14 photos show Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are thriving after leaving royal life behind

Mikhaila Friel
·9 min read
meghan harry life after megxit
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's best moments as non-working royals. Save the Children UK/Instagram, Karwai Tang/Getty Images, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Homeboy Industries

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a magical moment in the rain during their farewell tour in the UK back in March.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards. Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry looked happier than ever as they shared an umbrella at the Endeavour Awards, one of their final engagements in the UK.

This photo of the couple gazing at each other lovingly — and leaving the darkness and rain behind them — quickly became a symbol of their new chapter. 

The photographer Samir Hussein said it's the most iconic photo he's taken of the couple.

"It was pouring down with rain, which can be very tricky when shooting flash photography and also meant Harry and Meghan would be under an umbrella, which usually means it's hard to get clean photos of the couple," Hussein said in a statement.

"Little did I know these elements would come together so spectacularly to produce a timeless image of the couple." 

He added: "I've taken many photos I'm really proud of, but in terms of the huge interest in the subjects and the response I've had, this is probably the most iconic photo I've taken."

Harry and Markle were the ultimate power couple with coordinated outfits at the Mountbatten Festival of Music.

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Markle and Harry matched in bright red at the London music event. Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Markle wore a $1,693 Safiyaa floor-length red gown with a cape detail and matching clutch, while Harry wore a uniform signifying his military ranking as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

This photo shows the couple holding hands as they made their way to the event, held at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Markle made a solo visit to an east London school, where the head boy called her "beautiful, innit."

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Markle shared this adorable moment with the head boy at the school assembly. Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The duchess spoke to students at Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham about International Women's Day. After inviting the head boy Aker Okoye to come on stage and speak about the subject, the 16-year-old looked in disbelief as he gave Markle a cuddle.

He told his fellow students: "She really is beautiful, innit?"

Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi recreated The Beatles' iconic "Abbey Road" album cover.

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Harry, Jon Bon Jovi, and The Invictus Games Choir. Chris Jackson, Getty Images

Harry, Jon Bon Jovi, and The Invictus Games Choir posed in the exact same spot the band did for their 1969 album cover.

They were at the studio to record Bon Jovi's charity single, "Unbroken," with the Invictus Games Choir in aid of The Invictus Games Foundation, of which Harry is patron.

The song was created by Bon Jovi to "shine a spotlight on veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and honor their service," according to a Buckingham Palace press release.

The couple showed a united front at a Commonwealth Day service, their final royal engagement in the UK.

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Markle and Harry at Westminster Abbey. Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared alongside the royal family in an official capacity for the final time at a Commonwealth Day service held at London's Westminster Abbey.

They were joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and awkward photos from the event show the couples didn't speak or make eye contact.

The world's press showed up to capture Markle and Harry's final day as working royals.

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Markle and Harry after the service. Neil Mockford/GC Images/Getty Images

The event marked the final time the UK's Royal Rota would be permitted to join the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at an engagement. As part of their new media guidelines, the couple will no longer work with the royal reporters who cover the royal family's engagements on a rotation system. 

The event also marked the couple's last engagement in the UK, and they haven't returned since due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Markle, Harry, and Archie then returned to Vancouver Island, Canada, where they had been staying temporarily, before buying their first home together in Santa Barbara in August.

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Markle shared a video of Archie to mark his first birthday. Save the Children UK, Instagram

The young family left Canada in March, and reportedly stayed in Tyler Perry's eight bedroom, 12 bathroom mansion located in the exclusive Beverly Ridge Estates in Los Angeles.

The couple bought a home in Santa Barbara and moved in during the summer, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed to Insider.

"They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family," the spokesperson said.

Royal watchers and makeup artists praised Markle's natural make-up look and glowing skin as she mentored a young woman for a job interview over Zoom.

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Markle appeared on a video call with a Smart Works client. Smart Works/YouTube

The Duchess of Sussex appeared on a video call to give advice to a Smart Works client ahead of her job interview in April. 

The most notable thing about the duchess was her natural, glowing makeup look — and makeup artists compared it to her wedding day look.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Homeboy Industries, a gang rehabilitation and re-entry program, in June.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with members of the Homeboy community. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Homeboy Industries

The couple joined the members of the organization to prepare meals for senior citizens and youth who were left vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. 

It marked one of their first joint charity engagements since leaving the royal family.

The royal couple "were just Harry and Meghan" to the Homeboy members they worked with.

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Harry and Markle preparing meals for the vulnerable. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Homeboy Industries

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just 'Harry and Meghan' to the homies," Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, said in a statement.

"They rolled up their sleeves and deeply engaged with our workers in the Bakery and Café. It was immediate kinship and heartening in its mutuality."

 

 

Harry and Markle paid tribute to Princess Diana by planting her favorite flower, the forget-me-knot, on August 31 — the anniversary of her death.

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The couple surprised the children at the pre-school center with their visit. Matt Sayles via The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The couple were joined by children at the Preschool Learning Center in Los Angeles, which provides support to low income families in the area.

Markle has made speaking about politics a priority, and she even cold called voters with Gloria Steinem in September. It's something that would have been considered against protocol if she was still a working royal.

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Markle and Gloria Steinem. Makers, Twitter

"The first thing we did — and why she came to see me — we sat at the dining table, here where I am right now and cold called voters," Gloria Steinem said in a video interview with Access Hollywood.

"And said, 'Hello, I'm Meg' and 'Hello, I'm Gloria. Are you going to vote?'" she added.

Steinem also said that the royal is challenging the "princess" stereotype by being political, saying: "She came home to vote."

The couple told Malala Yousafzai that they likely would have missed Archie's first steps if it wasn't for the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in conversation with Malala Yousafzai. Malala Fund, YouTube

The couple appeared happier than ever during a video call with Malala Yousafzai.

They spoke about how spending more time at their Santa Barbara home during the pandemic has given them the chance to witness some of their son's major milestones.

"We were both there for his first steps, his first run, his first fall … everything," Harry said.

"We are fortunate to be able to have this time to watch him grow, and in the absence of COVID, we would be traveling and working more externally and we'd miss a lot of those moments," Markle added.

Things came full circle for Markle and Harry during their appearance on the Teenager Therapy podcast, when the duchess reflected on the emotional interview she gave last year which sparked rumors about her unhappiness with royal life.

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The duke and duchess with the Teenager Therapy team. Teenager Therapy

"How are you?" one of the hosts asked Markle during the podcast.

"Wasn't it funny? It was about a year ago that someone asked me that," she responded, referencing the ITV interview which took place during her South Africa tour in October 2019. 

During the 2019 interview, Tom Bradby asked Markle if she was OK, and she said: "Not many people have asked if I'm OK."

"And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really OK? As in it's really been a struggle?" Bradby asked, to which Markle responded: "Yes."

"We were on a tour in South Africa, and on the last day of the tour, man, was I tired, and I was about to give Archie a bath, and we were heading home," Markle recalled during the podcast.

"A lot of people don't know that it's like running a marathon. Between every official engagement, I was running back to make sure our son was fed."

"She was still breastfeeding at the time," Harry added.

Speaking about how she is doing one year on from the interview, the duchess said she is "really well."

"The past few months have been layered for everyone. We certainly can't complain, we are fortunate, we all have our health, we have roofs over our heads," she said. 

Read the original article on Insider