It's been over a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to quit as senior members of the British royal family, and the journey to their non-royal lives has reportedly been "painful" for them.

Omid Scobie, who co-wrote "Finding Freedom," a biography about the Sussexes and their exit from the royal family, recently told Grazia about the couple's transition from full-time working royals to financially-independent royals. He said: "To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success, but it's taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful."

Meanwhile, a friend of Meghan noted that the couple's repeated relocations with their toddler son Archie added to the troubles. Archie's nanny also moved back to the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the COVID-19 restrictions left Harry and Meghan feeling alone.

Tom Bradby, who interviewed Harry and Meghan during their tour of Africa in 2019 where the prince spoke about his differences with elder brother William, also said that the Duke is "happy" but "heartbroken" over the rift their exit caused in the royal family. He told ITV's "Love Your Weekend": "I think they are feeling better (since moving to California), yes. ... So are they unhappy? No, I think they are content. The things they are doing they are quite excited by."

"I think he is heartbroken by the situation with his family. You don't necessarily need to have knowledge to know that, but I think it is true," Bradby added.

When asked about the reported rift between Harry and William, Bradby said: "Well, just the situation with the family clearly isn't ideal and it has been a very difficult year for them all."

Bradby also admitted that he felt "caught" and "uncomfortable" when Harry spoke to him about the differences between him and William during his documentary "Harry and Meghan: An African Journey."

He said: "To some extent, I felt a little bit caught in the middle of them with that documentary, which is a deeply uncomfortable place to be and that is, in a way, why I am always reluctant to say anything more because I don't want to make anything worse or get in between anything or anything like that."

"But are they (Harry and Meghan) unhappy out there? No, I don't think that's right, I think they are pretty happy actually, but I think they wrestle with their position in life, I think they all do. I think William does too, I don't think he finds it easy," he added.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were rejecting social media in both a personal and professional capacity as part of their new "progressive role" in the US, the Sunday Times said Photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS