The royal family were so concerned about Prince Harry rushing into marriage with Meghan Markle that even his sister-in-law Kate Middleton took him aside to warn him, an explosive new book has claimed.
In Royal At War, published today on Kindle, investigative journalists Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett claim that Kate urged Prince Harry to take things slowly, because it would take ‘time, care and attention’ for Meghan to integrate with the family.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, who married the former American actress, 38, in May 2018, enjoyed a close relationship with the Duchess of Cambridge who he referred to as ‘the big sister I never had’.
However, his relationship with Kate and his brother Prince William remains fractured, after he relocated to LA with his wife and their son, Archie, one, amid an apparent feud with his brother and rumours that Kate and Meghan did not get on.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the shocking claims made in the book, including reports that part of the reason for the rift between the brothers was Harry’s lavish spending in the wake of his wedding.
He reportedly forked out more than £6,000 within months for acupuncture ‘as part of a health drive’ and enjoyed a ‘babymoon’ with the Duchess of Sussex at Heckfield Place, a luxury spa in Hampshire – the three-night stay is said to have cost up to £33,000.
Prince William ‘had concerns over Prince Harry’s romance with Meghan Markle – and the Duchess of Cambridge warned he should take things slowly’
Prince William apparently had concerns over Prince Harry’s romance with Meghan Markle and took his brother aside to ask ‘Is she the right one?’ shortly after meeting her, according to insiders.
Royals At War say the well-intentioned intervention didn’t go down well with the Duke of Sussex who took it as a deliberate slight.
The authors suggest Prince Harry was drawn to his future wife’s ‘confidence, commitment, drive and ambition’ because ‘subconsciously he was seeking a figure to replace the mother so cruelly torn from him at a vulnerable age’.
But while he was quickly smitten after first dating Meghan in 2016, his sister-in-law Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, urged him to take things slowly.
‘She gently reminded him that he was dating someone with a completely different life, past, and career and it would take time, care and attention for them to integrate,’ the authors write.
But the concerns resulted in Prince Harry becoming convinced that the Royal family and even Palace aides were against him and his new partner.
Yet Howard and Tillett suggest that Harry’s misgivings were unfounded. Indeed, many Royal officials were fans of Meghan.
After a meeting of senior Royals that the mother-of-one attended, one well-placed aide remarked: ‘All their IQs put together would not equal hers.’
Another source explained: ‘It’s my opinion that Harry feels he couldn’t protect his mother, so he’s going all out to protect his wife. He is so sensitive he often sees criticism or negativity where there isn’t any.’
As Howard and Tillett conclude: ‘The rifts that eventually opened up in the Royal family after Meghan arrived could have been avoided if Harry was able to empathise and take his brother’s concerns in the spirit they were intended.’
Kensington Palace and a representative for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been contacted for comment.
Prince Harry’s spending leads to rift with senior members of the Royal family
Royal At War authors and investigative journalists Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett said: ‘Harry’s [spending] transformation is revealed as one of the fundamental factors behind the deep fissure that opened between him and his brother, Prince William.’
In the book, insiders suggest Prince Harry first got the spending bug after leaving the Kensington Palace household which he shared with his brother and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38.
He moved into Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle with Meghan following their Windsor-based wedding and spent £2.4million of taxpayers’ money to refurbish the cottage, which they vowed to repay under the terms of Megxit.
The cost of the modernisation works on the Grade II listed property sparked controversy, with the Queen reported to be ‘privately unhappy’ over the expenditure.
Meanwhile, Meghan topped up Prince Harry’s wellness spending splurge with aromatherapy as well as massages, and was estimated to have spent over £478,920 on maternity clothes.
In the book, sources claim that the eye-watering spree led to concerns at the very top of the Royal household, since the Queen is well-known for her modest tastes.
‘The fact that Meghan splashed so much cash rang alarm bells with the traditionally conservative Queen Elizabeth,’ said the authors.
‘Growing up in the war left the monarch with a built-in sense of frugality and economy, despite being one of the richest women in the world.’
Prince Harry and Meghan are now reportedly paying just shy of £18,000 a month to keep Frogmore as their official British base while they stay at Tyler Perry’s $18 million, 12-bedroom villa in Hollywood.
The Frogmore arrangement is being described as a ‘rental-plus’ agreement in which they pay more than what the commercial rate would be, enabling them to pay down the building costs with the excess.
Elsewhere, Prince Harry and Meghan were also criticised for using private jets last year, including four trips in just 11 days in August, despite their eco credentials.
The duke later defended his repeated use of private jets, claiming he needs them for his family’s safety. Speaking at an event, he refused to apologise for private flights to Italy, France and Spain, saying: ‘I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial.
‘Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity [to fly privately] based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe – it’s as simple as that.’
