On the morning of October 13, Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle took a stroll through the Sandy Lane Yacht Club resort on Canouan Island, a small, 3.2-mile islet in the Caribbean known for its white sandy beaches and luxe lodgings. The pair were spotted by a passerby as they left a gourmet food store, but despite their stunning surroundings, their body language appeared tense as they made a clumsy attempt to hold hands during their walk.

According to a source, the tropical getaway was a make-or-break trip for Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, who have yet to find their footing in the U.S. since leaving their royal duties in Harry’s native England behind in 2020. The source tells In Touch that Meghan is especially stressed over their failed business dealings and financial worries — and it’s causing major friction at home. “The tension has been building,” says the source. “On the surface, Meghan and Harry seem to have it all: their Montecito mansion, two beautiful children and well-connected friends, but they’re realizing it’s not enough. And Meghan feels like she’s pulling all the weight.”

Rude Awakening

The former Suits star had big dreams when she and her prince relocated to California. Early on, they were wooed by popular streaming services and were signing multimillion-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify, not to mention Harry’s book deal. “Meghan and Harry thought things would keep going in that profitable direction indefinitely,” says the source. But in June — the same month it was confirmed Meghan’s podcast, “Archetypes,” would not be renewed for a second season — their partnership with Spotify abruptly ended.

Publicly, they were raked over the coals. Shortly after the Spotfiy announcement was made, United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer called Meghan “not a great audio talent, or necessarily any kind of talent,” while a Spotify exec called them “grifters.” Then in May, they were ridiculed for claiming they’d been involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with the paparazzi for more than two hours following an event in New York City. “Between the lost deals and all the media scrutiny, it’s been an uphill battle for Meghan and Harry,” notes the source.

Growing Resentment

Meghan blames Harry for their predicament, explains the source. It’s dawned on her that his work experience was mostly limited to shaking hands at royal events. “Harry never had a real career other than his royal duties and his time in the armed forces,” says the source. “While Meghan was used to working 14-hour days, six days a week on her TV series, Harry’s job was to show up, smile at people and make small talk.”

Prince Harry and Meghan
Karwai Tang/WireImage

As a result, the California native has been the driving force behind their brand. “Meghan’s the one working with agents and managers and studios because she knows how deals are made,” says the source. While Harry’s learned a lot from Meghan, “he still doesn’t totally get it.”

Watching her husband fail has been hard for Meghan. “Harry’s just not a take-charge kind of person. As a royal and a military man, he followed orders,” adds the source. “He still has people to do footwork for him. The real decision-making is done by Meghan.”

It’s not the fairy tale she envisioned when they wed in 2018. “Marrying a prince should be a dream come true. Meghan expected to be adored by all, but the reality of her situation has not been all pleasant,” notes the source. “She’s taken the brunt of the negative publicity, which bothers her. Little girls may look up to her as a real live princess, but no one else seems to.”

Under Pressure

Together they’ve become more guarded, mainly socializing with a small circle of A-list friends and local parents. “Harry and Meghan definitely wonder who their real friends are and who will respect their privacy and who will gossip about them. They can’t totally be themselves except when they’re alone.”

The parents of Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, were hoping to reconnect after some one-on-one time in the Caribbean. “They desperately needed this break from their responsibilities, the kids’ schedules and everything else going on in their lives,” says the source. “Of course, it didn’t solve all their problems,” the source adds, noting that money woes are weighing on them heavily. “There’s a very real threat that they could be facing a financial nightmare unless things start to change very soon.”

Fighting Back

They’re not giving up just yet. The source says Meghan and Harry didn’t “take kindly” to being labeled grifters back in June. “After that accusation, they held their heads high and will continue to do so,” says the source. “For them, it’s always a matter of quality over quantity. They feel they’ve put their heart and souls into their projects and have been working hard, and they’re not going to let some executive burst their bubble. They’re too good for that.”

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