Was Leaving Royal Life Best for Harry?


Gabrielle Thinnes, Staff Writer

     Prince Harry just released his tell-all memoir Spare last month. This book dives into his life, from growing up in The Royal Family to losing his mom to his decision in stepping back from the royal life. For those who are unaware, Prince Harry was a senior royal, being the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and the child of Prince Charles (who is now King Charles III). He had lived the typical royal life – carrying out royal duties, serving in the military, and being constantly harassed by the British media – up until he decided to leave the royal life at the beginning of 2020. Harry chose to step back from his royal duties for his wife, Meghan Markle.

     There are many opposing opinions on whether it was right for Harry to leave or not, but I’m here to explain why Harry was completely justified in stepping down as a senior member of the Royal Family. There are many reasons that justify Harry’s decision, but the largest and most prevalent reason for his leaving is the paparazzi. Throughout the majority of Harry and Meghan’s relationship, they were constantly harassed by the paparazzi. Harry’s fear of the paparazzi comes from the death of his mother, Princess Diana. She tragically died in 1997, when Harry was just 12 years old. Her death was the result of a car crash, which occurred solely because her car was being chased by the paparazzi. When Diana was alive, she was constantly harassed by the paparazzi, but when she died, this harassment fell on her two children – William and Harry. So, when Harry and Meghan met, he did everything to protect her from the paparazzi. They were able to keep their relationship under wraps for a few months, but it did eventually get leaked to the press. Once this occurred, Meghan became the new target of the British tabloids. This, however, was not the 90s anymore. It was the 2010s and the media was more vicious than ever. Harry, justifiably, carries much trauma when it comes to the paparazzi. Him moving out of Britain does not show a lack of care for his country, but a high level of care for his wife and children. 

     Many criticized Harry for not only leaving the royal family, but also England. Opposing viewpoints state that it was unjust for him to leave his duties as a senior royal, but what many do not know is that Queen Elizabeth spent two years living abroad. Between the years of 1949 and 1951, Queen Elizabeth and her beloved Prince Philip lived in Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. The couple moved there because Philip was a Royal Navy officer and he was stationed in Malta. This was, of course, before she became the queen. Following her father’s death in 1952, Queen Elizabeth became the Queen of England, forcing the couple to move back to England. Philip gladly gave up his military duties to support his wife when she became queen, which is exactly what Harry is doing. Queen Elizabeth II was the favorite member of the Royal Family. She was also the most liked British monarch in a very long time, so clearly her leaving England for some time did not stop her from becoming an excellent queen. Like his grandfather, Harry is giving up his royal life for his wife. When they were dating, Meghan gave up so much of her time and was constantly traveling to England when they two were dating because it was very hard for Harry to leave and get time off. For years, Meghan supported Harry and once they were publicly dating, Meghan was totally living in Harry’s world. Harry, being so tired of the tabloids harassing his wife, decided that it was his turn to do something for her. 

     Harry and Meghan were the dream couple. They seemingly had it all, but behind the scenes they were struggling. Just adjusting to royal life is hard enough for anyone, but especially for an American like Meghan. She made so many sacrifices for Harry, like giving up her very successful acting career, so he decided that it was time to make some sacrifices for her. Together, the two moved to a town just north of Los Angeles called Montecito. Harry is now living in Meghan’s world and the couple seems happier than ever. They seem to be thriving in California. They now have two children, Archie and Lilibet, and find happiness in raising chickens. Harry made a very difficult decision in 2020 when he chose his own family over the Royal Family, but it was clearly the right decision.