In early 2020, while the world was preoccupied with the pandemic, something else took hold of the UK. The British royal family learned that another celebrity from across the pond would be joining the bunch. The tabloids were crying déjà vu, seeing as how King Edward VIII and Prince Harry, to name a few, also married foreigners. It looks like it’s even becoming a trend (as much as the Queen would love that).
Seeing that the House of Windsor seems to be becoming more modern, many who follow the royal family can’t help but wonder: is the future of the Crown at risk? So, who is the new soon-to-be royal? Well, you might even recognize Hanna Jaff seeing that she starred in Netflix’s reality show Made in Mexico. But, Jaff is more than just a TV star. She became instantly famous when her fiancé Henry Roper-Curzon (Sarah Ferguson’s nephew) proposed to her in the Swiss Alps.
So who is this young woman?
In the Name of Love
If you haven’t watched The Crown (or know a thing or two about royal history), then here’s a recap: King Edward VIII abdicated the throne (he was forced to step down) after proposing to American socialite Wallis Simpson in 1936. The problem was that Simpson was divorced from her first husband and was attempting to divorce her second. Edward became her third husband.
The marriage was opposed by the UK government and that of the Dominions of the British Commonwealth. Why? Religious, legal, political, and moral objections were raised. It was a major event that resulted in the royals being thrown into a crisis that they hoped would never happen again. After his abdication, a new line of Windsors took the throne.
The Birth of a New Bloodline
With King Edward VIII out of the picture, a new lineage was put in place. This line included George VI (Edward’s younger brother), Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and most of the royals that we tend to see in the news today. It seems as though ever since that first scandal, royal marriages under the Queen’s reign just haven’t been the same.
Did you know that the current royal family invented their own last name? Originally, the family name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but there was fear that the name sounded too German, and thus it was dropped. Instead, Windsor was adopted during WWI. Queen Elizabeth (the first) then sanctioned the future descendants to be called Mountbatten-Windsor, as she combined her husband’s original family name.
A History of Family Drama
On July 29, 1981, about one billion viewers from 74 countries tuned in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young and beautiful English schoolteacher. Their messy marriage was what tabloid dreams are made of, and it basically monopolized the media throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
After four years of separation, the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana formally divorced. Prince William was born in 1982, followed by Prince Harry in 1984. As you know, Diana died in 1997. Charles married his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, which became the subject of scrutiny ever since. Many people hoped that Charles’ affinity for drama wouldn’t carry over to his sons.
Maybe the Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial relationship has been front-page news ever since they became a couple. In the late 2010s, it seemed like the world was finally beginning to adjust to the newest royal couple. But then 2020 rolled in – which proved to be the strangest year in a long time.
In early January 2020, Harry and Meghan dropped a bombshell. The couple decided to step down as senior members of the royal family. It was a shock, of course, seeing as how they did it willingly. Many people were quick to point the finger at Meghan for “corrupting” the young prince.
Pointing the Finger at the Queen
Then again, those who defended the Duchess pointed their fingers at another big-name royal as the reason for the alarming news. Yes, the Queen herself was blamed for the abdication of her grandson and his wife. But, regardless of which side started it, it comes as no surprise that the remaining royals now find themselves on shaky ground.
Some might say that it would be unwise to let another “outsider” into the family so soon after such a scandal. However, shortly after the “royal split,” that’s exactly what happened. The cousin of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Henry Roper-Curzon, has used the “wild card” and steered clear of royal tradition.
Meet Hanna Jaff, the newest soon-to-be member of the British royal family. She is definitely a face that hasn’t been widely seen on the British tabloids. Born in San Diego in 1986, Jaff is American with Mexican-Kurdish nationality. She grew up in Tijuana, Baja California, with her mother’s family and later studied in some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including Harvard, Columbia, King’s College in England and The Sorbonne University in Paris.
Jaff studied psychology with a specialty in criminal justice and political science. The 33-year-old also has a Master of Arts degree from Harvard. She focuses most of her time on the Jaff Foundation, a charity organization that focuses on the rights of immigrants.
Made in Mexico
If you’re a reality TV fan, then you might know of Hanna Jaff. She has starred in Made in Mexico, Netflix’s first-ever Mexican reality series, which started in 2018. The show follows nine wealthy socialites around Mexico City. Jaff happened to be one of them. The young woman is goal-driven, with a long to-do list in hand.
She has designed her own charity fashion line labeled We are One, in addition to her political and television positions. She also wrote three books and gave TEDx Talks. And to think she’s only 33 at the moment. In 2019, she was in Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico and Cosmopolitan’s 10 Most Admired Women in Mexico. Now, she gets to move to England to live out a fairy tale.
