How Prince Harry’s Guilt Over Leaving the Royal Family Could Damage His Relationship With Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s exit from the royal family was a move they felt was necessary given the constant negative media attention they had faced. The decision was drastic and the couple’s desire for a more normal life, some believe, caused Prince Harry to experience guilt over leaving his royal life and family behind. Could that worry after embarking on their new chapter damage their relationship?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their visit to Canada House
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry shared the reason for their exit plan

After Queen Elizabeth finalized the details of Prince Harry and Meghan’s exit plan, Harry spoke about the reason behind their decision to leave their royal duties.

“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” he shared, in part, during a speech he delivered during a dinner for supporters of Sentebale in London in January.

Prince Harry is reportedly ‘overwhelmed’ with guilt

The timing of their exit coincided with the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis as Prince Harry and Meghan made their move from Canada to Los Angeles amid the pandemic and his father Prince Charles’ coronavirus diagnosis.

“Despite their ups and downs, hearing that his dad is sick with a potentially life-threatening illness is a huge wake-up call,” a source told Us Weekly. “And he’s overwhelmed with feelings of guilt for not being closer to home while this is all going on.”

Prince Harry got the news of his father’s diagnosis over the phone and it was understandably difficult to deal with given his distance from the royal family.

“During the heart-wrenching call, he confessed to feeling beyond helpless, being over 5,000 miles away in L.A.,” the insider shared. “Charles tried to calm Harry down by saying he’s OK and that he’s only suffering from mild symptoms, which slightly helped put his mind at ease but he’s [Harry] still worried. Harry’s admitted it’s hit home that Charles and the queen aren’t going to be around forever.”

Will Prince Harry’s guilt impact his marriage?

Prince Harry and Meghan are definitely entering a new chapter of their lives out of the spotlight and away from the only life Harry has ever known, so it will be an adjustment. Being so far from his family during a global pandemic certainly adds another level of stress that they never could have anticipated when they first announced their exit plan back in January.

Time will tell if the current crisis and Harry’s distance from home will put any strain on their relationship, but one royal expert believes that their marriage may face “stresses and strains.”

In a column for The Sunday Times British columnist Camilla Long shared how she believes that the Sussexes’ exit decision might negatively impact their relationship.

After an attack on Meghan for the way she “snubbed the queen and country,” Long explained, “But the main thing I felt, as the palace fired back that the Queen was ‘disappointed’, as a sense of sad foreboding: we aren’t watching the end of the royal family, or the end of Britain… but yet another series of awful stresses and strains that could now spell the beginning of the end of the marriage.”

Long added, “Even if you aren’t a damaged and delicate person like Harry, few people would be able to cope with the sudden estrangement of their entire family and transfer to the alien landscape of what Meghan describes as ‘Canada’ and I call ‘Los Angeles.’”