Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 2020 decision to leave their senior-level positions within the monarchy was coined as the "Megxit" scandal, and a new biography claims the pair was done with the royal family after they weren't included in an official family portrait.
Before the Sussexes left The Firm, Buckingham Palace shared a portrait of Queen Elizabeth with her heirs King Charles, Prince William and Prince George. Despite Harry not being first in line for the throne, he took offense as he was not included in the moment.
"The royal couple suspected that the entire institution was conspiring against them," Andrew Morton wrote in Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. "As they saw it, the evidence was all around them. The unspoken code was straightforward: the future of the monarchy was assured, with or without Meghan and Harry."
"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," the Archewell founders said in a statement.
"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 added. "It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."
In their initial announcement, the partners planned on traveling between Canada and England, but after a series of scathing projects and their 2023 Frogmore eviction, the pair later committed to building a life in Montecito, Calif.
"We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages," the parents said. "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," they concluded. "Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."
Although their message was neutral, the Sussexes later went on to depict Harry's relatives as racist, rigid and unaccepting. The Duke of Sussex alluded to the royal family pushing out negative stories about Meghan to salvage William's image.
"It was terrifying to have my brother screaming and shouting at me, and my father say things that simply weren't true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and take it all in," he said in the docuseries Harry & Meghan.
"The saddest part of it was this wedge created between me and my brother, so that he’s now on the institution's side," Harry admitted. "And part of that I get — I understand that’s his inheritance and it's already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survival of this institution."
"They’re happy to lie to protect my brother, but they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us," he added.
Morton was quoted by The New York Post.