Estrangement: Prince Harry. Meghan Markle

Prince Harry Meghan MarklePrince Harry, Meghan Markle, estrangement

Prince Harry. Meghan Markle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Since the start of their issues with the royal family, parents of estranged adults have been writing to me about the couple, sharing their opinions, and wondering what I think. Can you blame them? The whole world has watched as the famous couple went from a fairy-tale romance to setting fire and steadily burning the family bridge.

In the emails I’ve received, some use the term “narcissist” for Markle and say that Harry is misguided and weak. Occasionally, someone throws in with their allegations of racism. Despite the obvious connection between this site’s focus and the topic of my books—estrangement between parents and adult children—I have resisted weighing in.

One reason for my hesitation to talk about the couple is my own probable bias. When the Oprah interview aired and the public buzz over their discord heated to a frenzy, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Phillip wasn’t well. I believe he was in the hospital, even, and I wondered how they must have felt, aging monarchs, already ensconced in a time of stress. Couldn’t the interview wait?

As I write about in my books, I frequently hear from parents whose adult children chose their most vulnerable times to attack and abandon them. When recovering from surgery, when a spouse or other family member dies, after a serious health diagnosis … or when some other devastating news come to light. It’s selfish, heartless, and cruel.

I haven’t followed the royal family all that closely, but history reveals Harry as a bit on the wild side, a partier, a soldier, and perhaps depressed. Markle was unknown to me (and perhaps much of the world) until she coupled with Prince Harry, the “spare.” Also, from what I saw of the stories circulated about the family with whom Markle is estranged, the coverage didn’t do them any favors. Parents of estranged adult children get enough negative judgment. No sense spotlighting what, from all the articles and interviews I happened to glimpse, looked like dysfunction. To be honest, I never read any of those reports through … but I didn’t want to give the newly minted Duchess any steam, against her own folks nor her in-laws.

However, at this point, one wonders:

  • How far will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle go to portray themselves as victims—while living a life of grandeur?
  • How can they reconcile expressing a need to escape the spotlight while continually directing everyone to look at them?
  • What are they hoping to achieve?

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, estrangement from the royal family:
What do you think?

I don’t have Netflix, didn’t watch the Oprah interview, and don’t plan to read the new memoir by Prince Harry, Spare. Have you followed this debacle? Many of you have urged me to open a discussion here. So, what do you think?

Many parents of estranged adults suffer disparaging remarks on social media at the hands of their disgruntled offspring, much like the royal family has. Until now, the royals have kept to the late Queen’s “never complain, never explain” ideal. Should they address the accusations leveled at them or continue to remain quiet? Should you?

What about the children involved? Some of my relationships with cousins have just been the best! How are they affected, in your family and within the royal one? What about other familial bonds?

Feel free to leave a comment, first name only, and share your thoughts. Compare your situations with that of the royal family, argue for, against, or around the behavior, and discuss with others how you feel. I trust that you will be civil and kind, but your passion is welcome. When possible, support your assertions with history or news links (but be patient … I try to review all links before posting, which does take time).

Hugs to all,

Sheri McGregor

Related reading

A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Behind the Crown My Life Photographing the Royal Family

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30 thoughts on “Estrangement: Prince Harry. Meghan Markle

  1. Maria A.

    Regardless of been born in a royal family or in a common family, it comes a time, as in Harry’s case, when parents have to face reality and accept that the problematic behavior of their adult child will never change no matter how far parents are willing to go to demonstrate how much they love and care, no matter how many times they’ll try to be patient and understanding, no matter how many humiliations they are willing to endure. It is all down to the adult child personality, to his/her deepest self that the person has since birth. As in my case, reconciliation can happen but it’s nothing to be joyful for: cold, distant, sporadic, superficial, unpredictable, uneasy, at times uncomfortable and worrisome relationship. The worst and sad thing is that trust is gone. Once gone it cannot be restored and what remains is a relationship between strangers. As in Harry’s case, unfortunately many families experience what parents should never experience: disloyalty, betrayal, lies from their own beloved adult child/children. You still want all the best for your adult child but, as in Harry’s similar case, you have to live with the irreversible fact that they are who they are and that living each other far apart and semi-estranged or estranged is the only possible reality and, if that weren’t enough, it becomes imperative that you protect yourself emotionally and practically from a relationship that you cannot trust. This is the sad reality that the British royal family faces now with Harry and has faced in the past with the “traitor King” the Duke of Winsor …… same reality for many common families as well.

