Since marrying into the British royal family in 2018, Meghan Markle has become one of the most-watched women in the world. While some of the attention’s good, not everyone approves of how the Duchess of Sussex has presented herself as a royal.
Within a few years, it seems as though the world turned against her, prompting the Duchess and Prince Harry to leave their duties behind. What led to this sudden shift? The events are laid out below.
July 2016: The Blind Date
It was July 2016 when Prince Harry walked into a restaurant, only to see actress Meghan Markle sitting at the table. They were set up by a mutual friend in London. According to Prince Harry, the two hit it off right away and made plans to see each other the following day.
Three weeks later, they were going on vacation to Botswana, camping under the stars and getting to know each other with no one else around.
November 2017: The Engagement
The two clearly hit it off because only a short 18 months later, Prince Harry proposed to the Suits actress. While it was a shock to a lot of people, the palace knew the Prince was serious about Meghan.
Months before the public announcement, Kensington Palace released a statement asking the media to give Meghan privacy. It seemed as though Prince Harry didn’t want her to run for the hills; he was crazy about her.
The Press Was Pretty Much All Positive
Prince Harry has a fickle relationship with the media, ever since the 1997 tragedy he endured as a young boy. He wanted nothing more than for Meghan to feel comfortable being around him, a royal.
At the time, the media, press, and tabloids had nothing but positive things to say about the actress and her relationship with the British Prince. Maybe he didn’t have too much to worry about after all!
May 2018: The Royal Wedding
On May 19, 2018, around 1.9 billion people from all over the globe tuned in to watch the wedding of the year — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was like a fairytale, the American actress getting a happily ever after with a British Prince.
Wearing her custom Givenchy gown and kissing the Prince in front of the world, Meghan Markle was once again dominating media headlines. People couldn’t get enough of her swoon-worthy romance.
June 2018: Meghan Is Snapped Giggling With The Queen
Even though the wedding was now in the past, the media was still all about Meghan Markle’s integration into the royal household. Most importantly, her relationship with her royal highness, Prince Harry’s grandmother, the Queen.
As it turned out, though, the press wrote nothing but nice things regarding their relationship, snapping some pictures of the two laughing together in June 2018. The Queen was even seen giving the new Duchess some much-need encouragement during a public outing.
July 2018: Meghan And Kate Go On An Outing
Through the years, there’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the relationship between Duchess Meghan Markle and Duchess Kate Middleton; their first solo outing back in July 2018 seemed to go off without a hitch.
Ditching their husbands for the day, the two duchesses ventured to Wimbledon to watch Serena Williams. From the pictures in the media, it seemed as though the two ladies were amicable during the outing, even occasionally laughing with one another.
October 2018: A Royal Baby Announcement
In late 2018, the royal tour was underway for the new Duchess and Prince Harry. The thing is, no one expected the huge announcement that occurred when the two royals touched down in Sydney — they were expecting a baby!
As for Harry, he was always one to include their “bump” in any speech he said. “From myself, my wife, and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here,” Prince Harry said while speaking to the people of Sydney.
People Were Amazed By Meghan
With the hectic travel schedule set for their royal tour, people wondered how the Duchess of Sussex would deal with it all while newly pregnant, as it turned out, with poise, grace, and a whole lot of banana bread!
Now to Love got the inside scoop on Meghan’s personal schedule outside of the traveling. According to the source, Duchess Meghan “got up at 4 am to do yoga, baked banana bread late at night.”
Meghan’s Speech On Feminism Was Wildly Praised
During their time in New Zealand, Meghan Markle gave a powerful and moving speech at the Government House in Wellington, complimenting the country on sparking a world-wide movement on voting rights and women empowerment.
Fans of the Duchess wildly praised the speech. People commented on it via social media platforms, saying, “You’re championing women! You’re using your platform to shine a light on woman’s rights! Thank you so much for staying true to yourself!” Once again, the media had nothing but praise for the Duchess.
November 2018: Moving Out Of Kensington Palace
If there is one moment that marks the shift in the public’s opinion of Meghan Markle, it’s arguably when she and Prince Harry announced their decision to leave Kensington Palace. In November of 2018, the palace released a statement saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were to move out of the palace and to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
The cottage was a wedding gift from the Queen, so it only made sense they utilized it, right?
