Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Faced 'Painful' Year to Build new Life, Biographer Says

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's journey from quitting royal duties to signing with Netflix and Spotify "has been painful", a biographer says.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior working royals at the end of March and moved to California.

However, they faced an initial period of uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.

Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom, told Grazia: "To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry in the Rain
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. The event was one of their last before stepping back as senior working royals. Chris Jackson/Getty

"But it's taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful."

Grazia reported the couple's nanny moved back to the U.K. when they relocated to California from Canada in March and the different house moves made them feel displaced.

The duke and duchess also faced criticism for speaking out on the U.S. election, with Donald Trump commenting publicly on their intervention.

Prince Harry asked for a war wreath to be laid on his behalf at Britain's national Remembrance Sunday service in November but faced being turned down on the basis he was no longer a working royal.

Meghan has also suffered a series of setbacks in her privacy and copyright lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday, describing their tactics as "vicious" in a witness statement to the High Court in London over the summer.

They also sued the paparazzi in Los Angeles over drone pictures of baby Archie in the privacy of Tyler Perry's mansion, where they were staying at the time.

However, they have also seen a series of triumphs, landing multi-year deals with both Netflix and Spotify, setting up the Archewell Foundation and buying their own home for the first time.

A Sussex source also told Newsweek they have already resolved most of the issues reserved for a 12-month review with the royal family scheduled for the end of March.

Royal historian Professor Kate Williams said on Twitter: "One year since #HarryandMeghan requested a model of part-time royal working. It could have worked —well.

"But instead the plan and the Sussexes were torn apart. And now we've lost them."

She added: "Harry and Meghan's aim with the part-time royal plan was to be self-funded while doing some royal duties.

"But strikingly, it seems to have been revised in public imagination to 'privacy'-thus every small zoom call to a charity is met by cries of 'but they wanted privacy!'"