    Reply
  2. Trish

    I understand that M&H gave up a set of supportive parents and a set of supportive grandparents, that’s a lot as far as I can see. Now they have 1 biological grandmother, that’s it. Gosh, my parents were very far from perfect but I wanted my children to have a community/extended family to love them, and learn from people who weren’t like us. I do not ever see King Charles or the royal family ever reconnecting and I don’t ever see us ever reconnecting with our estranged adult child ever. The pain, humiliation, shame and the death of relationship with our adult child and his/her family was so uncalled for. I cannot even imagine welcoming them back in after breaking our hearts so severely. I do pray for their good health but karma is another factor I have no control over.

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  3. Annemarie M.

    Attention seeking, spoiled and insensitive. My thoughts on Harry and Meghan. If they were truly seeking a life outside royalty, if they were humble and kind, I could respect their choice. They stayed in the home, then hung out dirty laundry for the world to see. I see their intentions as self seeking,not restorative. Harry will regret it one day.

    Reply
  4. Tovah

    I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Phil but he said something many years ago that I have always remembered and felt was perfectly accurate:
    People do what works for them.

    Reply
  5. Carrie-Ann

    Reply To: Barbara – January 22, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    You Are Very Welcome Barbara…

    It is an Honor & a Privilege To Be Part Of This Beautiful Healing On-Line Community…Take Care…

    May All Be Blessed In Body, Mind, & Spirit…

    In Gratitude & Respect,
    Carrie-Ann

    Reply
  6. Yellow Rose

    I don’t know what the truth is, but so much of the accusations remind me of stories from other estranged parents on here. The need to be a victim and the distortion of easily checked facts. And yes, maybe even a highly paid, sensationalist ghost writer who helps craft the story. If one wants privacy from the press, it seems odd to me to air the dirty laundry like this. I see this as typical of our day and age. I don’t care about the Royal Family except to say I have great empathy for all of them, actually. Family conflict is painful. We don’t need to argue amongst ourselves on the matter, do we? It’s just sad and hits home for all of us in my opinion.

    Reply
    1. Carrie-Ann

      Reply to Yellow Rose’s Post on January 21, 2023 at 6:15 pm
      You say, “We don’t need to argue amongst ourselves on the matter, do we?”…

      My previous posting was not “arguing”…It stated that the few that did share their thoughts, did not need to be accused of estrangement bias.

      I am now posting a reply to say that we also do not need the implication that we are “arguing” amongst ourselves. Beautiful Sheri provided a forum in which we could express viewpoints…Staying in One’s own lane is what is needed…

    2. Yellow Rose

      Ah, Carrie Ann, I am sorry you took what I said personally as I did not mean it personally towards you or anyone else. I am sorry what I said was insulting to you. The topic of the Royal Family Estrangement is being punted around various estranged parents forums and there are definitely no agreement. Take care dear one and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    3. Carrie-Ann

      Reply To Yellow Rose/January 22, 2023 at 8:54 am

      Dearest Yellow Rose,

      Thank You Ever-So-Kindly for clarifying…
      I did not take your words personally, nor was I insulted…I was just saying that each has a right to their viewpoint…

      In Gratitude & Respect,
      Carrie-Ann

  7. Carrie-Ann

    So much that could be said…With that said, I can only say the following:

    To be told by “Kona4” and “Elizabeth,” that those of us in this Beloved Healing On-Line Community, should not judge, and that we are judging through the eyes of estrangement experiences, without having read the book, and that H & M are NOT THAT…

    Not only myself…but all others in this community…have not only the ability, but have the freedom and right to make up our own minds…We also have the choice to NOT BUY negative, destructive, hateful, money-grabbing untruths or books that are making millions for the entitled, untrustworthy, attention & money grabbing hungry trouble-makers…

    With all due respect, I urge both “Kona4 and Elizabeth” to check themselves in the mirror of “self-reflection”…They may find that they are making these conclusions about the “truths of the book” and “judgements about those that do not “buy” into those conclusions & judgements from their own biased pity-colored glasses…

    To accuse estranged parents who love their estranged ADULT children, of looking through a “biased” and limited” lens…is Heartless, and Self-Serving…

    In conclusion, they may be letting their displaced empathy/pity drive their car right off the cliff…All the while “poor little H & M cry themselves to the bank for the millions being made…plotting their next money-grab.”

