English Citizens Shocked By Return of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to London

Markle and Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace with King Charles for the first time since Queens death

Markle and Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace with King Charles for the first time since Queen’s death

By Emily Sawyer and Trisha Vyas

Nearly two years after leaving the Royal family, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked English civilians by returning to London.

In January of 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they were leaving the Royal family and renouncing their titles as Senior members of the Royal family. The motivations for leaving carried various levels of severity, one of the worst being the harsh criticism of Meghan and Prince Harry’s pairing, as she was half-black, an American actress, a divorceé, and not a descendant of the royal family. This makes their reason for return all the more surprising: the Queen’s death. 

According to Harpar’s Bazaar, “As Meghan’s detractors see it, that a biracial, Black American celebrity divorcée who had the nerve to enter, and then worse, exit, the royal family (in spectacular fashion) is unacceptable.” 

One of many racially-motivated headlines about Markle from the Daily Mail in 2019, for example, was ““Is Meghan’s favourite snack fuelling drought and murder?” 

Markle also talked about, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, that there were comments concerning the skin tone of Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s first-born child Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. 

The aggressive and racially-motivated comments and headlines from the press, as well as the lack of assistance from the Royal family when it came to the scrutiny of Markle, prompted both of them to leave the Royal family. 

However, family is family, and the two decided that honoring the Queen’s reign was more important than facing backlash from the press. After over 70 years of rule, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign came to an end, after her passing on September 8, 2022. Prince Harry, being one of her grandsons, wanted to be with the rest of his family in this mournful time. Critics believe, however, that he and Markle will not be welcomed home with flowers.  

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams warned that the two will be entering a “lion’s den.” He pointed out that “you’ve got the public who are not supportive and you’ve got the press who are ferociously against them – and then you’ve also got the royal family where there’s a rift.”

YouGov pushed out a poll back in May regarding both Markle and Prince Harry’s approval ratings. Both dropped to an all-time low with Markle’s negative viewing of over 63%, and Harry being viewed negatively by nearly 47% of people. 

Needless to say, their time in England will not be smooth.

Civilians were also shocked by the alleged invitation extended by Prince William and Kate Middleton to an intimate sit-down dinner with the Prince and Markle. The brothers have been involved in an ongoing Royal feud for nearly 5 years now, and have not been “gathered together publicly since March 2020 for Commonwealth Day.” It is possible that the Queen’s death may have allowed the two to bury the hatchet and come together as a family once more.

Wayne Hills sophomore Cameron Hacker believes that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “are frauds and they should never have left the Royal family in the first place. That being said, I feel bad for the two and hope they can rekindle some broken relationships back home.” 

Contradictory to this, senior Sofia Wunej says that she “loves Meghan” and thinks that the Royal family “did her dirty. She is a strong and independent woman that does not need the Royal family to feel empowered. However, I think it is admirable that she is being the bigger person and returning out of respect to the Queen.”

Although many feel it was justified for the couple to leave back in 2020, some do not. However, in a crisis as large as this, it was enough to bring Meghan and Prince Harry back to the UK amongst the royal family to mourn and pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II: a sovereign of 70 years and the first British monarch to do so.