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PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLEBiography

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, full, detailed history, biography

by The Oegon Herald
The Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
With millions watching around the world Saturday, Britain's Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle in a ceremony
 Published on Tuesday September 21, 2021 12:16 AM
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was held on 19 May 2018 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. The groom, Prince Harry, is a member of the British royal family; the bride, Meghan Markle, is American and previously worked as an actress, blogger, and charity ambassador and advocate. On the morning of the wedding, Prince Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, conferred upon him the titles of Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

On her marriage, Markle became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, officiated at the wedding using the standard Anglican church service for Holy Matrimony published in Common Worship, a liturgical text of the Church of England. The traditional ceremony was noted for the inclusion of African-American culture.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, KCVO, ADC, is a member of the British royal family. As the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, he is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.

Born in St Mary's Hospital, London, Harry was educated at Wetherby School, Ludgrove School, and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother William and completed training as a troop leader. In 2007–2008, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–2013 with the Army Air Corps. In June 2015, he resigned from the army.

Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains the patron of its foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust and Walking With The Wounded. To encourage people to open up about their mental health issues, Harry, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, initiated the mental health awareness campaign 'Heads Together' in April 2016.

In 2018, Harry was made Duke of Sussex prior to his wedding to American actress Meghan Markle. In January 2020, the couple stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved to the Duchess's native Southern California. In October 2020, they launched Archewell Inc., an American public organisation that focuses on non-profit activities and creative media ventures. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Early life

Prince Harry was born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, on 15 September 1984 at 4:20 pm as the second child of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He was christened Henry Charles Albert David on 21 December 1984 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. Growing up, he was referred to as 'Harr'y by family, friends, and the public, as well as Kensington Palace. Diana wanted him and his elder brother, Prince William, to have a broader range of experiences and a better understanding of ordinary life than previous royal children. She took them to venues that ranged from Walt Disney World and McDonald's to AIDS clinics and homeless shelters. He began accompanying his parents on official visits at an early age; his first overseas tour was with his parents to Italy in 1985. He also travelled with his family to Canada in 1991 and 1998.

Harry's parents divorced in 1996. His mother died in a car crash in Paris the following year. Harry and William were staying with their father at Balmoral at the time, and the Prince of Wales told his sons about their mother's death. At his mother's funeral, Harry, then 12, accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, and maternal uncle, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, in walking behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Education

Like his father and brother, Harry was educated at independent schools. He started at London's Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-preparatory Wetherby School. Following this, he attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire. After passing entrance exams, he was admitted to Eton College. The decision to place Harry at Eton went against the past practice of the Mountbatten-Windsors to send children to Gordonstoun, which Harry's grandfather, father, two uncles, and two cousins had attended. It did, however, see Harry follow in his older brother's footsteps and the Spencer family, as both Diana's father and brother attended Eton.

In June 2003, Harry completed his education at Eton with two A-Levels, achieving a grade B in art and D in geography, having decided to drop history of art after AS level. He has been described as 'a top tier athlete', having played competitive polo and rugby union. One of his former teachers, Sarah Forsyth, has asserted that he was a 'weak student' and that staff at Eton conspired to help him cheat on examinations. Both Eton and Harry denied the claims. While a tribunal made no ruling on the cheating claim, it 'accepted the prince had received help in preparing his A-level 'expressive' project, which he needed to pass to secure his place at Sandhurst.' Harry also joined the Combined Cadet Force while studying at Eton and was made cadet officer in his final year, leading the corps' annual parade at the Eton tattoo.

After school, Harry took a gap year, during which he spent time in Australia working on a cattle station, and participating in the Young England vs Young Australia Polo Test match. He also travelled to Lesotho, where he worked with orphaned children and produced the documentary film The Forgotten Kingdom.

Wealth and inheritance At the time of the announcement of Harry and Meghan's decision to 'step back' as senior members of the royal family in 2020, 95% of the couple's income derived from the £2.3 million given to them annually by Harry's father, Charles, as part of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall.

