People: Prince Harry & Meghan have no regrets, one year after their Sussexit

Anzac Day Service of Commemoration

People Magazine’s first cover of 2021 is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: one year after the Sussexit announcement. How glorious! People Magazine doesn’t have any statements from Meghan and Harry, but of course unnamed sources are quite talkative. This People story gets to the heart of one of the biggest reasons why everyone in the UK has collectively lost their minds about the Sussexit: Harry and Meghan don’t regret leaving. Sure, maybe they would have done a few things differently, but they dreamed up a different way to live and now here they are, enjoying their lives away from that crushing pettiness.

One year ago, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their decision to step away from royal duty — a departure that would change the royal family forever.

“Meghan and Harry took a huge leap of faith to embark on their new life,” a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. It was a leap that would reshape not just the royal family but the monarchy too.

Harry, 36, who long felt marginalized by the role of “spare” in the line of succession—an issue that has plagued generations of royal siblings, including Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret — “finally found a solution,” says royal historian Robert Lacey, “which is essentially to get out and start a new life. To stay in the royal system is to go along with subservience to those more senior than you. He has asserted his own identity.”

This “progressive new role,” as the couple described it in their previous statement outlining the change — including earning their own income — offered a fresh start. “It was always their dream to be financially independent and pay their own way,” says the source close to the couple. With that dream finally realized, “The year started out with a lot of excitement and anticipation,” says a source close to the prince. “Harry was finally doing what he’d wanted to do for years, and to have Meghan and [19-month-old son] Archie with him was all he could have asked for.”

But as the world would soon learn, nothing about 2020 went according to the plan. The couple’s scheduled launch of their charitable Archewell Foundation and their intention to “balance” their time between the U.S. and the U.K. would soon be disrupted by the unforeseen chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit just as the details of the so-called “Sandringham Summit” agreement took effect in March, it soon became clear that much of the compromise the couple had hoped to attain was not to be. But if they didn’t leave the U.K. with everything they wanted, they did walk away with the biggest prize: The freedom to set their own course.

“Despite everything that has been going on this year, they don’t regret their move to the U.S.,” says an insider. “They love that they are able to focus on projects and causes that are important to them.”

[From People]

I do think that Harry and Meghan worked out several plans and that was one of the things that freaked out the Windsors too – H&M said “we’d like to be part-time royals and spend less time in the UK but still work on behalf of the crown and the British people.” That was Plan A, and it was shut down by Petty Betty. So the Sussexes were like “okay cool well here’s Plan B, we f–king leave and you can suck a royal lemon.” And the Pettys were like “whoa whoa wait what?” And it was a leap of faith, damn it. That’s why there’s been so much hysteria coming from the royal commentary class – they have no frame of reference for any of this.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex board a flight to New Zealand

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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40 Responses to “People: Prince Harry & Meghan have no regrets, one year after their Sussexit”

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  1. Nicole says:

    They are on the cover of US too. I love the tabloid fight happening. Meghan is so freaking savvy. I love it.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I already seen one royal reporter tweeting that Harry and Meghan’s friends spoke to People Magazine. I guess the rota will be upset about that but there were no complaints when Kate’s friends spoke to People a few weeks ago. This also serves to further discredit tabloid reports that Harry wants an extension to the one year review.

    I’m just happy that Harry is able to live his life on his terms as he always wanted and he now has a family that he can enjoy life with.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      I very much doubt that anyone “close to the couple” spoke to People. The thing with a statement like that is, its not libelous & its not worth a denial by the couple. The mags and rags know they can get away with a little lie like that – a “little” lie, btw, with big consequences, sometimes, because it gives gullible readers the impression that the couple DO authorize their friends to speak on their behalf (when thats most likely a lie – we only hv one example of M’s friends actually talking to People without her knowledge and it was in crucial circumstances.)

      • Amy Bee says:

        I agree. I don’t think their friends actually spoke to People. They’ve got someone who designated to answer enquiries like do they have regrets about leaving and then People and ET just add fluff to story. ET first came out with the no regrets story last week.

