It’s certainly been a roller coaster of a year so far for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
It kicked off with the release of Harry’s controversial memoir Spare and the fallout that ensued after its explosive claims about King Charles and Prince William. There was also the issue of the Coronation, which Harry attended alone, and the news their multi-million dollar deal with Spotify was ending.
After a quiet few months for the couple, some have wondered what their next career moves would be – especially since Meghan signed with a major talent Hollywood talent agency and reports they would now focus on separate projects.
And now they have been hit with nasty rumours about their relationship being on the rocks – which a friend has said are “not true” and “literally made up” as they plot their next moves.
Harry is said to be due to head to South Africa to shoot a Netflix documentary, while Meghan is apparently due to stay behind in Los Angeles while working on new projects.
Here, we take a look inside the unfounded split rumours that are plaguing them…
Fallout from Spare
Up until the turn of the year, Harry and Meghan’s post-royal projects tended to involve both of them – until the release of Spare.
Harry’s memoir was released in January and included claims William physically attacked him, and that King Charles put his own interests above his son’s. He also made allegations against his stepmother Queen Camilla and claims she “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar”.
Harry promoted the book alone, carrying out several high-profile interviews, where he spoke candidly about his experiences. But soon after, a source claimed that Meghan was understood to have been more wary than him when it came to his memoir project.
They told the Telegraph “media-savvy” Meghan may have voiced gentle concerns about if releasing the memoir was the right move.
However, once Harry decided to press ahead with the project, she is said to have offered him her full support.
The source said: “Is this the way she would have approached things? Possibly not. But she will always back him and would never have got involved in promoting such a personal project.
“This was about his own life, his journey and his own perspective.”
Once the dust had settled on Spare, attention turned to King Charles’ Coronation and if Harry and Meghan would attend given the distant bond between them and other royals.
After much speculation, it was confirmed that Harry would attend but Meghan wouldn’t – however, she had a very good reason not to. The Coronation fell on the same day as the fourth birthday of their oldest child Prince Archie, so Meghan decided to stay in California with him and Princess Lilibet.
However, Harry and Meghan weren’t apart for long – the prince made a very fleeting visit to the UK, flying immediately back to the United States once the Coronation service at Westminster Abbey had finished.
The first sign that Harry and Meghan would be pursuing projects of their own came when it emerged the duchess had signed with a major Hollywood talent agency.
She signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME) – and Meghan and the firm are believed to be working on film and TV production, brand partnerships and overall business-building
The agency said at the time: “We are honoured to announce that WME now represents Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex in all areas.
“The agency will be focusing on building out her business ventures across multiple facets of the agency & its broader ecosystem, including film & television production, brand partnerships & more.”
Harry is not included in the deal and one brand expert said he believed the couple may have realised they can “earn more” by working on their own “passion projects”.
Speaking to the Mirror, brand expert Andy Barr said: “The romantic in me says that this is the couple splitting their career path in order to fully commit to their passion projects but the commercial cynic in me says that the power couple have realised that they can potentially earn more by dividing and conquering.
“With Harry rumoured to be off to film a series in Africa, it would be no surprise to see Meghan Markle heading off to a region where their brand may have historically struggled to win over fans in order to reinforce their global appeal and make them even more attractive to potential brands wishing to sign them up.”
However, the couple did suffer a blow when it emerged that their deal to produce podcasts for Spotify was ending after just one series of Meghan’s Archetypes series. They still have a deal with Netflix with more content with the streaming giant said to be on the way.
The couple’s $20 million deal with Spotify came to an abrupt end last month, and sources claim it’s sent the pair into a tailspin, with one claiming they are “under tremendous financial pressure to fund their lavish California lifestyle, including their $14 million mansion and huge security costs.”
“That stress, coupled with their emotional issues, has likely made life a living hell,” the source added.
Pal speaks out
The last public sighting of Meghan and Harry together came on July 4 when they took their children to a local July 4 parade. And since then ugly rumours have circulated regarding their relationship on gossip sites falsely insinuating they are spending time apart.
But an insider close to the couple told Page Six : “It’s not true, it’s literally made up.” Similarly Omid Scobie, one of the authors behind the biography Finding Freedom, also rubbished the claim on social media.