Harry and his brother William inherited the 'bulk' of the £12.9 million left by their mother on their respective 30th birthdays, a figure that had grown since her 1997 death to £10 million each in 2014. In 2002 The Times reported that Harry would also share with his brother a payment of £4.9 million from trust funds established by their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, on their respective 21st birthdays and would share a payment of £8 million upon their respective 40th birthdays. Harry's personal wealth was estimated at £30 million by The Daily Telegraph in 2020.

In 2014, Harry and William inherited their mother's wedding dress along with many other of her personal possessions, including dresses, diamond tiaras, jewels, letters, and paintings. The brothers also received the original lyrics and score of 'Candle in the Wind' by Bernie Taupin and Elton John as performed by John at Diana's funeral.

Health In 2017, Harry acknowledged that he sought counselling twenty years after his mother's death. He added that he struggled with aggression, suffered from anxiety during royal engagements, and was 'very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions'. In his mental health television documentary The Me You Can't See, which premiered in 2021, he added that he underwent four years of therapy to address his mental health issues. He also mentioned that he suffered from 'panic attacks severe anxiet'y in his late 20s and the heavy load of official visits and functions eventually 'led to burnout'. He further stated that he was willing to drink and take drugs, adding that he 'wasn't drinking Monday to Friday, but would probably drink a week's worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night' to help him cope with his issues.

Bachelorhood Chelsy Davy, the daughter of Zimbabwean, South Africa-based businessman Charles Davy, was referred to as Harry's girlfriend in an interview conducted for his 21st birthday, and Harry said he 'would love to tell everyone how amazing she is but once I start talking about that, I have left myself open.... There is truth and there is lies and unfortunately I cannot get the truth across.' Davy, who is a businesswoman and lawyer, was present when Harry received his Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan and also attended his graduation ceremony when he received his flying wings from his father. In early 2009, it was reported the pair had parted ways after a relationship that had lasted for five years.

In May 2012, Harry's cousin Princess Eugenie introduced him to Cressida Bonas, an actress and model who is the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe. On 30 April 2014, it was reported that the couple had parted amicably.

Marriage and fatherhood
In July 2016, Prince Harry began a relationship with American actress Meghan Markle. In November, the prince directed his communications secretary to release a statement on his behalf to express personal concern about pejorative and false comments made about his girlfriend by mainstream media and Internet trolls. In September 2017, Prince Harry and Markle first appeared together in public at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Their engagement was announced on 27 November 2017 by Harry's father Prince Charles. The announcement prompted generally positive comments about having a mixed-race person as a member of the royal family, especially in regard to Commonwealth countries with populations of blended or native ancestry. On 19 May 2018, the marriage ceremony was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The couple has since revealed in the 2021 Oprah TV interview that there was a private exchange of vows 3 days before with the Archbishop of Canterbury in their garden. However, this earlier exchange of vows was not an official religious or legally recognised marriage. The Archbishop of Canterbury told la Repubblica 'The legal wedding was on the Saturday. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.'

The Duke and Duchess initially lived at Nottingham Cottage in London, on the grounds of Kensington Palace. They then moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. The Crown Estate refurbished the cottage at a cost of £2.4 million, paid out of the Sovereign Grant, with the Duke later reimbursing expenses beyond restoration and ordinary maintenance. On 6 May 2019, the Duke and Duchess's son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born. Their office was moved to Buckingham Palace and officially closed on 31 March 2020 when the Sussexes ceased 'undertaking official engagements in support of the Queen'. After some months in Canada and the United States, the couple bought a house in June 2020 on the former estate of Riven Rock in Montecito, California. The next month, the Duchess suffered a miscarriage. On 4 June 2021, their daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor was born.

Harry is godfather to 'five or six' children, including the daughters of Major Nicholas van Cutsem, the son of Hugh van Cutsem, and Jake Warren, his mother's godson, whose father is the Queen's horse racing manager. He became godfather to Charlie van Straubenzee's firstborn daughter in May 2020.

Wealth and inheritance
At the time of the announcement of Harry and Meghan's decision to 'step back' as senior members of the royal family in 2020, 95% of the couple's income derived from the £2.3 million given to them annually by Harry's father, Charles, as part of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall.

