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By Amanda Lynne/Sept. 13, 2021 2:52 pm EDT

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family in early 2020, and fans still aren’t over it. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex exited their royal duties in favor of a more independent life with their family in California, per People. Shortly after the news broke, Queen Elizabeth shared an emotional statement throwing her support behind her grandson and his wife. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” she said.

An insider told the outlet in March 2020 that Harry and Meghan were thrilled to be leaving the U.K. and focusing on their own life after finishing their royal duties. “This is what Meghan and Harry have always wanted — to create their own life,” the royal insider dished. “It’s got to feel like an immense relief to get out of the U.K. and go down their own path.”

However, now over a year later, one royal expert claims that Meghan and Harry’s plan to take control of their lives and gain freedom from the confines of the royal family may have backfired on them.

Meghan and Harry are under a lot of pressure

According to Closer Weekly, royal editor and author Duncan Larcombe revealed that expectations are higher than ever for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle since their exit from the royal family. Larcombe explained that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s projects with Netflix and Spotify, as well as Harry’s upcoming memoir come with a lot of pressure for the couple. “With these deals, there’s tremendous pressure on Harry and Meghan to deliver and make a success of their life in America,” Larcombe stated. “They’ve caused such an uproar—for both the royal family and in the media — that they don’t really have the option of failing. It would be the ultimate humiliation.”

Larcombe went on to reveal that the royals may not have found freedom after all. “If freedom is being able to say what you want, when you want, to whoever you choose to speak to, then Harry has found a degree of freedom,” he said. “But if freedom is having good will behind you to live in peace, being able to live life as you want it or being at peace with the people you’ve rowed with, then freedom has not been achieved. It’s backfired. Harry and Meghan seem to have totally isolated themselves – they’re more trapped than ever in this new life they’ve created.”

The expert also worries that Harry wouldn’t be welcomed back as a working member of the family if his American life fails. However, he does think that he would be a valued brother, son, and grandson if that happens.

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