Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new life in the US might seem like a dream to people from the outside. However, as it’s now been three years since the couple – alongside their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet – moved into their Montecito, California mansion, their new careers have had some rather abrupt turns.
Their Netflix deal didn’t go as planned, and a Spotify boss has lashed out at the couple because of their work ethic. Nevertheless, Harry and Meghan have made plenty of money. Their main goal has been to have a calmer life, raising their children in the best environment possible, far away from the paparazzi cameras.
However, the couple’s plan of raising their children in the US is causing some backlash. A royal expert has even argued that Archie and Lilibet will grow up in an environment that could have tragic consequences.
Moving to another country is undoubtedly a huge adjustment. New people, a new culture, and a new language can take their toll, and, especially if you are a child, it also means having to say goodbye to some dear friends, which can be very tough.
Harry & Meghan’s new life with Archie and Lilibet
However, moving to another country – or continent – can be good when the kids are too young to understand, giving them a clean slate. That was the case for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who left the royal family to settle in the US instead, building a whole different, more private life than the hectic royal one.
Their firstborn child, Archie, was born in the UK, while their daughter, Lilibet, was welcomed in their new hometown of Montecito, California.
The couple lives in a big mansion dubbed “Fort Knox,” and counts the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey among their neighbors.
Harry has been spotted playing polo in Santa Barbara occasionally, while Meghan spends more time in Los Angeles. While it’s not exactly clear which celebrities they usually hang out with, reports suggest that Meghan is keen on seeing more people in Los Angeles. However, it appears that the Duke and Duchess aren’t as popular as previously thought.
While the couple has reportedly made around $125 million on their Netflix and Spotify deals, this year has had several rock bottoms.
Besides Harry being criticized for some of the claims made in his book, Spare, which was released in January, the couple was slammed over the fact that they decided to give their children royal titles, despite leaving royal life.
In March, Lilibet was christened by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev. John Taylor. She became Princess Lilibet Diana, and her brother Prince Archie. In a statement, Harry and Meghan said they believe the prince and princess titles are their “birthright.”
Archie and Lilibet were given royal titles
The christening occurred privately at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, with around 20 to 30 people in attendance.
“The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became monarch. This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace,” a spokesman for the couple said.
The fact that Archie and Lilibet now bear the titles of prince and princess has confused many. Meghan spoke about the subject during the now-infamous Oprah interview.
“They were saying they didn’t want [Archie] to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol,” she said.
It was understood that Harry and Meghan did not want to deny their children of their birthrights. Instead, it was their wish that Archie and Lilibet have a chance to decide for themselves whether they wish to keep or drop their titles when they get older.
Archie and Lilibet will most likely not use their royal titles daily. They will, instead, probably be reserved for formal settings alone.
But even though Harry and Meghan have every right to acknowledge the royal titles of their two children, not everyone is as enthusiastic.
Royal expert and author Angela Levin commented on the decision in a piece for Sky News Australia, saying that it might have an unwanted impact on Archie and Lilibet’s futures.
“Everyday life will be more challenging”
Moreover, Levin argues that Lilibet now has a significant burden on her shoulders due to her parent’s decision.
“It will take a long time for little Lilibet to realize the extent of the burden her parents have placed on her young shoulders,” Levin said.
She added that by giving their daughter a princess title, Harry and Meghan have now “glued her to the British Royal Family,” the same establishment they have criticized for many years.
“Why on earth would you want your daughter to experience such anguish?” Angela Levin asked, stating that Lilibet’s everyday life will be more challenging since she has the princess title attached to her name.
“Little girls love being a princess at parties, but if Lilibet is the only one in the class who is a real princess, it could lead to jealousy that could easily be avoided,” the royal expert concluded.
The drama between Harry and Meghan and the royal family has continued since they left the UK on their “Freedom flight” to Canada and the US. The couple’s interviews (including the now-infamous Oprah interview), Netflix series, and Harry’s book, didn’t make things easier. But now, Meghan is said to have “moved on” from the drama, focusing on setting up a “new life with their children,” according to a People Magazine source.
There is no question that Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet are living in what many would call paradise. The California climate is surely more favorable than that in the UK – for those who like the sun. Moreover, according to Montecito Journal columnist and resident Richard Mineards, the town is “a good environment to be educated in.” An educated guess is that Archie and Lilbiet will go to private schools in the area.
Neither Archie nor Lilibet will likely attend famous British schools such as Eton, where Prince George is said to begin his education in three years.
Safety reason prevents Archie and Lilibet from attending UK schools
However, neither Harry nor Meghan would want it even if Archie – or Lilibet – went to school in the UK. And that is due to a rather tragic reason.
In a piece for the New York magazine, The Cut, journalist Allison P. Davies recalled a conversation she had with Meghan. The Duchess stated that she didn’t want her son Archie to attend school in the UK due to safety concerns.
Meghan would be fearing for both her and Archie’s safety.
“Earlier in our conversation about her goals for the life she’s creating here, she’d remarked upon how, if Archie were in school in the UK, she’d never be able to do school pickup and drop-off without it being a royal photo call with a press pen of 40 people snapping pictures,” Davies wrote, as quoted by Yahoo.
Meghan told Allison: “Sorry, I have a problem with that. That doesn’t make me obsessed with privacy. That makes me a strong and good parent protecting my child.”
It’s not the first time there have been talks of safety concerns from the Duke and Duchess. Previously, Harry said he was concerned for his son’s safety in the UK, saying that the paparazzi culture is “this sort of rabid feeding frenzy. Kids don’t get a choice; they don’t get a say in it.
“We spent the first three and a half months living at [friend] Tyler Perry’s house,” Harry continued. “The helicopters, the drones, the paparazzi cutting the fence, like, it was madness. And people out there, their response was, ‘What do you expect if you live in LA?’
“First of all, we didn’t mean to live in LA. This is a staging area to try and find a house. Secondly, how sad that if you live in LA and you’re a well-known figure, you just have to expect it.”
Royal expert’s sad verdict on Archie and Lilibet’s future
Despite Archie and Lilibet not growing up inside the royal sphere, it doesn’t mean they won’t have a very luxurious upbringing. The fact that they now also have royal titles makes them even more exposed, and according to royal expert and author Tom Quinn, the children may soon feel “horribly trapped.”
According to Quinn, Archie, and Lilibet will grow up in a society that contradicts the “American Dream.” The author of Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family told the Express that Archie and Lilibet’s privileged childhood runs against the American Dream of anyone being able to make it, regardless of where you come from.
The fact that the two young children are divorced from the idea that a person’s background doesn’t matter might come back to haunt them.
“I can imagine Lilibet and Archie are going to get teased at school, possibly bullied, because people say, ‘Oh, you’re a prince and princess.’ You’re trapped,” he told Express.
Quinn added that it wouldn’t be the first time a young prince or princess would have a hard time at school. King Charles had an unfortunate time when he enrolled at the prestigious Scottish boarding school, Gordonstoun, at a young age.
“When Charles went to Gordonstoun, at first he thought he would be treated with respect because he was the heir to the throne. That meant he was bullied far more than the other boys,” the royal expert added.
“America doesn’t value these things as much as we do here. If you’re born into these things, people might early on say, ‘how marvelous’, but the glitter wears off and then you have got to find what to do with your life.”
Tom Quinn concluded, “That’s the question. And it will be a question for Harry too.”
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