In just three months following their announcement that they wanted to step away from the British royal family, things have changed a great deal for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The couple have completed their final royal duties, shuttered their Instagram and website, and they are now living in a compound in Los Angeles where they are self-isolating and practicing social distancing.
The move to LA has stunned royal fans across the globe, with many fans consumed as to why the Sussexes would leave the royal stage to simply be propped up in the Hollywood limelight. However, one royal expert believes that this was always the end game for the duke and duchess.
“They were always heading to L.A. That was the master plan,” Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent explained. I think with North America shutting down because of COVID, they decided to move to California sooner. Meghan wants to be near her mum [who lives in Los Angeles], which is understandable at this time, and they clearly have projects in the pipeline and wanted to get to L.A. as quickly as possible.”
Unfortunately, many people don’t think LA will provide the quiet life the Sussexes are hoping for. In fact, many royal experts believe the duo might eventually return to the royal fold.
Prince Harry would always be welcomed back to the British royal family
Though he is no longer a senior working royal, the Duke of Sussex has retained his role title and his place in line for the throne. If he does ever want to return to the U.K. and The Firm, he would be warmly welcomed.
“The love this country has for him has never stopped,” royal photographer Arthur Edwards explained to The Sun. “As far as the nation is concerned he is still their number one member of the Royal Family.”
In fact, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Prince Charles’ diagnosis, the prince did consider returning to the U.K. However, it would have been irresponsible. “With the royals in isolation, there isn’t much they can do, although I suspect Harry will probably be feeling far from home right now,” Nicholl said. “They won’t want to take any risks by traveling, and their priority is to keep Archie settled and in a routine. I think they will come to the U.K. when it is safer to do so.”
Meghan Markle would not be welcomed back to the British royal family
Though she tried her best, it’s clear that royal life is not for the Duchess of Sussex, and her presence upended life as the royals knew it. While the royal family themselves embraced her, the British public, with their racist and sexist rhetoric refused.
“It was clear in her body language, very real, very emotional, very vulnerable,” ABC’s royal expert Omid Scobie said of the duchess appearance at Commonwealth Day.
It would take a lot for the Sussexes to return to the royal family
It’s clear from the 12-month review that Queen Elizabeth II has put in place amid Megxit, that she’s not convinced the Sussexes will be able to make it as private citizens.
“The royal family would certainly welcome them back with open arms,” Marlene Koenig, a royal expert told Insider. “But the media would be without mercy. I would expect comments about tails between their legs.”
At this point, it seems highly unlikely the Sussexes would ever return to royal life, but as tensions have eased between them and the royal family. Anything could happen.