March 10, 2022 | Samantha Henman

Why Did Meghan Markle Disappear?

There was the Netflix deal, the Spotify deal, and that Oprah interview. And then...she was gone. After all the scandal it stirred up, it felt like Meghan Markle—and Prince Harry—all but disappeared from the public eye. In fact, there was recently a period of 102 days that went by without a public appearance from Meghan. So, why did Meghan Markle disappear? There’s way more to the story than meets the eye—so let’s dig in.

1. The Interview Set Off A Ton Of Controversy

It may not have been where it all began, but it does seem like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey is where everything turned around. During the interview, they laid bare what really happened after their fairy tale wedding, and the events that led to “Megxit.” To start, Meghan addressed rumors that she had a feud with Catherine Middleton.

According to Markle, there’s no bad blood, and she wishes the press would stop pitting them against each other. Of course, this was just the first of many revelations that Markle made during the interview.

Meghan Markle FactsOprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, CBS

2. She Was In Serious Trouble

When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that she was pregnant, the couple sparkled with joy. Sadly, behind the scenes, the truth couldn’t have been more different. As the tabloid scrutiny heightened and the expectations from the royal family intensified, Markle became increasingly despondent. It got so bad that she reached out to palace officials to ask for help—and their response was chilling.

Prince Harry FactsShutterstock

3. She Made A Disturbing Confession

When Meghan revealed to them that she felt like she “didn’t want to be alive anymore,” they responded that there was nothing they could do to help her. When she asked a palace official about the possibility of some sort of inpatient care, they said it “wouldn’t be good for the institution.” And that wasn’t the only rough period of her pregnancy.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

4. They Faced Heinous Judgement

The birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son Archie should’ve been joyous—but instead, Markle faced untold heartbreak. During her interview with Oprah, Meghan confessed that “certain” members of the royal family were more rudely preoccupied with the child’s skin color than whether she and the baby were happy and healthy. They also ensured that baby Archie wouldn’t have a royal title.

Of course, this was compounded by years of tabloid scrutiny over her race. The reactions of the royal family members to all of this have been mixed.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images


5. They Didn’t Like What He Told Them

When Meghan and Harry announced that they’d be stepping back from palace life, many tabloids made it seem as if

they’d blindsided the Queen and Prince Charles—but as they explained, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Harry discussed his plan at length with his family, but some reacted more graciously than others.

While Harry explicitly said that he is still in regular contact with the Queen, he described the situation with his father as one of “space.” It also appears that Prince William and Kate Middleton have also distanced themselves. Strange, as they’d once been so close…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

6. Megxit Was Just The Beginning

After Meghan and Prince Harry announced that they were leaving royal life behind, many royal watchers and journalists began to speculate that there’d been a major falling out between Harry and his brother Prince William. An ITV documentary where Harry admitted that they were on different paths only made things worse—until the rumors about what was behind it all began to circulate.

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7. He Wouldn’t Stand For It

In 2019, disturbing rumors began to emerge that William had an affair with a woman named Rose Hanbury, who had often been a part of his social circle. Not only had Catherine blown up at both of them about it, but Prince Harry had too. As a newlywed and a family man, Harry was said to be furious with William’s behavior.

The damage that infidelity had done to their parents’ marriage only increased Harry’s anger at his brother.

Prince William FactsShutterstock

8. They Wanted To Keep Things Secret

After Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince William was reportedly furious at the couple for exposing the family. He actually became the first member of the royal family to address the interview, denying the accusations of racism. As the brothers made attempts to reconcile, it was actually Catherine who acted as an intermediary between them, despite reports that she’d bullied Meghan.

But fixing the problem was way more complicated than it seemed…

Prince William factsGetty Images

9. They Wanted To Break Away

In July of 2021, as the brothers came together to unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, it looked like the worst was over—until an ITV documentary further stoked the flames of the rumored feud. It claimed that Harry and Meghan had wanted to set up an office to manage their own affairs, but that William, Charles, and the Queen had denied them.

