How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Prepared for Their Royal Exit, According to a Biographer

It was well coordinated.

Meghan
(Image credit: Getty Images ¦ Chris Jackson)

When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry publicly announced that they were stepping down as senior royals in January 2020, they wrote in a statement, "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution."

Now, royal biographer Tom Bower is shedding light on what those "internal discussions" may have looked like in practice—on the Sussexes' side and the Windsors'.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent the last few weeks of 2019 on Vancouver Island in Canada with their baby son Archie, and according to Bower, they weren't just relaxing there.

"Located in the same time-zone as Los Angeles, Meghan was in constant communication with Andrew Meyer, her business manager, Rick Genow, her lawyer, and Keleigh Thomas Morgan and others at Sunshine Sachs, her PR agency," he writes in an excerpt of upcoming biography Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors (opens in new tab), published by The Times (opens in new tab).

"Top of the agenda were continuing negotiations with Netflix and Spotify, and the re-registration in Delaware on October 22, 2019, of Frim Fram Inc, the company behind her discontinued blog The Tig. Their new Archewell Foundation—meaning 'source of action'—had already been registered in Delaware."

Yeah, I mean, that all makes sense so far. If you were moving to a different continent and had to, like, start your life over, you'd probably need to know where your income would be coming from.

Bower also claims in his book that the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William were all basically clued into the situation, and prepared for the Sussexes' exit from their end as well.

"The Queen, after consulting Charles and William, took control. Convinced that Harry and Meghan would never resume normal life in Britain, the trio agreed that the monarchy’s future should be focused on reinvigorating Brand Cambridge," Bower writes.

The author goes on to claim that all of this behind-the-scenes planning became visible during the Queen's Christmas broadcast in 2019. "As Harry watched his grandmother from Vancouver, he was staggered," he writes.

"Four silver-framed family photographs had been carefully placed behind her. They showed the Queen’s father George VI, Prince Philip, Charles and Camilla, and finally William and his family. To Harry’s fury, there was no photograph of himself, Meghan and Archie. The Windsors were airbrushing the Sussexes from history."

It's not the first time a royal expert has claimed that Prince Harry was hurt by the Queen's decision: Christopher Andersen said something to that effect in December 2021, too.

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Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.