Her Family Tree
Jaff is of Kurdish-Mexican descent, but she considers herself Mexican-American. Unlike her fellow outsider Meghan Markle, Jaff does have a bit of royal in her blood. Paternally, Jaff is a descendant of Mohamed Pasha Jaff. He was one of the great Kurdish kings and leaders of the Jaff tribe. Hanna Jaff is also a descendant of those who own the North Bank of Iraq, which is the largest private bank in the country.
Jaff is also a descendant of Carlos Henry Bosdet, the first person to install a telephone in Mexico. Jaff’s father, Kurdish businessman, Dawood Jaff, is Muslim. Her mother, Mexican Lilia Laura, is a Catholic. According to Jaff’s website, she “is a descendant of Mohamed Pasha Jaff, Lady Adela, Osman Pasha Jaff, and Mahmud Pasha Jaff. Sherwana Castle is their ancestral home.”
A Bi-Everything Home
Jaff explained how her parents originally met to KTLA Morning News: “My dad came to study his masters in Los Angeles while my mum was studying a design certificate, and they met and have been 36 years married.” She explained how in their home, it was “always every language in the world, two faiths.” She explained how she grew up in a “bi-national, bi-lingual, bi-everything home.”
Jaff has done three TEDx Talks, spoken before the United Nations, and at over 80 Mexican Universities. Through her nonprofit organization, English is taught to immigrants and refugees. She organized the first-ever Kurdish festival in Mexico in 2013, the largest such festival held outside of Kurdistan.
Becoming a Mexican Icon
Jaff was named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in Mexico – a list that also included the likes of Salma Hayek. In the show Made in Mexico, the flawed lives of the seemingly perfect elite were revealed. Perhaps in a way, the show somehow prepared Jaff for entering the royal family, seeing as how in Mexico City, where the show was filmed, the family name is your bond and legacy is everything.
The cast of Made in Mexico include Pepe Diaz, a businessman and nightclub owner, Kitzia Mitre, a fashion designer, her brother-in-law, Roby Checa, American lifestyle blogger Chantal Trujillo, and American food blogger Liz Woodburn. There are also TV personalities Carlos Giron Longoria and Shanik Aspe, fashion model Columba Diaz, and our dear Hanna Jaff, the politician and philanthropist.
When Hanna Met Henry
Hanna is set to marry Harry! But not the Harry you’re thinking of…
In the summer of 2019, Jaff met Prince Henry “Harry” Roper-Curzon through a mutual friend. This friend knew that Harry was interested in meeting an intelligent Latina woman. The match-maker pulled up Hanna’s Instagram page and showed him a photo of her.
Henry, Princess Eugenie, and Princess Beatrice of York’s cousin, immediately wanted to meet the pretty lady, but Hanna wasn’t in England at the time. Jaff and Henry’s love story has drawn comparisons to Harry and Meghan’s who were also introduced by a mutual friend. According to Jaff in a conversation with Telemundo, she and Henry finally met up at an art exhibition in England, thanks to their mutual friend.
Like Love at First Sight
Jaff was fashionably late (two-hours late to be exact) to the event due to her flight being delayed. But as soon as she walked in, the two hopefuls smiled at each other from across the room. Jaff went straight to find the friend who organized the meeting. Then, Henry crept up behind them as they stared at a painting.
“It’s beautiful, right?” he asked Jaff. It was then that their friend formally introduced the two to each other. Within weeks, the couple established themselves as an official couple. They ended up spending Christmas together in Mexico and San Diego. The love birds then traveled to the Swiss Alps with friends and family. That’s when Harry popped the question.
Postponing the Wedding Bells
Jaff is engaged to the heir to the baronage of Teynham, a relation of the Windsor princes. It seems like funny timing, seeing that the whole debacle of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is still fresh on the UK’s mind. So how could yet another “Royal Harry” fall for the charms of an American celebrity?
The couple was initially planning to wed in July 2020, but, in light of the pandemic, they were forced to push their nuptials to the fall (or maybe later). “At the beginning, I was quite sad,” Jaff revealed, “but given the world is going through so much right now, there are bigger problems to worry about.”
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
The pandemic has also served to test the strength of their relationship. With the lockdown in order, like some other couples in the world, they had to isolate an ocean apart. But according to Jaff, she and Henry are now closer than ever. As they say, “distance really does make the heart grow fonder,” Jaff said. “You realize that you have to be thankful for what you have every day.”
“This experience left us with a stronger relationship, communication skills, and [we] learned so much more about each other and ourselves.” Their relationship really does seem like a genuine case of true love. Royal followers are eagerly waiting to see what happens. Will they marry this year? Will it lead to a future fallout for the royal family?
