Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story and Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, told The Mirror’s Pod Save the Queen podcast the couple had conversations with Oprah about leaving the royal institution in November 2018, just six months after their wedding.
“The great tragedy, I think, is that Meghan and Harry didn’t give it long enough to see whether they could give it a go.”
He added: “They were on the out almost before the wedding music had finished.”
In a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Meghan revealed the decision was a result of the constant onslaught of racist and abusive tabloid coverage throughout their relationship.
From the moment their relationship became public, British tabloids became obsessed with Markle.
In 2016, The Daily Mail‘s Rachel Johnson described her as having “exotic DNA” and derided her for her divorce, journalist Rush Styles wrote “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” in an article where she is spurned for growing up in a neighbourhood with high rates of crime, and in 2019 a BBC journalist compared the couple’s child to a chimpanzee.
In 2016, Prince Harry’s communications team put out a statement decrying the tabloids’ treatment of his partner.
“Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” it said. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”
The British media have continued their style of coverage since the couple’s marriage and, in some instances, have applied a significant double standard to Meghan that Kate Middleton was not exposed to.
The couple officially announced their decision to step back from the royal family and become financially independent on January 8, 2020.
They have since moved to Montecito in California, where they are raising their children Archie, three, and one-year-old Lilibet.
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