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What Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Podcast Tells Us About Their Future In The Royal Family

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Almost a year after announcing they were stepping back from their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan’s podcast could seal the deal in their #Megxit from the Royal Family. 

While 2020 began with some ambiguity around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s public role following the announcement of their desire to be financially independent from the monarchy, the year is ending with one certainty.

Harry and Meghan are moving forward with their plans, though, with or without the crown. 

Their Archewell podcast premiered on Spotify on December 29  and is part of a multi-year contract with an estimated worth of $40 million

What can Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's podcast tell us about their future in the royal family?

The podcast gave an inside look into the life of the couple that no royal has ever given us before.

Prince Harry, broadcasting from the couple’s California home, tells listeners to sit “with a cozy beverage.”

We hear from the couple's famous friends Elton John and James Corden, activists Stacey Abrams and Brene Brown, and many more artists, athletes, and speakers. 

Harry and Meghan, who are often criticized for trying to be “woke” in spite of their obvious privilege, hear from people from “all walks of life” in order to reinforce the “power of connection” during uncertain times. 

The podcast is intended to be warm and uplifting, but while listening, it is impossible not to wonder what dents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making in their ties to the Royals ahead of the Queen’s “Megxit” review that is set to take place in early 2021.   

Prince Harry and Meghan could lose their royal titles — but do they care? 

Following their shocking announcement last year and tense discussions with the Royal family, the Queen showed reluctant public support for Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from their public roles.

RELATED: Why Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Left The Royal Family

The Queen conceded to the “period of transition” in a 12-month deal that is set to expire on March 31.

The couple is due to hold talks with the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William to review the terms of the deal but, if the Spotify contract is anything to go by, it is unlikely that Prince Harry and Meghan will return to their permanent roles in the Royal family. 

While the Queen was insistent on the couple keeping their royal patronage and titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their last deal, Harry and Meghan’s podcast and their $100 million Netflix deal exists in opposition with the values of the ultra-private Royal family. 

But do the couple need the crown? With two multimillion-dollar contracts in less than a year, Meghan and Harry have certainly achieved their goals of becoming financially independent from the monarchy. 

Free from royal obligation, the pair have spent the majority of the past year in California with their son Archie. Away from the intrusive British press, with whom the Sussexes are currently embroiled in two lawsuits, it is hard to imagine that Meghan and Harry will want to negotiate any return to royal life. 

This year is an important one for the Prince’s family, however, and some members of the British public have branded the couple as “cowards” for avoiding a return to the UK. 

The Queen is due to turn 95 on April 21; her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh's 100th is in June, and the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Princess Diana's statue is set for July 1 on what would have been her 60th birthday.

Will Meghan and Harry repair severed ties ahead of these momentous occasions? 

The Queen is making changes to “The Firm,” which leaves no room for Harry and Meghan.

Prince Harry and Meghan aren’t the only ones changing the way the Royals do business. 

It is suspected that the Queen is making her own alterations. 

While large public gatherings are unlikely to resume in the near future, a reduction in the number of senior royals who are obligated to attend events might suit the monarchy just fine.

Before the holidays, just 8 members of the Royal family, including Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, and father, Prince Charles, appeared for an annual photocall. 

RELATED: How Does The British Royal Family Really Feel About Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Post-'Megxit'?

Aside from Prince Harry and Meghan, another senior royal was notably absent. Prince Andrew also stepped down from royal duties in 2020 in the midst of a long-brewing controversy over his friendship with Jeffery Epstein.

After a year marked by scrutiny into the family’s personal relationships and speculation about the future of the crown, perhaps the Queen will be glad to finalize a more modest display for the Royal family featuring only her children and direct heirs. With Brexit underway, Megxit could follow. 

History is repeating itself.

Overt displays and too much interaction with the public isn’t something that bodes well in the royal family, as Princess Diana’s sons know all too well. 

Perhaps the last notable exit from the royal family was Harry and William’s mother who was shunned by the monarchy during her tumultuous marriage to the heir to the throne, Prince Charles. 

Stoicism and unemotional displays are the norm in the royal family. Just as the Queen disapproved of Princess Diana’s emotional connection with the public, it is likely she will be unhappy about Meghan and Harry gushing over guests on their podcast.

If the Queen has learned anything from her long-time refusal to grant her son and daughter-in-law a divorce, it should be that holding royals to their duties does not end well. 

The Archewell podcast ends on a hopeful note that gives a brief insight into the couple’s perspective on their battle between duty and family. Meghan says, “Trust us when we say love wins” — an emotion that was perhaps absent in Diana’s situation. 

Fuelled by lessons from the past and with a bit more compassion than his mother received, maybe Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will be able to continue Princess Diana’s quest to touch lives without adhering to the royal status quo.

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Alice Kelly is a writer who covers entertainment, celebrity, and trending topics.