Prince Harry Stepped Down Due to Trauma From Princess Di's Death, Source Claims

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It's been 48 hours since we learned that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to step down from their roles as "senior members" of the royal family.

During that time, most of the media coverage has focused on Meghan's mental state and the role she played in the couple's decision to step away from the spotlight.

Markle and Prince Harry

After all, Harry has been a royal his entire life -- he must be used to living a fishbowl existence, right?

Add to that the fact that the British media has spent the past 18 months pushing the narrative that Meghan is unhappy as a royal, and it stands to reason that it's Markle who would take the blame for the couple's change in lifestyle.

But a new report from The Daily Mail reminds us that Harry has always found royal life to be an awkward fit, and he may have been the main force behind the Sussex's decision to distance themselves the demands of palace life.

Of course, Harry's disdain for the spotlight is not simply the result of a preference for privacy.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Wedding Day

The death of Princess of Diana left an indelible scar that continues to cause Harry pain 23 years later.

And those who know him best say that he still remembers being forced to walk behind her coffin on live television as one of the most galling and horrifying experiences of his life. 

Bryony Gordon is a journalist and friend of the Sussexes who visited the couple just weeks before their six-week sojourn in Canada, during which, they apparently made the decision to step away from royal life.

Gordon made some surprising observations about the couple during her time at Frogmore Cottage -- and she also offered them some surprising advice.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Get Fancy

"Prince Harry is still living out the trauma he experienced after his mother’s death," Gordon reported.

"He had spoken candidly of the panic attacks that he had long experienced whenever he appeared at a public engagement," she added.

"But if he thought then that he had beaten this mental torture, he now seemed to be realising that he had spoken too soon."

Obviously, these comments portray the couple's choice to abandon public life in a very different light -- and hopefully, they'll serve to shield Meghan from some of the criticism she's been forced to endure this week.

In Sydney

Of course, Gordon makes it clear that the decision was not made individually, but was instead reached jointly, as both Harry and Meghan had become frustrated with the limitations of their current positions.

Gordon recalls witnessing Meghan's frustration and offering what would prove to be groundbreaking advice:

"'Why don’t you just jack it all in?' I said to Meghan, after she had told me about the unexpected issues she had experienced in her new position: the loneliness; the sudden muting of her voice; the giving up of everything she knew for love, only to be, as she saw it, hounded and pilloried," she recalls.

We're gonna go ahead and assume that "jack it all in" is Brit slang for "give it all up."

Royally Great

If Gordon's portrayal of the couple is accurate, it seems Harry and Meghan had little choice but to step down for the sake of their mental health.

But that doesn't mean the decision will be without consequences.

One insider tells The Sun that Queen Elizabeth is feeling deeply wounded and is still expecting a proper explanation from Harry.

“It was a case of act now or lose control of something they had spent a long time working on,” a different source tells the tabloid.

That may be all the explanation Harry is able to offer.

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