Recently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, officially departed from royal life. British royal life to people who are not involved may seem like a childhood dream come true, being real life royalty, having an entire country, and every other country in the Commonwealth of Britain, adore and idolize you. This undoubtedly sounds like the perfect life, and departing from such a highly sought after position may seem insane on the surface, but once you delve into the details of what royal life is actually like, the royal couple’s decision may not seem so crazy after all.
When Prince Harry was just twelve years old, he had to attend a funeral for his mother, Princess Diana of Wales, surrounded by thousands of people who had never even met her, thousands of people he did not recognize or ever see again. I cannot imagine a more traumatizing experience for anyone to possibly go through, nevertheless someone that young.
This example, although extreme, was only Prince Harry’s foot in the door for how tumultuous royal life is, and is a good way to display the stress of living such a public life. Since then, Prince Harry has been constantly hounded by paparazzi, as they criticize his every move, decision, and thought. Although Harry may have a reputation of being a bit rebellious, from his young adult years using cannabis underage and playing strip billiards in Las Vegas, these activities were not extreme or remotely harmful to anyone, and yet he was scrutinized for being himself, and was made out to be no better than a common criminal in the news. The volume of these situations only grew when he made his relationship with American actress Meghan Markle public. Almost the second this information was made public, the people and the press immediately began abusing and harassing Markle and her family, so much so that Prince Harry had to make a personal statement, reported by BBC news, begging for the onslaught to end.
This constant spotlight, always being under the press and public’s watchful eye caused the couple to become discontent with their roles as public servants, as it would for anyone rational. Harry and Meghan have been dragged through court cases surrounding their privacy, and have had their private lives violated and virtually destroyed. The unhappiness caused by their roles reared its head a few weeks ago, when the couple finally announced their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family to spend some much needed time away from public life. While the couple will unquestionably be judged for this, if you take time to consider how exhausted Harry and Meghan must be, their decision doesn’t seem so crazy after all.
"Prince Harry condemns press 'abuse' of girlfriend". BBC News. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.