This morning, Queen Elizabeth finally said something substantial about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to “step back as senior members” of the royal family and pay their own way by doing their own thing, which will likely involve a cool deal with Disney and working on their own charity. While this may feel like a rash decision, the British press relentlessly attacked Meghan and Harry, so they’re just trying to protect themselves. And according to one of their close friends, it seems like Meghan felt way more lonely, silenced, and “hounded” than anyone may have expected.

According to a recent Telegraph report from Meghan and Harry’s journalist friend Bryony Gordon, the Sussexes “seemed subdued and sad” when she saw them late last year. She remembered visiting them at Frogmore Cottage and said, “They lacked the energy or sparkle I had seen in them previously.”

Bryony also said Meghan spoke with her about “unexpected issues” that she faced as a royal as well as “the loneliness; the sudden muting of her voice; the giving up of everything she knew for love, only to be, as she saw it, hounded and pilloried.”

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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And when Bryony asked Meghan why she didn’t just “jack it all in,” she got the impression that Meghan had considered it.

As for Harry specifically, Bryony thought, “All the hope that Prince Harry had expressed when we spoke about his mental health in 2017 appeared to have evaporated.” On top of that, she thought he was “living out the trauma he had experienced as a 12-year-old—walking behind his mother’s coffin on global television—again and again and again.”

Hopefully Meghan and Harry finally find some peace of mind once they fully transition into their new roles.

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