KEY POINTS

  • Meghan Markle was encouraged to continue acting if she didn't want to embrace royal duties full-time, a royal biographer says
  • Andrew Morton said Markle exuded the same "sense of isolation" and "desperation" he once observed in Princess Diana
  • However, he doesn't believe Markle was stripped of her freedom

Meghan Markle was given the freedom and opportunity to pursue what she wanted when she was still with the royal family, Princess Diana's biographer Andrew Morton has claimed.

During an interview on the "Royally Obsessed" podcast, Morton, who wrote Princess Diana's explosive biography in the 1990s, said that while there were similarities between the situations of the late Princess of Wales and Markle, he doesn't believe that the latter was stripped of her freedom as she previously suggested.

“When I was watching the interview, I was ticking off, ‘yes, sense of isolation, yes, sense of desperation,’” Morton was quoted by Vanity Fair as saying, referring to Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

“Exactly what Diana was saying to me. But then again, well, friends of mine have seen Meghan walking from Whole Foods supermarket on Kensington High Street with bags of food back to Kensington Palace,” he continued.

Morton also noted that the Duchess of Sussex was encouraged to continue acting after marrying into the royal family. Markle played Rachel Zane on "Suits" for several seasons before she tied the knot with Prince Harry.

During Prince Harry and Markle's CBS sit-down with Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex said there was a suggestion that the duchess "carried on acting because there was not enough money to pay for her." 

"There were some real obvious signs, before we even got married, that this was going to be really hard," he added.

For Prince Harry, the suggestion had more to do with his family's willingness to accept her as a full-time working royal rather than his wife's desire to be free. However, Morton suggested that the offer for Markle to return to acting was the royal family's way of giving her the opportunity to do what she wants.

“In fairness to the royal family, in fairness to the Queen, she did give them that opportunity to go wherever they pleased,” he said. “And also, they did say to Meghan, ‘If you don’t want to embrace royal duties full time, please be our guest and continue your acting career.’ Those opportunities were open to her.”

However, Vanity Fair noted that Markle had hinted at her lack of interest in acting prior to marrying into the royal family. In fact, in the biography "Finding Freedom," Markle said she had been making a pivot to lifestyle television or humanitarian projects even before she met Prince Harry.

During a 2017 interview after getting engaged to Prince Harry, Markle said she did not view switching commercial work for senior royal engagements as giving anything up.

"I don’t see it as giving anything up," she told BBC. "I just see it as a change. It’s a new chapter. And keep in mind I’ve been working on my show for seven years. We were very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series. For me, once we hit the 100 episode marker, I thought, I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work we’ve done there and now it’s time to work as a team with [Harry]."

In related news, longtime Sussex critic Piers Morgan claimed that members of the royal family sent him messages thanking him for "standing up for them" following Prince Harry and Markle's tell-all with Winfrey. Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on Morgan's claim.

Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have taken legal action against several media publications, alleging invasion of privacy Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have taken legal action against several media publications, alleging invasion of privacy Photo: POOL / Tolga AKMEN