The royal family reportedly didn't think the Sussexes were serious about leaving

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal family roles this year after months of discussions.

The Sussex couple lost their HRH titles and their Sussex Royal brand and relocated to California to prioritise their family of three and mental health over their former roles.

Their departure prompted a lot of backlash, with the royal family reportedly surprised by the announcement.

The news resurfaced this week as royal author Robert Lacey opened up about the situation, explaining in an interview with Us Weekly that the royal family didn't think the couple were 'serious' about stepping down.

‘Harry had been talking to his father and brother,’ Robert Lacey explained. ‘Saying, “Look, we’ve come to the conclusion we quite like Canada. We’d like being on the side of the Atlantic. We think we want to stay here for a bit, but we think we can still say Royal.”’

According to Robert Lacey, their plan was to create a ‘sort of compromise, a new form of … expatriate monarchy’. This was something that the biographer explained was brushed aside.

He continued: ‘It was sort of off-hand. They didn’t quite believe they were serious. It’s [like], “Put it down on writing paper old chap, you know, sends us an email and we’ll think about it.”'

The royal family has not commented on the speculation.

We hope Harry and Meghan are finally getting the privacy they deserve!

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.