Prince Harry dismissed concerns over his carbon footprint by insisting that he ‘offsets’ his emissions by donating to renewable energy incentives and planting trees.
Sir Elton John said he did this on the prince’s behalf when he provided a private plane to fly him and Meghan to his home in the south of France last August.
Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry and Meghan: A ‘royal rift’
Rumours have long swirled of a row between the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle at the former actress’ wedding to Prince Harry two years ago, in May 2018.
Then last month, society bible Tatler claimed the spat centred on whether Princess Charlotte and the other young bridesmaids should wear tights.
In a profile of Kate, 38, titled Catherine the Great, it quotes one unnamed friend who claims she wanted to follow ‘protocol’, with the bridesmaids, including Charlotte, then three, wearing tights – but Meghan disagreed.
Pictures from the wedding at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, appear to show the six bridesmaids with bare legs, while photographs from Prince William and Kate’s wedding in April 2011 show bridesmaids wearing tights.
However, Kensington Palace distanced itself from the lengthy article and said: ‘This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication.’
Royal reporter Katie Nicholl claimed sources close to the brothers said they had a falling out around Christmas 2017, when Harry reportedly told William he wasn’t making enough of an effort to include Meghan in The Firm.
‘Harry felt William wasn’t rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so,’ her source claimed. ‘They had a bit of a fall-out, which was only resolved when Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort.
‘That’s when the Cambridges invited the Sussexes to spend Christmas with them.’
In a TLC documentary – Kate v. Meghan: Princesses at War, Katie Nicholl said Harry had taken offence to a comment William made about his relationship with Meghan.
‘William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly,’ she said. ‘And being close to Harry, probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, “This seems to be moving quickly, are you sure?”
‘I think what was meant as well-intended brotherly advice just riled Harry. Harry is hugely protective of Meghan. He saw that as criticism. He interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union, and I don’t think things have been quite right ever since.’
In the same documentary, royal correspondent Emily Andrews claimed Harry ‘went ballistic’ and accused William of ‘trying to wreck this relationship before it’s even started’.
Royal filmmaker Nick Bullen told Fox News that there was never a feud between Kate and Meghan – instead, ‘William and Harry have had a rift’.
‘All brothers fall out. All families fall out. Their fall-out at the moment is becoming public,’ he said.
Prince Harry attended an Easter service at St George’s Chapel – which happened to fall on the Queen’s birthday. He arrived alone alongside Peter Philips and his then wife Autumn.
While he was seen chatting to his cousin Zara Tindall and Kate, he didn’t appear to speak to William.
Following the Easter service, Kate allegedly advised Harry to offer William ‘an olive branch’ to repair their fractured relationship and the ‘complete and utter breakdown of communication’ between them, The Mirror reported.
It was her suggestion that led the Sussexes to invite the Cambridges to Frogmore Cottage, where they had tea and chatted for half an hour.
Meghan and Harry officially split from The Royal Foundation – the joint charity they shared with William and Kate.
An official statement read: ‘The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex has today announced the conclusions of a review into its structure, and how it will best support Their Royal Highnesses with future charitable activity.
‘Later this year, The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition, both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health program, Heads Together.’
Prince William and Kate attended Archie’s Christening and posed for a group photo. However, a source told Us Weekly that the Cambridges ‘weren’t happy’ about the Sussexes’ decision to keep the celebration private.
They reportedly said: ‘William thinks his brother is going overboard keeping Archie out of the spotlight’ and ‘blames Meghan’.
But in the same month, it appeared that Meghan and Kate were today determined to put feud rumours to bed with a truce at the tennis.
The pair seemed to be getting on famously as they chatted and smiled in the Royal Box, after taking their seats to watch Meghan’s good friend Serena Williams at Wimbledon.
In an ITV documentary, Prince Harry refused to deny there was a rift between him and his brother.
Speaking to Tom Bradby in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Harry said: ‘Part of this role and part of this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably, you know, stuff happens.
‘But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. And we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I’ll always be there for him, as I know he’ll always be there for me.’
He added: ‘We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but you know, I love him dearly. The majority of this stuff [in the press] is created out of nothing, but you know, as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.’
The Sussexes announced they would be spending Christmas with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, rather than at Sandringham with the Queen. While the decision was said to have the monarch’s support, one source told Us Weekly that the ‘rift’ between William and Harry was ‘one of the main reasons behind their decision’.
Meanwhile a source told People: ‘William is the future king. There is going to be some competitiveness between him and Harry… That already puts a rock in the relationship.’
Tom Bradby told Good Morning Britain that the brothers are hoping to rebuild their relationship. He said: ‘There are lots of people who would love there to be, including, I think, the brothers themselves, love them to be closer again. And with any luck, that will happen. But with families, we all know stuff happens, things are said.’
