Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have the world’s attention, there’s no doubt about it. The couple became stratospherically famous after they announced their engagement, and even more so after their wildly popular royal wedding. And, of course, royal fans were delighted when Baby Archie was born in 2019, making Meghan and Harry parents for the first time (via USA Today).
However, what a lot of people didn’t know is that everything wasn’t peachy and perfect for Meghan and Harry behind the scenes. In fact, the pair was reportedly dealing with a lot of trouble and turmoil in their private lives, much of it due to family drama and a relentless cadre of tabloids, the latter of which can’t seem to give the couple a modicum of privacy (via The New York Times).
As a result, there have been a ton of myths circulated about Harry and Meghan, including gossip that’s actually quite damaging to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. To that end, we’re here to clear all of that up, once and for all. So without further ado, here are the myths about Harry and Meghan that you can finally stop believing.
Myth: Harry and Meghan aren’t a "Cinderella" story
Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met, he was known for being something of a royal "bad boy" (via Cosmopolitan). For example, he reportedly stripped down to his birthday suit in Las Vegas, toppled into a pool while partying, and got into a tussle with the press, to name a few incidents.
But after Harry and Meghan got together, it seemed as though he was calmer and more serene, tempered by their genuine love for one another. To that end, it seemed that the royal had left his rebellious days behind him, which the press was eager to note.
However, that wasn’t the narrative that Meghan was treated to — far from it. According to The Cut, the press was quick to frame Meghan’s experience as a Cinderella story: She was a beautiful commoner who was saved "from salaried employment, her family, and mid-level celebrity," swept away, and turned into a princess thanks to Harry’s love. Well, given that Meghan was a successful actress (hello, "Suits," you guys, which she had to give up) with a happy life, we’re quashing the Cinderella spin. Meghan didn’t need rescuing!
Myth: Meghan wasn’t royal enough for Harry
Indeed, Meghan Markle‘s narrative isn’t a Cinderella story, as she wasn’t somehow less important or valuable before she met Prince Harry. However, there were plenty of misguided haters who moaned and groaned that Meghan wasn’t royal enough for Harry. For example, the Daily Mail described her as a "glamorous brunette," "a departure from Prince Harry’s usual type," and "not in the society blonde style of previous girlfriends."
Fortunately, The Guardian picked up on the same thing that we did when they read between the lines: "What they are trying to say is that Markle, actor, global development ambassador and lifestyle blogger, is Black." The opinion column went on to argue that the Firm was displeased that Meghan was older than Harry, had filmed some steamy scenes in "Suits," and had a mother who wore her hair in dreadlocks.
So we’re officially setting the record straight: Absolutely none of those things make Meghan any less regal or worthy than her husband. In fact, we think that these things make her more interesting, as it’s part of the unique story that’s Meghan’s and Meghan’s alone.
Myth: Meghan Markle made Kate Middleton cry over wedding details
We get it. Planning for a wedding can be an arduous, stressful, and demanding endeavor. After all, there are a million details to consider, from the guest list to the cake to the venue and more, so it’s not unheard of for a few feathers to be ruffled along the way.
So when reports from tabloids such as The Sun emerged that Meghan Markle made Kate Middleton cry during a dress fitting for Princess Charlotte, it wasn’t insanely surprising. After all, Meghan was just about to marry Prince Harry and officially become a member of the royal family, so a lot was at stake.
However, what was surprising was the bombshell that Meghan dropped in her March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey. "The reverse happened," she explained (via People). "And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something. But she owned it, and she apologized and she brought me flowers and a note apologizing." Talk about a 180!
Myth: When Harry and Meghan got engaged, she was given royal lessons
After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged, everyone knew that her life was about to change drastically. After all, she had to give up her role on "Suits," move across the ocean, and settle in a new country (via The New York Times).
It stands to reason, then, that Meghan would have quite the learning curve in transitioning into royal life. So it wasn’t surprising when The Times reported that Meghan would spend time with Queen Elizabeth‘s assistant in something of a royal bootcamp, according to Harper’s Bazaar. "It will be six months of listening," an insider explained. "She is seeking out advice on a range of people. … It’s going to be a very busy office."