The Move Was Due To Tension Between Brothers
According to sources, the reason behind the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s move to Frogmore Cottage wasn’t because Meghan wanted to renovate the grounds (though she did!), but because there was more than a bit of tension building between Prince William and Prince Harry.
“The initial plan was for Harry and Meghan to move out of their cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace and into one of the main apartments,” a source told The Sun. “But there has been a bit of tension between the brothers.”
Early November 2018: A Report Came Out About A Tiara
After the news dropped about the supposed rift between the royal brothers, stories began rolling in. The shift was in full swing. According to another source, before the wedding, Meghan was going full-force bridezilla. So much so that the Queen had to step in and speak to Harry about his future wife’s manners and superiority complex.
The source said it all started with a tiara, an emerald one that Meghan had her mindset on for her big day.
The Queen Wasn’t Having The Duchess’ Attitude
According to the interview with The Sun, the source said, “Meghan had her heart set on this tiara with emeralds, and Prince Harry hit the roof when they were told it was impossible for her to wear it.”
The insider claimed that after Meghan was told she could not wear the tiara, a heated exchange occurred, prompting the Queen to tell Harry, “Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me.”
Meghan Needed To Be Considerate And Learn Royal Protocols
The Queen wasn’t here for the former actress’s drama, telling her grandson that Meghan needed to be more considerate towards the palace staff members and put effort into learning royal protocol.
According to an insider, “The message from the Queen was very much Meghan needed to think about how she speaks to staff members and be careful to follow family protocols.” It seemed as though the Queen and Meghan were off to a bumpy start. And she wasn’t even married into the family yet!
Late November 2018: Meghan Reportedly Made Kate Cry
Another report rolled in, with an insider claiming that weeks before the wedding, Duchess Kate left a dress fitting in tears, supposedly from Meghan making her cry. According to the source, the two ladies were there to fit Princess Charlotte in her flower girl dress.
An argument ensued, and Kate left in tears. That’s not the best way to start a relationship with a soon-to-be sister-in-law. And it’s horrible press for the Duchess, considering the story was released after the fact.
Early December 2018: The Princes’ Began Feuding
Many sources have stated that while the two Duchess’ have little to nothing in common, they’ve made an effort to get along. Any rift between the two royal couples is actually between their husbands, Prince William and Prince Harry.
A source claimed that Harry was hurt because Prince William wasn’t “rolling out the red carpet for Meghan” or making any type of effort to bring her into the family. According to the insider, it was Prince Charles who asked William to make an effort.
Mid-December 2018: The Royal Staff Vs. “Hurricane Meghan”
It didn’t take long for the royal staff to get fed up with Meghan’s personality. Since she and Prince Harry married, three aides resigned, including Samantha Cohen, one of the Queen’s most trusted staff members. She worked with the royal family for 17 years.
It only took a few months for her to know working for Meghan wasn’t going to work out. According to an insider, “[Meghan’s] particular brand of ‘up and at ’em’ West Coast energy and rumored routine of getting up at 5 am [and] bombarding aides with texts” was too much.
Apparently, Meghan Was Out Of Place With Kate’s Staff
It wasn’t only Meghan’s staff that was having a hard time with the American Duchess. According to an insider, Meghan and Kate’s relationship almost boiled over after the Duchess of Sussex was rude to her sister-in-law’s staff.
The source told The Sun that Kate wasn’t going to allow Meghan’s strict attitude towards her own staff, telling her sister-in-law, “that’s unacceptable, they’re my staff, and I speak to them.” The palace released a rare statement after the tabloid came out, saying this never happened.
Late December 2018: Meghan Reveals She’s Lost Her Voice
With all of the stories coming out regarding Meghan Markle, it’s only reasonable that she voices her opinions on the matter. The only problem being royals don’t speak to the press unless it’s on their agenda.
According to an insider, the Duchess felt as though she’d lost her voice, saying, “She’s always been so independent, her entire life, and that’s all been taken away from her. She’s always been able to clap back on social media and now she can’t.”
Meghan And Harry’s “Icy” And “Rude” 2018 X-Mas Card
Each year, the royal family releases Christmas cards, and 2018 was no different. However, what was different was the fact that there were two separate cards, one for Kate and William’s family and one for Meghan and Harry.
