Meghan Markle’s Relationship with Prince Harry Is Very Different Than Her First Marriage

Despite their trouble navigating life in the public eye as members of the British Royal Family, one thing is clear — Duchess Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are hopelessly in love. The duo met in the summer of 2016 on a blind date, and from there, their whirlwind romance has been the stuff of fairytales.

Though senior royals typically don’t showcase much PDA (or any at all) –Markle and Prince Harry are super affectionate. They can often be seen kissing, hugging, or just gazing at one another.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex lives have changed since they married in 2018 — but it’s Markle who has made the most sacrifices — giving up her career in Hollywood and moving her life from America to the U.K. However, her royal marriage is still vastly different than her first marriage.

Meghan Markle’s marriage to Trevor Engelson made her understand true independence

Meghan Markle began dating actor/producer Trevor Engelson in 2004. The duchess was in her early 20s and had not yet found success in Hollywood. Engelson was slightly older and had already had a couple of big breaks. The couple dated for nearly a decade before getting married in 2011. It was the same year Markle snagged her breakout role in Suits. The couple’s union began to crack — and by 2013, they were divorced.

Though the duchess has never widely discussed her divorce, when it was announced in 2013 –she posted a telling quote on her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig. It read, “I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and cheap praise.”

The relationship was a lesson learned for Markle who approaches her marriage to Prince Harry very differently.

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In Tembisa, Johannesburg, today The Duke and Duchess visited to meet young entrepreneurs at the YES hub – a hive for creativity and social enterprise. Their visit was an amazing tour of the ingenuity and opportunity – seeing businesses that varied from food to essential sanitary products for local women. During their visit, they were able to sample food from ‘Chef Mish’ – a local masterchef winner – which he makes at the site as part of his catering business and cafe. They then joined YES community members to take part in training and tests that will help them gain skills and find work. On the third stop today, entrepreneur Moss showed The Duke and Duchess the organic produce he's growing in the township with aquaponics – supplying local restaurants. And finally, The Duke and Duchess met the women behind the amazing Blossom Care Solutions – who are making 80,000 sanitary pads every month for women in their community. They are 100% compostable, and provide an essential low-cost product for women and girls. The Duchess has long campaigned on this issue and wrote in Time magazine in 2017, saying: “In communities all over the globe, young girls’ potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world. To that I say: we need to push the conversation, mobilize policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organizations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.” • See our previous post to see The Dukes speech #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images

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Meghan Markle doesn’t need Prince Harry

Meghan Markle was a fully realized independent woman before marrying Prince Harry at age 36. “It is easy to see that Meghan is not looking for Harry or this marriage to complete her,” relationship expert Sami Wunder told Express.co.uk. “She may have given up her Hollywood career due to royal protocol but the woman continues to keep herself busy and involved with several charitable interests and even flew all the way to New York to enjoy her baby shower with her own set of personal friends. She is not going to be the woman that looks up to Prince Harry to fulfill each and every one of her needs, as many first time married women would do.” 

Markle has realized –especially in her newfound position, that love is not the only thing that will sustain a marriage.

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Today, we are excited to be able to announce details for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming tour to Africa! • In just two weeks, Their Royal Highnesses will embark on this official tour focusing on community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment. This programme has been many months in the making, and The Duke and Duchess are eager to focus their energies on the great work being done in Southern Africa. From meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to joining ‘Waves for Change’ on Monwabisi Beach, the South Africa programme will be educational and inspiring. The Duke is especially proud to continue the legacy left by his mother with her work in Angola as he joins Halo Trust again in an effort to rid the world of landmines. HRH will also travel to Malawi where he will check in on the British Army’s partnership with African Parks and will be working on the ground supporting local communities. The Duke is particularly proud to be able to deliver an exciting new initiative, a Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy three-country partnership which he designed and consulted with Governments in Namibia, Botswana and Angola to protect forest and wildlife corridors around the Okavango Delta. The Duchess will be working with local organisations to promote women and girls’ health and education, entrepreneurship and leadership. With such a textured culture and history, Their Royal Highnesses are grateful for the opportunity to connect with those on the ground in Southern Africa and to be inspired by the work being done and learn how they can be better supported. As President and Vice President of The Queens Commonwealth Trust and The Duke’s role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, The Duke and Duchess cannot wait to meet with young leaders mobilising change and adding to the beauty of these Commonwealth countries • “We look forward to seeing you soon!” • Photo ©️ PA images / Tim Graham – Getty Images / @Sentebale /@AfricanParksNetwork / @YouthAlert

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The spark between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is obvious

No matter what is said about their approach to royal life — the chemistry between Markle and Prince Harry is evident three years and a whole baby later. It’s something British fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski noticed when he shot the Sussexes wedding and engagement photos.

“He would be talking and she would look at him, she’d be smiling at what he said and then he’d look at her and there’d be this spark between them,” he told the London Evening Standard. “I get tingles just thinking about it. They were a young couple in love and it was so cute.”