    Reply
    1. Lisa R.

      Carrie-Ann,

      Amen. I could not have said it better myself.
      Thank you for articulating so clearly what I, and I suspect many others on this list, are feeing.

      Sending love, hugs, and peace to all,
      Lisa R.

    2. Kona4

      Accusing those who can see things from Harry’s perspective as being heartless and self-serving is a rather big stretch.

      Spare is not a hateful or destructive book. Those who have actually read it will tell you that.

      It is rather disappointing that Elizabeth and I would be attacked for having an obviously unpopular opinion around here.

      Sometimes people disagree. And that should be ok and should be respected.

    3. Barbara

      Thank you for saying this Carrie Ann. As Sheri said in the artocle, parents in this estranged ‘club’ get enough negative judgment. You get to view them how you want, and so does everyone, whether they read the book or not. Who says the book is even true? Gospel according to the scorned couple who refuse to give up the titles of royalty. The interviews and the perspective sound self serving always. That wife is no Kate Middleton.

  8. Maria A.

    In the past years I have studied BPD to find a link with my daughter’s problematic behavior but didn’t find anything substantial until I have noticed a common trend between prince Harry behavior and my daughter’s behavior and the link became crystal clear after reading the description of Harry’s personality by biographer Duncan Larcome made in the following article: “Prince Harry is a ‘lost soul’ who is ‘very influenced and easily led by the people around him”. I want to share this article with you because, as in my case, adult children’s estrangements and irrational behavior might due to Harry’s type of personality disorder:
    https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/prince-harry-lost-soul-very-influenced-easily-led-people-around-him-royal-expert

    Reply
    1. Trish

      Maria A., Thank you so much for the link to this article. It explains everything that I couldn’t figure out and now it all makes so much sense to me now.

  9. Elizabeth

    I have finished Harry’s book “Spare,” and I can only say that people who only get their info about Harry and Meghan from the news media are bound to be incredibly biased. While the book can’t help but be one-sided, there is so much in it that really illuminates Harry’s childhood, the damage he suffered (yes, rich and privileged people suffer, too) and how he became the person that he did and how he has struggled to be a free and healthy human being. It is quite clear from the book that his problems with the media’s treatment of his wife go way way back to their treatment of his mother. This is a densely layered story. He deeply loves his wife and FROM HIS OWN PERSPECTIVE, in order to save his family, he had to take them away. I just wish people would stop conflating what is going on with them with the cultural movement of the estrangement of adult children from their parents. The case of the Royal family is SO out of the ordinary, the dynamics of the firm vs. family, the built-in favoritism of heirs over “spares,” the grotesque relationship between between the royal family and the tabloids via the “royal rota” makes this case a very poor sample case of estrangement from which we can learn any lessons. People need to stop judging.

    Reply
    1. Lupin

      Elizabeth, couldn’t disagree more, the only people seeking media attention are the bullies, Meghan and Harry. According to British journos/ historians there is nothing new is in this ghost written pity party book. . You might fact check Harry’s book. Diana died because she was not using a seat belt while in the back seat of a car driven by a reckless impaired driver. Harry would do well to stop blaming the press and take responsibility, he is nearly 40. His comments about his military service alone, demonstrate what a manipulative, self centered person he has become.

      As Meghan is fond of, estranging people she can’t control is her MO. Their story is classic estrangement, the motivated spouse demands loyalty at all cost.