A secretary also passed on accusations that Meghan had bullied her staff members. But that’s not all the documentary had to say…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images


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10. He May Have Tried To Make His Brother Look Bad

One allegation from the documentary was so controversial that Kensington Palace forced the filmmakers to retract it. The story stated that Prince William had planted stories about Prince Harry’s mental health and expressed concerns about Harry and Meghan being in “a fragile place.” This type of passive-aggressive dig would no doubt be infuriating for Harry and Meghan.

Ultimately, the Palace advised ITV that the claim could be seen as “potentially defamatory,” so they took it out. But the allegations about these types of leaks didn’t end there…

Meghan Markle LooksGetty Images


11. They Said She Was A Bad Boss

Why was the Oprah interview so important—and so controversial? Well, in the months before it happened, it almost seemed like someone at Buckingham Palace had it out for her. It goes back to the allegations that Meghan had bullied a number of staff members. Two senior staffers came out and claimed that she’d “humiliated” them and that her actions had shown “emotional cruelty and manipulation.”

And that wasn’t the only reason that she was in the press.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

12. They Said She Aligned Herself With A Villain

Reports of this came out in the press at the same time that other journalists directed criticism at her for wearing earrings that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had given her, who had recently been implicated in the murder of a journalist. It was heavy stuff—and Meghan shot back.

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13. She Claimed They Were Against Her

Both stories had appeared in The Times, and Meghan was quick to put two and two together. Ultimately, she denied the bullying allegations and accused Buckingham Palace of having used The Times to create a smear campaign against her. This all happened shortly before the Oprah interview, making it seem like a well-timed opportunity for Meghan to shift the narrative regarding her relationship with the palace.

And while the interview was filled with some raw, emotional moments, there were others that raised…questions.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

14. They Made Surprising Choices

Following Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back from royal life, they announced a number of different business ventures—among them, a development deal with Netflix and a partnership with Spotify to create a number of podcasts, some of which they’d host. These massive deals which put them in the spotlight seemed to run counter to their desire for less media attention.

But then, they shared a bit more about their motivations.

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15. They Were Scared

As part of their negotiated exit from royal life, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were left in a terrifying position. Since they were public citizens, they were no longer able to get the security and protection that the palace affords the rest of the royal family. They said that they were afraid for their child’s safety should they visit the UK, where the authorities would no longer protect them.

They needed to find a solution, and quick. According to Harry, these business deals—among others—allowed them to have the financial freedom to obtain the quality of security that their high profiles necessitated. Security wasn’t the only thing they lost as part of Megxit, either…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

16. They Choice A Controversial Collaborator

Before, Meghan and Prince Harry had worked with Sara Latham, who was their head of communications out of Kensington Palace. However, when they left the UK, they hired a US-based PR firm. And not just any PR firm, but a crisis PR firm called Sunshine Sachs. Their track record is controversial, to say the least. The firm represented Harvey Weinstein in 2015, and they’ve admitted to doctoring the Wikipedia pages of their clients, an action which the site’s terms prohibit.

Sunshine Sachs was likely behind the Oprah interview—but as we’ll see, some of their gambits have worked out well for Meghan and Harry, while others haven’t.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock


17. There’s An Ebb And Flow Of Public Opinion

One of the reasons why Meghan may have disappeared from the public eye may have to do with the ongoing feud between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William. Immediately after Megxit, the public laid the blame on Meghan and not Harry for the situation with his family. People even insinuated that she was manipulating him.

By hanging back and allowing Harry to make all the statements, Meghan may be able to turn the tide of public opinion.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

18. He’ll Never Tell

One of the biggest bombshells in Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah was that one of the members of the royal family had expressed concern about their first child’s skin color while Meghan was pregnant. It was the first part that Prince William addressed, saying “we’re very much not a racist family.” Later, Harry clarified that it was neither the Queen nor his grandfather, Prince Philip, who’d made the comment.

