Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may just be the cutest and downright coolest royal couple ever. The former Suits actress and the ginger prince have been referred to as the « rock star royals, » with their whirlwind romance captivating the entire world. When they walked down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018, royal fanatics fell even more in love with the seemingly smitten duo — who can ever forget Prince Harry’s iconic lip bite and Duchess Meghan’s impeccable poise?
That said, for every adorable moment the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared, there seems to have been an equal amount of speculation about every move they’ve made, especially since welcoming son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019 and stepping back from their roles in January 2020. The Sussexes have remained a constant target of media scrutiny. They sure seem as in love as ever, but as long as tabloids exist, we won’t be able to help but be a little concerned for their couplehood. Here are a few reasons why we’re worried about Meghan and Harry’s marriage.
Was Prince Philip against them getting hitched?
Hopefully, Prince Harry takes as much romantic advice from grandfather Prince Philip as he does on operating motor vehicles. According to a source cited by The Times in June 2019, the Duke of Edinburgh had reportedly warned his grandson against marrying Meghan Markle, allegedly griping, « One steps out with actresses, one doesn’t marry them. » Yikes. While Prince Philip reportedly made the comment back when the royal couple were just beginning to get serious, it thankfully didn’t take, considering Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement in November 2017 and tied the knot just six months later.
To be fair to Prince Philip, he may have been earnestly concerned about Prince Harry’s long-term prospects, considering things didn’t pan out when his son, Prince Andrew, dated American actress Koo Stark in 1981. In Andrew Morton’s biography, Andrew: The Playboy Prince, it was revealed that Prince Andrew loved Stark, and that even Queen Elizabeth II herself liked the « bubbly » actress (via Express). While the couple unfortunately had to end their relationship when it was learned that Stark had previously appeared in erotic films, Prince Andrew was later chosen as the godfather to Stark’s daughter. The two have reportedly stayed close in the nearly four decades since their split.
Meghan may have sparked Harry’s feud with Prince William
Prince Harry and Prince William have supposedly been beefing ever since Meghan Markle married into the family, but she’s allegedly had very little do with the brothers’ alleged royal rift. That said, royal experts believe that Prince William questioned Prince Harry on the speed at which his relationship with Markle was moving, but the younger prince apparently didn’t take too kindly to his big brother acting all, well, Big Brother.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl alleged in the 2019 TLC documentary Kate V. Meghan: Princesses At War? (via Fox News) that William, who was « probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, » said, « ‘This seems to be moving quickly. Are you sure?’ And I think what was meant as well-intended brotherly advice just riled Harry. »
After the wedding, things reportedly didn’t improve much. Royal historian Dr. Anna Whitlock later told Gayle King on CBS’ special Meghan and Harry Plus One that the newest royal couple’s popularity was « undermining » Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s, which may have sparked a bit of jealousy from the future King, per Express. However, yet another royal expert speculated on Yahoo! UK‘s The Royal Box that it was Markle herself who actually « tried to calm things down » between the brothers — so there may be hope after all for everyone to get along.
Have other royals given Meghan some side-eye action?
Meghan Markle may have gotten guff from Prince Harry’s extended family, as well … which would make for some pretty awkward family gatherings. « Matters have been heated ever since Harry proposed and Meghan moved onto the scene, » a source claimed to New Idea in 2018, adding, « There’s a lot of jealousy flying around — [Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice] just don’t think Meghan is good enough to be a royal. » When you factor in the fact that Prince Harry and Markle announced they were expecting their first child together right around the time of Princess Eugenie’s wedding that October, you can understand her apparent frustrations.
Meanwhile, other royals have reportedly been miffed at everything from Markle’s ambition and publicity tactics to her pricey New York City baby shower, the Daily Mail reports. According to sources cited by The Sun, the royal couple reportedly even gave Queen Elizabeth II a headache over the duchess’ choice in wedding tiara. However, perhaps most insulting to Markle — even if it was done in genuine ignorance — was likely Princess Michael of Kent’s decision to wear a blackamoor brooch to the duchess’ first Christmas lunch with the royal family in 2017. Amid accusations of racism, the princess apologized and vowed not wear the piece anymore, according to BBC News.
