Prince of Montecito: The Real Reason Why Harry's Relationship With the Royal Family Blew up, According to Insiders
This is how Harry’s relationship with his family unraveled..
The entire world was shocked when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted to give up their roles as working members of the Royal Family and moved to the United States to live as civilians. However, in the two years since the couple's Megxit from the United Kingdom, the couple has created a new life for themselves in Montecito, California, just as luxurious and regal as the life they left behind, claims a new report. Hilary Rose writes for The Times that the Duke of Sussex has transformed into the Prince of Montecito, explaining why his relationship with the Royal Family blew up.
According to Rose, the Duke of Sussex has mastered a "foreign language" since moving to the United States. "It is Californian," she writes. "Prince Harry has said, out loud, 'Imagine you're a raindrop,' 'We need to lift up all of humanity,' and, 'We all have greatness within us,' which seems unlikely. He has complained about the damage 'our' way of life is having on the world, then hopped on a private jet to a polo match. He has swapped a life of privilege, duty and the royal train, for leisure, polo and private jets, and is paying for the latter by complaining bitterly about the former. At his mansion in Montecito, he has taken time away from tending chickens and rescuing dogs to share his experience of burnout, which he claims is considerable, and to slag off his family. Trailers for his Netflix documentary could not make it clearer that for the Sussexes, with the Queen dead, the gloves are off. Now it looks like there is no going back."
In the lengthy story, Rose emphasizes the hypocrisy of Harry and Meghan's war against the royals, referencing the Netflix trailer released this week for their show, Harry & Meghan. She also brings up the numerous interviews and public appearances the couple has made and their attempts to appear down-to-earth and relatable while living in their sprawling 16-bathroom mansion surrounded by billionaires in Montecito.
Where did it all go wrong between Harry and his family? According to Rose, when Harry was born, he was immediately referred to as the spare, while his older brother, William, was considered the heir. His mother, Princess Diana, referred to him as the "naughty one," and from a young age, got into trouble. According to Tina Brown in The Palace Papers, he was "more entertaining, more endearing, more relatable. Harry was always the more beloved of the brothers."
When his mother died, Harry's life changed. According to a courtier, Harry had felt "emotionally exposed" by his mother's death and a little bit forgotten. "He felt very keenly that second son syndrome. Prince William's future was mapped out from the off. In every way he has felt in his older brother's shadow," they said.
Things changed again when Harry met Meghan Markle. According to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's Finding Freedom, the two bonded over Meghan's dogs and their "passion for wanting to make change for good… Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other." According to sources, William was excited to meet Meghan. "I was looking forward to meeting the woman who put that silly grin on my brother's face," he reportedly said.
However, trouble between the family started when Sunday Express found out that Harry was dating Meghan, and the couple became the focus of the international press. "He pressured his communications secretary, Jason Knauf, to put out a combative statement in which he confirmed that Meghan was his girlfriend and complained that she had 'been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,'" writes Rose. Then, Meghan did her interview with Vanity Fair in September 2017, and Meghan was reportedly furious the article didn't focus on her activism.
According to Robert Lacey in 2020's Battle of Brothers, "William could sense, and did not trust, the ambition of Meghan." William reportedly told Harry to "take all the time you need." However, Harry proposed to Meghan shortly after, and the couple was married in May 2018. "Harry had found a woman who awakened his sense of purpose," reads Finding Freedom. "They shared the deeper values that are the backbone of a marriage, including the importance of giving back to those less fortunate and being conscientious stewards of the environment."
At first, Meghan helped improve Harry's relationship with his father, King Charles, who even walked her down the aisle. However, with his brother, things intensified. According to Finding Freedom, Harry's "friends," said, "Perhaps he [William] just didn't want to accept that Harry had grown up and become his own man… Harry didn't care what his family thought or said. Nothing was going to get in the way of his happiness."
When Harry and Meghan opted to make their dramatic "Megxit" from the United Kingdom and began their attack on the Royal Family, the relationship between them blew up. "Nearly three years on from Megxit, whether Harry is finding happiness in his freedom remains to be seen," writes Rose. "Cut off from his friends, estranged from most of his family and 5,000 miles from home, there has been endless sound and fury from Montecito, with plenty more apparently still to come. In spite of what the Queen once hoped for her grandson, living in paradise seems to bring him precious little peace."