They’re arguably one of the most famous couples on the planet.
The pair’s recent documentary series titled ‘Harry & Meghan’ has become Netflix’s biggest-ever documentary debut.
It wracked up over 80 million views in its first week alone.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir ‘Spare’ was the UK’s fastest-selling nonfiction book ever on its very first day of release.
There’s been much debate and discussion about their relationship — even from the very beginning of their courtship.
But his decision to step back from the Royal family has left some questioning the influence Meghan has had over Prince Harry.
Divided opinion over Meghan’s influence on Harry
Harry’s life is undeniably different since meeting and marrying Meghan Markle.
That’s been clear from the big lifestyle shifts the couple has encountered, particularly after tying the knot back in 2018.
So it’s unsurprising that from the outside looking in, Meghan seems the most likely catalyst for those—admittedly quite significant— changes.
We’re talking about things like:
- Stepping down as senior royals
- Moving from the UK to start a life in California
- Personal rifts in the royal family — between Harry and his father King Charles and brother Prince William
- Being vocal in their criticism of the British press and its treatment of their family
- Sharing royal family secrets in the couple’s Netflix documentary series and Harry’s subsequent memoir.
The timing of these events coinciding with his relationship with Meghan certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by some.
Which has led to some pretty scathing comments, like those from Australian politician Hollie Hughes.
The Liberal Senator was quoted as saying that Prince Harry made an “awful mistake” by marrying Meghan Markle and leaving the royal family behind:
“I think she’s had a terrible influence over him,” she said. “She’s just a horrible human.”
Meanwhile, others have been quick to come to the defense of Meghan, like American actress Chrishell Stause who declared:
“I worry about people’s sanity who can attach so much hate to someone they don’t know,”
Even if we accept that Meghan has had a big influence on the life of Prince Harry — the obvious question remains whether that influence has been predominantly good or bad.
10 ways in which Prince Harry is influenced by Meghan Markle
1) Involvement in activism
The royal family are generally known for their neutrality.
Whilst they may support good causes and take part in charitable work, they largely stay away from anything too political.
It’s part of their role to represent everybody, and so they’re meant to avoid giving opinions for that reason.
In fact, Meghan caused a bit of a stir back in 2020 merely for encouraging Americans to vote. With some arguing this was stepping over the nonpartisan line.
But Prince Harry and his wife in recent years have increasingly used their voices by getting involved in activism.
Just last year a US human rights charity awarded the couple its ‘Ripple of Hope award’ for their activism on racial justice and mental health.
2) Encouraging him to grow up
Arguably, Prince Harry has long been the “rebel” of the royals.
In his younger years the tabloids were scattered with stories of his drunken antics.
And we’re not talking your run of the mill teenage angst.
Nope, we’re talking naked Vegas parties, raves, and nights out with Kanye.
Speaking of how he turned to substances to numb the pain over the loss of his mother, Harry told Oprah Winfrey:
“I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night,”
As Harry’s relationship with Meghan has progressed, we’ve really seen him step into his role as a mature man, husband and father.
Leaving his ‘Party Prince’ days behind he has swapped dalliances with drugs and drink for family life.
Part of that reason seems to have been the healing effect that his relationship with Meghan brought to his life.
3) Helping him to heal old wounds
Harry has a lot of trauma in his past, particularly after the death of his mother at such a young age.
He has spoken of how Meghan has helped him to heal.
The thought of losing Meghan was, according to Harry, the catalyst for him seeking therapy:
“I knew that if I didn’t do therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with,” Harry said.
“When she said, ‘I think you need to see someone,’ that was in reaction to an argument we had. And in that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry.”
“I quickly established that if this relationship was going to work, that I was going to have to deal with my past because there was anger there and it wasn’t anger at her. It was just anger and she recognized it. She saw it,”.
4) Introducing healthy lifestyle changes
Perhaps one of the lesser talked about influences Meghan has had over Harry is lifestyle.
Leaving unhealthy habits behind, they’ve been swapped for more nourishing practices.
Meghan’s mom is a qualified yoga instructor and Prince Harry himself is now a bit of a yogi.
Meanwhile, during the recent Netflix documentary series we saw Meghan and Harry doing a guided meditation together.
Other positive lifestyle shifts that have coincided with Harry’s relationship with Meghan include him ditching his smoking habit and embracing healthy eating.
He also reportedly gave up drinking during Meghan’s pregnancy as a show of support.
5) Interest in feminism
Meghan has long campaigned around women’s rights from an early age.
She was an advocate of gender equality in developing countries well before meeting Harry.
And she became a U.N. Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership in 2015.
It’s an interest that seems to have rubbed off on Prince Harry who during a visit to Birkenhead in 2019, confirmed “I’m a feminist.”
Harry has been quick to label much of the treatment of Meghan as sexist.
For example, calling the term ‘Megxit’ as fundamentally “misogynistic” by implying Meghan was to blame for the couple stepping back from royal duties.
It’s something his wife has praised him for, being “comfortable” in supporting women’s rights, and saying it sets a “beautiful example” for their son Archie.
