It was a gloomy British day for Prince Harry, who cut an unusually pensive figure on June 26 as he headed to the airport in London to meet Meghan Markle. The normally cheerful prince, 32, was weighed down with some disappointing news, which he had yet to share with his girlfriend of nearly one year.
In a heart-to-heart with his grandmother, the popular royal had just been dealt a devastating blow: A longtime friend of the prince tells OK! that after much deliberation, the queen has rejected his bid to marry the 35-year-old actress because she is American and divorced — forcing Harry to rethink his entire future. “It’s awful,” the pal says. “Harry is now faced with the choice between his country and the woman he loves — and, right now, England is on the losing side.”
Not-so simple life
It’s been an eventful few weeks for Prince Harry, whose revealing interview with Newsweek was met with some controversy. In the intimate profile, the royal opened up about his grief over the death of his mother, Diana, revealing that he’d sought treatment for depression and, most significantly, admitting his reluctance to take the throne. “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so,” he confessed. The prince also spoke about the pressures of living under a microscope and made it clear he is “determined to have a relatively normal life.”
His relationship with Meghan has reflected that ethos. Harry escapes Kensington Palace as often as possible to spend time with the actress in Toronto, where she’s currently filming the seventh season of Suits. According to reports, his most recent trip was on June 17, and the lovebirds spent time cooking and hanging out with Meghan’s friends.
Now faced with the decision of choosing between his duties and the woman of his dreams, the royal — who’s admitted he oftenlongs to be “something other than Prince Harry” — may bid the monarchy farewell. “He’s on the precipice,” confides his pal. “Harry has struggled to find happiness ever since he left the army, but with Meghan, he’s finally content. He calls her the love of his life, and he’s not willing to give her up.”
a princely precedent
While for average folks, not getting grandma’s marriage blessing may be a bummer, if you’re a prince the consequences are far more dire. Constitutionally, the Royal Marriage Act of 1772 gives the ruling monarch — the queen — the right to veto marriages of members of the royal family. Despite it being repealed in 2015, it still applies to the first six royals in the line of succession — and that currently includes Prince Harry. “He’s devastated over the queen’s decision,” shares the confidante, who adds that Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton are on his side, albeit reluctantly. “They’ve never seen him as happy as he is with Meghan and they’ve made it very clear to him that they support him and his relationship, even if he wants to become a commoner. They actually think it would be quite a brave decision.”
It wouldn’t be the first time a monarch has chosen love over the crown. In one of the most controversial moments in royal history, King Edward VIII gave up the throne in 1936 in order to marry American socialite and divorcée Wallis Simpson. Harry’s pal adds: “England is still reeling over that, and even though Harry’s not a direct heir to the throne, it would have a similar impact if he walked away.” fighting for his future
It’s a difficult situation for one of the most popular royals in the world. Despite Harry’s reluctance to ever assume the throne, he has tremendous love and respect for what he’s called the queen’s “remarkable” work. Now the source says he’s holed up with Meghan in Kensington Palace discussing their future. “Harry can’t imagine going back to his duties without her by his side,” says the insider. “She’s given him a new lease on life, and he’s tired of putting everything but himself first. He’s waited years to find this level of happiness, and he’s not going to give it up without a fight.”