Harry and his brother William inherited the 'bulk' of the £12.9 million left by their mother on their respective 30th birthdays, a figure that had grown since her 1997 death to £10 million each in 2014. In 2002 The Times reported that Harry would also share with his brother a payment of £4.9 million from trust funds established by their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, on their respective 21st birthdays and would share a payment of £8 million upon their respective 40th birthdays. Harry's personal wealth was estimated at £30 million by The Daily Telegraph in 2020.

In 2014, Harry and William inherited their mother's wedding dress along with many other of her personal possessions, including dresses, diamond tiaras, jewels, letters, and paintings. The brothers also received the original lyrics and score of 'Candle in the Wind' by Bernie Taupin and Elton John as performed by John at Diana's funeral.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is an American member of the British royal family and a former actress. Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her acting career began while at Northwestern University. She attributed early career difficulties to her biracial heredity. Her last and most significant on-screen role was that of Rachel Zane for seven seasons in the American TV legal drama Suits. She also developed a social media presence. This included The Tig lifestyle blog which garnered recognition for her fashion sense and led to the creation and release of two clothing lines in 2015–2016. During The Tig period, Markle became involved in charity work focused primarily on women's issues and social justice.

Markle was married to American film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 until their divorce in 2013. She retired from acting upon her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018 and became known as the Duchess of Sussex. The marriage prompted favorable comments about having a mixed-race person in the royal family. Nevertheless, the couple stepped down as senior members in 2020 due to personal privacy issues and perceived hostile media treatment, particularly by the British tabloids. They subsequently settled in her native California to pursue business ventures and charity work. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Early life and education
Rachel Meghan Markle was born August 4, 1981, in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, and identifies as being mixed-race. Her parents divorced when she was six years old. Markle's white American father, Thomas Markle Sr., worked as a director of photography and lighting for Married... with Children, and Meghan frequently visited the set of the television series as a child, but she is now estranged from her father and paternal half-siblings, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr. She has a close relationship with her African American mother, Doria Ragland .

Growing up in Los Angeles, Markle attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. At age 11, she wrote to Procter & Gamble to gender-neutralize a dishwashing soap commercial on national television. Three months later, P&G changed the commercial. She was raised as a Protestant, but she graduated from L.A.'s Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl Catholic school. In 1999, Markle was admitted to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. After her junior year, she interned at the American embassy in Buenos Aires and considered a political career. However, she did not score high enough in the Foreign Service Officer Test to proceed further with the US State Department, and returned to NU. She also attended a study abroad program in Madrid. In 2003, Markle earned her bachelor's degree with a double major in theater and international studies from Northwestern's School of Communication.

Acting career
According to Markle, she had some difficulty getting roles early in her career due to being 'ethnically ambiguous' because 'I wasn't black enough for the black roles and I wasn't white enough for the white ones.' To support herself between acting jobs, she worked as a freelance calligrapher and taught bookbinding. Her first on-screen appearance was a small role as a nurse in an episode of the daytime soap opera General Hospital. Markle had small guest roles on the television shows Century City, The War at Home and CSI: NY . She also did several contract acting and modeling jobs, including a stint as a 'briefcase girl' on the US-version of the game show Deal or No Deal. She appeared in Fox's series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season.

Markle appeared in small roles in the films Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me and The Candidate in 2010 and the film Horrible Bosses in 2011. She was paid $187,000 for her role in Remember Me and $171,429 for her role in the short film The Candidate. In July 2011, she joined the cast of the USA Network show Suits through to late 2017 and the seventh season. Her character, Rachel Zane, began as a paralegal and eventually became an attorney. While working on Suits, she lived for nine months each year in Toronto. Fortune magazine estimated that she was paid $50,000 per episode, amounting to an equivalent annual salary of $450,000.

Personal life
Markle and American film producer Trevor Engelson began dating in 2004. They were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on September 10, 2011 and concluded a no-fault divorce in August 2013, citing irreconcilable differences. Markle's subsequent relationship with Canadian celebrity chef and restaurateur Cory Vitiello ended in May 2016 after almost two years.

