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Meghan Markle was not eager to share photos of her children with the British press for a reason.
During her time as an active member of the British royal family, the Duchess of Sussex was expected to release pictures of her now 3-year-old son, Archie, to the Royal Rota, which is the press pool that covers Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family.
“There’s literally a structure,” the former American actress explained in The Cut cover story on Monday.
“Why would I give the very people who are calling my children the N-word a photo of my children before I can share with the people who love my children?” the 41-year-old, who is biracial, explained. “You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”
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According to the duchess, she and her husband, Prince Harry, did not have any control over the @KensingtonRoyal Instagram account that they initially shared with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
One month before Archie was born, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched their own Instagram handle, @sussexroyal, where they refused to play the “exchange game.” Instead, they broke their own news and even posted photos that sometimes never made it to the Royal Rota. But after they stepped back as senior members of the royal family, they shut down the account. The outlet noted that they can no longer use “royal” in their branding.
Markle later announced that she was not returning to social media due to constant bullying from trolls.
The duchess also weighed in on the “toxic” tabloid culture and how it negatively impacted two families.
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“Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process,'” she said. “It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.”
Markle has had a strained relationship with her father, former Hollywood lighting director Thomas Markle, especially after The Mail on Sunday leaked a personal letter she wrote to the patriarch begging him to stop speaking with the press. She sued the outlet for invasion of privacy and won.
The outlet also described Markle and Harry’s lavish California home following their departure from royal duties. Markle said the property “kept popping up in online searches.” She said that while they were looking to lay down roots in the coastal city of Montecito, they initially resisted visiting the property.
“We didn’t have jobs, so we just weren’t going to come and see this house,” she explained. “It wasn’t possible. It’s like when I was younger and you’re window shopping – it’s like, ‘I don’t want to go and look at all the things that I can’t afford. That doesn’t feel good .'” But after touring the home, the pair “fell almost immediately in love.” Following a $25 million Spotify deal and a reported $100 million Netflix deal, the home was “within their means.”
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“One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house were those two palm trees,” she pointed out. “See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, ‘My love, it’s us.’ And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, ‘Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa.'”
According to the outlet, the home was purchased for $14.65 million.
“The Montecito house is the kind of big that startles you into remembering that unimaginable wealth is actually someone’s daily reality,” the outlet described. “It evokes a classic Tuscan villa, a Napa vineyard, and a manicured Beverly Hills country club decorated with careful, considered coastal tones for a casual air – the home equivalent of billionaires dressing down in denim.”
“We did everything we could to get this house,” said Markle. “Because you walk in and go… place. And exhale. And calm. It’s healing. You feel free.”
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Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry, 37, in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in Montecito.
In the wake of quitting royal duties, they gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, in which the couple described painful comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth. The duchess talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
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In June of that year, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother, Princess Diana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.