Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Life 2 Years After Royal Wedding
By Rachel McRady
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It's been two years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in front of friends, family, and the world at Windsor Castle. Since then, the couple's fairytale beginnings have taken a turn as they announced their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family back in January. Following the bombshell announcement, Harry worked with Queen Elizabeth II and other members of his extended family to come to an agreement about his duties and obligations and on March 31, the couple officially stepped down as working members of the royal family.
They've left the United Kingdom and their home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England, and after a brief stint in Canada, have since relocated to Los Angeles, where they are currently in quarantine with their 1-year-old son, Archie.
Here's a breakdown of their new lives apart from the royal family:
According to the source, the local businesses were getting inundated with requests for details about the famous residents. Not only was it interfering with their ability to do business, but also many of the business owners in the community are sympathetic to the young couple’s wishes for privacy and a more “normal” life.
The source says that some of the small businesses posted signs on their doors stating that the press is not welcome there.
North Saanich is a very small, secluded, close-knit community on Vancouver Island and is not somewhere that typically attracts celebrities.
Harry was seen out grabbing a sandwich at a local grocery store with a big grin on his face. The sixth in line to the throne went casual in a puffy black coat, jeans and a baseball cap for the outing, showing his more down-to-earth side.
Meghan and Harry have been keeping a low profile, yet occasionally stepping out to give back to the community and help deliver meals to people by working with the nonprofit Project Angel Food.
After some final royal appearances in the U.K. in late April and early March, the couple officially stepped down from their duties on March 31.
Buckingham Palace has also confirmed to ET that “the royal family and the Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties.”
As the couple makes strides to become financially independent, they've got several projects in the works. In January, shortly after the announcement was made, it was announced by multiple outlets that Meghan had signed a voiceover deal with Disney in exchange for a donation to a wildlife charity, Elephants Without Borders. The deal was signed before the couple announced their intention to step down as senior members of the royal family.
A source previously told ET that Prince Harry is in talks with Goldman Sachs to be featured as a guest speaker for the interview series "Talks at GS." Nothing has been confirmed about the potential speaking engagement at this time and the speakers for the series are not paid.
Harry also previously spoke at a JPMorgan event in Miami, where he received a reported $2 million for the engagement.
With the name "Sussex Royal" rejected due to their lack of royal status, the couple has landed on "Archewell" as the name of their upcoming charitable foundation.
"Before Sussex Royal, came the idea of 'Arche' -- the Greek word meaning 'source of action.' We connected to this concept for the charitable organisation we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name," the couple revealed in a statement.
Prince Harry will retain ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader; however, during this 12-month period, his honorary military positions will not be used. No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the review is complete.
In addition to keeping their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, the pair will also retain their titles of the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton and the Baron and Baroness Kilkeel.
And Prince Harry will remain sixth in line to the throne.
With the couple closing up their Buckingham Palace offices, they've had to give their staff notice. Another royal source previously told ET that a few beloved, selected staff, who have been with the Palace for years, were given the option of continuing employment. They would be absorbed into other roles with the royal household if they choose to stay on. Meghan and Harry may retain one or two staff members. Archie has one nanny caring for him in Canada.
The source says this could be a “practical” move for the couple since they have stepped back from senior royal duties.
"In their new life, things will be streamlined and leaner with staff located closer to them," the source added.
The decision implies that the couple plan to spend the majority of their time in North America.
Another royal source also confirms that Prince Harry and Meghan will be in the U.K. “regularly” in the future despite speculation and reports to the contrary. Though the coronavirus pandemic has prevented the couple from traveling to the U.K. at this time, they have both been keeping in touch regularly with their charities and patronages. Harry has given several video messages in honor of the Invictus Games, which have been postponed this year. He's also done a call with parents and volunteers involved in the WellChild charity.
A source previously told ET that the Duke of Sussex is "really taking to the West Coast lifestyle" and that his wife's healthy habits are "rubbing off" on him. "Meghan has always been very health-conscious," the source says of the California native. "Her healthy habits are rubbing off on Harry too."
Harry has gradually taken on a more plant-based diet of organic foods throughout his time with Meghan since they started dating in 2016.
In their life away from the royal family, the couple is also cooking their own meals. They're also enjoying time outdoors with their son, Archie.
In a speech to supporters of Sentebale in January, Prince Harry gave some insight into his family's decision to step away from the royals. Harry insisted he had "no other option," adding, "I hope it helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life."