Harry even went so far as to say that he’d never reveal who the culprit was. At the time, William said he hadn’t yet spoken to Harry, but that he planned on it. However, since then, things haven’t exactly warmed up between them.

Prince Harry FactsGetty Images

19. Shots Were Fired

It’s been a year since Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah, but things remain cold between not only Harry and William, but also between Harry and his father, Prince Charles. After all, Harry did say that they were both “trapped” in the interview. While they were in contact after the interview, Harry said that their conversation was “not productive.”

Sadly, it would take a family tragedy to reunite them.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

20. There Was A Glaring Absence

In April of 2021, Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip passed at the age of 99. The media waited with bated breath for Harry to reunite with his family for the first time since his move to the US—but there was a surprise in store. While Harry was able to go to the UK, Meghan, who was pregnant at the time, was not. Doctors didn’t clear her for travel, and she missed the funeral.

At the funeral, both Harry and William walked behind the coffin—calling back to the heartbreaking moment in 1997 when they walked with Prince Philip behind their mother’s coffin. But even this sad moment couldn’t heal the divide between them.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

21. They Had Nowhere To Go

When Meghan and Harry left the UK, the original plan was for them to head to Canada. But amidst a wave of controversy over their security costs—and questions about their plans for the future—the pair headed for their friend Tyler Perry’s home in California, who had the resources necessary to protect the pair. Since then, they’ve purchased and settled in a home in Montecito, a well-to-do celebrity enclave.

Many took this as a signal that the pair were preparing to make a big Hollywood splash—but they couldn’t have been more wrong.

Why Did Meghan Markle Disappear?Getty Images

22. They Finally Found A Safe Haven

Meghan and Harry’s home base in Montecito has actually served the opposite purpose. It seems to be the one place where they can actually enjoy their privacy and live their lives. Between late 2021 and early 2022, there was a period of 102 days where Meghan didn’t make a public appearance. This likely would’ve been very hard to pull off anywhere else in the world—and definitely would’ve been impossible if she had royal duties.

While the pandemic kept a lot of people home, 102 days is a lot. So what’s life like in their neighborhood in Montecito?

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images


23. They’re Extremely Reclusive

As one neighbor explained, she’s never actually spotted Meghan or Harry in the 18 months that they’ve lived there—though their security team has certainly made their presence known. With Lilibet’s birth in June of 2021, it’s likely that Meghan is just spending most of her time with her two kids, as sources have said that she’s very hands-on.

But on the other side of things, Queen Elizabeth is dying to meet her new great-grandchild while she still can—and it’s unclear as of yet whether that will happen. Part of that has to do, once again, with security.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

24. He Stood His Ground

Of all the clauses that Meghan and Harry faced when they stepped down, there’s just one that Prince Harry has fought back against. It has to do with his access to police protection. It’s not that Harry expects the taxpayer to fund his security. He’s fighting to be able to pay for help from the authorities, so that his private security is better equipped to protect him, Meghan, and their children. As part of Megxit, any protection from the authorities is contingent on the purpose of the visit.

This means that a simple visit to introduce his children to his family could actually put them at risk. As it stands, Harry and his representatives claim that it’s too dangerous for them to visit.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

25. They’ve Barely Spoken

As mentioned, the seeming feud isn’t just between Prince Harry and Prince William. There’s been a huge shift in Harry’s relationship with his father. Although he claimed that the two were regularly speaking the Oprah interview, insiders have claimed otherwise. They say that father and son only spoke a handful of times in 2021 and that each conversation was “fraught.”

Other sources refute this, claiming that things are much worse with Prince William. Well, one story may hint at what’s really true here.

