Are the Royal Fab Four disbanding?
The U.K. paper, The Sunday Times, which first broke the story, says that the move could come in the spring after Meghan Markle, 37, gives birth to the couple’s first child.
With William one day set to be the Prince of Wales – and all that entails as heir to his father Prince Charles – Harry and Meghan will want to forge their own path, so it’s a natural time to split up, insiders believe. (The palace has no comment.)
“The arrival of Meghan has changed the dynamic of the relationship in a fairly significant way,” royals author Sally Bedell Smith tells PEOPLE. “It is inevitable and practical because it gives Harry and Meghan some freedom to build up their own collection of interests and charities.
“Meghan has very strong views on what she is interested in and that may be what Harry shares, but not what William and Kate share.”
Harry and Meghan’s strength as a twosome was on display during their recent tour Down Under.
As she sails through her second trimester, the Duchess of Sussex is making good on her promise to “hit the ground running” in support of women’s issues. She gave an unprecedented three speeches during her tour with Harry, including a powerful talk to celebrate New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, stating that it’s a basic human right of all people to “participate in the choices for their future and their community.”
And she’s grabbing a firm hold of the royal reins, starting with the couple’s social media footprint. After shutting down her own personal accounts following her engagement to Harry last year, she recently made her official return to social media with a snap of Harry as he rehearsed his speech for the Invictus Games closing ceremony in Sydney Oct. 27, posted on Kensington Palace’s official Twitter—which the couple currently share with Prince William and Princess Kate.
Harry followed suit with a candid photo he took of Meghan cradling her baby bump underneath the shade of the Redwood trees in New Zealand.
The foursome are, however, likely to keep their successful Royal Foundation, under which they organize their charitable endeavors and their groundbreaking mental health campaign, intact.
“They have brought many charities working in the same sector together to empower them and lend their positions,” says Bedell Smith. “But they will increasingly follow their own respective interests.”
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“I think it really is just a shift in priorities and interests,” she adds. “William is a husband and father of three and his focus is primarily on them, and Harry will soon be a father.
“Each of them will continue the very strong representative of the Queen in carrying out tasks and assignments that she, and probably their father, wants them to do. They are going to be sharing in this diffusion of activities on behalf of the Queen.”