The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt they had to step back from their official roles because of ‘bad blood’ in the Royal Family, it was claimed yesterday.
A friend of the couple said their decision to stand down as senior royals became ‘inevitable’ as they felt increasingly ostracised.
The source spoke to US magazine People, which has previously run a story defending Meghan which it said came from five of her close friends.
A friend of the couple said their decision to stand down as senior royals became ‘inevitable’ as they felt increasingly ostracised. Pictured: The Camrbidges and Sussexes in Sandringham on Christmas 2018
‘This is not how they wanted to handle this but Meghan and Harry’s hand was forced,’ the magazine quoted a friend as saying yesterday.
‘There is so much bad blood in that family – it’s toxic.’
The source added: ‘If relationships had been better, things would have been different.’
The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry was offended by his elder brother Prince William warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan.
They say the duchess was also hurt by ‘negative press’ and what she considered was her ‘outsider status as a bi-racial American’.
The source added: ‘Meghan and Harry didn’t feel they got enough comfort or solace from them [the royals].’
It came as palace aides were locked in meetings yesterday thrashing out the fine detail of Harry and Meghan’s ‘exit package’ from the Royal Family.
Members of the three main royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – plus the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private office, are attempting to come up with a proposition that satisfies the couple by the end of the week if possible.
The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry (centre right) was offended by his elder brother Prince William (centr left with wife Kate) warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan (right)
Following Monday’s historic Sandringham summit the Queen, who has been deeply hurt by recent events, issued a statement capitulating to her grandson’s demands to allow him and Meghan to step down as senior working royals.
She made clear that she, Prince Charles and William would have preferred them to stay.
But given the couple’s strength of feeling about being allowed to carve out a ‘financially independent’ life for themselves, albeit one that retains many of their royal privileges, the Queen has agreed to allow the couple to divide their time between Canada and the UK and asked staff to work ‘at pace’ at resolving the situation.
Those involved include the four main private secretaries (also known as the chiefs of staff): Sir Edward Young for the Queen; Clive Alderton for Charles; Simon Case for William; and Harry’s new appointment, Fiona Mcilwham.
The biggest stumbling blocks, say insiders, are funding, residency, security, and how the couple intend to make their own living.
Following Monday’s historic Sandringham summit the Queen (pictured on Sunday), who has been deeply hurt by recent events, issued a statement capitulating to her grandson’s demands to allow him and Meghan to step down as senior working royals
Aides are keen to try to limit any attempt by Harry and Meghan to commercialise the monarchy.
Brand experts say the couple’s star power could see them earn £400million over the next few years.
Aides have been instructed not to talk about the discussions, but they did break their purdah to confirm the Daily Mail’s story yesterday that Meghan did not take part in the summit at Sandringham as planned.
At the weekend aides said it was likely she would be ‘dialling in’ from Canada in order to take part.
But yesterday they issued a brief statement which said: ‘The Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join.’
The Mail has been told the decision was made because of security fears over who could be listening in to the phone call.
It is also understood the Sussexes feel let down by the wider ‘institution’ of the monarchy, as opposed to the much talked-about rift between Harry and William.
A source said: ‘It’s bigger than any issue with one individual, this is about them feeling let down by the institution and the structure around it.
‘They want to carve out a new model. It’s much bigger and more complex than falling out with any one particular person.’
Today William and Kate will be in seen in public together for the first time since the royal crisis erupted as they visit a number of community projects in Bradford.
Tomorrow Harry will undertake an engagement at Buckingham Palace in front of the world’s press as he takes part in the official draw for the Rugby League World Cup, which will be hosted in the UK next year.
It will be his last engagement as a senior member of the Royal Family – and could be his last ever on behalf of the Queen if his demand to still undertake occasional duties on her behalf while pursuing commercial endeavours is not granted.