Prince Charles factsGetty Images

26. He Never Welcomed Her Into The Family

In January of 2020, The Times published a story insinuating that the whole feud between the brothers began with Prince William’s alleged cold shoulder toward Meghan. According to the story, it began even before Meghan and Harry tied the knot, and Harry felt that William wasn’t welcoming enough toward his new partner.

After that experience, they never quite recovered—but they do have one thing in common.

Prince Harry FactsFlickr

27. They Agree On One Thing

Whether or not Harry and William are still feuding, there’s one controversial issue that’s recently united them. Queen Elizabeth recently announced that when Charles becomes king, his wife Camilla will take the title of queen consort. According to reports, the news was a massive and unpleasant surprise for both Harry and William. When Charles and Camilla tied the knot, one of the conditions was that she wouldn’t get the title.

Many say it’s driving a wedge between Prince Charles and everyone else. So, where do Meghan and Harry stand on Camilla? Well…it’s complicated.

TRH Prince of Wales & The Duchess Of Cornwall - Official Wedding Photo.Getty Images

28. They Are Preparing For The Worst

One important thing to know about the divide between Meghan and Harry and the rest of the royal family is that Harry will be releasing a tell-all memoir in late 2022. The House of Windsor is expecting the worst—even more drama than the Oprah interview—and preparing themselves for the ensuing PR fallout. And, for some reason, the one person that everyone expects Harry to rip into is Camilla…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

29. They Had A Rough Start

While Prince William did his best to be welcoming to Camilla when Prince Charles introduced his sons to her nine months after the loss of Diana, Harry was a bit too young to engage in social niceties. After all, he was extremely close with Diana, and Camilla was the other woman. His first meeting with Camilla was awkward, but the tension eased up over the years as her matured. So why does everyone suspect Camilla is in the line of fire?

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

30. She Had A Falling Out

While Meghan and Camilla initially bonded over their love of yoga and wine, they had a bit of a rift after Meghan released photos that overshadowed an important speech Camilla had planned. While it seemed trivial, it sent shockwaves throughout an already tense palace, and reportedly, things have not been the same since.

Camilla also holds something of a grudge against Meghan and Harry for the pain they’ve caused Charles. So, what will Harry have to say in his book?

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

31. The Book Is Going To Shock Everyone

While Meghan’s never expressed any ill will toward Camilla, a source told The Mirror that Harry is going to finally make his feelings about Camilla clear in the book. He said that: “He has got lots to say about it. People think he’s keeping a low profile to respect the family but it’s not that.” The source also added: “[The book] will shake the monarchy to the core.”

And Camilla may not be the book’s only target…

Camilla Parker Bowles FactsShutterstock

32. Will He Have An Answer?

As PR firm Sunshine Sachs prepares Meghan and Harry for the publicity they’ll inevitably get when his tell-all memoir is released, there’s one glaring problem they’ve run up against. Insiders say they’re worried about journalists asking Harry questions about his uncle, Prince Andrew, and the allegations of sex abuse against him.

Harry is, of course, particularly close with Andrew’s daughters, and the royal family has remained mum about the accusations against Andrew and his court cases.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

33. There’s A Glaring Double Standard

How can the palace be so quick to lash out at Harry while defending Prince Andrew? Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties two months before Meghan and Harry. They lost their royal privileges nearly immediately, while it took Andrew a year to lose his. Why the double standard? Well, many think Meghan and Harry are getting the brunt of it because they tarnished the family's reputation.

Umm, question. How is what they did worse than hanging out with Jeffrey Epstein and doing sex crimes? According to royal watchers, the Queen doesn’t believe the accusations against her son—hence the double standard. But what about Harry?

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

34. One Thing May Keep Him In Check

What Harry has to say about his uncle will likely depend on timing. Despite his openness about the problems with being a royal, it’s unclear whether he’ll open up about his relationship with Prince Andrew—after all, the royal family has done their best to keep stories about him quiet. On top of that, Meghan and Harry are quite close with Andrew’s daughter Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.

