MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry are a hugely popular couple with an international following but many believe the couple are struggling to maintain the romance since the arrival of their son – does relationship expert Lucy Beresford agree?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are clearly deeply in love with each other. From their first outing together to their romantic wedding at St George’s chapel, the pair are known for their tactile relationship and their sweet, stolen glances when they think no one is watching. The couple had a whirlwind romance – meeting, falling in love, marrying and having a baby all within three years. So what of their relationship now little Archie Harrison has joined the family?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son Archie Harrison into the world on May 6.
Shortly after his son’s birth, Prince Harry told the media: “It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.
“How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we’re both absolutely thrilled.
“We’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there, it’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody.”
The Duke of Sussex, who was present for the birth, added: “I’m so incredibly proud of my wife.”
“And as every father and parent would say, your baby is absolutely amazing.
“But this little thing is absolutely to die for so I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: How has the couple’s relationship changed? (Image: GETTY)
Just two days later the couple introduced their baby boy to the world and revealed they are “overjoyed” with being new parents.
The Duchess of Sussex has been largely absent from the public eye since, but in a few appearances with husband Prince Harry, speculation about their marriage have arisen with many claiming the couple are struggling to adjust.
This speculations was fuelled again on Sunday night when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended The Lion King premiere in London, including Grammy winner Pharrell Williams, who produced many of the songs on the live-action remake’s soundtrack.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were said to be “overjoyed” (Image: GETTY)
During a meeting with Pharell Williams, Meghan confessed that things were not “easy”.
The musician said: “Love is amazing. It’s wonderful. Don’t ever take that for granted, but what it means in today’s climate, I just wanted to tell you, it’s so significant for so many of us. Seriously. It’s significant. We cheer you guys on.”
Meghan replied: “Thank you. They don’t make it easy.”
Is it possible this was a reference to the criticism the couple has faced with the media about their decision to raise their two-month-old son Archie as a “private citizen”?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Prince Harry and Meghan at the Lion King premiere (Image: GETTY)
Lucy Beresford is a psychotherapist, TEDx speaker, social commentator and author, says marital tension following a baby is common.
She said: “The biggest problem for new parents is making time for intimacy, not only sex but stroking, a hug, cuddling and all that kind of thing, because a baby is a 24/7 project and not only is there a lot to do and lots of new things to adapt to – but you are completely exhausted and suffering with sleep deprivation.
“When you are sleep deprived, your capacity to deal with the little grievances in life, to rise above and such is really compromised, which can in turn prove damaging to a couple’s relationship.”
She added even having additional help, such as a night nurse, does not help ease the struggles of this time, saying: “Harry and Meghan probably have extra help, but this does not necessarily help all that much because the issues can stem from feelings of inadequacy when a baby is not responding in the way that it should – little things like that can really undermine your confidence and harm your relationship.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: The Sussex family at a charity polo match (Image: GETTY)
Many have speculated that given the whirlwind nature of the Duke and Duchess’ relationship, the couple are struggling more now as their relationship has popped the “honeymoon” bubble.
The relationship expert said: “There is a possibility where the pregnancy occurs very quickly, the classic honeymoon baby for example, they haven’t established themselves as a married couple.
“And even if they had been together for a long time before they were married, which of course Harry and meghan weren’t, that can still mean that your time together as a legally wed, you just don’t have enough time to work out exactly what that should be like.
“A longer period of marriage before a baby can help parents figure out how they will operate in the world as a married couple, what the codes of conduct are for going out to group dinners for instance, how they will share each others friends and make time for each other with the busyness of daily life.
“If a couple hasn’t really gotten into a rhythm for that, a baby coming along can disrupt that.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Royal christening (Image: CHRIS ALLERTON/GETTY)
She also added the couple could struggle living such a public relationship, saying: “Some couples find working together works especially well, but when Harry and Meghan are working together they are in such public-facing roles that they cannot slag each other off or have a row during the event, which means there is a lot of pressure on them to always be shiny, happy and show themselves as a unit.
“Now, with a baby, they will return home where they would have had a chance to air these grievances with one another, but now they have a newborn baby to deal with and look after.
“It will be very important for them to create even more time together, even though it may look like they are always together.
“No matter how prepared or organised, and one gets the impression that Meghan is very focused and certain about how she wants to live her life, if Archie wants to do something different that could put pressure on the parents.
“For instance, the couple’s trip to Africa will be very interesting because it will show how much goes according to schedule and how much needs to be changed based on the demands of baby Archie.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take a tour of Africa in October (Image: GETTY)
She added Meghan’s former career could help her to handle life as a royal parents.
She said: “Once a person becomes a parent they take on a new identity and they have to live in the public eye.
“In a way I would like to think Meghan will be good at that because she is a performer and she knows what it means to keep the show on the road and I have no doubt she will be brilliant of that within the constraints of a baby who might disturb their schedules and plans.”
One big event that caused concern regarding the Sussex marriage was Trooping the Colour, Meghan and Harry’s first public appearance since the photocall in Windsor with two-day-old Archie.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: The first official full face photo of baby Archie (Image: CHRIS ALLERTON/GETTY)
In footage captured on the day, lip readers believe that Harry told Meghan to “turn around”, sparking conversation on social media about whether she seemed upset following the exchange.
Having watched this footage, Lucy Beresford said she did not believe there was any animosity between the couple during this incident.
She said: “It might have looked like a snap, but I think he was just telling her what needed to happen – that she needed to turn around at that moment for the next big event during Trooping the Colour.
“It just seems as if he was telling her that something needed to be done there and then. But personally, I didn’t think she looked miffed about it. ”