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Why Meghan Markle Had to Relinquish Her Passport and Keys After Becoming a Royal

There’s a reason for everything. Meghan Markle claimed in her CBS tell-all that she had to give up several personal items after marrying into the British royal family — and a royal expert shared the very logical reason for why that was likely done.

Related: Meghan Markle Through the Years

“Meghan had to hand in her driving license under security rules,” Robert Lacey, a historian and author who consults for Netflix’s The Crown, told BBC on Tuesday, March 9. “If she went out driving on her own, she would not be protected.”

Robert Finch, a dominion chairman of The Monarchist League of Canada, also told BBC that “one assumes that royals’ valuable personal documents are kept in a safe or safes — under the eye of the overall palace security.” He explained that this method is likely used to ensure that important documentation isn’t misplaced and that it would be available if needed.

Why Meghan Markle Had to Relinquish Her Passport and Keys After Becoming a Royal
Meghan Markle Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

“Sounds as if it fitted Meghan’s narrative of being trapped and isolated, but [that] really was routine,” he continued. “Probably anything would be accessible to her if she wanted it.”

Related: Every Revelation From Meghan and Harry's Interview

During her interview with Prince Harry on Sunday, March 7, Meghan opened up about how she felt unsupported when she reached out for help amid her mental health struggles. “I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it,” the California native, 39, said during the special. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.”

The Suits alum, who was pregnant with son Archie at the time, noted that she “never felt this way before” adding that she just wanted “to go somewhere” but was unable to do so.

“I couldn’t, you know, call an Uber to the palace,” she explained. “You have to understand, as well, when I joined that family, that was the last time … that I saw my passport, my driver’s license, my keys. All that gets turned over.”

Related: Biggest Royal Family Scandals Through the Years

Harry, for his part, admitted that he was “ashamed” to tell his family that Meghan was struggling. “This is just how it is, this is how it is meant to be, you can’t change it. We’ve all been through it,” he added.

The 36-year-old British Army vet said that he took control to protect both Meghan and their now-22-month-old son, Archie. After announcing their decision to step down from their senior positions within the royal family in January 2020, they relocated to Los Angeles and temporarily stayed at Tyler Perry’s home before settling down in Montecito, California. Buckingham Palace announced their permanent departure from royal duties last month.

“I think he saved all of us, right? He ultimately called it and was like, ‘We’ve got to find a way for us, for Archie,’” the former actress said of Harry during the interview. “And you made a decision that saved — certainly saved my life and saved all of us. But, you know, you need to want to be saved.”

On Tuesday, the palace issued a statement on Queen Elizabeth II’s behalf that addressed the various allegations, including accusations that the family had concerns about Archie’s skin color before he was born, made against the British royal family in the interview.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement to Us read. “While some recollection may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

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