Meghan ‘enabled’ Harry to leave Firm with ‘transformative’ marriage

Meghan and Harry: Queen wanted to avoid ‘disaster’ says expert

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship enabled the Duke of Sussex to “transition” outside of the institution of monarchy which made him feel trapped, according to a historian. Dr Tessa Dunlop, author of the newly-released Elizabeth and Philip: A Story of Young Love, Marriage and Monarchy, compared the union of late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Both couples, she noted, were a “love match” and a “transformative” union for the men involved.

Dr Dunlop told “Philip’s life was changed by Elizabeth. He was taken out of exile, taken out of poverty, he was already royal but now he was being given all the scaffolding of royalty to go with his blood.

“Harry was looking to get out, we know he was unhappy, we know even from the title of his upcoming book, Spare, that he was the second in place, he was trapped.

“And a bit like Elizabeth transformed Philip’s life by bringing him into the institution, Meghan has transformed Harry’s life by enabling him to leave the institution and giving him new platforms and a new way.

“The marriages of both spares were transformative, one was transitioned into the institution and the other out of it.”

Indeed, Prince Harry himself spoke about feeling “trapped within the institution and seeing a way out after meeting Meghan.

During the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s groundbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey in early 2021, almost one year after they stepped down as senior royals, the fifth-in-line to the throne said: “I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped. But the moment that I met Meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways, and then to see how…”

Asked to clarify how a prince of the United Kingdom was trapped, Harry replied: “Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are. 

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”

On the other hand, the late Duke of Edinburgh was provided stability upon entering the Royal Family – particularly important after his father Prince Andrew was forced into exile just a few months after his son’s birth in Greece in 1922 – and a platform.

Speaking about what Philip gained upon marrying Elizabeth, Dr Dunlop said: “He could voice his opinions, he had soft power… that’s invaluable. And it lasted for his whole life. He could develop his opinions on the climate or other issues over decades.”

Meghan and Harry and Elizabeth and Philip don’t just share the “transformative” aspect of their marriages but also a “mission”, the historian believes. 

While the Sussexes have a shared charitable goal, the late Queen and Duke had the wellbeing and survival of the monarchy as their ultimate aim.

She said: “Meghan and Harry have a mission outside of the monarchy just like Elizabeth and Philip had their own within the monarchy, but in both cases the marriage was transformative and it’s a thing that can be hugely bonding.

“The mission is bigger than the marriage and it can help to keep the couple together.”

Elizabeth and Philip: A Story of Young Love, Marriage and Monarchy by Dr Tessa Dunlop (Headline) is available in hardback now.

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