Her Majesty is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the launch of the SussexRoyal website which accompanied their Megxit announcement in January.
Royal aides told the authors of Finding Freedom, which is being serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, that sussexroyal.com fleshed out details for a ‘half-in-half-out model’ which had not been rubber-stamped by the Queen.
It derailed the carefully choreographed departure announcement planned by Buckingham Palace, which was caught off guard by the website.
The book claims the Palace was forced to rip up its prepared statement and instead rush out a short press communique insisting nothing had been finalised.
The Duke and Duchess’s decision to ‘clarify’ their pared-back roles without getting it signed off by the Queen, 94, was ‘deeply upsetting’ for her, according to courtiers.
Her Majesty (pictured last week) is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the launch of the SussexRoyal website which accompanied their bombshell resignation announcement in January
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured in March) ‘hurt’ the Queen by unilaterally mapping out their future royal roles without her approval, an explosive biography has claimed.
Royal aides told the authors of Finding Freedom, which is being serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, that sussexroyal.com fleshed out details for a ‘half-in-half-out model’ which had not been rubber-stamped by the Queen
A senior member of the household was quoted in the book as saying: ‘The element of surprise, the blindsiding of the Queen, for the other principals who are all very mindful of this, rightfully, it was deeply unsettling.
‘The family is very private and bringing it into the public domain, when they were told not to, hurt the Queen.
‘It was laying out what the Sussexes wanted in a statement without consulting with Her Majesty first – and she’s the head of the institution.’
Her Majesty’s private secretary Edward Young was reportedly incandescent that the Palace had been kept in the dark about Harry and Meghan’s intentions.
Finding Freedom, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes wrangling leading up to the couple’s dramatic exit, claims Harry and Meghan were forced to release their statement because of leaked stories of their desire to settle in Canada full-time.
The Sussexes used their Instagram on January 8 to break the news they were stepping back as senior royals and wished to become financially independent
Royal sources told authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand they denied briefing the article, and instead blamed Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, for the leak, claiming they wanted to force a formal announcement of their decision to quit the Family.
The Sussexes, who deny being behind the story, used their Instagram on January 8 to break the news they were stepping back as senior royals and wished to become financially independent.
At the end of the statement, they also posted a link to sussexroyal.com, which they had set up to ‘clarify’ their position.
Springing their desired blueprint for a future relationship with the Family was a ‘huge headache,’ one courtier told Scobie and Durand.
The book claims that aides struggled to marry up the couple’s plans with the rigid structures of the monarchy.
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
Ultimately, the biography says the Queen refused to accommodate her grandson’s vision of a stripped-back role and said he should completely cut ties with the monarchy.
‘The rules don’t bend for anyone,’ a senior courtier told the authors of Finding Freedom.
Journalists Scobie and Durand are fans of the couple and have set out to ‘correct the record’ and shift the spotlight on to their charitable ventures.
The Sussexes say they did not contribute to the book, but Scobie and Durand’s account is based on extensive insight from friends of the couple.
A spokesman for the couple said last night: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps.’
Sources have told the Mail that the biography will lay bare the ‘pressure cooker’ of anger and resentment the couple felt as working royals.
It chronicles the tensions sowed between the so-called Fab Four of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan, once seen as the future of the monarchy.
And the fallout following the memorable Sandringham Summit is also plotted in the pages of the biography.
Co-author of new royal biography accuses officials of throwing each other ‘under the bus’
By Rebecca English, royal correspondent for the Daily Mail
The co-author of the biography last night accused officials at different royal households of throwing each other ‘under the bus’.
Omid Scobie said those working for royals ‘might throw a nugget’ to stop negative media attention.
Prince Harry began falling out with William years before Megxit, new biography claims
Prince Harry and Prince Williams’ relationship began to break down shortly after the younger royal announced he was going to marry Meghan Markle.
A new biography claims ‘real damaging things were said and done’ in the run up to the wedding.
However, Prince William took his brother aside in November 2017 and asked: ‘Are you sure about this?’
According to the book, Finding Freedom by Carolyn Durrand and Omid Scobie, the Cambridges ‘did not make Meghan feel particularly welcome’ when she arrived in Britain.
A source told The Telegraph: ‘It wasn’t a rivalry between the brothers but more a sense that they would be competing over who would lead on their various issues.
‘Harry felt awkward as a plus one. They’d turn up at premieres and there was this sense that he felt a bit like a spare part.
‘Long before Meghan he wanted to change things. He wanted to control his own narrative. He would say, ‘Why can’t we use social media or record videos and cut out the press?”
Kate and William, according to sources were happy with the traditional royal response of ‘never complain, never explain’.
Instead, Harry and Meghan wanted to respond to every negative story.
Royals sources claimed this approach was counter productive with some claiming Meghan was ‘very difficult to work for’.
‘You’ve got Clarence House, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, and the different offices within Buckingham Palace. They’re very loyal to their principals but that often means throwing others under the bus,’ he told The Times.
‘Let’s say, for example, hypothetically, a negative story about Prince Charles is about to run. Perhaps someone working for Charles might throw a nugget about the Cambridges or another member of the royal family, to keep that story out of the press.’ He added: ‘There’s a lot of bargaining on behind the scenes. Harry and Meghan have been victims of that.’
