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Why Prince Harry Is "Happy" to See Meghan Becoming the "Bigger Star"

An insider explains why Meghan is "taking the lead right now" as the Sussexes build their new life in L.A.

It was clear Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had big plans when they announced they would "step back" from their roles as working royals earlier this year. They effectively quit "The Firm," determined to forge a new path for themselves, which included forming their own charitable entity while establishing "financial independence." Though the coronavirus pandemic may have prevented the duke and duchess's undoubtedly splashy entrance on to Hollywood's A-list, Meghan has already managed to establish herself as a power player and motivational speaker—often without Harry by her side. And according to a royal insider, that's just fine with the Duke of Sussex.

"Prince Harry has lived his entire life in front of the cameras and has always hated it," my source said. "He's in new territory in Los Angeles, so Meghan is really taking the lead right now. Harry has obviously managed to use the media and his worldwide fame to great effect when he is promoting the causes he cares most about, like The Invictus Games and Sentebale, but he is more than happy to cede the spotlight to Meghan."

In 2017, during the early stages of his relationship with Meghan, Harry shared his ambivalence about royal life with his biographer, Angela Levin. "I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself," he told her. Ultimately, it was his great affection and loyalty to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, that kept him in the fold. When he married Meghan, he spoke of how happy he was to have a wife as a partner in his charitable work.

"There was a great deal of excitement around the idea that together, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would energize the youth of the Commonwealth," said my insider. "The Palace wanted to harness the star power they had as a couple but evidently, that wasn't enough for either of them."

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According to The Daily Mail, Meghan reportedly felt "stifled and restricted" by the constraints of royal life, as one friend told the outlet. The friend went on to say that Meghan "told her inner circle of friends that her soul was being crushed and that the decision to leave was a matter of life or death—meaning the death of her spirit."

Now free from Palace protocol, Meghan's first post-royal television appearance came in April when she did a pre-recorded interview on Good Morning America to promote the Disney+ documentary Elephant, which she narrated.

Meghan, who has previously spoken out on women's rights at the United Nations and who served as a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision, is now also once again free to speak her mind on social causes that fell outside the royal realm.

In June, in a virtual commencement address to the senior class of her former high school, Meghan made headlines by speaking about murder of George Floyd, something that "she could absolutely not do" if she were still a working royal, according to an insider. (Earlier in July, Harry joined his wife to discuss the issues of systemic racism in a video conference with young leaders from the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.)

Most recently, on July 14, Meghan delivered a virtual speech at the U.N. Foundation's 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit, where other speakers included Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. In her keynote address and first major speech post-royal life, Meghan implored young women to speak up against a host of issues including racial and gender inequality as well as climate change, and encouraged young women to make a difference in the world. "We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard," she said.

Meghan concluded her speech by saying, "I am extraordinarily proud of what you've already accomplished. Please continue to honor the conviction and the compassion that's awoken within you. I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward."

"Harry is very proud of Meghan and he wants her to be happy," said my source. "If that means letting her take the lead in establishing their new 'brand' in the States and she becomes the bigger 'star' in the process, he is perfectly fine with that. He's still finding his footing. Meghan has very strong opinions and has always been ambitious. With a royal title and Harry's support, there's no limit to where she can go." And for more on the Sussexes' post-royal life, check out Here's Why the Palace Is Fuming Over Harry and Meghan's Biography.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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