Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II
Royal author Robert Hardman said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, seen here with Queen Elizabeth II, leaving their royal roles was a "great loss" for the monarchy. Photo: POOL / John Stillwell

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from their royal roles, famously dubbed Megxit, was considered a great loss for the institution, according to a royal author.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from their duties in 2020 and started a new life in California where they launched their non-profit organisation Archewell Foundation and its subsidiary companies Archewell Audio and Archewell Productions. They then signed multi-million lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix to be financially independent from the firm.

But ahead of their exit, they had asked to be part-time working royals and continue to serve the monarchy in another Commonwealth country. But Queen Elizabeth II did not approve of their suggestion. Prince Harry talked about this discussion, called the Sandringham Summit, in his memoir "Spare" which came out on Jan. 10, 2023.

According to royal author Robert Hardman, the Sussexes' departure had Buckingham Palace wondering over the what-ifs had the couple remained an integral part of the institution.

He told People that there was the "occasional wistful thought" at the palace "of if they were still part of the team and of all the things they could have done and could now be doing".

He said: "There is no question that Harry and Meghan are a great loss to the institution, and that is still appreciated and understood. There's absolutely no sense of good riddance or anything like that. It's fundamentally a source of deep regret."

But according to Hardman, one good thing that happened following the Sussexes' royal exit is that it "brought Charles and his mother closer together".

After Megxit, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle then went on an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. The interview sent a shockwave across Britain because the couple publicly aired their grievances against the institution.

They also sparked a racism row when they said that there were conversations among senior royals about how dark their son, Prince Archie's skin could look like ahead of his birth. They have since refused to name the individuals involved but assured that it was neither Prince Philip nor Queen Elizabeth II.

But the Dutch copy of Omid Scobie's book "Endgame" released in November last year, mistakenly revealed their identities. The book was pulled from publication to correct the error.

Outspoken host Piers Morgan ultimately revealed the names of these senior royals in an episode of his "Uncensored" show. He said Kate Middleton and King Charles III participated in the conversations about Prince Archie's complexion.

Despite the reveal, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle remained mum. Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace did not release a statement either.

Hardman said: "I don't think anything could really trump the sort of sense of shock felt by the Oprah Winfrey interview — that was huge."

If the Oprah interview was not enough, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex further talked about their previous life as working royals in their Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," which streamed in December 2022. The biographer noted that there was "sadness" for King Charles III at the time over the successive revelations from the Sussexes but he remained "pragmatic".

He shared: "There was a sort of weary resignation, but also a sense that 'look, I've got so much to worry about now that I don't have the luxury of dwelling on this.' If that's what they want to do."

He added that despite his sadness, King Charles III still considers Prince Harry family. He said: "I mean there's only so much I as a father can do. And the door is always open."

Hardman's interview comes following the release of his book called "The Making of a King: Charles III and the Modern Monarchy" on Jan. 18.