Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have laid bare almost every detail concerning their time as a couple within the Royal Family. The pair first stoked the fires of controversy during their now-infamous interview with Oprah back in 2021, and then continued via their Netflix series, as well as other interviews and, more recently, Harry’s tell-all memoir, Spare.
Harry returned to the UK to attend his father’s coronation earlier this year in May. He was later seen when he appeared in court over allegations of unlawful information gathering by several British tabloids. Now, however, he and Meghan seemed determined to keep a low profile at their home in the US, where they recently celebrated the birthdays of their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
While Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series was hugely successful, there were some details royal fans may have missed. One of those intimate moments was what happened on the plane the day the couple left Canada for the US, which they termed their “freedom flight.”
In December last year, Harry & Meghan released their much-anticipated Netflix documentary series. Despite the couple having spoken out about their time in the Royal Family prior to that, the Netflix series shed light on a series of new bombshell claims.
Among other things, Harry detailed how he and Meghan had met, stating that the former Suits actress first caught his eye on Instagram when she appeared in a mutual friend’s video.
Harry & Meghan – Netflix documentary series
After that, a friend introduced Meghan to Harry. Meghan described how she was in London for the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2016 when she and Harry initially made plans to meet.
They scheduled a dinner, though things certainly could have gotten off to a better start. Harry and Meghan were to meet at the Soho House in London, but the actress was forced to wait on her date for 30 minutes as Harry was running late.
“I couldn’t understand why he would be late,” Meghan said in the series. “But he kept texting. He was like, ‘I’m in traffic. I’m so sorry.'”
“I was panicking, I was freaking out,” Harry added. “I was, like, sweatin’.”
Once Harry walked into the restaurant, though, Meghan quickly realized his being late wasn’t part of any tactic or plan.
“I was a hot, sweaty, red ball of mess,” Harry recalled.
“You were just so sweet,” Meghan added. “You were genuinely so embarrassed and late.”
The first date, which Meghan said was “refreshingly fun,” lasted about an hour. The next day, the couple met again – coincidentally, Meghan was five minutes late.
By all accounts, Harry was over the moon when he started dating Meghan.
“We’d talk for hours”
A friend who appeared in the couple’s documentary explained how happy and excited the prince was. Meghan, meanwhile, explained how she and Harry shared a special connection from the beginning. Though their relationship was initially long-distance – a secret to the world – it never stopped them.
“Everything was text and FaceTime, we’d talk for hours. It felt exciting but not in the way people would assume it would be,” Meghan said. “It was just relaxed and easy.”
On May 19, 2018, Harry and Meghan tied the knot in a grand wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel. Few would have predicted it on their wedding day, but Harry and Meghan began their verbal attacks on the royals in the year following their exit. In the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview, Meghan claimed she had been poorly treated, even stating that the Royal Family didn’t help her when she was experiencing mental health problems.
At the time of Harry and Meghan’s union, it seemed to both fans and the Royal Family that they – alongside William and Kate – would secure the future of the Firm. Yet just years later, the Duke and Duchess decided to leave it all behind to live an entirely different life in the US.
On January 8, 2020, a statement made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the royal sphere to its core. At the time, no one could’ve expected what was to happen, but it was on that day that “Megxit,” as it was labeled, became a thing.
Harry claimed William shouted at him during ‘Megxit’ meeting
Harry and Meghan said they had decided “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the statement read.
The couple added that they planned to spend time both in the UK as well as North America while “continuing to honor our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” Harry and Meghan said.
At the time, sources close to the BBC said Prince William hadn’t been left disappointed by his brother’s decision decision. Harry, however, presented a contrary viewpoint during his and Meghan’s Netflix documentary.
The Duke painted a rather bleak picture of his and William’s relationship at the time, and it can be assumed things haven’t improved following Harry and Meghan’s controversial lambasting of the Royal Family. In the Netflix documentary, Harry even described how his brother began “screaming and shouting” at him during the meeting with then-Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II to outline how he and Meghan were stepping down from their working roles.
The meeting, which Harry said was “terrifying,” was held at Sandringham in Norfolk after the couple had released the statement. The plan was to come up with a plan for their future while Meghan returned to Canada, their first “home” after leaving the royals.
“It was clear to me that they’d planned it so that you weren’t in the room,” Harry told Meghan in the Netflix series.
“It was just terrifying”
“I went in with the same proposal that we’d already made publicly but once I got there I was given five options. One being all-in, no change. Five being all out. I chose option three in the meeting. Half in, half out. Have our own jobs but also work in support of the queen. But it became very clear very quickly, that goal was not up for discussion or debate.”
Harry continued: “It was terrifying. To have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren’t true and my grandmother, you know, quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.”
Harry hadn’t previously touched on his brother’s anger towards him before it came to light in the Netflix show.
“I mean, the saddest part of it was the wedge created between myself and my brother so that he’s now on the institution’s side,” Harry said.
“And part of that I get, I understand. That’s his inheritance. So, to some extent it’s already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and the continuation of this institution.”
The Netflix show followed Harry and Meghan’s journey from leaving the royals to living a brand new life in the US. After staying in Canada, the couple settled in Montecito, California, buying a mansion there and preparing for the birth of their second child, Lilibet.
When Harry and Meghan boarded their flight in Canada, it marked the moment they officially left their royal lives behind.
Details of Harry & Meghan’s “freedom flight”
Harry branded the flight “the freedom flight,” which, of course, could be interpreted in many ways. Yet now, with the clarity of time, it’s evident that the term “freedom flight” has to do with the fact that he and Meghan finally felt free to do what they wanted, as opposed to being controlled by their duties with the Royal Family.
Harry, Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, left for the US on a private jet. It was shown in the last episode of the Netflix show – and for those who never watched the full six episodes, it was certainly a moment plenty of people missed out on. Harry filmed inside the plane with his phone, showing his stepmother and the couple’s two dogs.
“We are on the freedom flight, we are leaving Canada, and we are headed to Los Angeles,” Harry said, putting his finger to his mouth as in a “shh” moment.
“Here’s Grandma…” he added, showing Doria.
Harry then panned to Meghan, who was wearing casual clothes and a bobble hat, sitting alongside Archie, a baby at the time.
“Say hi Archie. We’re about to go where mummy’s from,” Meghan said.
The luxurious private jet featured a brown interior. The Daily Mail reported that their plane was a 12-seater Cessna jet, retailing at about $6.5 million. Whether Harry and Meghan bought or rented the plane is unknown.
For those watching the footage of Harry and Meghan on the plane, it seemed like they were as happy as they could be. However, others have a different take on it.
Harry & Meghan were in a “state of panic” expert claimed
As reported by the Express, body language expert Darren Stanton said Harry and Meghan looked as if they were in a state of panic.
“There was a real sense of urgency in both Harry and Meghan’s faces as they flew to California. Even though they were thousands of feet above the ground, they both lowered their voices as if they didn’t want to be heard,” Stanton said in December, shortly after the Netflix documentary episode was released.
“The couple were obviously in a state of panic to get out of Canada, where they felt exposed. Both Meghan and Harry looked really tired and stressed, while Meghan’s mother also showed empathy for the situation.”
The body language expert concluded: “The fact that Harry called it a ‘freedom flight’ truly explains his mindset at the time. He very much saw it as a cat-and-mouse game, which was a time-sensitive operation.”
“He seems a lot more settled and relaxed in the rest of the documentary compared to the scene of them on the plane. It was very much a turbulent period for Harry and Meghan.”
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