But later that month, Harry and Meghan announced they were quitting as senior members of the Royal Family, which ‘blindsided’ William, according to an Us Weekly source.
However, a royal source told The Sun that, following the official Sandringham summit, William and Harry ‘spent time together privately’ to ‘work on their relationship and discuss their future’.
‘It has been groundbreaking in terms of saving their bond as brothers and has been totally driven by them,’ the source added.
‘But Kate and Meghan, who was in Canada, did join in with some of the talks on more than one occasion – which is another sign of a real thaw in their relationship. Things are better.’
The Commonwealth Day service – Meghan and Harry’s final official engagement – was ‘not exactly the warm reunion we were hoping for’, according to body language expert Judi James.
She said Harry’s ‘tension was palpable’ as William seemingly failed to greet his brother.
Towards the end of the month, when the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Dailymail.com reported that Meghan had confided in friends that her husband felt ‘helpless’ and was ‘concerned’ about the Queen and his father Prince Charles catching coronavirus.
The friend added: ‘Meghan told her inner circle of friends that Harry has been communicating with Prince William and the Queen on a pretty consistent basis.
‘She said this world crisis has actually brought them all closer together, especially Harry and his brother.
‘Harry has made it very clear to them that he will do whatever he can to help from Canada. Meghan said they are grateful, especially Harry, that they could spend time with his family before all this insanity began.’
Prince Harry is ‘burdened’ and ‘not in great shape’ after leaving the Royal family
The Duke of Sussex is ‘burdened’ and ‘not in great shape’ after leaving the Royal family in March this year, according to the bombshell book.
He is said to be struggling to adjust to his new Hollywood life and is ‘secretly tortured’ over his decision to step back from his royal duties, a source told the authors.
It came after the news that his father Prince Charles, 71, was suffering with coronavirus – which he has now recovered from.
The source claimed: ‘On top of it all, he’s got cabin fever. It was far from an ideal situation. Harry’s gone from feeling excited about the move to feeling secretly tortured.’
He is also missing his family, with it ‘hit(ting) home for him that Charles and the Queen aren’t going to be around forever’, while in lockdown at Tyler Perry’s mansion.
But an insider said that wife Meghan is doing her best to support her husband in their adventure, claiming: ‘She’s assuring [Harry] that once things go back to normal, he’ll love their new life in LA.
‘Meghan wants to take him hiking and talks about the local polo club and how much he’ll love surfing.’
Prince Harry was struggling in the last months of 2019, according to the book, with the authors claiming his pressures ‘had apparently finally broken him’.
Insiders pointed to the royal’s candid documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, in which the duke opened up about dealing with the spotlight.
He told ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby about the lasting impact his mother’s untimely death continues to have on his life, calling it a ‘wound that festers’.
‘I think being part of this family in this role, in this job, every single time I hear a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash it takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to her best,’ Prince Harry admitted.
He also spoke about his relationship with his brother Prince William, explaining that they will always be there for each other but are on ‘different paths’.
‘Look, we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers,’ he said. ‘We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and, as I know, he will always be there for me.’
Mr Bradby, who followed Meghan and Harry during their 10-day tour to Africa between September and October last year, pointed out how the couple ‘seemed a bit bruised and vulnerable’.
‘Something’s wrong,’ explained royal biographer Penny Junor. ‘He looked burdened and playing the victim, which does not sit comfortably with him.’
In his research, Howard spoke to royal insiders who suggested that ‘all was not well’ with the Prince.
‘Harry is not in great shape,’ Howard was told. ‘I’d say he’s not well, declaring war on everyone, crying in public.’
A few weeks after the end of their tour to Africa, Meghan and Harry took a six-week break and flew to Canada to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Upon their brief return to the UK in January, the couple made the shock announcement that they would be stepping down as senior royals.
Meghan Markle realised she couldn’t have the impact she wanted while in the ‘gilded Royal cage’ which created a ‘huge amount of frustration for her’
Meghan Markle realised she couldn’t have the impact she wanted while in the ‘gilded Royal cage’ which created a ‘huge amount of frustration for her’, according to Royals At War.
The authors disclose that aides became increasingly concerned with the former actress’ aspirations and showbiz lifestyle.
Eventually, Meghan is thought to have believed that her dreams of being an iconic role model and spokesperson for issues including climate change, race relations and feminism ‘could never be realised from within the confines of the palace’.
As Howard and Tillett write in the book, published by Skyhorse Publishing, ‘ultimately, as a Royal, Meghan wouldn’t be able to do much about any of the problems.’
They continue: ‘In the gilded Royal cage, she quickly realized that her impact was limited. This paradox at the heart of Meghan’s new existence was generating a huge amount of frustration for her.’
