Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021

Meghan Markle warned aristocrats ‘wouldn’t accept’ Harry marrying an American

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Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018, in a flurry of international excitement and lavish celebrations. However, just a year and a half later, the Duchess of Sussex confessed in a controversial ITV interview that she felt she was “surviving” rather than “thriving” in the public eye. She also claimed that the British stiff upper lip — often synonymous with the Royal Family itself — is “internally damaging”, and that “not many people have asked if I’m OK”.

Just months later, the couple cut almost all of their royal ties and set out for a financially independent life in California with their one-year-old son, Archie Harrison.

While their decision stunned some royal watchers, a fellow American Julie Montagu had publicly warned Meghan that she might struggle to fit in with the British aristocracy at first.

Lady Montagu married the Earl of Sandwich’s heir, Luke Montagu, in 2005.

She moved to London as a single mother without any connections with high-society when she first met her future husband.

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They now live in the “finest Manor House in England” with their family — but Lady Montagu is still wary of her “outsider” status.

Speaking just a month before Meghan’s wedding, she said: “I suspect she will face some [criticism].

“It’s like anything in life. We are outsiders coming in and some people don’t like outsiders.

“I have heard through the various English aristocracy grape vines that I’m the Scarlet Letter ‘A’ — the American — with it emblazoned on my forehead.

“There is still this view, and it’s a minority view, that members of the aristocracy should be marrying other English roses.”

Indeed, Harry reportedly fell out with some of his inner circle over his relationship with Meghan.

His childhood friend Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip allegedly told Harry to be cautious with Meghan and to live together before “doing anything more serious”, triggering a major, albeit temporary, fallout.

The Duke’s ongoing rift with his brother reportedly also stemmed from Prince William urging Harry to take things slowly with Meghan — a view which the rebellious royal perceived as “snobbish”, according to the pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom.

However, journalist Caroline Hallemann added: “The judgement doesn’t bother Montagu and she thinks it shouldn’t worry Markle.

“In fact Montagu hopes the future royal embraces her Americanness.”

Speaking to Town & Country, Lady Montagu explained: “I think my biggest advice to her is definitely to keep your American roots.

“I’m sure that one of the main draws Prince Harry had to Meghan was her energy and her optimism, and that American can-do attitude because I know that’s what my husband says about me.”

She added: “It’s kind of the American way.

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“We were told that you can be anything you want to be and anything that you want to do and it’s not so much in the UK.”

Meghan and Harry have certainly embraced that attitude now they live in California, the Duchess’ home state, having secured a historic deal with Netflix and a podcast series with Spotify.

The Duke of Sussex is also said to be enjoying the Californian lifestyle.

Both are allegedly so content that they are even happy to scrap the 12-month review of their royal exit, according to sources.

While his friend Dr Jane Goodall did admit Harry found life in the States “a bit challenging” at first, if recent reports are anything to go by, he has now settled in.

An insider said: “He is genuinely happy and excited for this year and what they can do and achieve.”

Meghan is also not the only royal spouse to face resistance from the British aristocracy.

Her sister-in-law, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, was condemned as a “social climber” at the start of her relationship with Prince William.

She was the first middle-class woman to marry into the Royal Family and, without that blue-blood, she is said to have faced backlash from William’s inner circles.

Kate was also criticised as she had secured a place at Edinburgh University, but changed to the University of St Andrews shortly after the public announcement that William would be going there the following year.

Many assumed she changed her university based on where the second-in-line to the throne was going to study.

William’s friends allegedly believed he should find a more “suitable bride” than Kate, while some aristocrats wanted him to marry someone from European royalty or from blue-blooded circles in the UK.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton claimed in his book, ‘William and Catherine’, that the Middletons were “too middle-of-the-road for the House of Windsor”.

However, those problems have clearly settled as the couple are approaching their 10th wedding anniversary this year and appear to be more popular than ever with the public.

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