  3. Snuffles says:

    I think when the decamped to Canada in November 2019, they began planning in earnest. I have no doubt people like Netflix and Spotify had approached them before but were pushed away by the courtiers.

    I think at the end of 2019 they were contacting them, holding secret meetings, seeking advice from their very powerful (non royal adjacent) friends. Like Oprah, the Obamas, Serena and Alex, etc…

    They had both options thought out completely and were clearly ready to launch Plan B the second their Plan A got leaked (which they probably anticipated as well).

    Their ability to think for themselves, research and plan is why they will always be 10 steps ahead of the The Firm (who rest on their laurels).

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree. They didn’t start planning this in March 2020. They knew, roughly, what their next steps were going to be, especially after Petty Betty said “no” to the part-time royal thing. they were making moves behind the scenes all along. The pandemic threw a wrench in their plans, but only a minor one, as they appear to be off to the races now.

    • Persephone says:

      I agree with all of this.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Absolutely they had their decision trees drawn up with all possible options almost like a war strategy. Her lawyers and PR strategists definitely assisted and are worth every penny.

    • Myra says:

      Agreed. They planned the great escape in a neutral environment and it must have felt so freeing. They knew what they wanted and they were probably prepared to leave everything behind just to get away.

      • JT says:

        I agree that this plan had been in the works for some time, probably around Archie’s birth. This all too well executed to be some slap-dash plan in the middle of the night like the RF has claimed. All of their ducks seemed to be in a row by the time they went to Canada, with a few tweaks here and there because of the pandemic. And remember that one of the RR said Harry came in to the summit with lawyers and didn’t give hardly an inch. I believe they insinuated that H&M were like attack dogs ready and waiting. They were saying that Harry was very prepared and that took the RF off guard. I wish I could remember which post it was on here. The only plan the royals had was hoping H&M would pipe down and it shows.

    • 809Matriarch says:

      ” is why they will always be 10 steps ahead of the The Firm (who rest on their laurels).”

      And the laurels the Firm is resting on are wilted, brown and crumbling. The Firm has been coasting on post war nostalgia for the entire term of Petty Betty’s reign. She’s got the photos of herself “working as a mechanic” to prove it. However, the generation that lived through those years with her have dwindled away and the younger members of the Firm have no laurels to rest on. Andrew tarnished his little Falklands adventure by embracing a life of raunchy – maybe even criminal debauchery.

      Charles will NEVER live down his role as a villain in the tragic life of a beloved princess. Edward has to be the most pitiful Prince of the Realm in the modern age. Couldn’t even make it through basic training. He may as well be wearing Xmas decorations for medals, since he has no valor.

      Harry is the Prince that opened his heart and life to serve the military community. He is the one who founded Invictus Games. He founded Sentebale with his friend Prince Seeiso. He is the one the people absolutely love. And he took his wife and son and left.

      • JayNay says:

        The older generation of Britons may remeber the queen supporting her people post World War II, but this generation won’t have any memory of the royal family being remarkable in any way in this current crisis. Britain just completed Brexit and is in the middle of a global pandemic that will have lasting effects for years to come. Meanwhile, the royals are absent without leave. And when they do something, it’s mostly embarassing and tactless. They’re not making a good argument for why it’s worth keeping them around.

    • Cerise says:

      I think they started planning May 7 2019 when Archie was called a chimp and the family refused to respond.

      • booboocita says:

        If I were a mom and someone had called my child a chimp, I would have gone ballistic. If my family had refused to back me up, I would have cut them off for life. H&M are to be lauded for their restraint, and the RF ain’t nothing but trash.

  4. Mindy_Dopple says:

    Now that they’re on their own they can send these fluffy pieces to counteract the ugly wave of news stories recently… and guess what? It’s where it matters most, their home base. Not all the way across an ocean where no one who really matters will read it. They can have Britain, Sussex has America and beyond.

