Her husband is a prince, her father-in-law is the king, and she's a former television star; it's safe to say that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is in a one-of-a-kind situation. And in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's death, Harry and Meghan realized they would be scrutinized more than ever, especially when they returned to the U.K. So when the Duchess finally gave a statement about her family's reaction to the difficult news, she knew she had to choose her words very, very carefully.
Millions of eyes
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived at Westminster Hall for the Queen's lying-in-state, they no doubt felt the millions of eyes following them as they processed down the aisle. After all, it was one of their first public appearances in the U.K. since they announced their controversial split from the royal family in 2020. Needless to say, the pressure was on.
Their "inappropriate" behavior
Although every senior member of the royal family was in attendance at the Queen's lying-in-state — including the newly appointed King Charles III and heir apparent Prince William — the cameras zoomed in on Harry and Meghan most closely. In a matter of hours, the obsession with Harry and Meghan returned with a vengeance. The couple's body language, facial expressions, and hand-holding were condemned by some reporters for being "inappropriate."
Harry and Meghan vs. the press
The two of them didn't fare much better at the Queen's funeral, either. Although they seemed to take the criticism about holding hands to heart — they spent the funeral side-by-side but with a clear distance between them — people still commented on everything from Meghan's plain black dress to a sudden "lack of affection" between Harry and Meghan. When it comes to the British press, the couple has never been able to win.
A drastic decision
The press' constant harassment forced the Sussexes to make a drastic decision: to leave royal life behind. "The clicking of cameras and the flash of cameras makes my blood boil. It makes me angry. It takes me back to what happened to my mum, what I experienced as a kid," Harry once said in an interview with Oprah. So returning to the U.K., where the media scrutiny is at its worst, was understandably nerve-wracking.