But that’s not what went down at all, as Meghan tells it. "There was no guidance," she revealed in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey (via E! News). "There’s no class on how to speak, cross your legs, how to be royal. That might exist for other members of the family, but that was not something that was offered to me." Instead, Harry and Meghan had to do it on their own.
Myth: Meghan and Harry lived in royal bliss after their wedding
Anyone who watched the royal wedding can tell you that when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said their I dos (at least, publicly, as Meghan said they’d actually gotten married in secret three days prior, as noted by NBC News – yes really), the couple looked completely in love. To this day, when we’re gifted with images of Harry and Meghan, they still look at each other like there’s no one else in the world. So yes, a happily-ever-after seemed imminent for the newlyweds.
However, that’s not at all how things went down, and it wasn’t because Meghan and Harry were fighting — far from it. According to The Cut, after the wedding was over and Meghan’s royal life began in earnest, she was subjected to malicious treatment. "The tabloids and even some palace insiders turned on the princess," the outlet shared. "She was harassed, stalked, criticized, her parenting skills impugned, her every move dissected — often with obvious racism." Yikes. It got so bad that Meghan started having suicidal thoughts.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Myth: Meghan and Harry turned down a royal photograph with Baby Archie
It’s something of a tradition for royal mothers to give a photo op with their newborns outside of the hospital, as Kate Middleton and Princess Diana have done. But Meghan Markle didn’t follow in those royal footsteps, according to a royal statement obtained by Reader’s Digest. "Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private," the statement read. "The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."
While the tabloids reported that Meghan was "uncomfortable" having her photo taken so soon after giving birth to Baby Archie (and who could blame her if she was!), that’s a total myth. According to Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, it went down differently. "We weren’t asked to take a picture," Meghan clarified (via Marie Claire). "That’s also part of the spin that was really damaging."
Myth: Harry and Meghan declined to give Baby Archie royal titles
After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son was born, the tabloids reported that the new parents declined giving their child any royal titles. "Harry and Meghan for their firstborn Archie didn’t want him to have a title," Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers told ITV’s "Lorraine" (via Express). "He could have been a ‘His Royal Highness’ … But Harry and Meghan are set to shun any sort of title."
However, during Meghan and Harry’s sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey in March of 2021, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that they actually wanted a title for Baby Archie — but weren’t given one. "They didn’t want him to be a prince," she explained (via People). "Which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security." She added that there were "also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born." Wow.
Given that all of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s children have titles, we have some feelings about this royal snub.
Myth: Harry and Meghan were eager to completely step back from royal life
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry went public with their intention to step back from the royal family and give up their roles as senior members, the tabloids went nuts, as noted by USA Today. Many of the papers placed the blame on Meghan’s shoulders, insinuating that she couldn’t handle royal life and that she was going to "flee." They even coined the term "Megxit," which certainly implies that it was Meghan’s decision to step back.
But we’re here to tell you that’s a total myth, which Meghan confirmed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. As she explained, other royals have changed their statuses in the past, and they just needed some air. "We weren’t reinventing the wheel here," she declared (via People). "We were saying, ‘Okay, this isn’t working for everyone. We’re in a lot of pain, they can’t provide us with the help that we need. We can just take a step back.’" Given what she said was going on behind the scenes, we totally understand.
Myth: When Harry and Meghan stepped back, they wanted to have it "both ways"
Another rumor that circulated when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from the royal family is that they expected to lose none of the perks of royal life, even though they wouldn’t be senior royals. "I do think they probably want all the benefits of being a royal," Angela Levin, a royal author, told Express. She added that Harry wanted to maintain his military and charity positions, "but as has been said a hundred times you can’t have it both ways."
While that wasn’t exactly the case, as Harry and Meghan did achieve financial independence and sever plenty of royal connections, the one thing that did blindside Harry was the loss of security detail. "I never thought that I would have my security removed, because I was born into this position," he confessed to Oprah Winfrey (via The Sun). "I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me." He added that this revelation totally altered their plans. Plus, how is that having it "both ways" when you’re the son of the heir to the British throne, which wasn’t a choice?