    2. Kona4

      Elizabeth,

      I have finished reading the book. I stand by what I said in my earlier post. Harry’s story is unique and as you said, it is densely layered. Harry has told his story. This unraveling began with the paparazzi hounding his mother, her death which to this day he blames on the paparazzi, and what I see as the rather weird interactions within his family. For reasons beyond understanding, there is a bizarre relationship between the family and the British press which basically sacrificed Harry in exchange for better media coverage. No wonder he found fighting a war in Afghanistan preferable to being home.
      Without belaboring the point, the sibling relationship between him and his brother is a major factor in this breach. But the difference here is that he still loves these people, accepts that they are seriously flawed and detached from reality, and hopes one day there can be a meeting of the minds. He never told his father that he is going “no-contact’ or never wants to see him again. In fact, it is the opposite. He loves his father and very much wants their relationship to heal.
      People who are suffering from estrangement need to stop projecting their own experience and suffering onto Harry. Other than those who have an unctuous sibling who always needed to put them down, his life and his situation is nothing like anyone here. I am very glad for him that he found Meghan. With the exception of his mother, she clearly loves him like no one else ever has.

    3. Kona4

      Elizabeth,

      Also, thank you for your post.

      Nearly everywhere that I have read attacks on Harry and Meghan it is clear they are coming from people who have not read his book. Like you, I found his story moving and at times, touching. If people would read his story, they way he tells it, they would see that this is not a cruel book. He often writes about his father, and even William, in very loving terms even though they failed him miserably in so many ways.

      I agree, people need to stop judging.

      xxx Kona4

    4. Diane

      The question is though, is estrangement, done publicly or privately, the way to respond to differences, or can we all agree that it is a maladaptive response to conflict ? Love and loyalty are daily acts grounded in tolerance and kindness. No one, not even a prince, can claim to love those he is shaming and humiliating. People on this site should be well aware of this. Come on, people.

  10. Georgia

    Harry was always the wild brother and didn’t have the responsibility on him that William did. It must have been really tough to grow up in the spotlight and have his mother suffer as she did. I do feel for him and think he always felt inferior to William. The thing is, Harry’s behavior has made his inferior feelings come true. He IS inferior at this point. He has been caught in compromising situations. While girls may have liked the cute, bad boy prince, that image wears thin. Instead of growing into a kind, generous man, he has shrunken into a complainer role, seems to want to hurt his family and to make them pay. I don’t know much about his wife but it seems she encourages his whining rather than helping to mend fences. She is a complainer as well, I think. She may be immature emotionally, and perhaps has been vulnerable because of her family, or brought biases of her own into the royal group. I don’t know, but I’m not a fan of either of them. While I am not a royal family follower, I am also not against them. The monarchy is in place, and if I had been born into that family or married into it, I would try to use my wealth and position to do something good in the world. I’d try to do that without hurting my family. Maybe being good and kind could make a difference within the family too (if he wanted to change them). Harry is no longer popular, and in that way, he diminishes his ability to influence positive change.

    Reply
    1. Laurie

      Totally agree. As for his wife, I’m skeptical of her, as she is estranged from her father (whom has begged to see his grandkids) before it’s too late. As a mother who has been estranged from my son and my only grandchild, it’s terribly hard on one’s health. He has heart issues. So then to be influential (I believe she has) in Harry’s estrangement from his family, well I can’t help but see her as a common denominator here. I’m very sad to read about it. But I’ll not be reading his book.

  11. Nancy

    I suspect that many of us in this group are so passionate with opinions about Harry’s airing his dirty laundry because it is so jarringly familiar. Don’t we all relate to the grief, anger and shock the Royal family are reportedly feeling? Especially when, after spewing his worst, Harry blames his family for everything, and then demands an apology so they could be once again graced with his presence. One of the last communications I got from my daughter was very similar, trying to dictate the terms of a future relationship. In my case, I was to agree to attend joint counseling- or else. This tact ignored the many therapists that we, as a family had been to while she was growing up. Many of us have probably also had our fair share of gaslighting, revisionist history, and flat out lying. Aren’t we seeing those same things being played out in this drama as well? Harry talks about wanting reconciliation, but only on his terms. Its even slightly amusing to me to read comments from people who haven’t been through similar situations, on the order of why Harry doesn’t just go live his private life. I don’t think he is capable of doing that. He seems compelled to make everyone agree that he has been victimized.
    At least most of us can deal with this abuse in private, and not have it splashed about. I won’t read Harry’s book or watch the interviews, but its all out there anyway. Its just sad to see someone with such promise, who had all of life’s advantages throw it away in favor being a grievance collector. It’s taken me many years, but I’ve come to understand that you have to want to live a peaceful, happy life. It isn’t handed out, and isn’t a birth-right. It is a conscious daily choice.

