The interview, conducted during the couple’s tour of Africa in 2019, came against the backdrop of her fraught relationship with her family and a legal case against Associated Newspapers, rumours of a rift between the Sussexes and the Cambridges, and relentless criticism for everything from the couple’s travel arrangements, Archie’s babyshower and even the colour of Markle’s nail polish.
News the couple were planning a departure from the UK was published in The Sun in January 2020. Harry and Meghan confirmed it shortly afterwards via a new website, suggesting they planned to take on a “progressive new role” within the monarchy.
Much was reportedly discussed – including funding and security for the couple – and that “megxit” would be subject to a 12-month review.
A statement released by the Queen read: “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
On March 31 last year, they completed their final official engagements before leaving for a new life across the pond.
Prince Harry and his family then departed, flying to their short-term base in Canada before moving to sunnier climes in California.
From stepping back as senior royals to a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey to new jobs within mental health start-ups – here’s a look at a busy year for Harry and Meghan ahead of the anniversary of their last official engagements.
Here’s how it all unfolded:
March 31 2020
Harry and Meghan officially step down as senior royals and take part in their final engagements.
Details of the couple’s new foundation, called Archewell after their son, emerge. It would replace their Sussex Royal brand. It comes days after Disney releases Elephant, a nature show about the creature, which is voiced by Markle.
Later that month, the Sussexes announce they will no longer co-operate with some of the British media suggesting that “salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue” of the tabloids.
Details emerge of the duchess’s privacy claim against Associated Newspapers via court documents. It is suggested Meghan warned her father Thomas via text message that contacting the press would “backfire.”
Details emerge of a book about the Sussexes, written by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, called Finding Freedom. The authors say it is an “accurate version” of the couple’s relationship and departure from the UK.
Meghan claims she was “unprotected by the institution” of the British monarchy when stories emerged about her in the media and she was “prohibited from defending herself”, in leaked court documents. The Sussex Royal Foundation is closed as the couple launch legal action against an unnamed individual who allegedly tried to use a drone to take pictures of Archie.
Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand is released and the Sussexes deny co-operating with the authors as Meghan’s privacy case continues.
The couple sign a major deal with Netflix thought to be worth millions.
Netflix said the couple would produce “content that informs but also gives hope.”
Meanwhile, the duke pays back the £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage where the couple lived before they left the UK. A spokesman confirms the couple were able to do so thanks to the Netflix deal.
The couple launch their website for their charitable organisation Archewell. They speak to the Standard about racism in the UK to mark Black History Month.
Harry tells of racial awakening as he celebrates Black History Month with Meghan
In a candid exclusive interview, Prince Harry also spoke powerfully of how the UK can be made a better country by white people understanding more about life for those “of a different coloured skin”.
Harry, 36, who is sixth in line to the throne, described his own “awakening” to the lack of opportunities for people from the BAME communities since he met his bi-racial wife. The duke said: “Because I wasn’t aware of so many of the issues and so many of the problems within the UK and also globally as well. I thought I did but I didn’t.”
In an article in the New York Times, Meghan reveals she had a miscarriage in July and experienced an “almost unbearable grief.” She said her husband was left holding the “shattered pieces” of her heart.
The duchess is widely praised for her honesty.
Meghan and Harry sign a multi-year deal with audio streaming service Spotify, thought to be worth millions.
The Duchess of Sussex wins her high court privacy case after a two-year legal battle.
A judge granted a summary judgment in Meghan’s favour over the Mail on Sunday’s publication of a “personal and private” handwritten letter from her to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
In a statement, Meghan said: “After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices.
“These tactics – and those of their sister publications Mail Online and the Daily Mail – are not new … For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.
“The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What the Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite. We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.
“But, for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won.”
Megxit is confirmed as permanent, with the couple stripped of their patronages.
In a statement, the couple say they have “offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role”, adding “service is universal”.
