Prince Harry Subtly Hinted at Quitting the Royal Family Last Summer

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s decision to leave the royal family might have initially come as a shock to many, but Harry dropped a huge hint about it in 2019 to Dr. Jane Goodall. The anthropologist shared an exchange that she had with Harry which seemed to indicate he and Meghan were thinking of their exit long before they announced it to the world.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan announced their plan in January

After an extended break from their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan dropped what seemed like a bombshell. In January, the couple took to Instagram to share their plan to step back from royal life. Queen Elizabeth worked to finalize the details and set Mar. 31 as the official date when they would leave the royal family, giving up the use of their HRH titles, public funding, and the Sussex Royal brand.

Following the queen’s statement in support of their plan, Prince Harry delivered a speech, remarking how he and Meghan felt that this was their only option to have a normal life out of the spotlight.

“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. 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 said during a dinner for supporters of Sentebale in January.

Prince Harry and Meghan had dropped a hint about their exit months earlier

While their decision seemed surprising, Prince Harry had noted that it was a decision that wasn’t made lightly and it was believed the couple had been discussing the move for some time before making their announcement.

Dr. Goodall, a friend of the Sussexes who was interviewed by Prince Harry for the Vogue issue that Meghan guest-edited in 2019, had some insider knowledge about the couple’s desire to quit the royal family.

During an interview with the Daily Mail Weekend Magazine, Goodall recalled visiting the couple at Frogmore Cottage and spending time with Harry for their interview. It was after their chat for the magazine that Prince Harry hinted that he and Meghan might be breaking away from royal life.

“At the end [of the conversation] Meghan came in to listen with Archie,” Goodall recalled. “He was very tiny and very sleepy — not too pleased to be passed from his mummy. I think I was one of the first to cuddle him outside the family.”

Goodall shared a moment with their baby and Prince Harry seemed to hint at their desire for normalcy. ‘I made Archie do the queen’s wave, saying, ‘I suppose he’ll have to learn this,'” she explained.

“He said ‘No, he’s not growing up like that,’” Goodall said of Harry’s reaction.

Prince Harry and Meghan want to bring up Archie out of the spotlight

The couple’s decision to raise their son out of the spotlight after they endured such harsh public and media scrutiny themselves was not surprising and their statement in January reflected their thoughts on the matter.

At the time, the couple shared their intention to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” they shared in their Instagram post.