Prince William Raised Concern About Harry Marrying Meghan – Here’s How He Knew the Couple’s Royal Journey Wouldn’t Be Smooth

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked family members when they announced back in January that they were officially removing themselves as working members of the royal family. Still, the public wasn’t all too surprised — there had been rumors for months that Meghan wasn’t as welcomed across the pond as she had hoped.

Perhaps the most surprising part is that Harry’s older brother, Prince William, reportedly warned him of what would happen if he married Meghan too quickly — and there’s a reason why the future king knew his younger brother’s life would become infinitely more complicated.

Prince William with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince William with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal exit reportedly caused serious tension

When Harry and Meghan first wed, they thought their marriage would be far more of a fairytale. However, the duke and duchess quickly learned that dealing with the British press wasn’t going to be an easy feat. Meghan had a difficult time winning over the public, which was largely due to the British media constantly circulating stories about Meghan’s actions within the royal family. Eventually, she and Harry filed a lawsuit against three major tabloids, and shortly after, they announced they were stepping down from their royal roles.

Reports suggested Meghan and Harry never informed the queen of their decision to leave, which created tension among the royals. Plus, Harry moving to the U.S. meant he would no longer spend as much time with his family, something that saddened his father, Prince Charles. Still, the queen released a statement showing her support for the couple’s decision.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during one of their last appearances as working royals | Simon Dawson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Prince William knew exactly what Harry was getting himself into — and tried to stop it

Once Harry and Meghan started dating, it didn’t take long for Harry to recognize that Meghan was the one. But William requested that Harry exercise caution with walking down the aisle. William reportedly voiced concern about Meghan’s ability to handle the royal family; Harry brushed him off, proposing to Meghan after only a year and a half of dating.

William essentially predicted the future in his concerns about Meghan. And his ability to recognize the potential complications isn’t because of psychic powers — it’s because of a noticeable royal pattern. When William and Kate began dating, the paparazzi was relentless toward Kate. They snapped photos everywhere she went; she even requested that William propose to her so that she could have royal security. William dated Kate for nearly eight years before proposing, and it’s largely believed that he did so in an effort to have the public and press become so used to her that she was no longer a target. If that was his plan, it worked.

Kate Middleton in 2007
The paparazzi snapping photos of Kate Middleton as she leaves her apartment in 2007 | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

William likely pulled from his mother’s experience with the media, too

In contrast, Princess Diana and Prince Charles only went on 12 dates before Charles proposed. Though the public loved Diana’s sense of relatability, the press had a field day in terms of their coverage. William and Harry both reportedly believe that the media is largely responsible for their mother’s death. William was thinking with his head about Harry and Meghan’s relationship, while Harry was likely thinking with his heart. Fast forward just a few years later, and Harry and Meghan have created a media storm similar to what Kate and Diana experienced. According to Marie Claire, royal expert Robert Lacey even suggested Harry and Meghan’s actions have “proved” that William was “right” in his worry all along.