Media personality Bryony Gordon reveals why, after visiting the Sussexes late last year, this week's announcement that the young royals are stepping back was far from a shock.
Frogmore Cottage is not quite the lavish pit of taxpayers' money that the tabloids would have you believe. It's nice, of course, a great deal more than most British people could ever imagine living in, but it is by no means extravagant or palatial.
It is the kind of home you see a thousand times over in the pages of Country Life or on estate agent marketing material. There is a sofa by the popular high street furniture store, Loaf.
A lovely, but not substantial kitchen. A downstairs loo with a candle in it. Dogs running around merrily. It's the kind of modern home you might see many times over scrolling through Instagram.
But when I visited towards the end of last year, there was a sense in some parts of the media that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were sitting in sumptuous robes, throwing taxpayers' money into an expensive wood-burning stove, setting fire to the world they claimed to care so much about in the process. (For the record: there were no wood burning stoves or robes; they were dressed in the casual weekend get-up of jeans, sweat pants, and jumpers, and kindly offered tea).
Any perspective regarding the couple had long disappeared into a strange vacuum of hysteria that seemed to have appeared as a way to distract ourselves from the endless tedium of Brexit.
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It didn't matter that the Crown had needed to renovate the decaying Frogmore anyway, or that Harry and Meghan had paid for all the fixtures and fittings themselves - the cottage, and its £2.4 million ($4.7m) building costs, had become one of many quick and easy ways for some to go to town on the couple.
They had just returned from South Africa, where they had filmed their interviews with Tom Bradby. Prince Andrew was yet to do his own infamous interview with Emily Maitlis, but the matter of his already known association with a convicted sex offender seemed to bother people less than the matter of the Sussexes associations with "woke" celebrities and campaigners.
The couple seemed subdued and sad. They lacked the energy or sparkle I had seen in them previously. All the hope that Prince Harry had expressed when we spoke about his mental health in 2017 appeared to have evaporated. Then he had been lauded for his openness and honesty; fast forward to October 2019 and that same openness and honesty was now being used against him.
Though he never said as much, it felt to me that the Prince was living out the trauma he had experienced as a 12-year-old - walking behind his mother's coffin on global television - again and again and again.
In our interview in 2017 he had spoken candidly of the panic attacks that he had long experienced whenever he appeared at a public engagement. But if he thought then that he had beaten this mental torture, he now seemed to be realising that he had spoken too soon.
It is hard to imagine being in his situation, but not at all difficult to see how he might now want to protect his immediate family from the same fate; how all the money and privilege in the world will never make up for the fact your mother died pursued by paparazzi.
Some have described Harry as "petulant"; the words I would use are passionate and fiercely protective. He is a kind person, a soft and warm man, and it is hard to square the open and honest person I have met with the portrait of the sullen prince that is so often painted in the press.
"Why don't you just jack it all in?" I said to Meghan, after she had told me about the unexpected issues she had experienced in her new position: the loneliness; the sudden muting of her voice; the giving up of everything she knew for love, only to be, as she saw it, hounded and pilloried.
These were, of course, exactly the things that some cynics had said would happen when she married into the firm, but in her defence there was also an optimism that times had changed, that it was no longer 1981 and the establishment was now ready to be dragged into the 21st century.
I wasn't expecting an answer to my question about jacking it all in; it was more of a statement of what I would do if put in a similar position. But the look on her face suggested she had thought about it too. So it didn't surprise me when the Duke and Duchess made their announcement late on Wednesday afternoon.
Putting the timing of their announcement and the way in which they delivered it to other members of the royal family to one side, their intention to "step back" can only be positive, a move that will enable a young family to live their lives properly, while still flying the flag for Britain.
Okay, the delivery may not have been perfect, but constitutionally the decision barely makes any difference to the firm at all, given Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne. What's more, it is entirely in keeping with his father's intentions to have a slimmed-down version of the monarchy that is more Swedish in style.
While some have chosen to interpret the news as the couple wanting to enjoy a lavish lifestyle without any of the scrutiny, a more accurate reading of the situation is that they want to be able to express their views and pursue their campaigning passions without coming under constant fire for doing so.
Currently, their positions prohibit them from letting even the most anodyne of their opinions known, something Prince Harry may be used to but that his wife, who has been speaking out about injustice since she was a child, has struggled to adapt to. Like it or not, the Duchess has a clear, passionate and articulate voice - and crucially, one that empowers people who typically find it hard to be heard.
This "wokeness" may seem annoyingly American to British traditionalists, but in the grand scheme of things it is hardly the worst quality for a royal to have - indeed, put next to the behaviour of Harry's uncle, it is positively refreshing. It is puzzling, then, to hear Nicholas Witchell state he has never known Buckingham Palace to have been so "disappointed" with other members of the royal family. Given recent events with Prince Andrew - and not so recent ones at that - how can this be true?
Shortly after my visit to Frogmore, I went with Meghan to a social enterprise in north London to meet women who had been the victim of trafficking and domestic violence, women who had been able to rebuild their lives through baking. Here, talking to these women, Meghan came alive.
She opened them up and allowed them to talk freely about deeply disturbing experiences that had long been a source of shame for them. It was moving and powerful to watch, and it seemed to me to be exactly the kind of thing a modern royal should be doing. It is, I imagine, exactly the kind of thing she will continue to do.
Will that much change in the long run, other than the public funding piece? The world has always known Harry to be a wildcard.
Deviating from the norm has long been his style; to many, it is all part of his appeal. Is this next chapter in his story really such a shock, then? I don't think so. Indeed, in many ways, this is classic Harry.
When you really think about it, it is vintage Harry. Indeed, stepping back from the royal family so he can forge his own path might just be the most predictable thing he has done in years.