Friends of the royals have said the family would be hugely concerned if reports of difficulties in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage turned out to be accurate, as finding a role for a divorced or separated Harry who decided to return to the U.K. would be “a bloody nightmare.”
However the friends emphasized that reports alleging the couple are struggling all appear to be “groundless” and based on speculation.
A friend of William’s told The Daily Beast: “William and Kate had plenty of reservations about the marriage in the first place, precisely because they feared Meghan wasn’t right for Harry. But what’s done is done and now William, like everyone else in the family, just hopes it all works out. Harry returning to the U.K., and trying to find him a job, would be a bloody nightmare.”
A friend of King Charles’ told The Daily Beast: “The marriage has to work. That’s not a case of Charles saying, ‘Harry has made his bed and has to lie in it.’ It’s a case of a father wanting his son, who he loves very much, to be happy and to have his wife and children in his life. These stories are groundless anyway. I don’t think anyone is seriously concerned that they are on the point of separation.”
Rumors that the marriage might be in trouble first started to circulate after reports surfaced that Harry was spending occasional nights away from home, staying at the exclusive San Vicente Bungalows resort in Los Angeles.
The rumor mill was stoked by Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, who said in an interview with GB News: “Am I the only person in the U.K. that is thinking, has Harry finally woken up to the truth? Has he finally seen the truth of what his wife is doing and that he’s been brainwashed and mesmerized by her beauty or something? Because we all know that, but he doesn’t seem to see it.” Burrell was cut off by William and Harry after he published a memoir in 2003, entitled A Royal Duty. William and Harry, unusually, issued a joint statement at the time condemning the book as a “cold and overt betrayal.”
The royal author Lady Colin Campbell, who is known to have excellent society contacts and was the first journalist to reveal Diana’s eating disorder, also told GB News that she had heard, “from five totally reliable sources that Harry called in the lawyers some months ago.”
Reports of growing distance between the couple were also fueled by Meghan’s absence from her husband’s side as he promoted his memoir earlier this year. When the couple did finally appear together, at a New York awards ceremony, their re-emergence was overshadowed by claims they were involved in a car chase, the allegedly perilous nature of which they appeared to exaggerate.
However the journalist Petronella Wyatt wrote in the Daily Telegraph this week that she believed the couple would never split up, citing, “friends of mine in LA who know Harry and Meghan socially.”
She added: “There is something almost heroic in the way they have held their perilous ground, disdaining all compromise, unmoved by their vociferous critics. They have faced every conceivable form of attack that rational people are capable of mounting and yet they have scarcely budged an inch.”
A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry did not respond to a request for comment, but the couple have previously described their relationship in elegiac terms. Meghan said in an interview with New York magazine that they “move together” like “salt and pepper” and described how they were inspired to buy their house in Montecito after noticing two intertwined trees in the garden that they felt reflected their own love and interdependence.
Meghan said: “One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house was those two palm trees. See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, ‘My love, it’s us.’ And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, ‘Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa.’ ”
In his book, Harry wrote in detail about his love for his wife. In one section, he described how when Meghan came to stay with him, “The whole cottage was filled with love. Filled to overflowing. It even seemed to spill out of the open door into the garden outside.”
A former friend of Harry’s who has not seen him since he moved to America told The Daily Beast: “I think the concept that they might not make it as a couple is there in the back of all our minds because he has undergone such a huge change of lifestyle. The over-sharing Harry is not someone we recognize and you just wonder if one day he will wake up and go, ‘Oh shit, what have I done?’ But the good thing is that, as of now, all the reports I hear are that he seems perfectly happy with his new, touchy-feely, Californian millionaire lifestyle. Long may it last.”