Meghan’s own family has been a constant headache
Familial stress has unfortunately hit the Sussexes from both sides. When they’re not dealing with reported shade from the royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had to deal with her often humiliating — and infamously estranged — paternal family.
Her father, Thomas Markle, has become known for trashing the British royals in the press. In addition to confessing to lying to the prince (whom he’s never even met) about staging paparazzi photos ahead of the couple’s wedding (which he famously didn’t attend due to heart trouble), he once told The Sun that his famous daughter was allegedly « terrified » of her new life and compared the « cult-like » Windsors to the Church of Scientology. Meanwhile, Meghan Markle’s half-sister, Samantha, has slammed her at every imaginable opportunity and is reportedly working on a book about so-called « Princess Pushy. » Then there’s half-brother Thomas Markle, Jr. With quite the checkered criminal past, he apparently found what he believes to be his calling in the world of « celebrity » boxing. According to the Daily Mail, he won his first match on a technicality after his opponent was disqualified for socking him in the not-so-royal family jewels, and hopes to someday meet former baseball pro Jose Canseco in the ring. Classy!
It’s likely that the stress of knowing the Sussexes’ good name could get smeared at any moment by Markle’s own bloodline has added more tension than any growing family needs.
Meghan might not like Harry’s friends
A giant red flag for any marriage is when none of your friends like your spouse — and vice versa. Some reports have suggested that Meghan Markle cleaned house when she and Prince Harry got together, and that the Duke of Sussex ditched any pals she didn’t dig. « Anybody who voiced any kind of reservation about Meghan has been sidelined, » claimed a source cited by The Times in June 2019. British TV presenter Lizzie Cundy concurred, telling the press she heard from the prince’s close friends that Markle had « pushed them all out. » Similarly, Tatler reports that the Sussexes effectively banished Prince Harry’s childhood bestie, Tom « Skippy » Inskip, for allegedly asking if his old pal may have been moving too fast with Markle — not unlike Prince William before him.
It should be noted that an insider once told Express that Markle was reportedly « airbrushing out » friends from her husband’s hard-partying past, saying, « She doesn’t want temptation — of any sort — being put in his way while they concentrate on starting a family. » Still, it could all just be because the former actress’ interests are so different from those of the ginger prince’s friends. For example, a source cited by The Daily Beast claimed in 2018 that Markle is against hunting and shooting — one of Prince Harry’s token hobbies with his posh pals.
Meghan Markle was accused of being a ‘social climber’
Before meeting Prince Harry, Meghan Markle reportedly wanted to date a British celebrity … seemingly any British celebrity. « We were having a chat and then she said: ‘Do you know any famous guys? I’m single and I really love English men,' » TV presenter Lizzie Cundy told the Daily Mail, explaining that Markle loved London and wanted to stay on that side of the pond after not finding much success in Hollywood apart from Suits.
Cundy claimed she nearly set Markle up with Ashley Cole, until they were both put off by rumors about the soccer player’s alleged infidelity issues. Markle did end up exchanging messages with X-Factor winner Matt Cardle in 2015 — just months before she met Prince Harry, according to The Sun, that failed to launch when Cardle met his current girlfriend and allegedly ghosted Markle.
In March 2019, controversial British journalist Piers Morgan, who has a history of criticizing the duchess, claimed that she was « a bit of a social climber » in an appearance on Nine News Australia. He publicly warned, « Although some people really like her and are falling for this act, I’m afraid I see a bit of hard-nosed actress, who’s been using people on her way up to what is now, of course, the top, which is marrying into the royal family. »
Harry and Meghan moved very, very fast
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly met on a blind date through a mutual friend. However, their romance moved quickly — so quickly, in fact, that there may have been some overlap between their exes and each other, which doesn’t necessarily build the sturdiest foundation for a marriage.
