Prince Harry had contemplated the advantages of marrying a celebrity before he met Meghan Markle, telling friends that “only somebody who was already in the public eye would be able to understand and handle everything” that being a royal’s bride would entail, it has been reported.
Harry, 33, met divorceé Miss Markle, 36, last summer, shortly after making the alleged comments, but a source told The Sunday Times: “I don’t think he went out and deliberately looked for a famous actress.”
However, there is a certain logic to Harry’s decision to court a celebrity after his previous two serious relationships crumbled.
Chelsy Davy, 32, and Cressida Bonas, 28, both struggled with the remorseless attention that came with being Harry’s girlfriend.
A source close to the prince told The Sunday Times: “It makes sense that he has ended up with a celebrity… he feels comfortable being with someone who has already come to terms with the price of fame in the way that his other girlfriends never could.”
Prior to meeting Meghan, Harry had frequently spoken about the challenges he faced in dating women.
Speaking in 2016, he told of the “massive paranoia that sits inside me” when it comes to women.
“If or when I do find a girlfriend,” he said, “I will do my utmost... to ensure that me and her can get to the point where we’re actually comfortable with each other before the massive invasion that is inevitably going to happen into her privacy.
The royal added: “The other concern is that even if I talk to a girl, that person is then suddenly my wife, and people go knocking on her door.”
In their joint interview, however, Meghan sought to play down her familiarity with the limelight, saying: “There’s a misconception that, because I worked in the entertainment industry, that this is something I would be familiar with,” Markle said. “But even though I had been on my show for, I guess, six years at that point and working before that, I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and lived a relatively quiet life, even though I focus so much on my job.”
“That was a really stark difference out of the gate,” she said.