The duke said the “toxic” atmosphere created for the couple by the British press forced the family to leave the UK.
In an, host of the US talk show The Late Late Show, he also discusses Archie’s first word, catching up with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh via Zoom and how he doesn’t mind Netflix show The Crown as it is “fictional.”
Harry insisted that he will “never walk away” from the royal family and he did “what any husband or father would do” by emigrating to America.
Meghan also made a small appearance in the interview, which was filmed as Harry toured LA in a double-decker bus with Corden.
Speaking about how the couple got together, Harry revealed how dating for any member of the Royal family is “flipped upside”.
He told Corden that early dates take place at home and only when they are a couple do they venture out in the couple.
A preview clip of the “tell all” Oprah interview is released, showing” was that “history would repeat itself” in a reference to the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
Harry and Meghan Oprah interview trailer: Duke of Sussex opens up about Diana’s death
The paper reports the complaint, which dated back to October 2018, was made by Jason Knauf, then the Sussexes’ communications secretary. It claims Meghan had allegedly driven two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third.
Buckingham Palace announces its HR team will investigate.
Meghan Markle Oprah interview: ‘a lot has been lost already’
Oprah asks the duchess how she feels knowing the family will be hearing her speaking out.
“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent when there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Meghan says in the clip.
“And if that comes with risk of losing things … there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”
Winfrey revealed she first approached the duchess for an interview a few months before her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 – which the US chat show host attended. However, Meghan said she was unable to accept. “That wasn’t my choice to make,” she said.
The interview was finally aired – unleashing a dramatic set of bombshell revelations.
Among the most shocking included Meghan’s suicidal thoughts and accusations that the royal family is racist and Archie was not given title due to his race.
The full extent of Harry’s fractured relationship with his father, the Prince of Wales, was also detailed as was a rift between him and his brother William.
It was also revealed that baby Sussex was a girl.
The Standard covered the interview extensively. To check our coverage,
Meghan’s father Thomas Markle speaks with Good Morning Britain.
He said he was “upset” upon hearing about her suicidal thoughts, and said he hoped a racist comment said to have been made about what his grandson’s skin tone might be like was “just a dumb question.”
Markle also said he thinks the couple live around 70 miles from him now since their relocation to the US, and added he is “available any time” to meet them and see Archie – who is almost two – in person for the first time.
That day it is revealed 11 million watched the ITV broadcast of the interview – which took place a day after its airing in the US.
That evening, Buckingham Palace respond to the interview on behalf of the Queen.
It read: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning.
“While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
A close friend of the Duchess of Sussex said the couple are “feeling free” following their explosive interview.
Actress Janina Gavankar, a friend of Meghan for some 17 years, said she spoke to the pair regularly and that they now planned to turn their focus towards the environmental and humanitarian work they had bonded over initially.
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, she said: “I think they are feeling free. It is nice to see them feel free.”
Later that day, The Duke of Cambridge defended the monarchy against accusations of racism, saying: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
William made the comment during his first public appearance since the interview – at a tour of School21 in Stratford, east London.
Buckingham Palace instructs an external law firm to assist with its investigation into bullying allegations made against the Duchess of Sussex.
Royal aides announced in early March that past and present employees of Meghan and Harry would be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences.
Reports suggest an outside legal company will help Buckingham Palace’s human resources team examine the allegations.
Allegations emerged in the Times shortly before the interview that Meghan drove out two personal assistants and staff were “humiliated” on several occasions.
US breakfast show host Gayle King, a friend of Meghan, said initial talks between the couple and the royal family were “not productive”.
She revealed she had spoken to Harry and he had spoken to his father, the Prince of Wales, and brother the Duke of Cambridge.
She claimed no-one had yet spoken to Meghan.
King suggested that despite the conversations not bearing fruit, the Sussexes were “glad” dialogue had started and the couple wanted “healing” within the royal family.
Meanwhile, former US first lady Michelle Obama said it was not a “complete surprise” to hear Meghan bring up the topic of racism in the interview.