Let’s Talk About Net Worth
Henry’s net worth might be something of interest to royal followers. He is expected to inherit a 100 million dollar estate, aside from being in line for the title Lord of Teynham, 22nd Baron. The family is situated in Pylewell Park. At the moment, Henry’s father, the Honorable David Roper-Curzon, lives there with his kids.
Throughout the centuries, the Roper-Curzon family has come from wealth. They inherited numerous estates, including Kedleston Estate, Kent Estates, Pylewell Park, Trimdon Estates, and Galway Estates, Chestfeild, Brambiltighe, Kingsdown, Dodington, Bexley, Woolwich, Kidbrooke, Eathorne Manor, Well Hall, Kingsdowne, Saint Dunstan’s, Norton, East Greenwich, Mottingham, Candlewick, Lee, Chislehurst, Bradford, Horne, Hyde and Charlton.
The Roper-Curzon family’s net worth is based upon all those estates mentioned above they own. Henry is 34 years old and a royal descendant of King Charles II of England, Ireland and Scotland as well as Queen Maria of Scots, and Henry Tudor VII. Along with being the great-grandson of the Dukes of Monmouth, Buccleuch, and Queensberry, the Roper-Curzon family tree goes all the way back to the year 850!
Hanna Jaff’s net worth is estimated to be 50 million dollars. Jaff was born into a family whose net worth is 250 million dollars.
The wedding celebrations are meant to take place at Westminster Palace in November 2020 and continue to Plyewell Park, which is the family home Henry will inherit. Following the ceremonies in England, the couple will head to Mexico City in December for her family’s religious nuptials. The two will live in England.
Like Harry and Meghan’s Love Story
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship started off pretty innocently, as well. Lots of famous love stories have fairytale beginnings, but Harry and Meghan’s story actually began on a blind date, similar to Jaff and Henry’s. In fact, Meghan reportedly knew very little about Harry’s royal bloodline.
“I didn’t know much about him,” Meghan admitted to the BBC, “so the only thing I asked was, ‘Well, is he nice?'” As it turns out, Harry was even less prepared. He never even heard of Meghan before that night. Yes, it sounds – and surely was – a bit awkward. In the end, the pair clearly hit it off. Just a few weeks later, Harry invited Meghan on a charity trip to Africa.
When the News Broke
“It was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other,” the prince said. The two managed to keep their courtship under wraps for months, but in October 2016, news of their relationship broke. Sources stated that Harry was “desperate to keep the relationship quiet.”
But then, on the day that news of the relationship leaked, Meghan posted a photo on her Instagram that featured two bananas spooning. People were wondering if this was her coy way of confirming the rumor. The tabloids ate it up. Meghan was used to the spotlight, sure, but the attention from being associated with the royals proved to be a whole other ballgame.
Stop the Harassment
“There was a misconception that this would be something I would be familiar with,” Meghan told the BBC. “But I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve lived a relatively quiet life.” The media grew relentless when it came to the latest gossip on the budding royal relationship. Some papers went as far as harassing Meghan’s mother to get information.
Eventually, Harry had enough. He issued a statement that called for an end to all the harassment he and his girlfriend were receiving. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety. It is not right that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement read. It worked…a bit. But it wasn’t long before rumors started circulating again. This time, revolving around Harry’s brother.
Redirecting the Focus to Prince William
The media chose to focus on Prince William instead, claiming that he was unhappy. This then prompted the Duke of Cambridge, like his brother, to issue his own statement. “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” the statement read.
It was made clear that while Prince Harry’s call to the press was unlikely for a royal to do, the family had no issue with his defense of Meghan. As 2016 came to a close, the media frenzy died down in the wake of the news that Queen Elizabeth II herself gave Meghan her approval. The country sighed a breath of relief.
The Queen isn’t just the main monarch, she’s also one of Harry’s biggest fans (she is his grandmother after all). A source close to the family told Us Weekly: “The Queen is delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship.” It may come as a shock to many that the Queen was so welcoming in the end. Meghan also had good things to say about the Queen
“It’s incredible to be able to meet her through Harry’s lens,” Meghan shared with BBC. “Not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother. She’s an incredible woman.”
Meeting the Parents
Following a trip to Norway, Harry started bringing Meghan around the family more often. He introduced her to Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte in 2017. Meghan spent more time with William, and the two reportedly got along very well. When the tables turned, and it came time for Harry to meet Meghan’s family, she flew her mother, Doria Ragland, to London for a meeting with the prince.
