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Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Private Appearance in Miami Was 'Groundbreaking' for Royals

People logo People 2/12/2020 Erin Hill
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Prince Harry and Meghan’s Markle’s appearance at a private JPMorgan event in Miami’s South Beach on Feb. 6 raises new questions about the couple’s plans for the future.

Since announcing their unprecedented exit from royal life on Jan. 8, they remain in a “transition,” during which their HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles remain in place. In the spring those titles are expected to be used far less, if at all—presumably granting the couple even more freedom to be “financially independent” as they said in their announcement.

Speaking at private events is not unheard of for royals, but generally it is only to benefit charities. (The palace has not commented on whether Meghan and Harry were paid for the JPMorgan appearance.) And royal events, with their exacting attention to detail, are managed very differently from private VIP events such as this one.

“Every guest at a royal event is scrutinized by the royal household,” an insider tells PEOPLE. “Who sat at their table? It is a slippery slope. Something like this is absolutely groundbreaking.”

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry standing next to a person wearing a suit and tie: Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry © Provided by People Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

When Harry took the floor to deliver his speech at the private event in Miami, he got surprisingly personal.

Standing before a crowd of investment bankers and celebrities—including J.Lo and A.Rod, who were seated at the same table as Harry and Meghan—the Duke of Sussex said that “while it has been very difficult on him and Meghan, he does not regret their decision to step down as senior royals, because he wants to protect his family,” a source told Page Six.

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Their recent move to Canada was part of Harry’s previously shared wish for a “more peaceful life.” They are also planning to spend time in Meghan’s hometown of Los Angeles this summer and are set to head to London for the Commonwealth Service with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family on March 9.

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