6) Care for grassroots causes
One of the things the couple initially bonded over was their “commitment to a life of service”.
And their relationship together appears to have only strengthened this commitment — for both of them.
For example, forming the non-profit organization the Archewell Foundation, which they say aims to “uplift and unite communities”.
Speaking about their charitable work Harry highlighted how it was something both he and Meghan were dedicated to before they met.
But joining forces has only fortified their efforts:
“That was the thing, what she was already doing what I was already doing, and that sort of came together in this beautiful matrimony”.
7) Greater awareness of bias and prejudice
Harry has been quick to highlight his own shortcomings around race and unconscious bias before meeting Meghan.
He has openly reflected on how much he has learned about the world, race, and diversity through their meeting, saying he was “probably bigoted” before:
“One thing I’ve learned is that we don’t see the world as it is. We see it as we are,” Harry said.
“By the time I’d met Meghan I think I had traveled half of the Commonwealth, met people and communities all around the world.”
But despite all his global travel, Harry admits he knew very little about “unconscious bias” and an “awareness” of other ways of living.
He even goes as far to say that it wasn’t until his relationship with Meghan that he understood he had been blissfully “sleepwalking through life.”
8) Boosting his confidence
Royal expert Duncan Larcombe recently claimed that Prince Harry has a history of being “very much the subordinate” in his relationships, including with his wife Meghan.
Speaking to Fox News Digital he suggested that Harry was never the confident “Prince Charming” that he appeared to be.
“That’s never been Harry at all, quite the reverse,” Larcombe insisted.
But to the outside world Harry largely presents a much more confident version of himself than we have seen in many years.
According to one body language expert, Prince Harry has ‘thrived the most’ in US.
Judi James told the Express newspaper:
“The tactile expressions of love have changed very little since the earliest days of their relationship and Meghan looks as confident and upbeat as ever. It’s Harry who seems to have thrived the most.”
Perhaps one of the areas where Harry’s newfound confidence has been most apparent is in standing up to the press.
9) Standing up to the press
For many years Harry felt he had very little choice but to ‘play the game’ when it came to working with reporters.
On many occasions that meant bowing to pressure and giving the press what they wanted in order to keep them on side.
But no more.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have opened up about the impact of media intrusion on them and their family.
Speaking to TV reporter Tom Bradby Harry even wents as far as to refer to the media as the “devil” — blaming the ongoing rift between him and his family on the press.
10) Breaking free of a life he claims he felt “trapped” in
Some people will firmly believe that Meghan not the press is to blame for the recent rift that has become evident between the royal family and Prince Harry.
But rather than blame Meghan, Harry’s take on it all is that she set him free.
During the interview, the pair did with Oprah Winfrey Harry said he had felt “trapped” within the institution of the royal family before meeting Meghan.
“Without question she saved me,” he said.
“My father and my brother—they are trapped,” Harry added. “They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”
Rather than be influenced by Megan, Prince Harry attracted a partner who shares his own values
Rather than being overly influenced by Megan, could it be that Prince Harry simply attracted a partner who shares his own values?
Love can be powerful. So too are the relationships we create with one another.
But here’s something I’ve learned:
Ultimately the relationship we have with ourselves is the dominant one that shapes everything else.
Sure, we can be influenced by others. But that’s still a reflection of our own internal self-relationship.
When I look at Harry and Meghan I am reminded of this.
Because rather than one of the two being a dominant force, I think they both reflect one another’s values.
They were already embodying within themselves what they were seeking in a partner. Which can account for why their bond seems so strong.
And that’s actually the key to finding “the one”.
Most of our shortcomings in love stem from our own complicated inner relationships with ourselves.
What helped me truly understand this was the teachings of world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.
Because sadly society has some messed up ideas about love, and what it is.
Rudá explains how when we are on shaky ground with our own selves this carries over into toxic relationships that become hell on earth.
He has a refreshing approach to creating healthy and fulfilling relationships that he shares in his free video on Love and Intimacy.
No matter what your relationship status is, I’d really recommend you check out what he has to say.
I suspect you’ll find it just as enlightening as I did.
I would argue that as Harry did a lot of his own personal work, he found a woman who mirrored the man he had already started to become.
To conclude: Is Prince Harry too influenced by Meghan Markle?
Here’s the thing:
At the end of the day, we’ll never know what goes on behind closed doors.
Yet I think it’s safe to say that yes, Prince Harry has been influenced by meeting Meghan.
But I’m not sure that’s so uncommon.
Arguably part of being in a relationship with someone else is to change and grow.
Of course, it’s going to be down to personal opinion as to whether you think Meghan’s influence in Harry’s life has been ultimately positive or negative.
What I will say is this:
It’s easy to point fingers at the partner.
It happens all the time.
We blame a friend’s other half when we don’t see them in a while. We may even make throw-away comments like “she never lets him out” or claim that someone is “under the thumb”.
For what it’s worth I don’t look at Harry and see a servile guy willing to bend over backward for his wife.
Personally, I think he’s just an example of a modern man who can stand up for himself but also has the confidence to be with a powerful woman.