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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex caused a global sensation in January when they announced their plan to step down as senior royals. Meghan’s final public engagement took place on March 9 when she attended the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.
Prior to this she held a private meeting with members of the Association of Commonwealth Universities scholars at Buckingham Palace.
According to one journalist, who was allowed to attend, Meghan used the occasion to say an emotional farewell to her team.
The claim was made by Omid Scobie, who with Carolyn Durand wrote ‘Finding Freedom’, an account of Meghan and Harry’s exit from mainstream royalty.
In the book Mr Scobie says Meghan hugged him before making an utterly unforgettable comment.
She reportedly said: “It didn’t have to be this way.”
Mr Scobie is widely regarded as close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
He spoke to sources close to the couple for his book, though both Meghan and Harry deny any personal involvement.
Describing Meghan’s final engagement Mr Scobie wrote: “Staff who had been with the couple from day one were mourning the end of what was supposed to be a happy story: two people fall in love, get married, have a baby, serve the Queen, the end. Instead, they were leaving the country.
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“As Meghan gave me a final hug goodbye, she said, ‘It didn’t have to be this way’.
Referencing the Royals the Duchess is reported to have tearfully told a close friend “I gave up my entire life for this family”.
When they announced their exit Meghan and Harry said they aimed to become “financially independent” and to “carve out a progressive new role” within the Royal family.
The couple said they planned to divide their time between the UK and North America and vowed to repay the taxpayer money spent on Frogmore Cottage, their former home near Windsor.
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Mr Scobie also described Meghan’s final public engagement in an article for Harper’s Bazaar.
He wrote: “Tears that the Duchess had been bravely holding back [were] free to flow among familiar faces.
“The Duchess of Sussex emotionally [bid] much-loved aides farewell, with her flight ‘home’ to Canada leaving in a matter of hours.
“Meghan would fly back to Canada on the last commercial flight of the day, eager to be back in Vancouver Island by the morning before Archie wakes up.”
Harry and Meghan briefly lived in Canada before moving to a borrow home in Los Angeles, Meghan’s hometown.
Arriving shortly before the city went into coronavirus lockdown the couple were spotted delivering supplies to vulnerable LA residents.
Recently the Duke and Duchess moved into a new £11.2m property north of Los Angeles.
The luxurious property comes complete with a tennis court, children’s cottage and swimming pool.
In total it has nine bedrooms and no fewer than 18 bathrooms.
Meghan recently recorded an interview with American women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem in which she praised Harry for his feminism and said he would provide a “beautiful example” to their son.
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