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It all seemed like a fairy tale, until it wasn’t. Many royal fans remember when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. For anyone who watched their royal wedding, it looked like something out of a storybook as an American TV star and a British prince tied the knot in front of millions of eyes around the globe.

The couple couldn’t have looked happier on that day but less than two years later, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their roles as senior royals and left England to live in California. A few months later, Meghan and Harry publicly painted a picture of royal life that seemed more like nightmare. No one knows for sure what really went on behind palace walls but things weren’t what Meghan expected and some tried to warn about that.

Meghan Markle wearing a black coat on a visit to New Zealand House
Meghan Markle wearing a black coat on a visit to New Zealand House | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan’s friend warned her about losing her privacy when she started dating Harry

When Meghan first started dating Prince Harry she confided in her agent and friend Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne about seeing England’s most eligible bachelor.

Nelthorpe-Cowne told the Daily Mail that she remembered how excited Meghan was and while she was happy for her pal, she did try to caution her about what was going to happen once the press found out they were together. But apparently, Meghan didn’t want to hear it. “This is serious. This is the end of your normal life, the end of privacy–everything,’” Nelthorpe-Cowne told her. Meghan, however “just held up her hand and said: ‘Save it. I don’t want to hear any negativity. This is a happy time for us.”

Meghan stopped working with Nelthorpe-Cowne a week before she got engaged to Prince Harry and they haven’t spoken to each other since.

Royal expert tried to warn the now-duchess ‘don’t think you want to become a princess’

Meghan Markle arrives at The Royal Variety Performance 2018 at London Palladium
Meghan Markle arriving at The Royal Variety Performance 2018 at London Palladium | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Some believe that the Suits actor thought that marrying a prince meant that she would get to live in a castle, be waited on hand and foot, and wear beautiful gowns to lavish dinner parties. But being a member of Queen Elizabeth’s family also means that you’ll carry out hundreds of royal duties, be photographed everywhere you go, and the public will then critique your every move.

Journalist Jeremy Paxman knows this. The Express noted that he is a broadcaster, a presenter, and very knowledgable when it comes to the royal family. While hosting the documentary The Royal Wives of Windsor in 2018, he had a warning fo the future Duchess of Sussex about any illusion of what marrying a royal entails.

On the realities of marrying into The Firm, he said: “Every girl dreams of being a princess and actually I don’t think you want to become a princess if you can avoid it.”

Even Prince Harry warned his bride about royal life

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival dressed in red
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall | Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Flight Attendant Says Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Didn’t Pay Their Bill on Plane

For anyone wondering why Prince Harry didn’t warn his bride about what life in his family and under the royal microscope would be like, well he actually did.

During their first joint interview in 2017 post the announcement that they were engaged, Harry said that he had serious talks with Meghan about that very subject as their relationship progressed. The Duke of Sussex stated that the transition into royal life is “not easy for anybody. I still had to have some pretty frank conversations with her to say, ‘You know what you’re letting yourself in for?’”