In July 2016, Markle began a relationship with Prince Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. In November, the prince directed his communications secretary to release a statement on his behalf to express personal concern about pejorative and false comments made about his girlfriend by mainstream media and internet trolls. In September 2017, Markle and Prince Harry first appeared together in public in Toronto at the Invictus Games, of which Harry is founding patron.

Marriage to Prince Harry
Further information: Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Wedding dress of Meghan Markle Meghan Markle's engagement to Prince Harry was announced on November 27, 2017, by Harry's father Charles, Prince of Wales. The announcement prompted generally positive comments about having a mixed-race person as a member of the royal family, especially in regard to Commonwealth countries with populations of blended or native ancestry. Markle announced that she would retire from acting, and began the lengthy process of becoming a British citizen, which is subject to strict immigration rules about living outside of the UK for more than 90 days.

In preparation for the wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, baptized Markle and confirmed her into the Church of England on March 6, 2018. The private ceremony, performed with water from the River Jordan, took place in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace. The marriage ceremony was held on May 19 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Her wedding dress was designed by the British designer Clare Waight Keller. Markle later revealed in the 2021 television interview Oprah with Meghan and Harry that there was a private exchange of vows three days before with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the couple's garden. However, this private exchange of vows was not an official legally recognised marriage.

It was reportedly agreed in advance that excess funds generated from the BBC broadcast of the wedding ceremony would go to a charity chosen by the newlywed couple. In April 2020, Feeding Britain was nominated to receive £90,000 from the BBC.

After the wedding, the Duke and Duchess lived at Nottingham Cottage within the grounds of Kensington Palace in London. They later moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. Meghan gave birth to a son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's office moved to Buckingham Palace and officially closed on March 31, 2020, when the Sussexes withdrew from undertaking official royal engagements. After some months in Canada and the United States, the couple bought a house in June 2020 on the former estate of Riven Rock in Montecito, California. The next month, Meghan suffered a miscarriage. She gave birth to a daughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, on June 4, 2021.

Political views
Members of the British royal family are politically neutral by convention. However, Markle was politically vocal before marrying Prince Harry. She backed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 United States presidential election and publicly denounced the opponent and eventual winner, Donald Trump. The same year, when the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union resulted in favor of Brexit, Markle expressed her disappointment on Instagram. In 2017, Markle recommended the book Who Rules the World? by left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky on her Instagram account. As an eligible voter in the United States, she released a video with her husband encouraging others to register for the 2020 United States presidential election on National Voter Registration Day. Some media outlets took it as an implicit endorsement of the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, which prompted then-President Trump to dismiss their messaging at a press conference.

Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Announcement of engagement
Prince Harry is the second son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He and Meghan Markle, an American actress best known for her role in the Canadian-American legal-drama television series Suits, began their relationship in 2016 after having met in July of that year. The relationship was officially acknowledged on 8 November 2016, when a statement was released from the royal family's communications secretary addressing the 'wave of abuse and harassment' directed toward Markle.

On 27 November 2017, Clarence House announced that Harry would marry Markle in the spring of 2018. They were engaged earlier the same month in London, with the Prince giving Markle a bespoke engagement ring made by Cleave and Company, the court jewellers and medallists to the Queen, consisting of a large central diamond from Botswana, with two smaller diamonds from his mother's jewellery collection. At the same time, it was announced that they would live at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace following their marriage.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh expressed their delight at the news, while congratulations came in from various political leaders, including the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. After the announcement, the couple gave an exclusive interview to Mishal Husain of BBC News.

During the public announcement of the engagement at Kensington Palace's Sunken Gardens, Markle wore a bottle knee-length emerald green dress with bow detailing at the cinched waist by Italian label P.A.R.O.S.H and a white trench coat by Canadian brand Line the Label. Hours after the announcement, the website of Line the Label crashed down due to the number of people who were trying to order the coat.

Markle is the second American and the first person of mixed race heritage to marry into the British royal family. The engagement announcement prompted much comment about the possible social significance of Markle becoming a proudly mixed-race royal.

