Meghan Markle Recalls ‘Gendered’ Prince Harry Engagement Reaction

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A royal stroll down memory lane Meghan MarkleWe looked back at her engagement to Prince Harry — and the global response it received — during the latest installment of her podcast.

41-year-old Suits alum reflected on challenging stereotypes during a candid conversation Mindy Kaling. The producer, 43, spoke out about her unconventional route to motherhood. However, the duchess recalls the pressure she felt in the beginning of her relationship with Harry, now 37.

“When I started dating my husband and we became engaged, everyone was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re so lucky he chose you!’” Meghan noted on the Tuesday, September 6, episode of her “Archetypes” podcast. “At a certain point, after you hear it a million times over, you’re like, ‘I chose him, too.’”

The California native went on to praise her now-husband for flipping the script on the outdated and “stereotyped” reaction. “I have a partner who was countering that narrative for me and going, ‘They’ve got it all wrong. I’m the lucky one because you chose me,’” the Bench author gushed.

Meghan added that the public’s response fed “into this idea that you’re waiting for somebody to tell you that you’re good enough as opposed to knowing that you’re good enough on your own.”

The royal couple — who share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lili, 15 months — tied the knot in London in May 2018. Harry spoke out for the Tig blogger who had been the subject of racist and sexist vitriol online and in British tabloids when the couple made public their love two years before.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” read a November 2016 statement on behalf of the former military pilot. “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”

The Duke of Sussex continued to stand up for Meghan ahead of their 2020 royal exit, calling out the “bullying” she faced in the public eye. “I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. It would be against everything we believe to stand aside and do nothing. … There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives,” he noted in October 2019, several months before the couple announced they were stepping down from their senior duties.

After leaving the royal spotlight, Harry and Meghan moved to California and have been open about their struggles and highs. Amid drama with other royal family members, the pair’s relationship has been a grounding force.

“2020 was a huge game-changer for Harry and Meghan and it came with its ups and downs … It’s brought them closer together and made them a stronger couple,” a source told Us Weekly exclusively in January 2021, adding that the twosome are “closer than they’ve ever been and feel so lucky to have each other.”