Myth: When Harry and Meghan stepped back, they ‘blindsided’ Queen Elizabeth
Speaking of being "blindsided," when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle told the public that they’d be stepping back from their roles as senior royals, tabloids like The Sun lambasted the pair, accusing them of "blindsiding" Queen Elizabeth. They painted a picture of a despondent queen and a livid Prince William.
Once again, Harry and Meghan set the record straight in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. "I’ve never blindsided my grandmother, I have too much respect for her," Harry proclaimed (via Reuters). And as for where the rumor started? "I’d hazard a guess that it probably could have come from within the institution."
Additionally, Harry tried hard to make sure both Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth understood his intentions. "I had three conversations with my grandmother, and two conversations with my father before he stopped taking my calls," he continued. At that point, Harry knew that his No. 1 priority was to protect his family, so he "took matters into [his] own hands." Respect.
Myth: Harry and Meghan had lucrative deals and tons of money lined up when they stepped back
One of the biggest perks about being a member of the royal family is thought to be the wealth that comes along with it. After all, Queen Elizabeth is worth a whopping $600 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and Prince Charles is worth $100 million.
It stands to reason, then, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had tons of money (relatively speaking) when they stepped back from the royal family and announced their intention to become financially independent. But during the duke and duchess’ interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry revealed that his father stopped supporting them in March of 2020. "[He] literally cut me off financially," the prince revealed (via the BBC). Fortunately, Harry inherited $13 million from his mother, Princess Diana, which is what enabled him and Meghan to move to the U.S. (via Page Six).
As for Meghan and Harry’s deals with Netflix and Spotify, they didn’t have those in place when they stepped back — those came to fruition later when a friend suggested they go that route. "I just needed enough money to pay for security to keep my family safe," Harry added (via Vanity Fair).
Myth: Prince Philip’s death was hastened by Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview
On April 9, 2021, Prince Philip died at the age of 99, as noted by CNN. The longtime husband of Queen Elizabeth had been struggling with health issues prior to his death, including problems with his heart and an infection. And while it’s tragic that Philip succumbed to his medical issues, 99 is an impressive run by any measure.
However, according to The Cut, some members of the press blamed Meghan Markle for hastening Philip’s death. Yes, really, they found a way to blame Meghan for that, too. "There are reports that he was enraged after the interview," commentator Brian Kilmeade claimed on an episode of "Fox and Friends." He added, "Here he is trying to recover and then he gets hit with that." Additionally, tabloids like the Daily Mail and The Sun pointed the finger at Meghan as well.
Of course, Meghan had nothing to do with Philip’s health problems or mortality. He died "peacefully" at a venerable age.
Myth: Meghan skipped Prince Philip’s funeral to avoid drama
Even though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live in California, when news broke that Prince Philip had died, of course they were impacted. Philip was Harry’s grandfather, after all, who stepped in to help raise Harry when his mother tragically died (via Town & Country).
To that end, Harry traveled to England to attend Philip’s funeral, but Meghan Markle didn’t accompany him. That led tabloids like the Daily Mail to report that Meghan skipped the memorial because she didn’t "want to be the center of attention" at such a solemn occasion.
Once again, that’s a myth that we’re happy to bust. The real reason Meghan stayed behind while Harry flew to England was due to her pregnancy. "The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel," a royal source explained (via Page Six). Can you imagine taking a 12-hour flight while far along in your pregnancy? We can’t either.
Myth: Harry and Meghan made bank with their Oprah interview
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for their explosive, tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, the whole world was watching. And the chat didn’t disappoint, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took that time to dispel rumors, speak their truth, and set the record straight. All in all, over 17 million people around the world watched the interview, as noted by The New York Times.
To that end, you might be tempted to think that CBS shelled out oodles of cash to Meghan and Harry for the interview, as that kind of viewership is sure to be lucrative for any outlet. However, that’s just one more rumor that has no basis in reality; according to the BBC, Harry and Meghan weren’t paid for their interview, despite the fact that it was so popular among fans. Sorry, haters. The pair makes their money in other ways.