A timeline of Harry and Meghan’s lives since Megxit

PA Reporter
·10-min read
A timeline of Harry and Meghan’s lives since Megxit

Buckingham Palace has announced its HR team will investigate the circumstances around allegations of bullying made against the Duchess of Sussex.

It is the latest twist in the relationship between Meghan and her husband, the Duke of Sussex, and the palace, since the pair stepped back as senior royals in March 2020, a move dubbed “Megxit”.

Harry and Meghan, who temporarily relocated to Canada, are now based in Meghan’s home city of Los Angeles with their one-year-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

The palace investigation comes as the couple are to appear in a two-hour Oprah Winfrey special in the US on Sunday, with ITV broadcasting the interview in the UK on Monday.

Over the past year the couple has also been embroiled in high-profile privacy lawsuits, announced the pregnancy of their second child, set up home in Los Angeles and even launched a podcast on Spotify.

Here is a look at what they have been up to since Megxit took effect:

– March 31 2020 – Harry and Meghan officially step down as senior royals and stop using their HRH styles.

The UK is eight days into lockdown because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

– April 3 – Disneynature’s Elephant, which Meghan narrated, begins streaming.

– April 6 – Details emerge of the couple’s plans for a new foundation called Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand and is named in honour of their son.

– April 12 – Harry and Meghan spend Easter Sunday helping deliver meals to vulnerable and housebound people in Los Angeles through Project Angel Food.

– April 16 – Harry, in his role as patron of WellChild, video calls seriously-ill children and their families.

– April 17 – Meghan’s new project to feed Londoners in need is revealed, after she asked the Grenfell supporting women of the Hubb Community Kitchen to start a service providing meals to families struggling in lockdown.

The Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex helps prepare food during a visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen (Chris Jackson/PA)

– April 20 – The Sussexes write to the British tabloid press saying they will no longer co-operate with them, after watching people’s lives “pulled apart” because “salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue”.

Court documents in the duchess’s privacy claim against Associated Newspapers over a letter she wrote to her father reveal the couple sent Thomas Markle text messages before their wedding, warning him that contacting the press would “backfire” and offering to help him.

– April 21 – Archie video-calls his great grandmother the Queen with his parents to celebrate her 94th birthday.

– April 27 – Former soldier Harry helps launch a new mental fitness tool for the military called HeadFIT.org.

– April 28 – Harry’s introduction to a special episode of an animated Thomas & Friends show is released.

– April 29 – The charity SmartWorks shares a video of Meghan mentoring a young woman ahead of her interview for an internship.

– May 4 – Details emerge about a new biography of the Sussexes by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, called Finding Freedom, which the authors have billed as an “accurate version” of Harry and Meghan’s journey.

– May 6 – Archie celebrates his first birthday, with Save The Children posting a video of Meghan reading the book Duck! Rabbit! to her son as he grabs at the pages.

– May 8 – The pair are reported to be living in a £15 million mansion owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry.

– May 9 – Harry says life has “changed dramatically” amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in a video message about the Invictus Games.

– May 11 – The duke tells young members of OnSide Youth Zones about the pandemic: “This too shall pass.”

– May 19 – The Sussexes celebrate their second wedding anniversary.

– June 4 – Meghan delivers a powerful speech to girls at her former high school in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, and addresses racial divisions and the death of George Floyd in the US.

– June 12 – Meghan’s close friend Jessica Mulroney apologises to a lifestyle blogger after being accused of threatening her in an example of “textbook white privilege”.

– June 24 – The duke and duchess join members of Homeboy Industries in a cooking session for the organisation’s Feed Hope programme in LA.

It is revealed the Sussexes have signed with the New York-based Harry Walker public speaking agency, which also represents the Obamas and the Clintons.

– June 25 – Harry appears in a video for England Rugby, saying: “We all miss rugby.”

– June 27 – The duke launches a 248-mile Walking With The Wounded walk across Oman.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex cooked meals in Los Angeles with members of Homeboy Industries (The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/PA)

– June 28 – It emerges the Sussexes are supporting the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling on businesses to pause advertising on Facebook over its failure to do more to remove hate speech.

– July 1 – Harry sets out his personal commitment to tackling institutional racism, warning it has no place in society but that it remains endemic, in a message at the Diana Awards on his late mother’s birthday.

Meghan claims she was “unprotected by the institution” of the monarchy when attacked by the media and “prohibited from defending herself”, according to leaked court documents.

– July 3 – The formal winding-up of the Sussex Royal Foundation begins as the duke and duchess press ahead with plans for their Archewell organisation.

