Meghan and Harry Rushed Their Big Announcement Because the Tabloids Found Out

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in the process of figuring out their new roles. Then the British tabloids learned about it.

White-collar worker, Forehead, Smile, Event, Businessperson, Suit,
(Image credit: Chris Jackson)
  • As initially reported in The New York Times and The StandardPrince Harry and Meghan Markle were in the process of hashing out a proposal for their new potential setup.
  • Only after The Sun learned of the proposal and was going to release a story did the Sussexes release their announcement suddenly.
  • The Queen asked for the Royal Family to meet, and it's clear the family is not happy with the couple.

Ohhh, this makes so much more sense now! More details are emerging about exactly what happened between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the Royal Family in their shock announcement to step down as senior royals. And it is messy—even messier than I expected, guys.

So according to a couple sources, the drama started when Harry called Prince Charles over Christmas break to propose this new potential setup—the couple would give up some of their duties and in return would spend some of their time outside the U.K. and find ways to support themselves. Charles asked for a "written proposal" and the Queen explained that Harry would need his father's blessing before she would sign off.

Harry did apparently send an initial draft when the couple was in Vancouver over break last month and asked for a summit, which the Queen denied, saying Harry needed to discuss it more with his father. She forbade him from making a formal announcement at this stage. The family was scheduled to discuss the situation later in January.

Then, as initially reported in The New York Times,

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are also known, felt forced to disclose their plans prematurely after they learned that the Sun, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, got wind of the internal discussions about their status and was preparing a story, two people with ties to the family said."

If these reports are to be believed, Harry only told one member of the Royal Family about their plans to announce. He told William 10 minutes before the announcement (below).


For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.