Celebrities are just like us. They fall in love, get married, and occasionally need space from their in-laws. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no different.
There’s so much that can be said about the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex abruptly announcing that they are scaling back from their royal duties. The press have been buzzing ever since, wondering what this major moves actually means, and whether or not Queen Elizabeth will approve.
Well, we can’t speak for the Queen. But relationship expert and host of OWN’s Family Or Fiancé Tracy McMillan says this is a tale as old as time.
ESSENCE caught up exclusively with McMillan, who first hit big with her book Why You’re Not Married Yet, to get her take on the royal dilemma. “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are in a classic ‘Family Or Fiance’ Situation,” says McMillan. “He is under tremendous pressure to choose the family, and he’s choosing his wife.”
Much of the hoopla surrounding this royal relationship is the fact that Markle is a biracial woman (Markle’s mother Doria Ragland is a Black woman and her father Thomas Markle is white.) British tabloids have repeatedly made racist references to Markle’s lineage, and have dug around for details about her past. This, McMillan says, is what’s at the root of the couple’s decision to move.
“I’m sure he knew when he started dating her that this was going to be not the easiest road,” McMillan says. “In a way, Harry is acting appropriately. He’s saying, ‘if you can’t stand with us, we’re just going to have to place ourselves where we do feel good and supported.’ It’s less about the family. I think its the British media. That is who he’s divorcing.”
On an emotional level, McMillan thinks Prince Harry is determined to avoid the tragedy that his mother Princess Diana suffered. “Essentially [the paparazzi] killed his mother in his view. Now, they’re coming after his wife. There’s a term called repetition compulsion. We compulsively repeat our deepest traumas. He could have married one of those blonde girls he was dating, but he went right for the place where he could surface his deepest wound, have history repeat itself, and make a choice that feels like this time, he’s in control.”
Ultimately, McMillan doesn’t believe moving to Canada will solve their problems completely. “He’s still going to have to resolve it inside. But what you do see is that he’s got a partner who will support him in it. He couldn’t have done it without her.”
Watch the video above, and catch more sage advice from the relationship expert on OWN’s Family Or Fiancé, airing Saturdays at 9/8c.