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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Found Leaving Royal Life “Harder Than They Would Have Ever Imagined”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ‘far from happy’ with life in the US. (PA)


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Found Leaving Royal Life “Harder Than They Would Have Ever Imagined”


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s transition from royal life hasn’t been easy or straightforward, thanks to a global pandemic, family feuds, and constant media attention, but the unexpected changes in course have surprised them for the better, as Omid Scobie tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

In January 2020, the royal couple declared their desire to stand down from their duties.

Of course, from their emotional and personal sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year to Harry’s participation in The Me You Can’t See, his and Oprah’s Apple TV+ series about mental health, Harry and Meghan have been quite open about it.

“The hardest part for them was taking those initial steps away from their royal roles,” says Scobie, who co-wrote Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family with fellow royal writer Carolyn Durand.

“That was harder than they would ever imagined. They had had it all mapped out in their heads,” he tells PEOPLE

The book focuses on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage. The book was written with the help of a third-party source provided by Markle.


The book, which was based on interviews with persons close to the Sussexes, was first released in August 2020 and will be updated for its paperback version on August 31. The update comes in the form of a new epilogue that goes over some of Meghan and Harry’s recent experiences.

The couple’s original desire for a “one foot in, one foot out” strategy that would allow them to do both royal duty and private employmen was opposed by Harry’s grandmother, 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth.

“They knew that they had to change things, but what they had actually planned wasn’t actually what was best,” the royal expert said.

“They tried to find a way to compromise,” Scobie added. “But would that have enabled them to have that level of happiness and security that they have today? Probably not. Those ties to the institution [of the monarchy] would have still been strong and there would have constantly been issues about financial endeavors and the business decisions they made.”

The parents of Archie and Lili are energized to turn a new page — their “thrive chapter,” as Scobie calls it — now that they’ve had some time away from the day-to-day demands of working royal life, and aided by the financial freedom secured by their multimillion-dollar streaming, speaking, and publishing deals.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began stepping down from royal responsibilities in 2020, citing intrusions from the British media and prejudiced sentiments toward the former “Suits” star, 40. The family now lives in Montecito, California, on the coast.

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