Prince Harry’s plan to leave the royal family began just after his mother’s death

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle began dating, the press has been quick to accuse her of all sorts of wrongdoing within the family. And when Harry and Meghan announced that they would be leaving their royal roles in January, Meghan was immediately to blame. But Harry’s plan to leave the family was actually more than 20 years in the making.

Princess Diana and Prince Harry
Princess Diana and Prince Harry | Tim Graham’s photo library via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family in March

When Harry and Meghan returned from a much-needed six-week break in North America, the world thought life for them would return as usual. However, the two made a surprising announcement shortly after the new year: They were leaving behind their roles as royalty.

Meghan had had a hard time dealing with the press since she and Harry started dating. The constant negativity made it difficult for her to win over the public, and it certainly played a role in her decision to resign.

Privacy was a big problem for both of us

Harry had grown up in the spotlight. He was used to camera flashes and tabloid rumors, but he didn’t enjoy it. He had always dreamed of a life where he was “more than just Prince Harry,” which he revealed in a 2017 interview on Newsweek. When Harry and Meghan welcomed their son, Archie, they decided not to give her a royal title. This was largely supposed to be for Archie to have a shot at a more normal life, but he might have hinted that the two were planning to leave the family all the time.

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“After many months of internal reflection and discussion, we have chosen to transition this year to begin to forge a new progressive role within this institution. We intend to step back as “older” 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 in recent years, that we feel ready to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the UK and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our endorsements. This geographic balance will allow us to raise our child with an appreciation of the royal tradition in which he was born, while also giving our family the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty the Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our sincerest thanks for your continued support. “- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, visit (link in bio) Image © PA

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Harry reportedly wanted to leave the family right after his mother’s death.

When the couple officially resigned in March, according to the press, Meghan was largely guilty. But Harry said the decision to leave the family was his, and that he was probably not lying. After Princess Diana died, Harry was forced to walk behind his coffin as millions of people watched. And from that moment, he did not want to be part of the fanfare of the royal family.

Harry struggled mentally and emotionally with his mother’s death for years; Even in his 20s, he was lashing out. Partying, drinking and smoking were just some of the negative habits he had developed as a result of living in the bubble that was the royal family and having nowhere to go.

Harry hinted for years that he wanted something more. He even revealed in a 2019 interview that the lights and cameras were just constant memories of what had happened to his mother. And when Meghan, an unsuspecting American actress with no ties to royalty or her social circles, appeared, it was just what Harry needed to finally realize that there was a world beyond the British royal family.

Prince William, Prince Harry, and Prince Charles at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.
Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. | Anwar Hussein / WireImage

His military career could also have played a role in the game.

Harry took a short break from real life when he served in the military. It was an opportunity for him to eat, sleep, and work the same way as everyone else without any real treatment. “You forget I was in the military for 10 years, so I’m more normal than my family would like to believe,” Harry once said, according to Insider.

Harry and Meghan could have come to a joint conclusion that now was the right time to resign, but it had been on the prince’s mind since he was young.