So it all comes down to this.
Just a year and a half after Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle in a gilded ceremony attended by George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey — and featuring American bishop Michael Curry imparting the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the couple have quit the royal family.
Unprecedented, yes. But unexpected, hardly.
In just a few short months, we’ve had enough tears and drama to fill three seasons of “The Crown,” including a rift with Prince William and a sad split of the foundation that Diana’s boys launched together.
By the time Meghan now famously bleated, “I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” in a bizarre interview filmed on their Africa tour in October, it was quite clear the writing was on the wall.
With Harry close to breaking down on camera, they were both bloody miserable.
It had started so well.
As their carriage made its way through the sun-dappled streets of Windsor, with hordes cheering them on, the newly crowned Duke and Duchess of Sussex seemed destined to usher in a new era of progressive royalty.
But the honeymoon quickly ended, as reports emerged from Buckingham Palace that Harry had fought over an emerald wedding tiara for his bride before the wedding, snapping, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets,” until his grandmother, the Queen, put her foot down and picked the diamond headpiece she eventually wore.
As royal writer Robert Jobson said: “The message from the Queen was very much Meghan needed to think about how she speaks to staff members and be careful to follow family protocols.”
There was drama too, The Post is told, as Meghan’s old — and formerly close — castmates from “Suits” felt left out in the cold.
Despite being invited to the UK for the wedding, Sarah Rafferty, Gabriel Macht and Rick Hoffman did not make the after-after-party cut at Frogmore House. A source who worked on the show said: “There was a lot of upset, but they all made a pact to be united together and be dignified.”
But still, the Queen gave it the old college try and invited Meghan on an outing with her weeks after the wedding, where she sat chatting with the monarch in a modest Givenchy dress.
Try as they might, the couple could not seem to get it right.
Reports of Meghan’s difficult behavior led to her being dubbed “Me-gain,” as tales abounded that she had wrenched her husband away from his old and trusted friends.
It was soon reported, too, that Harry had fallen out with his big brother, Prince William, once the biggest touchstone in his life, after being warned that he was moving too fast with Meghan.
Even Prince Phillip, Harry’s grandfather, had reportedly told him: “One steps out with actresses, one doesn’t marry them.”
The arrival of baby Archie in May should have been a moment of joy.
But it was preceded by Meghan’s somewhat ill-advised $500,000 NYC baby shower hosted by BFFs Serena Williams and Amal Clooney.
And there was more drama when the couple refused to offer the details of his birth and who delivered him — further annoying the British public by keeping his christening private and refusing to name his godparents.
At the same time, they were more than happy to take $4 million in taxpayers’ cash to pay for their newly refurbished home set within the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Then there was the private jet row — they used four in a month this summer while lecturing the public on global warming.
By the end of the year, it was clear they had had enough.
They took six weeks off, refused to join the Queen at Sandringham for Christmas, and ran away to a multimillion-dollar hideaway in Canada.
A source said this move had been “months in the planning.”
But as the Sussexes step down from their roles as “senior” royals, the move raises more questions that have to be asked.
Do they keep their HRH titles? How indeed can they make their own money, as they say they wish to, for they surely cannot profit from their roles in the royal family?
Where will Archie go to school — and will they indeed have only one more child, as Harry said, to save the environment?
One very senior source said: “The implications get bigger and bigger the more I think about this.”
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