Being a royal is no easy task.
Adhering to strict protocol is part of it. From the meticulous dress code to a specific way to address the public, royals are held to an incredibly high standard and are expected to follow the rules to a T.
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made the announcement that they would be stepping back as “senior” members of the royal family, the world was left shocked — and the astonishment continues.
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Here are some of Meghan and Harry’s candid quotes on being a part of the royal family:
Meghan opens up about royal pressures
In the landmark ITV documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” Meghan opened up about the onslaught of media attention she received upon becoming a royal.
“I have said for a long time to H, that’s what I call [Harry], ‘It’s not enough to just survive something,’” said Markle. “‘That’s not the point of life. You have to thrive. You have got to feel happy.’ I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper life.’ I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
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Meghan also addressed the media scrutiny she has received and noted that she “thought it would be fair.”
“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair. And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile,” she stated.
“If things were fair … If I’d done something wrong, I’d be the first one to go ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I would never do that,’ ” she further went on. “But when people are saying things that are just untrue and they are being told they’re untrue but they’re allowed to still say them — I don’t know anybody in the world who would feel like that’s okay.”
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Prince Harry gets honest about being a royal
In a 2012 interview with CBS, Harry opened up about being a royal and went as far as to say, “I’m definitely not a diplomat.”
Harry also lamented on his childhood and being generally disinterested, particularly during dinner conversations.
“Dinner conversations was the worst bit about being a child and listening — listening to the boring people around me. Well, you can imagine the kind of dinner parties I had to go to at a young age … Pretty dull,” he said.
Though Harry has wished to be “normal” at times, he said he realizes the weight he carries as a royal and what he must do to help others in need.
“There’s a lot of times that both myself and my brother [Prince William] wish obviously that we were just, you know, completely normal. But, you know, we’ve been born into this position. And then therefore, we’ll do what we need to do to make a difference to the people and to kids that need it, you know?” Harry said when asked about the royal’s charitable efforts.
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Meghan on Queen Elizabeth
In their first interview together from BBC, the Duchess of Sussex opened up about what it was like to meet Queen Elizabeth and had nothing but resounding praise for the queen.
“It’s incredible, I think, you know, a) to be able to meet her through [Harry’s] lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother,” Meghan said.
“All of those layers have been so important for me so that when I met her I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her. And… she’s, she’s an incredible woman,” she continued.
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Meghan talks Princess Diana
When Prince Harry proposed to Meghan, he proposed to the now-Duchess with a ring that once belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
In the same BBC interview, Meghan opened up about Diana and what it meant to receive such a valuable keepsake.
“I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness … and the inclusion of that and obviously not being able to meet his mom it’s so important to me to, to know that she’s a part of this with us,” Meghan stated.
“And I think in being able to meet his aunts and, and also like Julia and just different people who were so important to his mom, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. And it’s, it’s incredibly special. And you know to be able to have this – which sort of links where you come from and Botswana, which is important to us – it’s perfect.
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Prince Harry on Diana’s passing
Speaking on his mother’s passing, Harry foreshadowed his future when he noted that he “didn’t want to be in the position [he] was in,” though he followed up with a more positive outlook afterward, in a separate interview.
“My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh,” he told Newsweek.
“I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”
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In another case of foreshadowing, Harry spoke on how his mom encouraged him to do anything he put his mind to.
“It’s something my mother believed in: If you are in a position of privilege, if you can put your name to something that you genuinely believe in, you can smash any stigma you want, and you can encourage anybody to do anything.”