Somehow—where does the time go?—it’s been a year since we all woke up at an ungodly hour (in the U.S.) on Saturday, May 19, to watch a British prince marry an American actress, as everyone from the Queen to Serena Williams watched on. It was fun! It is not your everyday event that draws the likes of Amal Clooney, Oprah, and Kate Middleton, many of them wearing some sort of fancy, dramatic hat.
The attention devoted to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has now continued into a year’s worth of near-constant media coverage. So much has happened for them in the past year that Lifetime felt it necessary to put out a second movie about their relationship, exploring what the couple has been through since the last Lifetime movie about them that came out last May.
In their 12 months as a royal couple, Meghan and Harry have forged a significantly different path from their royal relatives, and also proven how insanely, absurdly good they are at doing it. When Meghan—a biracial American with a penchant for activism and charity work—joined the family, she was hailed as a modern breath of fresh air for the British royals. One year in, she and Harry have both repeatedly made good on that promise.
Meghan wasted no time after the wedding in getting together her first full-scale passion project, in her new royal capacity, and it was one that felt wholly like her own creation. She spent time with the women at the Hubb Community Kitchen, and put out a charity cookbook in the fall that raised money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. She enlisted her A-list friends to help her spread the word, and the book was immediately a bestseller. The project related to her well-established love of cooking, but also connected to a pressing fundraising need; it managed to be innovative, effective, and buzzy all at once.
It took a bit of time, but the Sussexes eventually set themselves apart on social media, as well. One of the slightly bittersweet aspects of Meghan marrying into the royal family was that she had to give up her Instagram account, as well as her lifestyle blog, The Tig, that clearly were passions of hers. But, just a few weeks before son Archie’s arrival, the palace announced that Meghan and Harry would be starting their own account, separate from the other royals. Suddenly Meghan herself seemed to be weighing in on a near-daily basis, and in the intimate-feeling sphere of social media: her American-isms and specific verbiage choices, the poems and photographs and quotes, the carefully selected imagery—it all feels like the way she would want the account to be run, even if she hasn’t formally come forward as the sole author of @sussexroyal. In just a few weeks, the Sussexes are already set to outpace the Cambridges’ @kensingtonroyal account in terms of follower count (not that it’s a competition!). Continue reading One Year After Their Wedding, Harry and Meghan Are Making Good on Their Promise to Modernize the Monarchy