Meghan Markle’s Royal Rude Awakening: Duchess Hated That She ‘Had to Please Everyone’ and ‘She Wasn’t Just Marrying Harry’

When Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex started dating, the two thought they had found their fairytale. However, over time, Meghan learned that life in the royal family wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped it would be.

Princess Diana’s former butler recently revealed that Meghan’s struggles with royal life stemmed from Harry belonging to something much bigger than anyone realized.  

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Meghan Markle’s royal conflicts started the moment her relationship became public

When Meghan and Harry began dating, they kept things under wraps. The two traveled across the Atlantic to spend time together, and for a moment, life was blissful. But once word spread about their romance, things became infinitely more taxing.

By the time Harry and Meghan wed, she was at the forefront of British tabloid stories. The duchess couldn’t catch a break, and the media were relentless; one news outlet even got its hands on a personal letter she wrote to her father. Behind the scenes, Meghan was struggling to connect to royal life. There were rumors of disagreements between the duchess and other members of the royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Rosa Woods/Pool/Getty Images

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Meghan’s difficulties stem from Harry not being an individual

The royal family is complex. It has always been one entity; when you marry a royal, you are not starting a life with one person — you’re starting a life with an entire institution. At least, that’s how Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, would put it.

There have been reports that William and Harry were at odds after William requested that his brother not rush into marriage. And, according to Daily Mail, Burrell came to William’s defense, suggesting William only wanted Harry to slow down because there was still so much for Meghan to learn.

“Meghan soon found out she had to please everyone; she wasn’t just marrying Harry,” Burrell told Good Morning Britain. “She was marrying a whole institution, a thousand years of royal history.” Paul added that William “is not a snob” and that he was only looking out for his brother. Still, the royal life Meghan and Harry would have lived wasn’t the one they wanted. They were quick to wed and even quicker to leave.


Prince William, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Prince William encouraged his brother to slow down his relationship with Meghan Markle. | Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Harry wanted to retain some individuality

To Burrell’s point, Harry had to play by some strict rules when he was a working royal. Everything he did was under the watch of the queen, and he and Meghan soon learned they wanted more than the freedoms they were given under the royal roof. Harry longed to be “something other than Prince Harry,” as he revealed in a 2017 interview.

When Meghan and Harry moved to the United States, it was with the idea that Harry could pursue more of the life he wanted to live rather than the royal one he would have had to live as the son of the future king. He called the move the couple’s only option for a “peaceful” life, as well as an opportunity to raise Archie without the royal fanfare. Still, it seems that Meghan was unaware what it would take to fit in with one of the world’s most famous families — and when she learned, she didn’t like it. Both she and Harry were on the same page when they decided to permanently step down.