– July 6 – Harry and Meghan warn the Commonwealth’s past wrongs need to be acknowledged as they join a discussion with young leaders in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Financial documents show Harry and William agreed in December to equally split the future proceeds of their mother’s memorial fund, after they separated their charitable activities.

– July 7 – Meghan is announced as a guest speaker for the GirlUp gender equality summit.

Harry, filmed in LA overlooking a backdrop of leafy trees under clear, blue skies, delivers a message on resilience for the opening of the 23rd International Aids Conference.

– July 23 – The couple launch legal action against an unnamed individual after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their son during lockdown.

The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded across North America by paparazzi and targeted with incessant intrusions into their private life.

– August – a new biography, Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, revisited the rift between Harry and William. The book claimed Harry was angered by what he perceived as his brother’s “snobbish” attitude to Meghan. The Sussexes denied co-operating with the authors.

– September 2 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sign a major deal with Netflix to make films and series for the streaming service thought to be worth millions of pounds – giving them a global reach into millions of homes.

The streaming service said the couple will be producing a range of “content that informs but also gives hope” for Netflix, from documentaries and scripted series, to features and children’s programming..

– September 7 – The duke pays back the £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage and a spokesman for the duke confirms the repayment was made possible due to the Netflix deal.

– October 21 – The duke and duchess launch the website for their charitable organisation Archewell following an appearance at Time100 Talks, when they spoke about the “global crisis” of misinformation that spreads online.

– November 18 – Court documents in Meghan’s legal case with Associated Newspapers disclose two senior members of the royal family advised Meghan to write the letter to her father.

– November 25 – In an article in the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex reveals she had a miscarriage in July and experienced an “almost unbearable grief” – while her husband was left holding the “shattered pieces” of her heart.

The duchess is widely praised by charities for sending a “powerful message” to others who have lived through the same trauma by speaking about the issue, while a source says there is “understandable sadness” within the royal family at the disclosure.

– December 15 – Meghan and Harry sign a multi-year deal with audio streaming service Spotify to host and produce podcasts for an undisclosed sum thought to be worth tens of millions of pounds.

– January 15, 2021 – The duke and duchess’ friend Tom Bradby, ITV News at Ten anchor, says Harry has been left “heartbroken by the situation with his family” after moving to America.

– February 1 – Meghan’s first names are removed from her son’s birth certificate. A spokesman for the duchess says the decision was made by Buckingham Palace, rather than the duchess, and claims the media is attempting to “whip this into a calculated family ‘snub’”.

– February 14 – The couple announce they are expecting their second child and release a black-and-white photo of themselves sitting beneath a tree, with Harry gazing at his wife and resting his hand on Meghan’s head as she lay in his lap cradling her bump.

The Queen and the rest of the royal family are said to be “delighted” at the news.

– February 15 – It is confirmed the couple will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a television special to be aired in March, in which they will discuss Megxit and the reasons why they walked away from the monarchy.

– February 16 – Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh is admitted to hospital in central London after complaining of feeling unwell.

Oprah Winfrey interviews Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Productions /Joe Pugliese/PA)

– February 19 – Harry and Meghan are stripped of their prestigious patronages as the couple confirmed Megxit has become permanent.

The duke and duchess wanted to retain their formal roles with the military, arts, Commonwealth and sporting organisations, but were informed they would have to relinquish the posts after talks with the Queen and senior royals.

In a statement, the couple say although the formal links have been broken, they have “offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role”, adding “service is universal”.

– February 26 – The Duke of Sussex says the “toxic” atmosphere created by the British press forced him and his family to leave the UK, in an interview with James Corden, host of the US talk show The Late Late Show.

The duke also addressed the controversy over The Crown’s portrayal of his family’s history and defended the regal drama, saying it does not “pretend to be news”.

– March 1 – A preview clip of the Oprah interview shows Harry saying his biggest fear is that “history would repeat itself” in a reference to his mother’s death, while the host is also seen asking Meghan if she was “silent or silenced”, although her answer is not revealed.

The couple face criticism for the timing of the release of the interview given ongoing health concerns for the Duke of Edinburgh, who is transferred to to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London for treatment for an infection and observation for a pre-existing heart condition.

– March 3 – A spokesman for The Duchess of Sussex says she is “saddened” by a report in the Times that she faced a bullying complaint during her time at Kensington Palace.

The paper says a complaint was made in October 2018 by Mr Knauf, then the Sussexes’ communications secretary, claiming she had allegedly driven two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.

Buckingham Palace announces its HR team will investigate the circumstances around the allegations and invites current and former staff to come forward.