During an interview with SheKnows, historian and royal author Robert Lacey argued that Prince Harry would have left the royal family regardless of whether he married Meghan Markle. The writer acknowledged that Meghan offered him an alternative to the royal lifestyle, but suggested doubt over his place in the royal family was already growing before they met.
"They say the life of a spare is very cruel," he told SheKnows. "They start off as costars. I mean, your elder mothers or grandmothers will remember the little princesses, and Elizabeth and Margaret were treated and presented just the same. Two charming little girls, equal status."
According to Lacey, Harry likely saw his relevance begin to wane after Prince William married Kate Middleton and started having children. The Battle of Brothers author argued that frustration from Harry's perceived loss of status would have "come out" eventually.
"I mean, clearly the royal plan and expectation was that Harry would marry a nice, interesting girl called Henrietta or Annabel and go and live in the country and be happy with the role of spare, just as he had been very loyally during the early years of the marriage of William and Kate."
Others have speculated that Meghan's control over Harry was a factor in his break from the royal family. Per The Daily Mail, celebrity psychologist Jo Hemmings claimed in January that Meghan pushed Harry to give up his close relationships to start a new life with her.
In particular, Hemmings argued that Meghan understood Harry needed a strong woman following the death of his late mother, Diana, the former Princess of Wales, and "orchestrated events" that pushed him to be co-dependent on her.
Although Hemmings noted that it's impossible to know the exact reasons for the pair's break from their family, she said her objective psychological perspective reveals a relationship where Meghan is clearly in control.
The celebrity psychologist's argument offers a stark contrast to Lacey, who said that Markle offered Harry a more "creative" and "inspiring" life than living in the shadow of his brother. According to the author, Harry gained just as much benefit from his marriage to Meghan as she did, despite what the press would have you believe.
As The Inquisitr reported, previous reporting suggested that Harry believed the royal family did not provide his wife with a warm welcome or show a desire to protect her. Notably, he allegedly saw a difference in the family's treatment of his relationship compared to that of his cousins.