Prince Harry and Meghan Markle abandoned an audacious plan to ambush the Queen with their decision to quit as senior royals, it was revealed last night.
The disillusioned couple had agreed on a Christmas retreat in Canada they would part ways with The Firm and wished to tell Her Majesty in person.
But when they were denied an immediate audience, Harry ‘toyed with the idea’ of driving straight from the airport to Sandringham to confront his grandmother.
Extracts from Finding Freedom, the biography serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, claim the Duke backed off the idea because the spectacular breach of royal protocol would have further ‘ruffled feathers’.
A source close to the couple told authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand: ‘At this point they felt like they had brought up the subject enough times with family members over the past year and they were fed up with not being taken seriously.’
Harry and Meghan in Canada House, London, shortly after jetting back to the UK from their Christmas retreat
The Queen pictured at Sandringham earlier this year. Harry ‘toyed with the idea’ of driving straight from the airport to Sandringham to confront his grandmother, the biography claims
The book claims Harry was sick of voicing his displeasure with his royal role without anything being done.
The authors write: ‘He felt at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls.’
Finding Freedom reveals that Harry had made clear this unhappiness to his father Prince Charles and the Queen before jetting off to Canada with Meghan and Archie for six weeks.
It was there that the couple decided to step down as senior royals and become financially independent.
Harry had hoped to break the news to Her Majesty, 94, but was informed he would not be able to meet her until the end of January, according to the book.
After ditching the spare-of-the-moment plan to make an impromptu visit to the Norfolk estate to spring their decision, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, instead called a meeting of their top team at Frogmore Cottage to set the wheels in motion of their departure.
Extracts from Finding Freedom, the biography serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, claim the Duke and Duchess (pictured at Canada House in January) backed off the idea because the spectacular breach of royal protocol would have further ‘ruffled feathers’
But the announcement was accompanied with the launch of the SussexRoyal website which is said to have ‘blindsided’ Her Majesty.
Royal aides told the authors of Finding Freedom 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.
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
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.
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.
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.