Experts Say Scrutiny Over Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Is Going to "Get Worse"

Last night on ABC News, "Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown" studied how, contrary to their hopes, scrutiny on them will likely increase.

In an ABC News special last night called "Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown," Harry's friends, alongside media and royal experts, weighed in on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back as senior royals—which entails their living more independently in Canada, making their own income, and possibly paying for their own security. But experts believe their desire to have more privacy might backfire on them.

"The idea that by somehow stepping back from the royal family they’re going to somehow regain control of their privacy is tragically a fool's errand," said managing partner of 10Ten Media and former People magazine editor Larry Hackett. "That’s just not going to happen. In fact it’s going to get worse."

"Every single moment in their lives, whether it's the first major commercial deal that Meghan and Harry have just struck, or their next child, every single moment will be tracked," explained James Longman, ABC News foreign correspondent. "This is high stakes."

The couple have already made it clear that they're no longer going to work with the royal rota system, which allows a small group of British royal reporters access to photos and stories that are then disseminated. Now, they hope to work with diverse publications, but it also means many more news sources could conceivably report on the couple and their son.

"I think that actually Harry and Meghan are going to get into more difficulties with paparazzi," said Anna Pasternak, British author of Princess in Love. "There'll be less of an organized structure around them every time they go to an event." She added, "We saw it with Harry’s mother."

Real talk: I'm not sure this isn't anything Harry and Meghan haven't already thought of. They're still pursuing ongoing litigation with British publications and have issued a warning about the use of paparazzi photos about them. They're smart, they're savvy, and they're doing all they can to have a normal life—while still understanding there'll be heightened interest for a while.

Longtime friend of Harry's, polo player Nacho Figueras, explained that Harry suffered a lot from royal scrutiny. "He's being a father...a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes," he said. "He has become an incredible man, a man that his mother would be proud of."

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

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.