The Both,prince Harry and Meghan Markle made history when they tied the knot in May 2018. The couple moved very quickly, announcing their engagement after dating for about a year and a half, and she made some major life changes to accommodate and acclimate to the royal family. Since then, it’s been relatively smooth sailing for the couple, but there have been a few hiccups. Markle remains estranged from her father’s side of her family and may have crossed some of the Windsors with her alleged lack of respect for some royal protocols. In addition, she and Harry have reportedly developed a rather complicated relationship with the press since their wedding. That said, it seems like this powerful marriage is a happy one … but not necessarily a conventional royal union by any means. Here’s what we know about the private lives of two of the world’s most public figures.
The friend who played matchmaker.
Meghan Markle was set up with Prince Harry through a mutual pal. The Daily Mail reports that Markle’s close friend, Soho House higher-up Markus Anderson, introduced the couple. Anderson reportedly ran in the same Toronto circles as Markle (who filmed Suits in Canada) for years. Markle and Anderson traveled together frequently, which they documented on social media (before she had to close her accounts before the wedding), and he was even called an “uncle” to her beloved rescue dogs.
It seems unclear how Anderson first met Prince Harry, but the prince reportedly was a member of the exclusive Soho House club where Anderson works and curates party guest lists. In fact, Anderson, Harry, and Markle are all so close that Anderson sat with Markle at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto in fall 2017 — and it’s reported that Anderson may have introduced Harry to Markle at the games a year prior.
Harry was allegedly hooking up with a model while wooing Meghan
Though Prince Harry seemed to fall for Meghan Markle quickly, but that doesn’t mean he was immediately ready to settle down and ditch his playboy reputation for her. The Daily Mail reported that the prince allegedly dated a British model while he was wooing Markle in the early days of their courtship. Friends of model Sarah Ann Macklin claim Harry bombarded her with texts after meeting her at a party, and he allegedly continued to contact her for months when Markle wasn’t visiting London.
“Their fling is an open secret among her friends,” a pal of Macklin claimed. “It eventually fizzled out but they are on friendly terms.” Another insider dished, “Everything was kept very below the radar … Harry also seemed a bit non-committal and it never really got off the ground. Things fizzled out before he went to Africa for a month in August.”
Meghan Markle is much different from other women he’s dated.
Prince Harry had a type, before meeting Meghan Markle: The Sun reports that most of Harry’s exes came from aristocratic families, like Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. He hadn’t shied away from dating entertainers however, and was rumored to be linked to British pop singers Ellie Goulding and Mollie King (of The Saturdays) and TV presenter Caroline Flack.
By contrast, Markle was a little-known biracial, brunette American actress who, outside of the Suits franchise, seemed more focused on humanitarian work and her lifestyle blog The Tig than on partying or high society. She came from humble beginnings and was vocal about her political beliefs before linking up with the ginger prince, even reportedly posting anti-Brexit messages on social media. At three years Harry’s senior, Markle was already established as a personality and in her career — though, in fairness to the prince, he is the reason she quickly became a household name.
Meghan Markle gave up a lot for him.
She left her role on Suits and was forced to shutter her social media accounts and lifestyle blog, The Tig, as she and Prince Harry’s relationship grew serious, but giving up her career was on the tip of the iceberg in terms of what normal luxuries Markle would have to sacrifice for her marriage to the royal.
The Sun reports that Markle is also prohibited from ever taking selfies (Queen Elizabeth reportedly finds them “disconcerting” and “strange,”) signing autographs, and voting, despite previously expressing her political beliefs (including her opposition to Brexit) on her now-defunct social media accounts. Markle is also supposedly banned from wearing dark nail polish (which the royals deem “vulgar”) and wearing skirts above the knee, though she’s broken the latter rule at least once since becoming a royal, rocking a short tuxedo dress at a performance of Hamilton in London in August 2018.
Meghan Markle is allegedly ‘airbrushing’ Prince Harry’s reputation
Lady Colin Campbell, a friend of Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, told the Daily Beast that Meghan Markle “is ultra-liberal and that trendy-lefty stuff does not go down well with some of Harry’s friends. He has introduced her to them all at parties and weddings and private dinners, but she is very anti- a lot of the things that their world functions upon, such as shooting.” It’s alleged that Markle’s animal rights beliefs and anti-gun stances are part of the reason why Harry has skipped hunting trips with his family and friends since coupling up with the former actress.
A royal insider told the Daily Express that Harry has began to shun his former pals because Markle believes they may have been bad influences on the ginger prince, alleging, “It’s all part of Meghan’s quiet airbrushing out of Harry’s old posse. She doesn’t want temptation of any sort being put in his way while they concentrate on starting a family.”
Prince Harry and Markle are leaving London
Kensington Palace confirmed in late November 2018 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were leaving London and Kensington Palace in favor of a new home that’s just theirs — courtesy of Queen Elizabeth II. The royal matriarch gifted Harry and Meghan a 10-bedroom pad called Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Castle, The Sun reported. The property is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation — courtesy of taxpayers — before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex move in; they’ll likely be in their new home in early 2019. Sources claim that the couple wanted more space than was available at Kensington for their growing family.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will move to Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate early next year as they prepare for the arrival of their first child,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “The couple have lived at Nottingham Cottage since their engagement last year. Windsor is a very special place for Their Royal Highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate. The Duke and Duchess’s office will continue to be based at Kensington Palace.”