For Prince Harry, announcing a new relationship takes a little more work than becoming Instagram-official. Sometimes it means literally hiding in a house for a couple days — and not even his own. When the press first got wind of the royal's then-rumoured romance with actress Meghan Markle, the two were prepared for both the palace and Markle's home to be flooded with reporters, so they ended up staying with two of Markle's friends, Ben and Jessica Mulroney, a TV host and stylist, respectively.
The Mulroneys and their three children sheltered the couple (think of it as the ultimate double date), and created an environment that ended up becoming a huge milestone in this untraditional relationship.
"When Harry came to visit the family he brought a bag filled with gifts. He won the kids over in an instant. He was brilliant with them and I think what swung it for Meghan was how good Harry was with them," a source told Kate Nicholl, author of the upcoming book Harry: Life, Loss, and Love. "I actually think that might have been the moment Meghan really fell for Harry. He got to know the Mulroneys quite well, and they liked Harry from the beginning."
As romantic as it sounds, they really shouldn't have been put in this position in the first place, which is one of many reasons Prince Harry issued a statement through his communications secretary condemning the press in November.
"Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social-media trolls and web article comments," the statement, posted on Twitter by Kensington Palace, reads. "Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."
It's fortunate that the couple had such strong friendships they could rely on, and now that their wedding is fast approaching, I hope they take solace in the fact that the next time they need to take some time away, they have many, many palaces that would do the trick.
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