In the three months since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, the British tabloid press has been trying itself in knots trying to come up with new reasons why the couple might have made such a monumental decision.
This is ridiculous, of course, because the reasons are obvious, and they’re staring us right in the face.
Meghan was bullied by the British press in a far more egregious fashion than any previous royal.
And that’s really saying something, but the British press generally loves bullying royals.
Making matters worse was the fact that Meghan received little support from her regal in-laws, several of whom allegedly contributed to the pressure she felt to conform to royal standards.
As the Meghan vs. Kate Middleton feud worsened, and the royals distanced themselves from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the British press seemed to get the message that it was open season on Meg.
Piers Morgan attacked Ms. Markle in a manner that no other royal would be expected to tolerate.
Earlier this year, radio personality Eamonn Holmes launched an attack against Meghan in which he admitted to disliking the American WOC before he ever heard her speak.
"She’s playing the role of her life. I just find her incredibly irritating. I’ve never met her, but I look at her and think, ‘I don’t think I’d like you in real life,’" Holmes said.
"You’re just that awful, woke, weak, manipulative, spoilt," he added.
"They may be both somewhat damaged, but she’s a manipulator. She’s a controller."
In short, anyone looking for reasons why Harry and Meghan might have chosen to leave behind the UK and the casual bigotry Meghan was forced to endure on a daily basis needn’t look far.
It’s partially for this reason that the British press has dubbed the departure #Megxit.
But in focusing only on Meghan’s unhappiness, the coverage neglects an important part of this story — namely, that Harry was dissatisfied with royal life and was charting a new course for himself before he even met Meghan.
We don’t need to speculate about the possibility that Harry was planning an exit of his own long before he met Meghan.
He’s admitted as much on several occasions.
In fact, it seems his relationship with Meghan actually encouraged him to stay and give royal life another chance, possibly so that his new girlfriend wouldn’t be blamed for his premature retirement.
"I felt I wanted out," Harry told Angela Levin in a 2017 interview just months before after he stared dating Meghan.
"But then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself."
Royal expert Kristen Meinzner points out that Harry seemed to have decided against a life of royal service during his time in the military.
"Of course, critics are likely to say, ‘In 2017, Harry was dating Meghan, this is all Meghan’s doing," Meinzner told Insider this week.
"I disagree. Back in 2013, after completing a four-month tour of Afghanistan — and long before Meghan was in the picture — he was expressing the same sentiments."
Without a doubt, Meghan’s safety and happiness were at the forefront of Harry’s mind when he decided his time as a royal had run its course.
But it seems his late mother and young son also factored into the decision.
"I can only imagine how incredibly intrusive and difficult it must have been for all of them," a former royal chef says of William and Harry’s upbringing.
"So I can see why Harry would want to make things easier for his own son."
Meghan’s harassment may have been the immediate catalyst for the couple’s move to America.
But increasingly, it seems that Harry never planned to raise a child in the royal fishbowl — and he always intended to find freedom elsewhere.