keeping up with the royals

Meghan & Harry’s Big Year

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

Last month, CBS announced that it would be airing the big Meghan and Harry interview on March 7, a “wide-ranging” and “intimate conversation” moderated by Oprah. This will be the first joint interview that Meghan and Harry have participated in since they stepped down as senior royals in January 2020. It will begin with Meghan, who will speak on “stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood,” and how she handled the often racist, intrusive, and sexist public scrutiny she’s faced in recent years.

Harry will join later, and the couple will discuss their move to the U.S., something Harry recently discussed in a rare one-on-one interview with James Corden. In it, Harry clarified that he initiated the move, adding that the British press “was destroying my mental health.” (The tabloids have, predictably, launched a smear campaign against Meghan in the lead up to the interview.)

Ahead of the conversation, we looked back at Meghan and Harry’s year, from their decampment to the states to Meghan’s second pregnancy announcement. Here’s a refresher before the big tell-all:

They stepped back as “senior royals”
On January 8, 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping back as “senior” members of the British royal family. Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote in a statement shared on Instagram that they would become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and North America.

And rebranded as normies
In their Spring 2020 Transition plan, the couple confirmed speculation that any use of the word “Royal” would henceforth be off limits.

Then they made it Instagram-official
Rest in peace to @SussexRoyal, the Instagram account the couple launched when they were married. (The account has not been deleted, and a spokesperson told People that “both the Instagram account and website will remain in existence online for the foreseeable future.)

But not before saying one last good-bye to the royal family
The couple briefly left their Canadian compound to attend Commonwealth Day services in early March (just as the coronavirus began to spread globally). The visit was mostly unremarkable, but gave us that incredible green Meghan Markle dress. Kate also had one last chance to be rude while wearing this dumb little hat.

Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor turned one
To celebrate, the couple released a video of him reading (sort of).

Meanwhile, drones tried to photograph him playing in his yard
A May report from the Daily Beast noted that the couple was being subjected to egregious invasions of their privacy in the Hollywood Hills home they were renting from Tyler Perry. This included drones flying as low as 20 feet over their yard while they played with Archie.

And so they all moved to Santa Barbara
The couple’s reps confirmed in August that they bought a home in the coastal city a few hours outside of L.A.

Around the same time, their unofficial biography was released
Finding Freedom, penned by two longtime royals reporters, chronicles escalating tensions between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family leading up to their decision to step back from the royal family. The couple was not interviewed for the book, but it contained a number of revelations and corrections, such as the true (mostly cool and awkward) nature of Meghan and Kate’s relationship, and the snobbish way Meghan was received by some members of the royal family.

 They signed a $100 million Netflix deal
The deal includes Netflix-exclusive documentaries, features, children’s television shows, and more. (Apparently one of their projects could be a new documentary on Princess Diana, but that has not been confirmed.) This is separate from the Spotify podcast deal they later signed in December.

Which the other royals got pissed about
Reports from the Sun noted that many senior royals were against the couple’s partnership with Netflix, simply because it’s the company that streams The Crown, which they hate.

Oh yeah, they payed back those Frogmore Cottage expenses
People were pissed about the couple’s renovations of the Windsor estate they lived in during their first year of marriage, which was funded through the Sovereign Grant, a.k.a. the pot of taxpayer money the crown receives each year for expenses. A spokesperson for the couple said that Harry paid a lump sum of $3.2 million (£2.4 million) to the crown to cover costs, and the cottage will still be their U.K. residence.

But that news was overshadowed by the woman’s body found in a pond outside of Kensington Palace
That’s Prince William and Kate Middleton’s official residence, who were on family vacation with the queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the time. Police did not consider the death “suspicious” and are currently treating it as “unexplained” while the investigation continues.

In October, they released a new official portrait
It was way more chill than those wedding photos.

And in November, Meghan revealed she suffered a miscarriage over the summer
Meghan wrote a moving account of her miscarriage in an op-ed for the New York Times; “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote.

Shortly after, the couple announced they’re expecting their second child
While the spokesperson did not indicate a prospective due date, Meghan’s appears to be visibly pregnant in the photo the couple shared with the announcement.

Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special is scheduled to air in its entirety on Sunday, March 7, at 8 p.m. ET

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