    I’m joking, of course, but wouldn’t it be great if we could collectively send the King a copy of Sheri’s book with a note to say that he and Camilla aren’t alone in having a nutty adult child.

    Reply
    1. Laurie

      Me too! My son dictated every boundary known to man (and woman). I forgot one of the “commandments” accidentally, and he went away again. It’s been 6 months. I don’t want a son who dictate everything. I obliged, but don’t we get to have boundaries too?! Like to stop going in and out of my life? It hurts a lot.

  12. Kona4

    I would like to say a few things.

    I am currently reading Harry’s book. I am about a third of the way through. Under most circumstances, I would never comment on a book until I was done reading it. But it is over 400 pages long and It may take a bit of time.

    I will also say, like others here, that I don’t like public airing of family problems. I believe that the targets also have “a truth.” I know I do. So, I will admit that I am torn about whether this book should have been written.

    I haven’t reached the part of the book where he meets Meghan. But, it is clear that this breach with his family was long in the making and is rooted in events that took place long before he ever laid eyes on Meghan.

    The paparazzi and British news media hounded Harry, invaded every corner of his life, and viscously lied about him. They treated every girlfriend the same way. Once Meghan came into the picture, an American woman with a Black mother, all bets were off. As a person who is a member of a marginalized racial and ethnic community, I can tell you that the U.K. has a deep rooted racists history that would take centuries of commitment to break free from. What seems clear is that the PR operation of the royal family epically failed Harry. The relationship the royal family has with the British media and the tabloids is the priority.

    William bears a great amount of responsibility for his relationship with his brother. I will just leave you with one example. When Harry entered Eton, the high school of the most privileged upper class in Britain, he was 14 years old. It was two years after the death of Diana. Harry was lost in a world of magical thinking, refusing to believe that his mother was dead and convinced she was in hiding somewhere. William was already at Eton. Harry arrives and the very first thing that happens is William informing Harry that he is not allowed to speak to him or acknowledge that William is his older brother. William ghosted him. The myth that these two brothers were close growing up and there for each other is just that, a myth.

    The one thing that is becoming clear from this book, whether it should have been written or not, is that Harry still loves his family and longs for a reconciliation. He is not a bitter estranged adult child. The real problem that I see is that he is different and that he doesn’t fit in or share the values of a family that believes that they in some way are superior to others and that God choose them to live a life of obscene privilege. I am beginning to wonder if Harry thinks it is a lot of BS. And if so, that is a big problem indeed.

    Reply
    1. Lupin

      Kona4, Suggestion: broaden your reading on the topic, consider the British press, particularly those who cover the monarchy for decades and great journals like Unherd.

  13. Aida

    It’s all very sad. I can imagine Princess Diana disapproval of his son Harry if she was alive, one of the most hurtful things for a parent is seeing her adult children brake their relationship. I definitely think he is doing all the trashing for money, he is getting millions for it and he doesn’t care the damage and hurt he is causing. He has put all his trust in Meghan and that’s okay, but he doesn’t have anybody else in the US as family and friends, so if he has the misfortune to end up in divorce, he will be all alone. At his point he has burnt all the bridges.

    Reply
  14. Diane

    It’s awful isn’t it. What’s happened here mirror’s so closely what so many of us have been through. Now imagine our most personal grief, shame and loss is splash over the world’s media, experts of all descriptions who have never met us spend hours disecting our motives and behaviors publicly. Now imagine the person driving it all is someone you have loved completely, trusted. Unbearable. All of us on this site should make the conscious decision to boycott reading or listening to any part of this campaign of estrangement. It’s the best we can do to honor our own painful experiences.

    Reply
  15. Laura

    I watched some of Harry’s recent interviews, in one he said they were just a typical dysfunctional family. It parallels our story in that when someone new enters the family with fresh eyes. We were a tight knit, close family (yes, with some dysfunction) and thought we would always be a close family. Enter someone new to say no, you had a horrible upbringing and boom, end of the relationship. Both sides of the royal estrangement think they are right, therefore, I don’t ever think they will reconcile. I think the royals should keep quiet, it’s more dignified than what H&M are doing. I don’t know what is next for Harry and Meghan, if they plan on making staying in the spotlight concerning the estrangement a career, but they sure are making millions from doing it.

    Reply

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