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Royal Rules that Pushed Harry and Meghan Out of the Royal Family

On March 31, 2020, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Meghan Markle and former “Prince” Harry had officially left the royal family. Britons were heartbroken, the world – stunned, and a new understanding or royal loyalty became fresh in everyone’s mind. Why would the Prince and Duchess of Sussex feel compelled to leave one of the greatest families in the world? From the onslaught of racy gossip directed towards the couple since the very beginning, to outdated royal rules, to a man’s desire to protect his family, the “Brexit” of Harry and Meghan was understandable.

Not necessarily from the royal family’s point of view, but the attractiveness of avoiding newspaper headlines and inability to support their own causes had their own costs. Tabloids aside, royal rules certainly prevented the couple from living their new lives in a manner in which they personally saw fit. They wanted to make a name and income for themselves, independent of the royal family. They wanted a break from the royal rules that kept them confined in a cage – Buckingham Palace, by chance? They wanted something different…

When Harry Met Meghan

On May 19, 2018, in St George’s Chapel at the Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom, Prince Harry of the British royal family wed American, and former actress, Meghan Markle. The two had mat two years prior in July 2016 during one of Meghan’s trips to London. He proposed to her in November 2017.

Downhill Quickly

From the very beginning, the couple were greatly dismayed with the tabloid treatment of their relationship. In fact, it took less than two years for the gossip to really hit them. During a hotly-discussed interview in October 2019, Meghan admitted, “When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy. But my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great. But you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’” It looks her friend was right.

More Life than Tabloids

Sadly, surviving the onslaught of royal family gossip had gotten to her. “And she went on, “I have said for a long time to H – that’s what I call him – it’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy. I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I really tried. But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”

Only so Much

Prince Harry could only stay silent for so long. Despite his best attempts to hide his disscontempt for the matter, he could only take so much as well. “Part of this job… means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of this stuff. But again, for me and for my wife, of course there’s a lot of stuff that hurts, especially when the majority of it’s untrue.” He was done.

The Final Straw Had Been Broken

On January, 2020, the royal couple took to Instagram (knowing that social media was banned to the British family), to announce a horrifying new truth. “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution [the royal family].” They were both ready for a change.

“Progressive New Role”

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages.” The time was now to begin a disassociation with the royal family.

A Surprise to All

Even with their optimistic and positive announcement, it was mentioned that the two had never bothered to inform any parties. In reality, it had been discovered that the pair had never bothered to even inform Buckingham Palace, including other Sussex family members. They wasn’t thrilled. “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand the desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

More Gossip

Following the release of their surprise disconnect with the royal family, popular British Tabloid, the Daily Mail, had gone on to gather anonymous interviews and quotes from other royal family. One was unable to understand what they were missing in their lives? “People had bent over backward for them. They were given the wedding they wanted, the house they wanted, the office they wanted, the money they wanted, the staff they wanted, the tours they wanted and had the backing of their family. What more did they want?”

Life Isn’t What It Seems

You could argue that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had it all. Or, you could equally argue that they were given everything that they had ever wanted but were under strict orders to maintain a long-standing family professionalism – eliminating their personal freedoms. Whatever the case, the two were under tight commands to live their lives in a “royal” way, which they were deeply bothered with.

Nod and Smile

Family-respect aside, British royals near and far are expected to pay the utmost respect to the queen at all times. When the motherly Monarch enters a room, all in attendance are expected to stand. Men are meant to nod their heads while the ladies of the room will curtsy her arrival. Upon her exit, no matter how frequent, all royals are meant to stand one final time as well.

Final Approval

Since the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 was enacted, any royal is disallowed from proposing unless the Queen has permitted so. At the time, King George II had many concerns that his brother was to be marrying a mere commoner of the kingdom. This had to chance, and so, was changed. Thankfully, Harry received permission from the Queen to marry Markle, but could you imagine the outcry otherwise?

