a permanent move.
Their Hiring of an American PR Firm
In September, the Sussexes hired American public relations firm Sunshine Sachs to help establish their new charity foundation, though Daily Beast points out the move could function as a way to lay the foundation for a transition stateside.
What Meghan and Harry Have Said
While neither of the Sussexes have commented on a move away from royal life, Prince Harry said in the documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey that they aren't planning to move to Africa anytime soon.
“I don’t know where we could live in Africa at the moment,” he said. “We just came from Cape Town, that would be an amazing place to base ourselves, of course, it would. But with all the problems that are going on there, I just don’t see how we’d be able to really make as much difference as we’d want to without the issues and the judgment of how we would be with those surroundings.”
Of course, Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana, was able to be an influential figure even after moving away from royal life. According to the book Diana: Her True Story, a friend of the late Diana once said, "She finds the monarchy claustrophobic and completely outdated with no relevance to today’s life and problems. She feels that it is a crumbling institution and believes that the family won’t know what has hit them in a few years’ time unless it changes too."
At this point, any talk of Meghan and Harry becoming private citizens is conjecture, but either way, given how open they've been about the pressures of royal life — and how warmly the public has responded to that openness — it'll be interesting to see how they reconcile their role in it moving forward.