Meghan Thinks Harry Has Made This One "Big Mistake," Say Sources
"She feels it's all gotten a bit out of control," royal insiders say.
It's been a year and a half since Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan stepped down from their roles as senior royals, but it's hardly been a clean break. The ongoing tension between the Sussexes and the Royal Family has continued to build—particularly after their joint interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, where they claimed the royals made racist comments about their unborn son and revealed it was a lack of support from "The Firm" that finally drove them out. "When Harry and Meghan first made those stunning allegations against the Royal Family to Oprah, it seemed inconceivable there would be much more to say, yet since then, there has been a barrage of criticisms, complaints, and unproven allegations," a Palace insider told Best Life. "It's been a shock to a great many people to see Harry so full of anger. It's his behavior, not Meghan's that has been truly shocking."
In January of 2020, when the conditions of the "Megxit" agreement were made official, one Palace source told Best Life, "It's no secret that Harry has struggled with royal life for a long time and blames the media for the death of his mother. He has longed to be a regular bloke out of the public eye for years." But now, insiders say there's something about the Duke of Sussex's approach to post-royal life that his wife feels could imperil their future. Read on to find out what Harry is doing that Meghan believes could be a very "big mistake" in the long run.
Meghan thinks Harry's criticisms of Prince Charles have become "a bit out of control," insiders say.
Since appearing with Meghan on the now infamous televised special with Winfrey, Harry has emerged as the most vocal and vehement critic of the Royal Family. In the last trimester of her pregnancy, Meghan has largely stayed out of the limelight (except for her prerecorded appearance for the Vax Live concert in early May). Harry, on the other hand, has become a ubiquitous figure in the media, doing solo interviews that consistently make headlines. When speaking with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast, Harry made stunning allegations about Prince Charles' parenting style and even indirectly criticized his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip, for passing on a cycle of "genetic pain and suffering."
"Prince Charles was Meghan's greatest champion when she became engaged to Harry," said one Palace source. "He was very taken with her. He made the case that allowed them to get married at St. George's Chapel even though she was divorced, which was something he was not able to do when he married Camilla [Duchess of Cornwall]. He agreed to walk Meghan half-way down the aisle at the wedding amid all the drama with Meghan's father [Thomas Markle]. It's inconceivable to think Harry has directed most of his anger towards him."
Meghan, who has not spoken to her own father for some time, shared many common interests with Charles and "felt comfortable in his company," says the insider. "From her own experience, she knows how devastating it is when a parent lets you down but also knows how it's made worse by having it all play out in the media. Harry's stunning change of heart towards his father has shocked a lot of people. Meghan understands how Harry feels, but she also knows how damaging it can be to one's reputation to feud publicly with family members. Ultimately, no one emerges looking better than anyone else. Some people are saying she feels it's all gotten a bit out of control."
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Meghan knows it's also a "big mistake" for Harry to criticize Prince William the way he has, sources say.
In his interview with Winfrey, Harry said he felt "trapped" in his royal role, but he didn't stop there. "My father and my brother, they are trapped," he said. "They don't get to leave… My brother can't leave that system, but I have." Sources say that of all the people in the Royal Family, the person most harmed by Harry's criticism of "The Firm" and the family itself is Prince William.
"William's future and the future of his children are directly related to the survival of the monarchy," said one Palace insider. "For Harry to say William is 'trapped' is terribly damaging to the Institution and deeply hurtful to his brother. Meghan always takes the long view. Harry's impulsivity could cost them dearly."
Another source pointed out that William's hurt and anger over Harry's actions directly affect Meghan, as well. "The tension between William and Meghan started early on when he suggested Harry might be moving too fast in his relationship with Meghan. William and Meghan aren't each other's biggest fans," said the insider. "Meghan now realizes Harry's criticisms of his brother are a big mistake. He will be King someday. William was furious over the couple's surprise announcement to step down and has been troubled by their war of words over everything since then. He felt it was hugely disrespectful to the Queen. He was positively incandescent when Meghan told Oprah Catherine [Duchess of Cambridge] made her cry before the wedding. He may forgive the Sussexes, but he won't forget."
Insiders have said Meghan thinks Harry's non-stop airing of grievances could have a serious effect on their royal status.
The Daily Mirror reported this week that Meghan is "worried" about losing her "duchess" title, which she received after her wedding to Harry in May 2018. Despite having stepped back from royal life in 2020, the Sussexes continue to use their royal titles for their philanthropic and commercial projects (though their HRH designations have been held in abeyance). The outlet reported that a source close to Meghan said she's concerned their titles could be taken away in light of the stunning list of accusations Harry's made about his family.
Meghan has continued to use "The Duchess of Sussex" when appearing at her engagements and in the media. She most recently used it to identify herself as the author of her new children's book, The Bench. When Harry recently appeared on stage as a speaker at the Vax Live concert, his royal title shined brightly in lights behind him.
"Meghan understands [the couple's] royal titles mean a great deal to their personal brand," said a source. "Harry doesn't really understand all the ins and outs of that, but she is acutely aware of [the titles'] value. Meghan knows the titles can be taken away and that it would hurt them in the long run."
Their royal connection may mean more to Meghan than it does to Harry.
Harry was born into royal life and, until he met Meghan, the prince never imagined he could have any kind of future outside of that world. He has said he loved serving in Afghanistan, in part because when he was on the frontlines, he was just another soldier. Until last year, his life was ruled by royal tradition and restrictions.
Meghan, on the other hand, is entirely self-made, rising from middle-class America to the ranks of bold-faced names when she became a television star and respected humanitarian. Now, she is also a member of the British Royal Family. Harry has made it clear that he sees royal life as restrictive, while Meghan, after marrying into the family, was given a worldwide platform for her life's goals.
"Harry is ready to walk away from royal life because he's had enough, but ironically, having left the institution, Meghan has only just begun to understand the power of being royal," a Palace insider told Best Life. "When they announced they were stepping down from royal life, they said they wanted to carve out a 'progressive new role' within the Institution. That simply was not possible; they can redirect their own lives, but not within the Institution. Harry knows that, [but] Meghan may still believe they can and doesn't want to give up on the possibility of fulfilling her dreams."