Mr Scobie, 33, stressed the book had ‘no interviews with Harry and Meghan’, although he hopes it will ‘correct the record’ about the pair.
‘It’s not all from Harry and Meghan’s perspective, but I do think that for the first time we do actually get to hear what’s been going on in their minds,’ he told The Times.
Mr Scobie spent two years writing the book with American journalist Carolyn Durand, beginning shortly after the Sussexes’ wedding.
‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,’ Scobie told The Times. He also said there were no off-the-record talks, saying ‘my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects’.
The Sussexes made a last-ditch attempt last night to distance themselves from the book.
The authors have boasted of it being written ‘with the participation of those closest to the couple’ and of having spoken to members of Harry and Meghan’s ‘inner circle’.
The pair are believed to have instructed members of their staff to find out what the writers were planning to include and a number of meetings and dinners were held.
But a spokesman for the couple said last night: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps.’
Scobie, the royal editor of US magazine Harper’s Bazaar, met Durand while she was working for US news network ABC. They hope the book puts the focus back on the couple’s charity work and social activism, such as Harry’s Invictus Games involvement.
Beyond The Firm: Timeline of Harry and Meghan’s life since quitting the Royal Family
March 31 – Harry and Meghan officially step down as senior royals and stop using their HRH styles.
The UK is eight days into lockdown because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
– April 3 – Disneynature’s Elephant, which Meghan narrated, begins streaming.
– April 6 – Details emerge of the couple’s plans for a new foundation called Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand and is named in honour of their son.
– April 12 – Harry and Meghan spend Easter Sunday helping deliver meals to vulnerable and housebound people in Los Angeles through Project Angel Food.
– April 16 – Harry, in his role as patron of WellChild, video calls seriously ill children and their families.
– April 17 – Meghan’s new project to feed Londoners in need is revealed, after she asked the Grenfell supporting women of the Hubb Community Kitchen to start a service providing meals to families struggling in lockdown.
– April 20 – The Sussexes write to the British tabloid press saying they will no longer co-operate with them, after watching people’s lives ‘pulled apart’ because ‘salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue’.
Court documents in the duchess’s privacy claim against Associated Newspapers over a letter she wrote to her father reveal the couple sent Thomas Markle text messages before their wedding, warning him that contacting the press would ‘backfire’ and offering to help him.
– April 21 – Archie video-calls his great grandmother the Queen with his parents to celebrate her 94th birthday.
– April 27 – Former soldier Harry helps launch a new mental fitness tool for the military called HeadFIT.org.
– April 28 – Harry’s introduction to a special episode of an animated Thomas & Friends show is released.
– April 29 – The charity SmartWorks shares a video of Meghan mentoring a young woman ahead of her interview for an internship.
– May 4 – Details emerge about a new biography of the Sussexes by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, called Finding Freedom, which the authors have billed as an ‘accurate version’ of Harry and Meghan’s journey.
– May 6 – Archie celebrates his first birthday, with Save The Children posting a video of Meghan reading the book Duck! Rabbit! to her son as he grabs at the pages.
– May 8 – The pair are reported to be living in a £15 million mansion owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry.
– May 9 – Harry says life has ‘changed dramatically’ amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in a video message about the Invictus Games.
– May 11 – The duke tells young members of OnSide Youth Zones about the pandemic: ‘This too shall pass’.
– May 19 – The Sussexes celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
– June 4 – Meghan delivers a powerful speech to girls at her former high school in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, and addresses racial divisions and the death of George Floyd in the US.
– June 12 – Meghan’s close friend Jessica Mulroney apologises to a lifestyle blogger after being accused of threatening her in an example of ‘textbook white privilege’.
– June 24 – The duke and duchess join members of Homeboy Industries in a cooking session for the organisation’s Feed Hope programme in LA.
It is revealed the Sussexes have signed with the New York-based Harry Walker public speaking agency, which also represents the Obamas and the Clintons.
– June 25 – Harry appears in a video for England Rugby, saying: ‘We all miss rugby’.
– June 27 – The duke launches a 248-mile Walking With The Wounded walk across Oman.
– June 28 – It emerges the Sussexes are supporting the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling on businesses to pause advertising on Facebook over its failure to do more to remove hate speech.
– July 1 – Harry sets out his personal commitment to tackling institutional racism, warning it has no place in society but that it remains endemic, in a message at the Diana Awards on his late mother’s birthday.
Meghan claims she was ‘unprotected by the institution’ of the monarchy when attacked by the media and ‘prohibited from defending herself’, according to leaked court documents.
– July 3 – The formal winding up of the Sussex Royal Foundation begins as the duke and duchess press ahead with plans for their Archewell organisation.
– July 6 – Harry and Meghan warn the Commonwealth’s past wrongs need to be acknowledged as they join a discussion with young leaders in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Financial documents show Harry and William agreed in December to equally split the future proceeds of their mother’s memorial fund, after they separated their charitable activities.
– July 7 – Meghan is announced as a guest speaker for the GirlUp gender equality summit.
Harry, filmed in LA overlooking a backdrop of leafy trees under clear, blue skies, delivers a message on resilience for the opening of the 23rd International Aids Conference.
– July 23 – The couple launch legal action against an unnamed individual after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their son during lockdown.
The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded across North America by paparazzi and targeted with incessant intrusions into their private life.
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