Under the terms of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, the first six persons in the line of succession require the Sovereign's consent in order to marry. Harry was fifth in line at the time of his engagement. The Queen's consent was declared to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom on 14 March 2018.

Although Markle attended a private Catholic school in her early years, she is not Roman Catholic. On 6 March 2018, she was baptised and confirmed into the Church of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St. James's Palace. Although Markle was divorced, the Anglican Church has permitted marriage to divorced persons with a living former spouse since 2002. After the engagement, Markle began the years-long process of becoming a British citizen. She retained her U.S. citizenship during the process. Retaining U.S. citizenship was expected to create tax complications. The couple was invited to celebrate Christmas 2017 with the royal family at the Queen's Sandringham estate. The official engagement photographs were taken by Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House, and were issued by Kensington Palace on 21 December 2017.

To mark the wedding of Harry and Meghan, the Royal Mint produced an official UK £5 coin, showing the couple in profile. In May, a set of commemorative postage stamps, featuring the couple's official engagement photographs, was issued by Royal Mail.

Wedding
Unlike the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the wedding day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was not declared a bank holiday. The wedding was on the same date as the FA Cup Final, which Prince Harry's brother William normally attends in his role as President of the Football Association. Holding the royal wedding on a weekend is a break with the royal tradition of having weddings on a weekday. On 12 February 2018, Kensington Palace announced that the ceremony would commence at 12:00 Midday BST.

Venue
The wedding took place on Saturday, 19 May 2018, at St George's Chapel, Windsor. The chapel had previously been the venue for the weddings of Prince Harry's uncle, the Earl of Wessex, as well as that of his cousin, Peter Phillips, and for the blessing of the marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Harry's stepmother.

Cost
The royal family announced that they would pay for the wedding. The costs for the cake, the florist, and the catering had been estimated to be £50,000, £110,000, and £286,000 respectively, and the overall cost was expected to be around £32 million. The security costs were expected to be lower than those of the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. By the end of May, it was estimated that the security costs were 'between £2 million and £4 million'. The police and crime commissioner could also apply for special funding if the costs were to exceed 1% of the Thames Valley Police force's annual budget, but at the time the cost was 'well below the £4 million required to make a claim'. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead reportedly spent £2.6 million on cleaning the town and roads. It was predicted that the wedding would trigger a tourism boom and boost the economy by up to £500 million.

Wedding party
On 26 April 2018, Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry had selected his older brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, as his best man. There was initially no confirmation as to whether Prince William would miss the FA Cup Final, which he would normally attend in his role as President of The Football Association, or if he would be able to attend both the wedding and the football. A statement from Kensington Palace that the timing of the wedding would not clash with the match was released in December 2017. However, it was confirmed in March that the Duke would not be attending the final that day.

There were suggestions that the bride's friend Jessica Mulroney, daughter-in-law of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, would be her matron of honour. In early May 2018, there was confirmation that there would be no maid or matron of honour, and that the bridesmaids and page boys would all be children. A total of ten bridesmaids and page boys were chosen, with the bride and groom each selecting five: two of Markle's godchildren, seven-year old Rylan Litt and her six-year-old sister Remi, as well as Brian, John and Ivy Mulroney, the three children of her friend Jessica Mulroney, were chosen by the bride, while Prince Harry's nephew and niece, Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, as well as his godchildren Florence van Cutsem, Zalie Warren and Jasper Dyer, were selected by the groom.

Family celebrations
Following the ceremony, there was a carriage procession through Windsor. Two receptions were held; the first, for those attending the ceremony, was hosted by the Queen and took place in St George's Hall after the carriage procession. Singer Elton John performed for the guests, and the groom and the Prince of Wales each gave a speech. A second reception at Frogmore House, for family and close friends and hosted by the Prince of Wales, occurred later in the day. Harry drove his new wife to the reception at Frogmore in a loaned silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero.

For the evening reception, the Duchess of Sussex wore a halter-neck, open back dress by Stella McCartney and an emerald cut aquamarine ring formerly belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales. George Northwood was her hairstylist for the private party. In a break with tradition, the bride made a speech at the event. The Duke of Cambridge also gave a best man's speech. DJ Idris Elba and The Atlantic Soul Orchestra performed at the event. The event ended with small fireworks displayed above Frogmore House.