This inner turmoil was likely the catalyst that eventually led to Meghan and Harry turning their back on the Royal family and starting a new life in LA, according to the authors.
‘It was this burning frustration that set the couple on the path they eventually took,’ says Howard and Tillett.
‘Other problems influenced their decisions further, but this was the start. It was the fuse that eventually created the explosion and caused the biggest royal scandal this century.’
Meghan Markle drove palace staff ‘to distraction’ with her ‘gung-ho Hollywood attitude’ and rushing into situations ‘without proper research’
Meghan Markle has ‘very high standards’ and her ‘Hollywood gung-ho attitude’ put her at odds with royal aides, the explosive new book claims.
The Duchess of Sussex is thought to have alienated herself from the staff tasked with easing her transition into royalty.
Her ‘West Coast energy’ – which included 5am starts and ‘text message bombardments’ – drove staff to distraction, investigative journalists Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett claim in Royals At War.
One insider told the authors: ‘Meghan can be difficult. She has very high standards and is used to working in a Hollywood environment. However, there is a different degree of respect in the royal household.’
The former American actress apparently failed to adapt to traditional royal protocol within the royal family, and has now ‘burned too many bridges’.
Meghan reportedly also raced to support charities without considering the details of her patronage, according to the book, with the author being told: ‘It was all too rushed, without proper research.’
Meghan’s exacting standards resulted in a ‘remarkable’ staff turnover, according to the book, with five aides having quit or relocated following the mother-of-one’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
One senior female protection officer allegedly left after becoming exasperated because Meghan ‘ignored advice about venturing into risky crowd situations’.
But insiders said to Howard and Tillett that Meghan found the constraints of royalty frustrating – especially the expectation that she would remain diplomatically impartial and not voice opinions.
In September Prince Harry and Meghan Markle broke free of palace aides, and hired PR firm Sunshine Sachs, whose clients include Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lopez.
Howard said of the move: ‘Insiders told me that by that point, Meghan had burned too many bridges.
‘The Palace is run by a hierarchy of advisors, aides and equerries who hold the real power. Once Meghan cut herself free of those strings, there was no way back.’
Shawn Sachs and Keleigh Thomas Morgan, who represented the Duchess when she was an actress on Suits, guided her through high-profile matters – including her guest edit of British Vogue.
Sunshine Sachs is considered one of the US’s top crisis management firms, and was named the top PR company by the New York Observer in 2014.
Founded in 1991, it has a workforce of about 185 people and counts high-profile corporations such as Microsoft and eBay among its clientele.
Meghan Markle ’embarrassed’ Prince Harry by announcing her pregnancy on Princess Eugenie’s wedding day in a ‘huge social gaffe’
Meghan ’embarrassed’ Prince Harry after divulging she was pregnant during Princess Eugenie’s wedding day ‘in a huge social gaffe’ which left the bride and her mother Sarah Ferguson ‘furious’, the book claims.
But the former American actress’ announcement didn’t go down well with the Duke of Sussex, 35, according to Howard and Tillett.
‘Meghan put her foot in it when she decided that it would be the ideal moment to announce that she and Harry were expecting their first child,’ the pair wrote.
The authors claim the announcement left Prince Harry, who is currently living in LA with his wife and son, feeling ‘embarrassed’.
Meghan and Prince Harry told the public they were expecting their first child on the eve of their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand on October 15, 2018.
At the time, some fans criticised the couple for making the announcement so close to Eugenie’s wedding.
‘If Harry and Meghan did actually tell the royal family about their baby at Eugenie’s wedding on Friday, that’s pretty shady,’ one person wrote, while another added: ‘Thunder stealer.’
However, a source previously told BAZAAR.com that Prince Harry and Meghan did not break the news to their family at the wedding.
They claimed that the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Eugenie and Jack all knew about Meghan’s pregnancy before the nuptials, but the big day was the first time they saw the couple in person to congratulate them.
They added that it was unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge knew ahead of time.
A representative for Kensington Palace later said the Royal family were ‘delighted for the couple’.
However, rumours of bad feeling went into overdrive when Princess Eugenie’s mother tweeted a picture of her royal wedding outfit at the exact moment the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were having a baby.
Kensington Palace officially revealed the pregnancy at 8.40am on October 15, 2018, on what was the 59th birthday of Eugenie’s mother Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
And at the exact time of the announcement, Sarah posted a tweet thanking the designer of her dress for the outfit worn on her daughter’s big day just days earlier.
She then posted three further messages saying how ‘proud’ she was of her daughter and new son-in-law Jack – but made no mention of Harry and Meghan.
Eugenie’s father the Duke of York, who wished his ex-wife Sarah a ‘very happy day’ on her birthday, also retweeted one of Sarah’s tweets featuring Eugenie and Jack.
Prince Andrew also made no mention of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s news.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jessica Green