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 Kate who he referred to as ‘the big sister I never had’.
However, his relationship with Kate and his brother William remains tense, after he relocated to LA with his wife and their son, Archie, one, amid 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 Harry’s increased spending habits following his wedding to Meghan Markle helped spark rift with Prince William (pictured left with his brother in March), a new book has claimed
The Duke of Sussex, 35, who married the former American actress (pictured together), 38, in May 2018, with the pair currently living in LA with their son, Archie, one, is thought to have ditched his modest budget further when nearing Meghan’s due date a year later
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 Royals At War (above) authors look at how Meghan’s arrival into the Royal family unintentionally led to the split of the loved ones
‘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.
The Duke of Sussex (pictured in a recent video) is ‘burdened’ and ‘not in great shape’ after leaving the Royal family in March this year, according to the bombshell book
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.
Prince William (pictured with Kate in March) 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
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 has been contacted for comment.
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.
Prince Harry (pictured), 35, refused to dismiss reports of a rift with his brother, Prince William, instead saying that they are on ‘different paths’ and have ‘good days and bad days’ when interviewed in October 2019
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.
Prince William, 37, and Prince Harry, 35, (pictured right, in November 2018). 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’
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.
Meghan Markle (pictured in October 2019 with Prince Harry) 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
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 (pictured with her husband Prince Harry in 2019) has ‘very high standards’ and her Hollywood gung-ho attitude put her at odds with Royal aides – as they felt she ‘rushed into situations without proper research’, according to an explosive new book
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.’
The Duchess of Sussex (pictured recently), 38, who is currently living in LA with Prince Harry, 35, and their son Archie, one, is thought to have alienated herself from the staff tasked with easing her transition into royalty
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 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.
The Duchess of Sussex is said to have revealed she was carrying her first child when celebrating Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s nuptials with the rest of the Royal family on 12 October 2018.
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.
Meghan Markle ’embarrassed’ Prince Harry after divulging she was pregnant during Princess Eugenie’s wedding day (pictured at the event together), according to the book
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, is said to have revealed she was carrying little Archie, now one, when celebrating Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s nuptials (pictured above) with the rest of the Royal family on 12 October 2018
‘This was a huge social gaffe, even if you were not a royal – stealing the limelight from Eugenie, who was furious, as was her mother, Sarah.’
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.
The news of Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy was revealed at 8.40am on October 15 2018 – and at that exact time, Eugenie’s mother Sarah, Duchess of York posted a tweet about her daughter’s big day
She posted three further messages (above) saying how ‘proud’ she was of her daughter and new son-in-law Jack – but made no mention of Harry and Meghan
‘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 claimned 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.
Royals at War: The Untold Story of Harry and Meghan’s Shocking Split with the House of Windsor by Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett is expected to be released on July, 23.