Harry was surely nervous about the meeting, but he and Doria immediately hit it off. Doria was spotted with the couple on several occasions. But Harry didn’t yet meet Meghan’s father. Although they were still living apart at the time, Harry and Meghan grew closer. When she wasn’t in Toronto filming Suits, she was “living virtually” with her beau at Kensington Palace.
Finally, in 2017, Meghan came clean. As she graced the cover of Vanity Fair, the actress gave a tell-all interview about her relationship with Harry. “We’re a couple. We’re in love,” she revealed. “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell.”
By November 2017, the Prince of Wales popped the question. Obviously, she said yes! On May 19, 2018, they tied the knot at Windsor Castle. Tens of millions tuned in, making it one of the most-watched events of the year. Shortly after the wedding, rumors started going around that Meghan’s adjustment to royal life wasn’t going so smoothly.
Raising Their Son as a Citizen
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Meghan was not only adjusting to her role as Duchess, but also to motherhood. After welcoming Archie Harrison in 2019, Meghan and Harry have taken a rather un-royal approach to raising their son. They chose to keep his baptism a quiet affair, conducting the ceremony in the Queen’s private chapel.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex want Archie to be raised as a private citizen of the country, rather than as a royal. But that didn’t stop the press from keeping them under the microscope. By January 2020, the couple took to Instagram to share their intention with the world: they were going to distance themselves from the rest of the royal family.
What Would the Queen Say?
The press went nuts, and royal followers held their breath as they waited for the Crown to respond. Buckingham’s official response was pretty lax, but palace insiders leaked rumors that the news left the royal family “blindsided.” No one seemed happy about the “royal stab in the back.”
“The level of deceit has been staggering, and everyone from the top of the royal household to the bottom feels like they have been stabbed in the back,” a royal aide told The Daily Mail. One source even described the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as “incandescent with rage.” Public opinion eventually shifted again when reports came to light about Harry having tried to discuss his decision with the Queen but was blocked by her couriers.
One Question Remains
One question remained: why were the Duke and Duchess walking away? In the eyes of the media, the answer lied in the angle they were pushing ever since the couple announced their engagement: “Meghan hates the UK!” But, the other side of the public cited this tabloid gossip as the reason behind them stepping out of the spotlight.
For Harry, keeping his family out of harm’s way was the number-one priority. “Any husband wants to protect their wife, and any father wants to protect their children,” a close friend of his, JJ Chalmers, told The One Show. “And ultimately, he grew up in the limelight, and he knows how this can end if it’s not handled correctly.”
Soul-Crushing Royal Life
Meghan’s mother, Doria, said she was “really worried” about her daughter. One source revealed that Meghan started to find royal life “soul-crushing.” On January 18, 2020, Buckingham Palace released a statement that both the Sussexes and the Crown came to an agreement over the “royal exit.” Aside from becoming financially independent and dropping their titles, Harry and Meghan would no longer represent the Queen.
In exchange, the no-longer-royal couple received the very thing they wanted from the start: freedom. Splitting their time between Canada and the UK, Harry and Meghan now live in a $14-million mansion in Vancouver. They also have their Frogmore Cottage. According to a close friend of theirs, they spend most of their time “doing yoga and taking long hikes.”
Looking Back at Hollywood
Meghan hasn’t stopped inching her way back to Hollywood. The former Suits star is reportedly searching for an agent in a bid to get back into the biz. Her biggest priority, though, is Archie. “Meghan felt like she couldn’t be the best mother to Archie if she wasn’t being her true, authentic self, something she felt she couldn’t be in the royal family confines,” her friend told The Daily Mail.
The former royals are now building a team to carry out their new life, which includes Doria as a special advisor. And, according to Doria, her daughter made the right choice. “Meghan is strong and will always be okay,” she stated.
An Impromptu Meeting
The two have plenty of funds, but they’ll need a source of income eventually. Once Harry and Meghan were engaged, the Queen called Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Prince William in for a meeting. The Queen stated that she supported Harry and Meghan’s choice to step down, but she had some words about their financial situation.
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” the Queen wrote in her statement. According to sources, Prince Charles was “livid” when he learned about his son’s decision to step down from the royal family. Charles apparently blamed Meghan for pushing it.
Starting a Brand
In 2019, Harry and Meghan left The Royal Foundation, William and Kate’s organization. Instead, they started their own, The Sussex Royal. Under the umbrella of their brand, Meghan has already signed a voice-over deal with Disney. They also launched their official website, and rumors have been floating around about a Netflix deal.
Prince Charles had one warning for the couple: not to be so carefree with their trademark, especially since the Sussex name is attached to it. “There will be strict instructions on branding,” one source claimed. “No one wants to see the Sussexes’ name on a tub of margarine.” Well, if you ask me, seeing their name on a tub of butter would probably be a better choice.