But while Harry was busy working on the book, his and Meghan’s other business deals haven’t fared so well.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

35. They Disappeared After Getting Paid

When Meghan and Harry signed a $30 million dollar contract with Spotify in December 2020, fans expected their content to dominate the platform in 2021. And then, nothing. Well, okay…one holiday special shortly after the announcement. But that was it—leaving people to wonder exactly what was happening behind the scenes. And they weren’t the only ones in the dark.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

36. They Spoke Out Against Them

After a long period of radio silence (pun intended), Spotify finally took matters into their own hands and hired a team to help move things along and get some content out of this very expensive deal. It was a move they may have come to regret when, in early 2022, Meghan and Harry spoke out against Spotify for promoting Covid-19 misinformation.

Regardless of their disagreements, they did say that they were still committed to working with Spotify. At a $30 million price tag, I’d hope so…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

37. They’re Giving Them Space

After everything that happened in 2021, and all the back-and-forth, it seems like, for now, the royal family has changed the way they treat Meghan and Harry. Instead of antagonizing them, they are giving them space. There could be a number of reasons why—but there is immense pressure on the House of Windsor this year. As the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations approach, attention on them will intensify—and people may expect Harry to take part in the celebrations.

But there’s an even darker side to it all.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

38. She Wants To See Her Family Again

Queen Elizabeth’s health and age are sadly both factors at play here as the Firm prepares for an inevitable transition of power from her to her son, Prince Charles. The monarchy has changed immeasurably since the beginning of her reign, and in order to sway public opinion, the House of Windsor is trying to emphasize their positive contributions instead of their family drama.

This may be yet another reason for them to not only stop defending themselves against Meghan and Harry, but to stop bringing up the couple altogether.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

39. They Didn’t Congratulate Her

It’s hard to imagine the Queen caring about social media snubs, but eagle-eyed royal watchers noted one when the Platinum Jubilee occurred in February (the celebrations will only take place in the summer). While Prince Charles issued a statement and Prince William retweeted the royal family’s posts, Meghan and Harry’s official accounts were silent on the occasion.

Some think that it was done on purpose—but we’ll have to see what happens when the royal family celebrates the milestone later this year, though many believe that Meghan may skip due to security concerns.

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40. They Weren’t The Only Problem

Focusing on Meghan and Harry’s relationship with his family leaves out one crucial factor as to why Meghan has disappeared. That’s her family. If you’ll recall, there were some issues within her family even before the wedding—and as the day approached, they blew up in everyone’s face. It all began with her father—but it didn’t end with him.

Meghan Markle FactsFlickr, Bruce Detorres

41. He Couldn’t Stay Out Of Trouble

In 2018, before Meghan tied the knot with Prince Harry, her dad Thomas Markle started getting up to some weird stuff. Namely, he got way too friendly with the press—not to mention the strangely staged photoshoot of him “preparing” for the wedding by looking up stories about his daughter online and reading a book titled Images of Britain.

Not long after, the dark truth about the photos came out.

Announcement Of Prince Harry's Engagement To Meghan MarkleGetty Images

42. The Damage Was Done

Many thought that the photos had been Markle’s idea—but instead, his daughter (and Meghan’s half-sister) Samantha confessed that they’d been her idea. She said: “The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family.” When asked if the photos were staged, Thomas lied to Prince Harry and denied it.

In the days before the wedding, it came out that Thomas Markle would not be walking his daughter down the aisle, as he was recovering from surgery. But still, Thomas just kept getting in the middle of these dramatic situations.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock

43. He Keeps Talking To The Press

Although it was well-known that the only two members of Meghan’s family that she’d invited to the wedding were her mother and father, her father later claimed he’d never received a formal invitation. And that wasn’t all he let loose about. Following the wedding, Thomas participated in all sorts of paid interviews where he talked about Meghan and Harry.

It caused irreparable damage to this relationship with his daughter—but he still couldn’t stop himself.