According to the Daily Mail, the Duke of Sussex was reportedly hooking up with model Sarah Ann Macklin and texting her like crazy during the early days of his courtship with Markle. In 2016, one of model’s friends told the tab that although Harry was « non-committal, » he’d often hit Macklin up when Markle was out of town — before he and the now-Duchess got serious. « Things fizzled out before he went to Africa for a month in August, » the friend noted. Of course, Markle was with Prince Harry for five days of that fateful trip. As the duke later said during their joint engagement interview with BBC News, this was when the two were finally able to get to know one another privately just weeks after they first met.
For her part, Markle was reportedly fresh off of her breakup from her boyfriend of two years, Toronto-based chef Cory Vitiello, when she and Prince Harry first met in July 2016. However, the exact date of their split is unclear.
The press (understandably) stresses Harry out
The media and paparazzi cannot get enough of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but it sure seems like the prince himself has had enough of them. The couple has struggled to keep parts of their personal lives private since the beginning of their romance. In fact, it was heightened media attention that first led Prince Harry to confirm their relationship.
In November 2016, he slammed the press in a statement for hounding his then-girlfriend, claiming he was concerned for her safety. Fast forward to February 2019, when the Duke of Sussex made headlines for pushing a camera out of the way. According to Express, a photographer had gotten so close to the couple that the lens reportedly hit the child who’d been serving them during a food presentation in Morocco.
Prince Harry actually won a lawsuit against a paparazzi photo agency he’d claimed invaded their privacy that May. According to the Associated Press, Splash News and Picture Agency, which has since issued a public apology, had photographed the Sussexes’ home in Oxfordshire, England via helicopter, and reportedly even took snaps of inside of the house. As a result of the intrusion, Prince Harry’s attorney stated in court that the royal pair no longer felt safe living on the property — which, ironically, they’d originally selected due to « the high level of privacy it afforded. »
Harry and Meghan may or may not have had a tiff in public
At the time of this writing, Meghan Markle is currently on maternity leave. However, she made an exception for the annual Trooping the Colour event in June 2019, when she joined Prince Harry and the rest of the royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday festivities, according to The Sun. Early on in the celebration, royal watchers spotted as Markle turned to say something to her husband. According to a lip reader cited by the media outlet, it appeared that Prince Harry replied, « No he hasn’t, » before allegedly adding a possibly exasperated, « Oh fine. Turn around. »
Considering the exchange in question occurred just before the national anthem played at the event, it’s likely that Prince Harry simply wanted to make sure his wife stood at attention. Still, royal fans had a field day in the Twittersphere, with some speculating that the duchess was holding back tears. However, it should be noted that she could just have easily been squinting — like many others with her on the same balcony — because she was staring at the sky. And, just to reiterate, no one can know for sure what was said during this moment … so much like every other so-called « scandal » regarding the Sussexes, you may want to take this one with a massive grain (or entire shaker) of salt.
They were under so much pressure that they left the royal family
In May 2019, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor — and reportedly decided to leave their places in the royal family. The Sussexes shocked the world when they announced they were relinquishing their roles as « senior royals » the following January. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II revealed that « Megxit » would involve the Sussexes reimbursing taxpayers for their Frogmore Cottage renovations and working toward financial independence, while splitting their time between Canada and the U.K.
Prince Harry later admitted (via People) that the choice brought him « great sadness, » but noted that « there really was no other option, » lamenting the media was largely behind the move. Sources told TMZ that Markle pushed back against « The Firm, » because she didn’t want Archie subjected to the media, and was reportedly furious over the outrage from British press and taxpayers about their decision to keep Archie’s christening private. An insider explained, « They think if the British public aren’t contributing financially then they don’t have the same right to comment on their private life. »
The unceremonious exit has reportedly ruffled several royal feathers. Speculating that there were hurt feelings all around, sources cited by People claimed that Harry and Meghan felt their hand was forced, noting that Markle — as a biracial American — felt « deeply hurt » over the alleged lack of support from the royals. « There is so much bad blood in that family, » an insider said. « It’s toxic. »