Meghan, Harry ‘crushed’ by Megxit
A top royal expert has revealed how hurt Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were to leave the royal family.
"To say they were crushed is an understatement," Omid Scobie, Bazaar.com's royal editor at large and a journalist in Harry and Meghan's inner circle, said about the couple's exit from the British royal family, adding it was "unnecessarily cruel".
Scobie said, "Things might have been different if a family member or two had stood up for them during the darkest times."
Scobie says the couple had ultimately felt Megxit "wasn't necessary," but they were forced into it after being "left to fend for themselves against impossible circumstances - even during her pregnancy," as the British establishment turned its back on the couple.
Scobie also writes of Meghan's tears as they - "a couple very much hurting" - said goodbye to their team, plus Prince Harry's heartbreak at giving up his military honours, describing it as "a wound that will take time to heal."
Prince Harry served in the British Army for 10 years, completing two tours in Afghanistan and rising to the rank of captain before he founded the Invictus Games for wounded veterans.
Scobie writes in his moving account of Harry and Meghan's final days as senior royals, "To say they were crushed is an understatement. It's a decision that the couple still feel wasn't necessary, but also wasn't a surprise, given the lack of support they received as they were relentlessly attacked by sections of the British press with almost daily mistruths and hateful commentary.
"While recent tabloid coverage has made it seem like the Sussexes' half-in-half-out bid was about wanting it all, the reality was a couple who were left with no other choice but to create their own change after being left to fend for themselves against impossible circumstances - even during her pregnancy."
"They knew something had to change, but they also didn't want to stop supporting the queen. One can't help but wonder if things might have been different if a family member or two had stood up for them during the darkest times."
Scobie accompanied Prince Harry and Meghan during their final few royal engagements in the UK in the past few days, including their showstopping appearance at the Mountbatten Festival of Music.
"Harry's lifelong commitment is why Saturday's Mountbatten Festival of Music was a particularly difficult moment, wearing his Captain General of the Royal Marines uniform for the last time," Scobie wrote.
"Giving up his royal duties has resulted in his military honours coming to an end - a particularly tough pill to swallow and something that has been just as difficult for his wife to witness. It is, a source close to the couple tells me, a wound that will take time to heal for Harry."
Finally, after Meghan had made a heartfelt speech to celebrate International Women's Day at a school in East London, Scobie described the couple's final moment in Buckingham Palace's 1844 Room - a distinguished room where the royal family receives important visitors.
"The emotions finally set in as I give Meghan a goodbye hug. She's flying back to Canada on the last commercial flight of the day, eager to be back in Vancouver Island by the morning before Archie wakes up."
"For a couple who only ever wanted to focus on their work and bring good to the world, it seems like an unnecessarily cruel ending to their royal lives. Forced to give up roles they're incredibly proud of after sacrificing so much to get there."
Scobie describes how a defiantly smiling-to-the-end Meghan could finally shed some tears: "At this point, the 1844 Room is almost empty and tears that the Duchess had been bravely holding back are free to flow among familiar faces. As she embraces some of the loyal staff she will most likely not see again, I can't help but feel sad for the dedicated team members whose tireless efforts - to promote the couple's work, launch landmark projects, and deal with the near-daily crises brought on by tabloid lies - have come to an abrupt end.
"Getting on with the work has always been what it's been about for Harry and Meghan, but behind the smiles of the photos has been a vulnerable couple who are still very much hurting."
"While the weeks and months ahead will no doubt present new challenges for the Sussexes, the couple genuinely feel a sense of excitement about what's to come, which includes the freedom to work at a pace that suits them, no longer weighed down by protocol or threatened by toxic agendas."
"And while much has been (incorrectly) speculated about specific commercial endeavours they might be taking on, both Harry and Meghan are eager to get stuck into their work, which will still revolve around their humanitarian efforts and helping amplify the voices of young people around the world on a wide gamut of issues."
"The terrain may be a little different but their priorities are exactly the same as before," a well-placed source tells me. "Keeping the family, most importantly Archie, safe is what will make all of this worth it."
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission