Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Plan Quiet Second Wedding Anniversary—With No Pictures
After a turbulent first two years of marriage, Harry and Meghan will celebrate their anniversary quietly with Archie with no fresh pictures released, sources tell The Daily Beast.
Instead of advertising their love publicly, they intend to keep the moment entirely private; and simply “plan to spend the day together as a family with Archie,” according to one friend.
Of course, in one sense, under lockdown, there is little choice, but it’s a significant contrast to last year when the couple posted a compilation of 14 images, including some previously unseen pictures, on Instagram.
The photo montage was accompanied by the song “This Little Light Of Mine,” which played as they left St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on their wedding day, May 19, 2018. In an accompanying post, the couple thanked their followers for “All of the love and support from so many,” adding, “Each of you made this day even more meaningful.”
Since that hopeful day in 2018—when Bishop Michael Curry glued the globe to its collective sofa with his impassioned description of the power of love—everything has changed.
That day, notable also for the sight of Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland joining the royals to watch her daughter marry Harry, seems long ago now; its joy—and feeling of radical, welcome change—lost in two years of acrimony and unhappiness that eventually led Harry and Meghan to resign their “senior royal” roles and move to America.
While we will have to wait until the publication, in August, of Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s new book on the Sussexes to get a fuller picture of exactly what it was that went so wrong that the Sussexes felt they had to leave the country, few dispute that the problems centered around an increasingly tense standoff between William and Harry, with a certain animosity between their wives thrown in for good measure.
It is said that William questioned the speed with which the relationship between Harry and Meghan moved from dating to marriage, but the brothers were friendly enough at Christmas 2017 to stay together with their partners. Harry later described their bonded Christmas in ecstatic terms on live radio
Indeed, the day before the wedding Harry and William took an impromptu walkabout through the streets of Windsor to meet and greet their loyal fans. As one who was there, this reporter can attest that any tension was far from visible.
Despite the optimism and the joy of their wedding day, things deteriorated with astonishing speed, not helped by the racist, sexist and classist media coverage of Meghan.
The venom poured on Meghan seems even more extraordinary now than then. Indeed, it was interesting to hear even Piers Morgan, one of Meghan’s pre-eminent tormentors, confess recently that he went too far in his baiting of the couple. He said he would “temper how I talk about them going forward” and admitted he had made things “too personal.”
The relentlessly negative press coverage was made even worse when Harry and Meghan decided not to encourage the media to turn the birth of Archie into a carnival.
The location of the hospital was withheld, and the first announcement that Meghan was in labor was made after she had already safely delivered the baby.
The relationship with the British tabloids never really recovered. What should have been a joyous moment (and a sales bonanza) soured quickly and became symptomatic of the mistrust and hatred between the Sussexes and the media. The war with the media has only intensified since then, with Meghan launching legal action against the Mail on Sunday for invasion of privacy.
Many insiders, however, say that it was the deterioration of the personal relationship between Harry and William that ultimately drove the Sussexes away.
Some friends of the family say they perceived in William a jealousy over the attention that Meghan and Harry received, a striking echo of the jealousy that was said to have poisoned Charles’ relationship with Diana.
“At least part of the secret of William and Kate’s marriage is that she doesn’t upstage him, ever,” one of their friends told me when the news of Harry and Meghan’s departure broke, “You can’t say the same about Harry and Meghan.”
The general impression is that William and Kate have not been too sad to see their glamorous rivals shipped off overseas.
So, while many diehard fans would love to see new pictures today, it is entirely understandable that Harry and Meghan will choose to spend their special day in their own bubble.
Indeed, to publish a syrupy post in the midst of a pandemic would open the couple to charges of self-indulgence.
As well as these purely practical and strategic reasons to stay quiet, it is also symbolic of their new position as private citizens that the couple won’t be making any kind of public statement to mark their anniversary.
It will be interesting, however, to see if Harry and Meghan receive any public congratulations from the social media accounts of other royals who have taken, in recent years, to making such public online outpourings. Again, however, with the couple now being private citizens, it seems unlikely.
Harry and Meghan’s spokespeople would not comment on whether any Zoom calls between them and Harry’s family had been booked, but it seems unlikely Charles would let the day pass without a congratulatory phone call.
And of course there have been encouraging reports that the brothers themselves have been in touch in recent weeks, with contact triggered by their father contracting the coronavirus.
One has to hope that, with rumors of a rapprochement between William and Harry, some such call will indeed be made.
For while Harry is celebrating an extraordinary two years of marriage, and good on him, it would be even sweeter were he able to toast the restoration of cordial relations with his brother into the bargain.