Meghan Markle Was Unhappy With Royal Life But Didn’t Show It, Expert Claims: ‘She Played It Very Well’

Was Meghan, Duchess of Sussex more unhappy than she let on before she and Prince Harry made their exit from royal duties? While she expressed in a 2019 interview how challenging it had been to deal with the constant media scrutiny, she carried on with grace and a smile. Underneath the cheery facade, however, one royal expert believes Meghan might have been struggling more than she showed.

Meghan Markle attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey
Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan shared how hard things had been for her and Prince Harry

During her 2019 interview for Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Meghan touched on how challenging things had become in the spotlight after she and Harry received so much negative media attention.

“I’ve said for a long time to H — that’s what I call him — it’s not enough to just survive something. That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy,” she said at the time. “I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried. I really tried. But I think what that does internally is probably really damaging.”

She continued, “The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair and that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile.”

When the interviewer asked Meghan about her mental health, she shared that things had not been easy, noting, “Thank you for asking, but not many people have asked if I’m ok, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

She put on a brave face

Despite the admission that she had found the scrutiny overwhelming, Meghan carried on by putting on a brave face in public.

Body language expert Judi James spoke about this during an episode of the Pod Save the Queen podcast, when she was asked, “Did you pick up on the fact that they [Harry and Meghan] weren’t happy?”

“She clearly played it very well,” James said of Meghan. “Full marks to her because she said that she’d gone through a lot of grief, but she never showed it and, I think the actress side helped her to get through that.”

She continued, “I looked through acres of footage and she’d always got a good smile on her face, she always looked engaged, she’d always got quite an excited eye expression, and she always looked clearly besotted with Harry — and I think that possibly made it less obvious.”

RELATED: Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exit Drama: Harry ‘Suffered a Lot’ and Meghan Was ‘Suffocating’

Prince Harry, however, showed signs of being unhappy

Meghan might have put on a brave face but James believes that Prince Harry showed some subtle signs that he wasn’t happy. “I think we saw Harry change so much,” James explained. “I could always see the rift between him and William anyway, going back right to the first days of Harry’s marriage, and meeting Meghan. He went from being this jack-the-lad character — and we used to see him all the time with William, looking like a couple of jokers!”

She continued, “If they turned up at weddings — oh, here they come, what are they going to get up to! Particularly Harry. And then suddenly, and I think it could have been put down to the fact that he had got responsibilities in life at last, with a wife and then a child but I think he was looking way too unhappy, way too serious, way too annoyed, really.”

James added, “Clearly he had a very, very difficult decision to make.”