The wedding cake was a layered lemon and elderflower cake and decorated with peonies in shades of white and cream. The cake designer Claire Ptak, based in London, was chosen in March 2018.

Three official wedding photos were released. They were taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski at Windsor Castle following the ceremony.

Guests
In April 2018, it was announced that an 'official list' of domestic and international political leaders was not required for the wedding and that Prime Minister Theresa May, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, and other leaders would not attend the ceremony. President of the United States Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama were also not invited. This was in contrast to the wedding of Prince Harry's elder brother, which had a large number of such guests due to his position as a future monarch. The decision not to invite political leaders to the wedding was taken in part because of the limitations of the venue, and also took into account Prince Harry's position as sixth in line to the throne. The only politician invited was the former Prime Minister Sir John Major as he previously was 'a special guardian on legal matters to Princes William and Harry after the death of their mother'.

With a smaller ceremony and reception at St George's Hall, the guest list included approximately 600 people, most of whom have a 'direct relationship' with the couple. Also, 200 close friends of the couple were invited to attend the evening reception at Frogmore House. Approximately 1,200 members of the public were invited to greet the couple outside the chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The invitees outside the chapel were 'people from charities, Windsor Castle community members, people from the royal households and the Crown Estate, and local school children'.

Sarah, Duchess of York, the former wife of Prince Andrew, was invited to the wedding even though she had not been invited to the weddings of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly in 2008, or Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in 2011. However, she was not invited to the evening reception at Frogmore House hosted by Prince Charles and was reportedly 'deeply upset' by her omission.

Harry and Meghan say they're 'stepping back' from the royal family. The palace says it's 'complicated'

In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced that they were stepping back from their role as senior members of the royal family, and would balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America. A statement released by the Palace confirmed that the Duke and Duchess were to become financially independent and cease to represent the Queen. The couple retain their HRH stylings but are not permitted to use them.

The formal role of the Duke and Duchess was subject to a twelve-month review period, ending in March 2021. In March 2020, Harry attended the opening of the Silverstone Experience in Silverstone Circuit together with racing driver Lewis Hamilton. Harry's appearance at the museum was his final solo engagement as a senior royal before he and his wife officially stepped down on 31 March.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, say they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family and plan to work towards becoming "financially independent," the couple announced on Wednesday.

"After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year" they wrote on Instagram, explaining that they hope 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," they said. Harry and Meghan did not consult any other members of the royal family about their decision, CNN has learned.

There is said to be a mood of deep disappointment in the palace following the announcement; senior members of the family are hurt as a result of the news.

Couple keen for private life

In a statement issued just hours after the couple's Instagram post, Buckingham Palace said the situation was "complicated." "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the unsigned Royal Communications statement said. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said it would "take time" to resolve the issue. The Duke and Duchess did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. The announcement could indicate that the couple will now have the private life they've always argued for. They are opting out of the system but they'll be able to opt in to the elements that they like: the family elements and those where they're seen to be supporting the Queen, who they're both very close to.

In their social media post, the couple revealed they plan to split their time between the UK and North America. "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," they wrote.

"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 have long had a fraught relationship with sections of the British media. In October last year, the couple announced that Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday newspaper, alleging it had illegally published a private letter to her father -- a claim the newspaper denies. At the same time, Harry launched an emotional attack on the UK tabloid press for what he called a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.

He likened their treatment of her to that faced by his mother. Princess Diana died in 1997 when her car crashed as it was being pursued by members of the paparazzi. The couple will feel that they can win these court cases on the basis that they do have a right to a private life.

Members of the royal family are often criticized for not allowing enough public access, given that they are publicly funded, and now the Duke and Duchess are effectively saying, "Okay, you win, we're out." The Sussexes' decision to step back from leading roles within the royal family means they will "no longer participate in the Royal Rota system," which gives UK broadcasters and newspapers access to royal engagements, according to the official SussexRoyal website.

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