Prince Harry Is Reportedly 'Suffering' After Chaotic 'Megxit'

In the weeks after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's infamous "Megxit" from the royal family, Harry is reportedly feeling the pressures of his monumental decision. Harry and Meghan announced that they wanted to step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family in January 2020. Though they have the queen's support, public backlash against the couple has been significant — and it hasn't been easy on the prince.

Harry and Meghan's transition to a more independent lifestyle got off to a rocky start, to say the least. The couple was reportedly hoping to make the change more slowly, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were pressured into breaking the news early when tabloid reporters caught wind of their intentions. Buckingham Palace and the queen then made follow-up statements confirming the news.

A flurry of press followed, and all that negative attention is exactly what Harry and Meghan were trying to get away from. According to new reports, Harry has "suffered a lot" due to all the recent tension. Let's take a closer look at this delicate situation.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had good reasons for Megxit

An ABC News special titled Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown explores Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step away from their royal duties. Featuring royal experts and correspondents, the documentary talks about what led to Megxit and what may come next for the Sussexes. The special "mainly involves informed speculation about what led up to the decision, and what might happen next," reported The Cut. "The consensus is that Harry has long-desired to live a less royal life, but needed a push, which Meghan gave him." 

In fact, Harry may have foreshadowed his dramatic decision in a 2019 ITV documentary. "I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect," he said in that special. He added, "I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum." His mother, Princess Diana, died in a car accident in 1997, while being hounded by paparazzi.

Shortly after Meghan began dating Harry, she, too, was subject to a constant swarm of paparazzi and harsh press. The British tabloids printed articles about her that were often vicious and racist in tone. In 2016, Harry even made a rare statement imploring the press to stop. According to the ABC News documentary, Meghan's treatment by the media was notably different than her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton's treatment by the tabloids. The media often pitted the two against each other.

Prince Harry is 'suffering' amid the transition

Perhaps in time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will achieve the more peaceful, independent life they so desperately want — a life where they're not being skewered by the media for their every move. In the meantime, they continue to be plagued by negative press. In a way, the scrutiny Prince Harry has been subject to has been even more intense than before. Some royal fans and commentators have accused the prince of "betraying" his family, claiming the royals are deeply upset over this turn of events. One supposed insider told The Sun that Harry and Meghan's decision amounted to a "declaration of war on the family."

A close friend of Harry's, polo player Nacho Figueras, participated in the ABC News documentary about Megxit. he said the whole process has been really tough on Harry. "He has suffered a lot from all of the things that have happened to him. He suffers a lot from people judging him." Figueras said. "He's being a father ... a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes." Figueras said Harry "has become an incredible man, a man that his mother would be proud of."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have the queen's support

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have relocated to Canada with their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and they have already resumed work both in the U.K. and Canada. Now that they're financially self-sufficient and will no longer receive royal funds, they've also trademarked the "Sussex Royal" brand. In short, the Sussexes seem all set to start their new lives as an independent working couple.

Despite speculation that Harry has deeply disappointed his family, Queen Elizabeth made two public statements in January 2020 that adamantly supported the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The queen acknowledged "the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years" and insisted the royal family is "entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family." 

Harry and Meghan's departure from royal family life is clearly anything but simple, but here's hoping brighter days are on the way.