Reports emerge that Buckingham Palace is considering hiring a diversity chief as “more needs to be done” to address the issue.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirm they are replacing the executive director of their Archewell Foundation – who had been in the role for a year.
James Holt, the couple’s UK spokesman, was announced as the new holder of the key post.
Mr Holt is taking over from Catherine St-Laurent, who started as the Foundation’s first executive director in April 2020, having previously worked at Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures.
The Duke of Sussex says he is “really excited” to be taking a new role at US professional coaching and mental health firm BetterUp.
The company confirmed on Tuesday that Harry has been appointed chief impact officer.
Founded in 2013, BetterUp provides mobile-based professional coaching, counselling and mentorship.
The Duke of Sussex lands another new position – at a US think tank looking into misinformation and disinformation in the media.
Harry, announcing he is to join the Aspen Institute’s new Commission on Information Disorder, voiced his concerns over an “avalanche of misinformation” caused by digital media.
What is likely on between Israel and Palestine and why?
A lot more than 70 individuals in Gaza and seven folks in Israel have been killed given that battling started on Monday.
Hamas militants launched dozens of rockets at Israel once more on Thursday, a working day after Israeli air strikes killed senior commanders and ruined a multi-storey constructing in Gaza.
In this article we just take a glance at why tensions have attained boiling point nevertheless again.
Why have the tensions escalated now amongst Israel and Palestine?
The the latest protests have been sparked partly mainly because of an imminent ruling on six Palestinian families who are dealing with eviction from their neighbourhood in Sheikh Jarrah.
The lawsuit is connected to Israeli settlers and the protesters see it as component of an effort and hard work to get them out of East Jerusalem, primary to violent road clashes.
There have been more Palestinian protests at Damascus Gate in the Outdated Town immediately after Israeli law enforcement place up obstacles – this was inflamed by ultra-nationalist Israelis marching close by.
Why is the time of calendar year considerable?
In excess of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which commenced this year on April 12,established a limit of 10,000 persons collecting for prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque.
It led to tens of countless numbers of Muslims remaining turned absent from the mosque, a go condemned by both of those reasonable Israelis and Palestinians.
Ramadan has coincided with essential days for Israelis also, such as Jerusalem Day – a working day when largely ideal-wing Israelis rejoice the conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967.
This is typically marked with a provocative flag parade marching via the Aged Metropolis, like its Muslim quarter.
What is the political situation?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is below force following a latest election, with his rivals attempting to type a new governing administration.
Also, there is a huge amount of money of division in Palestinian politics at the minute, with Hamas controlling Gaza, when Fatah controls the West Financial institution. Recent elections had been postponed.
Palestinians have also felt marginalised just after the US brokered the Abraham Accords, which normalised relations in between Israel and countries which includes the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
What started out the most current violence on Monday?
Israeli law enforcement launched assaults on hundreds of Palestinians in the compound of the Al-Aqsa mosque, leaving a lot more than 300 persons injured.
The web-site of the mosque is sacred to Jews and Muslims.
Israeli law enforcement blocked buses of Muslims from moving into the Al-Aqsa compound and also used tear fuel and stun grenades inside the mosque, prompting widespread Palestinian condemnation.
The UN explained the assaults as “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate”.
Hamas fired rockets at all-around 6pm local time on Monday, in what it claimed was retaliation for Israeli actions in the Al-Aqsa compound.
They targeted Israeli communities bordering Gaza and even attained the suburbs of Jerusalem, sparking a retaliation from Israel which introduced multiple airstrikes in return.
Critics of Hamas have mentioned their rocket launches had been a “political ploy” to placement themselves as chief over rival Palestinian celebration Fatah.
Regardless, rockets proceed to be fired from Gaza to Israel, even though the Israeli Air Power has carried out numerous airstrikes in return.
Dozens of civilians, like ladies and youngsters, have been killed in the violence.
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