Work has gone on as normal for the British royal family following early January's announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be stepping back from their royal duties.
However, their decision to split from the royal family and move their family to Canada was not made lightly.
"I spoke to Harry a few days ago," said Harry's longtime friend, professional polo player Nacho Figueras, in a new ABC special "Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown."
"He has suffered a lot from all of the things that have happened to him. He suffers a lot from people judging him," Figueras added.
"He's being a father ... a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes. He has become an incredible man, a man that his mother would be proud of."
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jan 8, 2020 at 10:33am PST
Many sources have been quick to pinpoint the shakeup on Meghan's treatment by the media, but those close to Harry also explain that the 35-year-old only wanted as "normal" of a life as possible.
Figueras maintained, "He wants to live a normal life, as normal as his life is going to be. When you have 1,000 paparazzi outside your house in Canada waiting to get one picture of your son, that's not normal."
"He was the son of someone who suffered attacks from the press and it's undeniable. He doesn't want for that to happen for his family," the athlete continued.
Harry and Meghan announced earlier in January that they would no longer be working members of the royal family and will work to become financially independent from the Crown.
A week later, Buckingham Palace announced the couple will repay £2.4m of taxpayer money spent on renovating their home, Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor Castle, and that they will no longer use their His/Her Royal Highness titles.