  5. Elizabeth Regina says:

    This is the song the Sussexes sing all day. It’s in French by Edith Piaf but this is the translation and it is very apt:
    No, I regret nothing

    No, absolutely nothing
    No, I regret nothing
    Not the good that has been given
    Not the bad, it’s all the same to me

    No, absolutely nothing
    No, I regret nothing
    It is payed, done, forgotten
    I don’t care about the past

    With my memories
    I light the fire
    My pains, my pleasures
    I don’t need them anymore
    I’m done with the loves
    and all their troubles
    I’m done for ever
    I start over with nothing

    No, absolutely nothing
    No, I regret nothing
    Not the good that has been given
    Not the bad, it’s all the same to me
    No, absolutely nothing
    No, I regret nothing
    Because my life, because my joys
    today, they start with you

  6. Aa says:

    Yes, I always believed the Plan A of half in/half out was a test by Harry and Meghan of the Royal family. If the Royal family valued Harry and Meghan them they would tried to make that work and that would also have confirmed to Harry and Meghan they did have support in the institution so they could feel like they had a future. If that was rejected Harry and Meghan would go with plan B, but they wanted to force the Royal family to make that decision if front of the world. Tom Brady basically said that in an interview that Harry and Meghan weren’t worried about losing titles etc they just wanted a clear definition of where they stood in the Royal family. Harry and Meghan happily moved on to Plan B and from a PR narrative perspective had defined it as the Royal family rejecting them, rather than Harry and Meghan rejecting the Queen etc.

  7. S808 says:

    Their exit couldn’t have been at better time and had a better result. Honestly have to thank Wooten/KP for leaking plan A cause it forced Plan B which should’ve been the only plan in the first place.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I think Plan B is what Harry and Meghan wanted in the first place but they suggested Plan A knowing it will be stupidly rejected by the Royal Family.

      • Becks1 says:

        And suggesting Plan A gives them total cover now – when the royals/RRs complain about what they are doing, the response can now always be “well if you wanted a say, you should have agreed to the PT royal gig.” or “Harry and Meghan tried to stay, they were kicked out.” It was really a smart move on their part, if that was their intention.

      • S808 says:

        Ohhh good point. Great negotiation tactic if true.

      • Thirtynine says:

        I think Plan B would have been their first preference, but Plan A assuages any guilt or concern that Harry might have felt over ‘deserting’ his ‘duty.’ There were things such as his military roles that he really valued. This way, he can look back with no regrets, knowing he tried everything possible and was basically pushed out. I think it would help going 100% wholeheartedly into his future.

  8. Daphne says:

    Maybe petty Betty is aware that it is the British tax payers that pay the way for the royal family and the whole concept of being royal is of working while making it look effortless. If Americans did not like it they could have just not gotten involved simple. Sounds like reverse racism complain about something then go ahead and do the same true hypocrisy.

  9. Aurora says:

    Once again I feel like I could have written this. I don’t think People has any Sussex sources. Their coverage is decidedly pro-Keen.

  10. cherriepie84 says:

    LOL at that crown icon on the cover after all that pearl-clutching with Oprah and the emoji. So People Mag has some petty in them and I’m here for it!

  11. Millennial says:

    What’s also interesting to me is they’ve set the precedent that the spares can make their own way financially. So now when Charlotte and Louis come of age, I think a lot of taxpayers are going to be like, “Well Harry did it, why can’t they?”

    • JT says:

      I don’t think the precedent for making your own money applies to anyone but H&M. All of the royals (spares as well) make money on the side including the queen, head of the monarchy. The banging on about being not being financially independent and being a royal was to scare them into staying. They thought being this punitive would make Harry and Meghan rethink everything. So the RF weren’t prepared for any other option. Their mistake.

  12. Keen Kate says:

    Harry only regrets supporting Kate and William. Shame they never did anything to help him. The opposite infact.

  13. MsIam says:

    People always has these shady covers about the Sussexes while they praise Kate and the other royals (even the queen!) to the heavens. Whatever. There have been a lot of those “poor Harry is unhappy and struggling “ stories from Angela Levin and the other Rota rats, so maybe this will shut them up but I doubt it.

