They sent shock waves across the nation when they announced their move to Canada back in January.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are used to their lifestyle choices attracting attention.
- But it’s been claimed their controversial move to Los Angeles could have been in tribute to Harry’s late mother Princess Diana.
- In other royal news, Princess Charlotte may be going through a big change sometime soon.
Then, just two months later, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped another bombshell when they left Canada and moved to LA.
But while their ‘Hollywood’ move has raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons, the couple are actually thought to be honouring Harry’s late mother Princess Diana’s final wishes before her tragic death in 1997.
So are Harry and Meghan hungry for the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, or are they just desperate for the quiet life that Diana once coveted?
Following in Diana’s footsteps
Harry and Meghan have rented a luxury mansion in Malibu and, while this could seem like an extravagant decision, one reason they may have chosen to settle there is as a tribute to Diana.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell has claimed that the Princess of Wales planned to move sons William and Harry to Malibu with her and her then boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, to escape the pressures of life as a former royal, before the couple tragically died in a car crash in Paris.
Paul revealed, ‘[Diana] said, “This is our new life, just won’t it be great, think of the lifestyle [for] the boys… Nobody’s judgemental here in America, you don’t have the class system, you don’t have the establishment”.’
Royal expert Charlie Lankston added, ‘Malibu is nicely out of the way, it’s not right in the middle of LA, they’re not going to get that Hollywood, over-the-top lifestyle which I’m sure the two of them are not looking forward to getting involved in… But it’s also in an area where it was rumoured that Princess Diana was planning to live with Dodi Fayed shortly before they died.
‘We know that Dodi had purchased property in the very same area, and sources told us Princess Diana was very much planning to move in with him.’
This isn’t the first time Harry and Meghan have made an effort to remember Diana. Harry designed Meghan’s engagement ring with diamonds picked out from Diana’s personal collection. And, at their wedding, there were many references to Harry’s late mum.
Meghan chose forget-me-nots for her bouquet, which were Diana’s favourite flower. The ceremony included the hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer which was played at Diana’s funeral, and Lady Jane Fellowes – Diana’s older sister – read from the Song of Solomon.
Meghan also wore one of Diana’s rings to the couple’s wedding reception, and has sported many outfits similar to those Diana wore over the years, including her wedding veil.
Craving the quiet life
Harry has made no secret of the fact he wants to raise one-year-old son Archie as normally as possible – something he no doubt inherited from his mum.
Speaking after his decision to step down as a senior member of the Royal Family, he said, ‘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.’
Years before having Archie – who doesn’t have a royal title – Harry said, ‘I am determined to have a relatively normal life and, if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one, too.’
Harry has also spoken at length about how his 10 years serving in the British Army gave him the ‘normal’ life he was so desperate to have, as he once admitted, ‘Being in the Army was the best escape I’ve ever had. I had a deep understanding of all sorts of people from different backgrounds and felt I was part of a team. I wasn’t a prince, I was just Harry.’
Harry and Meghan’s move has faced criticism from some, who believe they’ve ‘ditched’ the UK during a time of need amid the pandemic.
TV presenter Piers Morgan is one who holds this view. Praising other members of the Royal Family, he said, ‘Comparing the class of Prince Philip, which has been mirrored by his wife the Queen, by the Cambridges, by the others, with these whiny little brats in Hollywood.’
He added in another dig, ‘I’ve got to hand it to the Royal Family, the ones who stayed in the country… Meanwhile, in Hollywood, there’s some bloke called Harry.’
With Meghan’s mum Doria based in LA, it’s no wonder the couple chose to leave Canada to be closer to family – even if they can’t see her yet.
Charlie Lankston adds, ‘Harry and Meghan were very much testing the waters with their stay in Canada. I don’t believe they ever planned to make the place their residence. But it was the place that the two of them knew they could be really isolated… They could really hunker down with Archie away from the publicity that they experienced in London. It always made sense for the two of them to be in LA at least part of the time.’