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It’s been nearly one year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially packed their bags and left the royal family. The two moved to the United States in March 2020, and since then, they’ve kept a relatively low profile.

Now, though, Harry and Meghan are making waves with an Oprah Winfrey interview. And Meghan refers to the royal family by a name that suggests there is plenty of distance and tension between her and Harry’s family.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family in 2020

Harry and Meghan had a whirlwind romance. The two began dating in mid 2016, and by fall 2017, Harry had proposed. The couple tied the knot in spring 2018 and welcomed their first child one year later.

Life as a royal wasn’t easy for Meghan. It didn’t take long for the paparazzi and tabloids to target her. There were constant rumors about the duchess in the media, regarding her relationship with her dad as well as her and Kate Middleton’s supposed tension. The rumors made it difficult for Meghan to develop a good rapport with the public, which ultimately led to Harry and Meghan stepping down.

The constant criticism caused the two to carve out a new life for themselves in the United States. The couple announced their royal departure in January 2020, and by March 2020, they had officially made their royal exit.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend one of their final royal engagements in March 2020
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend one of their final royal engagements in March 2020 | Simon Dawson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Meghan Markle’s royal family reference suggests distance and tension

Meghan and Harry recently announced that they’re doing a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which will air March 7 at 7 p.m. on CBS. In a teaser for the interview, Oprah asks Meghan how she thinks the royal family will feel about her speaking out. “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that “The Firm” is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”

The royal family is occasionally referred to as “The Firm” by media outlets, commoners, and others outside the royal circle. Meghan’s use of the term suggests that she’s referring to them as someone who is an outsider and who has nothing to do with the family. It speaks to the distance and tension between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royals.

Meghan Markle is currently facing bullying accusations from former staff members

In early March, accusations against Meghan surfaced after two former employees revealed that Meghan allegedly used “emotional cruelty and manipulation” as their boss. The statement also reports that Meghan caused them to quit their jobs. The palace has said it’s looking into the allegations, and Meghan spoke out that she is “saddened” by them.

Several of Meghan’s friends and former colleagues spoke out in defense of the duchess, suggesting that the accusations are completely inaccurate. At this point, it’s unclear who is telling the truth.