Meghan Markle FactsShutterstock


44. She Won A Pittance

After a story came out in People where some of Meghan’s friends spoke negatively about Thomas, he shot back by having a letter his daughter had written him published. In the letter, Meghan wrote that his actions had broken her heart. Well, Meghan wasn’t about to take the invasion of privacy sitting down. Meghan took The Mail on Sunday, who’d published the letter, to court over the whole thing.

Ultimately, they awarded her just £1in damages. While not a financial win, it was a moral one—but Thomas Markle definitely did not learn any lessons from it.

Meghan Markle LooksGetty Images

45. He Keeps Getting Darker

You’d think Meghan’s exit from the royal family and her distancing herself from her in-laws might have healed some of the divide between her and her family—but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Thomas Markle was critical of Meghan and Harry’s decision, saying that she and Harry are "destroying and cheapening" the royal institution and that they are "lost souls."

In basically the same breath, he said he hopes that one day they’ll reconcile—yeah, right. Thomas has also stated that he’ll sue for visitation rights with Meghan and Harry’s children. Yikes. So where does Meghan’s half-sister Samantha fit in all of this?

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

46. Her Half-Sister Has A Twisted Story

Meghan’s half-sister on her father’s side, Samantha Markle, has not had an easy go of it. Divorce, bankruptcy, and illness have been constants in her life, and she uses a wheelchair because she suffers from a chronic condition. On top of all that, she’s estranged from her mother, her brother, Meghan, and all three of her own children.

But it didn’t all happen because of Meghan’s rift with Thomas. In fact, Meghan and Samantha have been estranged for years. The last time they spoke was in 2015—about a year before Meghan and Harry began dating. So why is Samantha so fixated on the couple?

Meghan Markle factsGetty Images

47. She Can’t Shut Up

Samantha has used the media focus on Meghan to her own advantage—making appearances and even publishing a “book” she titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. Real creative title, there. But don’t worry—Samantha gives it away for free, too, going on regular tirades against Meghan on Twitter. Samantha has spoken out about everything from her half-sister’s treatment of their father to accusing Meghan of ignoring her because she’s in a wheelchair.

But she hasn’t exactly gotten away with all the unhinged behavior…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

48. The Authorities Are Onto Her

Not only has the Polk County Sherriff’s Department investigated Samantha for cyberbullying, but the UK Fixed Threat Assessment Centre has also put her on a watch list for persons exhibiting signs of obsession with members of the Royal Family. Clearly, based on what came next, she did not learn her lesson.

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49. She’s Suing Her

Most recently, in March 2022, Samantha Markle filed a defamation lawsuit against Meghan, claiming that her half-sister had lied during her Oprah interview. She claims that Meghan’s comments about her have negatively affected sales of her autobiography, stopped her from getting jobs, and created emotional and mental distress.

Samantha is seeking damages of $75,000—but Meghan’s lawyers have shot back that this is just part of "a continuation of a pattern of disturbing behavior." Honestly, they make a good point…

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

50. She Came Back

After a recent 102 day absence, Meghan Markle stepped out to receive an NAACP Image award with Prince Harry, for their works on causes related to social justice and equity. She also enjoyed a dinner with Harry, his cousin Princess Eugenie, and her husband Jack Brooksbank during that couple’s visit to the US. For once, it looked like she was having fun. Whether she’ll retreat from the public eye again remains to be seen—but one thing is for sure.

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

51. Meghan Can’t Win

There’s one essential problem when it comes to Meghan and Harry—when Harry does something, Meghan gets the blame. It’s definitely true for the tabloids, partly true for public opinion, and potentially true for the royal family. Laying low might be Meghan’s way of trying to stop this phenomenon in its tracks. Sadly, it’s taken a heartbreaking toll on everyone involved.

As Meghan reportedly confessed to a friend, “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”

Meghan Markle FactsGetty Images

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

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