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A Timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Drama With the Royal Family: Where They Stand Now

Tensions between Prince Harry and the royal family have escalated over the past few years — long before Harry released his book, Spare.

Things came to a head after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped down as senior royals in 2020, but there’s still a lot to unpack. From the couple relocating to California to Harry’s strained relationship with brother, Prince William, keep reading to see what happened. 

Harry and Meghan first gave their side of things during a tell-all interview on CBS in March 2021. “No, I never blindsided my grandmother [Queen Elizabeth II]. I have too much respect for her,” the U.K. native said, clarifying rumors that his and Meghan’s joint statement announcing their plans to step back from the royal family in January 2020 caught the late monarch by surprise. In February 2021, the couple confirmed their exit was permanent.

The Duke of Sussex noted their exit was “desperate” after having gone to “the institution” for help and not receiving any. 

“We never left the family,” Meghan clarified, explaining they only stepped back from their professional roles. “We were saying, ‘OK, if this isn’t working for everyone, we’re in a lot of pain, you can’t provide us with the help that we need, we can just take a step back. We can do it in a commonwealth country.’ We suggested New Zealand, South Africa.” 

Their desire to stay within the commonwealth prompted their initial move to Canada before things really went south, specifically between Harry and his father, King Charles III.

“When we were in Canada, I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father  — before he stopped taking my calls — and then [he] said, ‘Can you put this all in what your plan is?'” Harry revealed. “I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out.” 

However, Harry claimed Charles began ignoring his attempts to reach out because his son was already forced to take “matters into [his] own hands.” 

“It was like, ‘I need to do this for my family.’ This is not a surprise to anybody,” he explained. “It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s, as well, because I could see where this was headed.” 

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Keep scrolling for a full timeline of what happened between Harry and the royal family.

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