Royal life has its perks—money, palaces, corgies—but as anyone who’s seen The Crown can attest, it also comes with more than its fair share of downsides. Ther are the rigid procedures that must be followed despite their medieval provenance and the constant media attention that follows the royal family around.
While Meghan Markle certainly had an idea of what awaited her when she married Prince Harry, a new report suggests that realizing what life would be like for her son Archie contributed to the couple’s decision to “step back” from their royal duties and split time between the U.K. and Canada.
According to TMZ, Meghan underestimated how little control over day-to-day media coverage she’d have. A recent Buzzfeed piece shows just how dreadfully she was treated by the press, and it can’t be easy to be savaged like that over and over again, particularly when there’s likely a racial double standard at play.
But it was the intensity of the pressure to violate Archie’s privacy that ultimately pushed Harry and Meghan to upend their lives.
Harry’s brother William and his wife Kate Middleton have at least publicly been unbothered by the media attention their children receive, and they’ve been willing to live their lives in the open, to the delight of the British press.
TMZ’s source says that Meghan wanted Archie’s childhood to be more private, worrying as all parents do about their children’s privacy. She took steps like closing his Christening to the press that irked those who feel that the stupendous amount of public money that goes to the royals means that, at the very least, they should share details about their lives with the public.
In an effort to undercut that line of attack, Meghan and Harry will no longer accept public funds. They will also repay the cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage, their home in Windsor that was renovated with $3 million of taxpayer money last year.
“They think if the British public aren’t contributing financially then they don’t have the same right to comment on their private life,” the insider said.
We can only imagine the pressure on the couple to retain their royal titles and perform their duties for the public, and it’s pretty damn impressive that they said to hell with all that and acted in what they believe are the best interests of their son.
Unfortunately, the paparazzi have, at least for now, followed them into (semi-)private life. Meghan was photographed hiking on Vancouver Island, near their new residence with Archie in a carrier, a sign that the public’s continued thirst for information about their lives could mean it will be just as difficult to protect Archie’s privacy in Canada as it was in England.