Once again, people started to talk, especially when it came to the backs-to-the-camera picture the latter couple opted for their card. People were calling the move “icy,” while another thought the pose was “rude.”
January 2019: Kate Didn’t Invite Meghan To Her Birthday
For her 37th birthday, Duchess Kate invited her family to the palace for a celebration. Well, most of the family. It was revealed that Harry and Meghan were not on the invite list! According to an insider, “Harry and Meghan were not invited, which [Meghan] deemed humiliating.”
It was just one more red mark on the Duchess of Sussex. What on earth has she been doing to the family for all of this new drama to occur? Before she married into the family, everything seemed fine.
January 2019: Another Aide Calls It Quits
With the family drama and her aides quitting left and right, the media wouldn’t let go of this notion that Meghan was a stuck-up, demanding actress who needed to get her way. It didn’t help that in early January of 2019, her personal bodyguard up and quit, and this following her personal assistant, Melissa, and private secretary, Samantha, leaving her duties, too.
Pretty much, the press was having a field day, and the tabloids were rolling with any and all stories surrounding the duchess.
April 2019: One Too Many Snubs
While a source said Meghan “felt bad” for Kate, since the Duchess had to put on a very public show only hours after giving birth, she also snubbed the Queen. Obviously, the first comment wasn’t great, especially in a tabloid-ridden world already breaking Meghan down bit by bit.
But when Meghan went and disregarded the Queens all-male doctor team in favor of hand-selected female doctors, the press couldn’t help themselves. Was she purposely trying to put a rift in the family?
August 2019: The Private Jet And Its Drama
Even though she was a new mom, Meghan couldn’t get away from the press. It seemed as though she could do nothing right. Even going on vacation with her son and husband was ridiculed.
In August of 2019, Meghan and Harry decided to take Archie on a trip to Spain and France on a private jet, a decision that was highly criticized by the public. Apparently, the Duke and Duchess were being hypocrites, taking a non-eco-friendly mode of transportation when they preach about environmentalism. It was enough to make front-page news!
Late October 2019: Meghan’s Revelation About The Tabloids
Finally, in October 2019, Meghan revealed how she felt about the tabloids and what some of her friends told her before marrying Harry. According to Meghan, “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.'” As it turned out, those friends weren’t entirely wrong.
January 2020: Financial Independence
The new year of 2020 came with a huge announcement: Meghan and Harry were stepping back from their roles as senior royals and have decided to be financially independent, splitting their time between the UK and North America.
Unfortunately, it also came out that no one in the royal family knew of the Duke and Duchess’ decision. Even the Queen was blindsided, something the press jumped on right away. Just another way Meghan was ruining the relationships amongst the family.
The Queen Gave Her Blessing
After the news broke that Harry and Meghan were stepping away from the royal duties, the Queen called a summit. There, the family discussed how the Duke and Duchess would move forward from here since they were relinquishing their duties.
By the end, the Queen gave her full support to the couple, making sure to release an official statement to the press before they got wind of the story and twisted it to their own means.
April 2020: Meghan Revokes Press Access
“Megixt” came and went and with it the revocation of official, exclusive access for more than more media outlets. In a letter the couple penned to multiple UK tabloids, they said, “There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting.”
It seemed as though the shift in public opinion regarding Meghan was the last straw; they were done with the press. In the end, they published a book, titled Finding Freedom.
It Took The Press Two Years To Tear Her Down
From their wedding in 2018 until their departure from the royal family in 2020, it only took the press two years to bring Megan Markle down in the eyes of the public.
What started as an epic real-life fairytale turned into a horrible nightmare for the former actress. One that resulted in her and her husband leaving the family and their home in the UK to find solitude in the United States.
Meghan Set The Record Straight In A Tall-All Interview
It took some time, but Meghan Markle finally opened up about her experience, giving Opera a tell-all interview about the royal family, her time in the UK, and how the press lifted her up only to bring her down.
Some revelations included how it was Meghan who cried during the dress fitting, not Kate, how Harry didn’t even know he was trapped until meeting his wife, and how they do hope to reconcile their relationship with William and Kate.