Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were ‘Failed by the Monarchy’ and Racism Played a Role in Their Exit, Expert Claims

Did the monarchy fail Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leading them to leave behind their royal duties? Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie believes that the royal family could have provided a better support system for the Sussexes.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Heritage Day public holiday celebrations in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left their royal duties

Prince Harry and Meghan dropped a bombshell in January when they announced their plan to take a step back from their royal duties. When Queen Elizabeth called a meeting to discuss their proposal, it was decided that the Sussexes would make their official exit from the royal family in March and give up their HRH titles as well as any public funding.

At the time, Prince Harry expressed his heartbreak over not being able to strike a more half-in/half-out arrangement that would allow them to split their time between the UK and North America.

“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” Prince Harry said in a speech at the time. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”

He noted that while they had hoped to “continue serving the queen,” their request couldn’t be fulfilled. “I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope it helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life,” he explained.

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Royal expert believes that ‘race did play a role’ in their decision

The couple found the negative media attention that accompanied their life in the spotlight to be overwhelming and part of that, Scobie told Good Morning America, was the way racism played a part in the scrutiny.

“In terms of ticking those boxes that may ruffle feathers within an ancient institution such as that of the monarchy, she had really ticked all of them,” Scobie explained. “Race did play a role.”

Part of the issue, Scobie said, is that Meghan didn’t feel comfortable in the royal family. He shared his own experience as an example. “I myself have also had moments as a bi-racial royal correspondent within the institution. I’ll never forget the moment an aide, or a senior aide close to the queen, said to me, ‘I never would have expected you to speak like that,’ and that level of ignorance I think perhaps made it very difficult for Meghan,” the author noted.

The Sussexes were failed by the monarchy, expert claims

Prince Harry and Meghan’s departure from the family, Scobie explained, might have been prevented if they had not been “failed by the monarchy.” If the monarchy had shown an acceptance of the diversity Meghan brought to the family, it would have been an opportunity for the institution to evolve.

“History will remember them as a couple that were perhaps failed by the institution of the monarchy, where there was this chance to have a woman of color, an American woman of color, in the house of Windsor representing the monarchy just as much as her husband,” Scobie explained.

He added, “That was a chance for the royal family to have diversity, inclusivity, and representation in a way that no other moment in their lives could have brought and for them to not have harnessed that is something that I’m sure historians will be looking at for years to come.”

“They had no choice other than to leave because they both knew that it wasn’t going to continue should they just carry on as they were,” Scobie noted.