Meghan Markle’s first ‘reality check’ in royal life that foreshadowed shock exit


Meghan Markle spent the weekend in the Netherlands as she and her husband, Prince Harry, attended the Invictus Games. The royal couple were spotted in the front row of sporting events, mingling with competitors and being driven around in miniature Land Rovers. Their attendance came just after a secret visit to the UK, during which they stopped off in Windsor for surprise meetings with the Queen and Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

The trip marks Meghan’s first time in her husband’s home country since their exit from the Royal Family two years ago. 

The Duke and Duchess stepped down from their roles as senior royals in favour of a life in North America. 

While their departure came as a shock for both the Royal Family and the public, some royal insiders believe that there were early signs that foreshadowed the decision. 

During the 2022 Channel 5 documentary, ‘Harry & Meghan Vs The Monarchy’, royal insiders and commentators discussed Meghan’s first “reality check” in the early stages of her relationship with the prince.  

Relationship psychologist, Anjula Mutanda explained: “Meghan’s first real reality check with how royal protocol works was when she was wearing a necklace with ‘H’ and ‘M’ on it, and then told to remove it by senior courtiers because it might encourage the press.”

Former BBC royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, suggests that being “told what to do must have been quite a shock” for the Duchess. 

She said: “Anyone would kind of think: ‘Hang on, wait a minute — someone telling me what to wear and which jewellery to wear, excuse me.’”

Broadcaster Lizzie Cundy added: “She likes to have the freedom to do what she wants and when she wants. She wouldn’t want to be told, you know, what to wear at any occasion.”

Grant Harrold, former butler to the Prince of Wales questioned whether this was the beginning of the end for Meghan.

He said: “You could look at this instance and say, was that the beginning of Meghan saying: ‘I’m not going to have people like this controlling me’?”

According to ‘Finding Freedom’ – Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durrand’s biography of Meghan and Harry – the Duchess was “frustrated and emotional” after a senior Kensington Palace aide called her about the necklace. 

The book claims: “Two days after Meghan was photographed buying flowers at her usual florist, wearing her new initial necklace, she received a phone call from a senior Kensington Palace aide.

“She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images — and new headlines.”

Mr Scobie and Ms Durand claim that Meghan knew the aide had good intentions, but she found the experience “surreal”.

Meghan and Harry’s relationship continued to garner media attention throughout their time as working royals. 

The prince later explained that their decision to exit from the Firm was in part due to the “toxic” British media. 


During an appearance on James Corden’s ‘The Late Late Show’ he said: “It was a really difficult environment, as I think a lot of people saw. 

“We all know what the British press can be like. And it was destroying my mental health. 

“I was like, ‘This is toxic.’ So I did what any husband and father would do — I need to get my family out of here.”

Harry and Meghan now live in Montecito, California with their two children — Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana. 

Their unexpected return to the UK last week suggests that the couple are attempting to build bridges with the Royal Family.

They have been invited to take part in the Queen’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which would see them on Buckingham Palace balcony and at Her Majesty’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Whether the Duke and Duchess will be in attendance, and whether they will bring their children, remains unknown.

Thus far, Harry has deemed it unsafe to bring Archie and Lilibet to the UK.

The prince is still embroiled in a legal battle with the Home Office over police protection for his family. 


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