When Meghan Markle shut down her lifestyle blog, The Tig, in April 2017, we knew things with Prince Harry were getting serious. At the time, a source shut down speculation that the blog’s ending had anything to do with her royal romance, though.
“The Tig has been a labor of love for Meghan,” a source told People, “but it’s a full-time job. She wants to focus this season of Suits, which just starting filming and spending more time in the field on her philanthropy.”
Coincidentally, the Suits actress would also start using social media less and less and eventually she stopped posting entirely on Instagram and Twitter. Considering she previously kept up very active social media accounts, the timing was certainly suspect, though once again the Palace denied it had anything to do with her relationship.
Then came the rumors that Markle was leaving Suits after her seventh season, and it was nearly impossible to deny that her departure wasn’t because of an alleged planned move across the pond. In November 2017, the report was confirmed when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement—and her official retirement from acting.
Two months later, all evidence of Markle on Instagram and Twitter was erased when she shut down her accounts. At the time, a palace source insisted the only reason was that they were not being used.
“Ms. Markle is grateful to everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years,” a source told People. “However, as she has not used them for some time she has taken the decision to close them.”
But according to royal expert and author of Harry: Life, Loss, and Love Katie Nicholl, the reasoning had to do with more than just inactivity.
“With regards to the social media, it was causing I think a bit of apprehension back at Palace HQ. When you write a blog such as The Tig, you do end up giving quite a lot of yourself away. You do end up inviting the cameras into your private life. Things such as Meghan posting pictures of her dogs in her bedroom lying on her bed, showing off the inside of her house, showing off her shoe collection, showing off her jewelry collection, all of those things would be things that would just, I think, send alarm bells ringing at the Palace,” Nicholl told InStyle.
She added that it's unlikely that Meghan was told outright to shut down her social media, but she might have been advised to slow things down.
“I think that when she did decide to close her social media, there was a great sigh of relief in the corridors of Kensington Palace that she did. I don’t believe she was ever instructed to close down The Tig. I think it was, from what I was told, it was a personal decision," Nicholl said.
"I also know that she was taking advice from courtiers at the time, and I think if she had asked for their advice, it would certainly have been to tone down the social media and to be very careful with what she was doing,” she added.
As for quitting Suits, that decision was inevitable if Markle was serious about Harry. “I think it would have been very, very tricky for Meghan to have continued her career as an actress and marry into the royal family,” Nicholl said. “I think the media would have made it impossible. I think the practicalities would have made it impossible. How could she possibly take on a life as a working royal while being on location and shooting? It just wouldn’t have worked. So I don’t think there was any real choice for her in that matter.”
“It was fortunate that she had felt that after seven seasons of Suits she’d actually reached the natural conclusion in terms of that part of her career,” she added.
With Suits in her past, Markle is now focusing all her attention on her royal duties—just as the palace would hope.