  14. what's inside says:

    They went with what works for them and played the hand that was dealt. Harry learned from his mother and Meghan prefers to aim positively and high. It shows in all of their decision-making. They are working as a team to achieve their goals, which is what marriage should be.

  15. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I doubt People magazine has any Sussexes sources, but this is a realistic guess as to how the couple feels at the moment. They have succeeded quite well in the last year despite an ongoing pandemic which speaks to their focus and determination. I am really happy for them that they left and are actually thriving in their new life. If they had stayed, they would have both been reduced and would have suffered greatly under both Charles and William’s reign. I know there are those who believe Charles is supportive and would have been a good monarch to them, but this is a petty jealous little man and then there is William. Leaving was the best decision these two made where royalty is concerned and they’ve only just begun.

  16. LRob says:

    I think they had hopes for plan A (but not a preference for it) because of Harry’s beloved military and because they feel good about their patronages. I also think, apart from the drama, both of them always liked the UK, Meghan from her single days, Harry because it’s home. That being said, I agree with all who think they had a detailed & comprehensive plan worked out for each scenario. That is how they work; they plan in private and announce when there is action to be taken. People still seem to underestimate Harry. He is a masterful strategist.

    Anyway, like seeing their happy faces on the cover with a neutral story. Sets a positive tone ahead of sister-smears coming up soon.

    BTW, I love “suck a royal lemon”.

  17. Lila says:

    Nor should they! They’re all the better off for not having to walk the half-in/half-out line. The BRF would nitpick and veto everything.

  18. L4frimaire says:

    I find People magazine so annoying. I don’t need them and their BS articles to summarize their year or what they think they did to the monarchy. They have already more or less said they are excited about their changes. Just following them this year and all they’ve done, it’s obvious. We’ve forgotten a lot but there’s a long list. Listen to statements when the Netflix and Spotify deals were announced, what they talked about on the Teenager Therapy podcast and their mental health, how Meghan said it was good to be home when talking to Gloria Steinem. Look at all of the Zoom appearance, charity events like Homeboy industry, forums and conferences they’ve hosted like Time 100, op-eds they published in Fast Company and NYT. I feel this shallow article is a bit to stir the pot to generate a response from the UK and doesn’t come near to the full scope of what’s happened this year with the Sussexes. I hope they are truly happy, but they are also figuring things out with a lot to deal with ahead. I hope things start to solidify more this year for their work, they build their family, the lawsuits are settled, and there is at least an outward appearance of decency on the part of the royal family. I think for all parties the royal family needs to chill on the attacks and blaming the Sussexes for all their shortcomings, and also be realistic about Covid ( which they treat as an annoyance, not a world disrupting pandemic) and how not normal things are for anyone.

  19. Over it says:

    It’s so sad that a black woman who’s ancestors fought for freedom of blacks, then her only crime was to fall in love with a prince to then we racially attacked day in and day out . For her it must have been like slavery continues, segregation continues. And after her and her husband and child finally get their freedom and happiness ever after, she still has to hear this bullshit from the British media and the palaces. Don’t they realize all this is why people around the world absolutely without a doubt know that black lives definitely do not matter to the queen And all her courts.

  20. A says:

    ““It was always their dream to be financially independent and pay their own way,” says the source close to the couple.”

    This is a GOOD thing. This is what makes all the incessant bleating by the British tabloid press so exhausting (among other things). You can’t complain that H&M are a drain on public resources and tax payer money, while simultaneously bitching about them working and making their own money independently.

    Every dollar they earn from their work is 0.73 pounds (per current conversion rates) that the British tax paying public does not have to pay to subsidize them. They no longer have to pay for their lifestyle, they are self funded. This is a GOOD thing.

    • Izzy says:

      I think this is part of what pisses off the reporters so much. They can no longer slag Meghan and Harry for being a drain on taxpayers, but they don’t want to make the obvious comparison to the rest of the RF who ARE.