For seven years, it was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle against the world. “They used to be inseparable. But this summer, things started to change,” says a source. While he was in London in June for his court case, she was reportedly attending parties back home in Montecito without him. By mid-August, he was gone again – this time for a charity polo match in Singapore, with a quick stop in Japan – while she caught a Taylor Swift concert in L.A. and celebrated a belated 42nd birthday over a meal with friends. “They seem to be spending more and more time apart. It’s not a good sign.”
Another troubling sign? She hasn’t been seen wearing the custom triple diamond engagement ring that Harry designed himself, sparking rampant speculation that after struggling with increasingly negative public opinion and failing business ventures, the Sussexes are headed for a split. “Meghan has claimed the ring is being repaired, but she’s been spotted on multiple occasions without it since May, and she has to know that not wearing it would cause divorce rumors to explode,” says a source. “Some people think she did it on purpose to send a subtle message to Harry that she’s not happy in the marriage.
It’s no secret that they’ve been having some growing pains.” It’s definitely been a rough year. Despite the massive success of his memoir, Spare, in January, the tide soon started to turn. In May, the pair were accused of exaggerating a run-in with the paparazzi in NYC, and the next month, they were labeled “grifters” by a Spotify exec after their multimillion-dollar deal with the streamer went belly-up. Experts complained they also had little to show for their $100 million Netflix collaboration. “Harry and Meghan have lost a lot of momentum and the goodwill they had in Hollywood, and their production company has even been called a ‘flop,’” notes the source. And though they continue to put up a united front publicly, “behind closed doors, the tension between them is insane. Meghan blames Harry for the mess they’re in, and they’re constantly fighting about money and failed projects.”
To that end, they’ve needed some time apart. “Harry’s time in Asia started a bit of a cooling-off period for the couple,” says the source, noting that he’s also planning another, longer trip to Africa later this year to shoot a Netflix docuseries – without Meghan. “There’s no doubt they’ve been living separate lives.” That’s bad news for Harry, who left his entire life behind in the U.K. for his soulmate. “All he really has is Meghan – it would be devastating to lose her, too,” says the source, adding that the prince, 38, is “desperate” to repair the damage. “He’s been begging her for a second chance to prove to her that this whole thing can work. She’s taking matters into her own hands and focusing on her Hollywood comeback.”
But that means pulling away from Harry even more. “She’s getting advice that it’s better to distance herself from him for the sake of revitalizing her career,” says the source. The former actress not only signed with Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel, but is also basking in renewed praise for her long-running role in the drama series Suits, which shattered records when it debuted on Netflix recently. “She’s completely rebranding herself and looking to become a global celebrity influencer,” adds the source, while Harry is still putting his efforts into the same charities he championed as a working member of the royal family. “It’s telling that their team cover story is focusing more on Meghan’s solo projects than on their endeavors as a duo. What happened to all this talk of unity and being a team?”
ONE BRIGHT SPOT
Harry isn’t completely on his own – he’s been leaning on a surprising ally. “Charles has reached out to offer his support,” says the source, adding that the king, 74, “never stopped loving and wanting the best for Harry despite their differences.” Charles is also in a unique position to offer advice. “No one knows how much pressure public scrutiny can put on a marriage better than Charles. It ruined his and Diana’s relationship and threatened what he has with Camilla as well, so he truly feels for what his son is going through. Their renewed communication might signal a true thawing in their relationship.”
If only the same could be said for Harry’s marriage. “Moving to California was supposed to be a fresh start, not the beginning of the end,” says the source. “Harry and Meghan still love each other very much, but they have a lot of regrets about how they’ve handled things since moving to California, and very different ideas about how to move forward. Friends of theirs are really worried about whether the two can survive these major bumps in the road.”
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