Meghan Markle’s childhood friend have reportedly said they’re not surprised the Duchess has “cut and run”.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on Instagram on Wednesday that they plan to step back from their roles as “senior” royals and become “financially independent”. The couple said they plan to balance their time between the UK and North America.
But this has led to a backlash with 71 per cent of people believing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wrong not to tell The Queen of their decision before the announcement, according to a Daily Mail poll.
While the news has shocked the British public, friends who knew the Duchess say the move is typical of Meghan’s behaviour and they believe the decision was instigated by her.
An old friend told the Daily Mail: “I saw this coming – it was just a matter of time.
“With Meghan, it has always been her way or the highway. She is always the centre of the relationship, regardless of Harry’s title.
“She wants to be in the limelight, but under her own terms.
“Now she will get to make her own rules. It’s perfect for her. Meghan likes to flee when things get heavy and observe from afar what she has done.
“I’m sure she wanted to get back to her inner circle (in Canada), her new creative team who are behind these plans.
“She has been able to move fast because this has been planned for months. She is running a campaign. This is not just an exit. It is a long-game strategy that has been set in motion for some time.”
The couple have complained of intrusive media coverage and Prince Harry is said to have claimed his mental health would be at risk if he did not quit the Royal Family.
But other friends have defended the Duchess. Sonia Ardakani, the mother of Meghan’s closest school friend who became like a surrogate aunt, told the Mail: “In a way, I am surprised she has chosen to do this, but we know how independent Meghan is.
“She deals with business in her own way, and I guess the Queen didn’t allow her to do that.
“Then there is all the attention she is getting. She might have been an actress, but nothing can have prepared her for that. Life seems to have become miserable for her and Harry, and they will remember what happened to Diana.
“Something must have gone very wrong for her to give all this up. But this is what they have decided, and we have to respect it.”
The Royal Family is in talks to decide on the couple’s future role, with the Queen taking personal control of the discussion.
The 93-year-old monarch was said to be disappointed by the bombshell announcement and it is believed she instructed senior courtiers to find “opportunity out of crisis”.
Meanwhile, Meghan has returned to Canada, where she and Harry spent Christmas with their son Archie.
Harry has stayed behind in the UK to deal with the fallout. A source said Charles believes the Duke of Sussex is at “tipping point”.