Wedding Attire

Even on one’s special day, the Queen has the utmost authority and can approve or deny even the most special of dresses or suits.  Much like her sister-in-law, Markle kept the Queen up-to-date with all her wedding dress plans – especially as the dress was a lovely Ralph & Russo piece. Still, if the Queen doesn’t approve, the wedding will not proceed.

All Attire

Beyond attire during special events, the Queen favors modesty at all times. For example, she does not support the bare leg look on royal woman. Rather, royal beauties must wear tights. Further, these lovely royal Brits must wear skirts – one of the Queen’s favorite looks – with hems touching or just below the knees. Lastly, you won’t ever notice exotic or bright colored nail polish colors as the Queen springs for more neutral shades.

No Words Out of Line

Rather than political heads, Monarchs are merely seen and considered public figureheads. The Queen does not involve herself with the political aspects of her state, local or international. For this reason, all other royals are expected to follow suit. However, those with strong views may have a difficult time dealing with this expectation.

Keep the Royal Name Proud

Victoria Arbiter, a CNN journalist and United Kingdom royal expert, mentioned to Time magazine in 2019 that all royal opinions should respect and place the Queen in a positive light. “You’ve got to be very careful in terms of how anything reflects on the Queen. She’s a politically neutral head of state. And the family is very careful in terms of where they go because they can’t cause her any embarrassment.”

No Voting

Regardless fo how connected or sentimental a royal is to a local or international cause, the royal family is not expected to vote in any public election. It’s not a law, per say, but their professional lives are expected to be kept out of their personal opinions. It’s simply the way it’s been… and expected to be.


As the royal family often makes several stops around the world for varying reasons, real members are expected to refrain from PDA (public displays of affection). In order to stay neutral and avoiding making those of more conservative cultures feel comfortable, all PDA is to be limited to private locations.

Accept All Gifts

Wherever, whenever, if a royal family member is given a gift, they are expected to receive it gracefully. In fact, they must accept it with gratitude. It may any gift, as long as it’s not Monopoly… that gift is outlawed. Why? It became too suspenseful for previous royals.

Military Service

One aspect of royal commitment is the obligation to serve in the military. In April 2006, Prince Harry entered the the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Eventually, he would fight in Afghanistan as a pilot, paving his promotion to Apache aircraft commander. Due to his military service, Harry was inspired to establish the Invictus Game – athletic games created especially for disabled service members.

The Next Chapter

However, upon Harry’s resignation as a British royal, one of his former service companions, JJ Chalmers, spoke out. On The One Show, his friend mentioned that his the royal was changing into his next self. “He’s less the captain in the army that I used to know, and he’s more the father – and when I see him, that’s the first thing that comes up.”

Interview Continued

For several reasons, Harry wanted, maybe needed, to move on from British royalty. His wife was suffering from the constant tabloids and wanted to prevent his son from suffering the same pessimistic headlines as well. Chalmers conveyed this during the interview, “And I think the decision that [Harry] has made, at the forefront of that is to protect his family, because that’s the number one rule… to be a father and to be a husband. Any husband wants to protect their wife, and any father wants to protect their children.”

Always A Brit

Regardless of his decision, Harry wanted to clear the air about his resignation from the Royal Monarchial family. Not as a Duke or Prince, but as the man the country had come to love over several decades. “I want you to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share – not as a Prince or a Duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years – but with a clearer perspective. The U.K. is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.”

An Uneasy Decision

“Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this. The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks, after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”

But... Maybe it was Time

Even if handed almost everything in life, Prince Harry and Meghan, the former Duchess of Sussex, want more out of life. The state provided income, mixed in with the false freedom of royalty, had made them dependent. They were seeking independence. It’s not surprising they required a break.


Looking back, the signs were there (if you have insider info). Almost a year ago, Prince Harry was looking at commercial properties and was helping setup Meghan for a new role at Disney as a voice-over artist. They wanted something new. They wanted something different.


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