It’s been two years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their royal exit in January 2020. In a statement on both their Instagram pages and website, Harry and Markle laid out their intentions to step down as senior members of the British royal family and to “work to become financially independent.” On March 31, 2020, their departure became official, and they agreed to a 12-month period of review that ended on March 31, 2021. However, as the couple neared the end, it became clear that they wouldn’t return to royal life.

While speaking with Entertainment Tonight, royal expert Katie Nicholl explained a return to the palace is highly unlikely because “the general consensus is that this ‘divorce’ has worked.” She added, “Meghan and Harry left the royal family to become independent, to become financially independent. They’ve absolutely achieved that this year. They can now look back a year on and probably celebrate their decision.”

Later, Markle and Prince Harry revealed details about the challenges they faced as part of the royal family that led to their decision to cut ties as working royals in a March 2021 interview with Oprah. This included the Palace’s unwillingness to protect her, Prince Harry, and their children from negative and often racist press coverage. “They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she explained. “But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

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