Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement that they would be stepping back from their royal duties rocked both pop culture and the royal world. Historically, royal departures have involved divorce or controversy rather than a member's mere preference. But as we're all learning, 2020 is a year of many shocking twists of fate and rare events — and that's mirrored in the intense astrology of 2020, too.
Harry and Meghan's relationship has been a topic of public fascination and scrutiny since the news of their budding romance broke back in 2016. Since then, they've tied the knot, given birth to a baby boy, and of course, most recently, announced their unprecedented departure from the royal family. To start off the year with such groundbreaking news certainly sets the stage for an intense 2020 — and astrologically, the stars appear to be aligning the way for the couple, too. 2020 is serving a whole bunch of cosmic relationship drama — including two heavy planetary retrogrades and a series of life-changing eclipses, all of which will be hitting both Harry and Meghan's star charts in a major way. Analyzing the astrology behind the couple's announcement sheds a lot of light on what's potentially to come.
Below, astrologers weigh in on what the stars can tell us about what's ahead for Harry and Meghan's relationship, now that they've left the royal family.
Harry & Meghan's Cosmic Connection
Prince Harry (born Sept. 15) is a detail-oriented Virgo with a stern and fatherly Capricorn rising. A rising sign, aka an ascendant, is the sign in our birth charts that illustrates our surface-level personality. On the other hand, Meghan (born Aug. 4) is an attention-loving Leo with a nurturing and motherly Cancer rising. Cancer and Capricorn (the couple's rising signs) are opposites in the zodiac, which can create intrigue and an "opposites attract" vibe. Cancer is known as the most maternal sign of the zodiac, while Capricorn is considered the more paternally authoritative, which brings a lot of natural synergy.
"Essentially these two are game changers," astrologer Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign Style tells Bustle. "They're shaking up the monarchy, which is influenced by Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn." For context, Uranus is the planet of disruption and sudden change, while Pluto is the planet of transformation and control. "It’s been a revolutionary time," Dewhirst says. "And more will come thanks to Meghan, who ... has Uranus in her house of notoriety and fame." With unpredictable Uranus in the area of Meghan's chart that represents her public image, it shows that she isn't afraid to disrupt the status quo.
It's not just Meghan who is being influenced by the stars. Aforementioned power/control planet Pluto happens to be transiting through Harry's first house of self, which can bring a lot of subconscious feelings out to the surface and initiate visible life changes. "Harry is really open to evolving and transforming his place in the world," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. "But, there will be a lot of changes that come their way, as well as an adjusting period."
The Big Announcement
Harry and Meghan's decision to step back from their royal duties came just days before we all experienced an intense and foundation-rocking Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, which is an extremely rare alignment of two very tough planets that hasn't taken place in nearly 40 years. Saturn is the stern planet of responsibility and restrictions, while cold Pluto rules over power/control issues and transformations. The influence of this intense planetary line-up showed up significantly in their birth charts: "Meghan had the Saturn and Pluto conjunction in her house of partnerships, which [could indicate] breaking up — so they really were going through it," Stardust says. "But for Harry, with the Saturn and Pluto conjunction on his ascendant, he used it to step up to the plate and did what was right for his family."
Venus Retrograde + Mars Retrograde = A Rocky Year Ahead
So what's next for Harry and Meghan, according to the stars? Well, some significant planetary retrograde periods are coming up in 2020. Both Venus and Mars (which are known the love and war planets, respectively) will be taking backspins this year, which will majorly affect things in the relationship department and beyond. "Venus retrograde, which lasts from May 13 to June 25, will rock the couple's sense of security," Stardust says. Venus is all about what and how we value, so when it retrogrades, it can feel like someone pulled the rug out from under our deepest relationships — and it's likely both Meghan and Harry will be feeling this intensely, especially with the public eye on them.
Then there's Mars, which is the planet of war, sex, and ambition. "Mars retrograde, which lasts from Sept. 9 to Nov. 13, will greatly affect Meghan, as she’ll struggle to find her professional footing," Stardust says. This is a time of transition that will truly test the couple's endurance and commitment to their decisions. "Meghan will be working hard to carve a path for them in the second half of 2020 — but again, this won't be easy, thanks to Mars retrograding in Aries," Dewhirst says. "Meghan will likely be putting a lot of energy into blazing a trail but will take time to really get it ‘right.'"
Mars retrograde will be taking place in hot-headed Aries, its home sign, and this could also result in some tension and aggressiveness between the couple and other authority figures. "Harry will adapt more easily [than Meghan], but Mars retrograde will make him more publicly vocal about how the [paparazzi] aren't leaving them alone," Stardust says.
Eclipses: Working Through Challenges
Eclipses always bring sudden changes and revelations — and while they can be chaotic, they usually bring change for the ultimate good. In 2020, we've got five more eclipses to withstand, and they could impact Meghan and Harry's development as a couple together in their new lifestyle. "This year's eclipses may make them both struggle as they find their own identities in the world," Stardust says. "There may be setbacks and drama, but hopefully they'll overcome them."
The way the upcoming eclipses are hitting the couple's charts could add an additional layer of challenges for them this summer and fall, for Meghan especially. "Meghan will build a new community for the both of them this year, thanks to the energy of the eclipses," Dewhirst says. "But it won’t be easy, given that Venus is retrograding in Gemini this spring in Meghan's house of supportive allies." They'll have to put in extra work to build a foundation, but the eclipse energy can ultimately support them.
Smoother Waters Are Ahead
Both Venus and Mars retrogrades — as well as this year's earth-shaking eclipses — could be bringing their fair share of challenges throughout the year. But if the couple can weather the astrological storms of 2020, then it's likely they can come out the other side even stronger. "It won’t be a smooth start with friends in their circle or network," Dewhirst says. "However, Meghan and Harry will only deepen their ties and alliance to each other as Saturn in Aquarius hits Meghan's house of commitment." Saturn is the planet of responsibility and hard work. It dips into Aquarius from March through July before retrograding but will return there come December, at which point it can re-strengthen the couple's devotion to one another and help them get their footing again after a hectic year of changes.
Astrologically speaking, the couple's choices appear to be for the best — and the freedom they've gained will make all these cosmic challenges worth it. "All in all, it will be a hard transition," Stardust says, "but they will remain dedicated to each other. And I think they will be happy, especially since they are living freely."