It’s been 16 months since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved to Los Angeles, and by all accounts, the Duke and Duchess are happier than ever.
Meghan welcomed the couple’s second child last month, and sources close to the family say all members are currently thriving.
While the members of the royal family might not wish Harry and Meghan any harm, in private moments, they’re probably quick to admit that this is not the outcome they had hoped for.
The Sussexes’ relocation to America was a public relations nightmare for the Windsor clan, and recent months have seen the royals’ standing in the international community take a sharp turn for the worse.
Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey may have received the most attention from the mainstream media, but far from being the declaration of war that some outlets described, it was actually the nail in the coffin for relations between the two warring factions.
No doubt the royals expected that they would be forced to do a little damage control following the interview.
But they probably had no idea that Meghan would go nuclear the way she did.
Many have wondered how the Queen and company could possibly recover from such a devastating blow, especially since it came at a time when many citizens of the UK are already of the opinion that the royals no longer serve a purpose.
So while it may sound strange for a family to root for one of their own to fail, at this point, the royals must be feeling that Harry and Meghan’s continued happiness is a threat to their existence.
And according to one royal expert, the feeling in Buckingham Palace is that Harry will eventually tire of his new life in SoCal and wind up longing to return to the UK.
"Harry and Meghan seem to think they can co-exist in these two worlds – the world of British royals and American celebrity," journalist and royal biographer Duncan Larcombe said in a recent interview with Closer magazine.
"Harry is loving the American life now – but he’s still in the honeymoon phase."
Larcombe went on to speculate that the recent unveiling of a Princess Di memorial statue might have prompted Harry to reconsider his decision to leave London behind.
"I think coming back and seeing his brother, especially against the very moving backdrop of a memorial for their mother, will maybe make him question what he’s given it all up for," he said.
But in that prediction, it appears that Larcombe was way off base.
Insiders say relations were tense between the brothers, just as they were at Prince Philip’s funeral.
On that occasion, William was reportedly heard referring to Meghan as "that bloody woman," a remark that probably didn’t sit well with Harry.
Any hopes the royals might have harbored of Harry having a change of heart should have been dashed by the father of two’s recent interview on Dax Shepard’s podcast.
Asked about the decision to leave his home country, Harry stated that he felt the move was necessary in order to ensure the safety of his wife and children.
"It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say ‘You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you,’" he told Shepard.
"It’s hard to do but for me it comes down to awareness," he added.
From there, Harry vowed not to make the same mistakes that his own father made:
"I never saw it, I never knew about it, and then suddenly I started to piece it together and go ‘OK, so this is where he [Prince Charles] went to school, this is what happened,’" he said.
"I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents, so that means he’s treated me the way he was treated… so how can I change that for my own kids?" Harry recalls asking himself.
"And here I am, I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first."
So the royals might be correct in their belief that Harry prefers London to Los Angeles.
But clearly, the man is devoted to protecting his family at all costs — which means he won’t be moving back to the UK anytime soon.