Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Creating a 'New War of the Windsors,' Couple's Close Friend Says

Documentarian Tom Bradby opens up about what the royal couple's drastic move means for the family.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may have made their decision to separate themselves from the royal family, long before they officially announced it.

Journalist and author Tom Bradby -- who was with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for Harry & Meghan: An African Journey -- shared his insights during his ITV News show on Wednesday. "It was, in effect, a declaration of independence," Bradby said, per People, adding that the couple has created "a new war of the Windsors."

"Some argue Harry and Meghan were too independent, too difficult, but their friends feel they have been driven out," Bradby explained. "Those close to the couple say that if the royal family is to be slimmed down, this is the right, indeed only, step. But complicated it will be. This is a new war of the Windsors. It’s not over yet."

Bradby, who also interviewed the two after they got engaged, explained that he got a lot of insight into what the couple was going through when he made the documentary. 

"I sensed at the time that what I was witnessing on that trip was possibly a long, sad farewell to this royal life; in part, to us?" he shared. "Many people will ask why, of course. So much privilege, so much power, so much good being done. Why leave it all behind?"

People might remember how the royals opened up like never before, with Meghan getting emotional talking about her struggles being pregnant, becoming a first-time mom and new royal in the spotlight.

"So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed, I guess thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I am OK," she told Bradby at the time. "But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."

"A lot of old friends of the couple took that primarily to be aimed at the royal family, not the media," Bradby said about Meghan's comments. "The atmosphere has been fractious within the family ever since those close to Prince Charles pushed out the queen’s long-standing and well-regarded private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, two years ago."

Bradby claimed that Geidt helped ease tensions between the family, especially Prince Charles and his sons -- and since his departure, the royals began to separate and do their own things.   

However, he confirmed that Meghan and Harry would continue to work with Queen Elizabeth II, but as for how involved they would be, it would depend after "intense negotiations within the royal family."

Harry and Meghan shocked royal watchers when they announced they were taking a step back from being "senior" members of the royal family and wanted to work to become financially independent. A royal source told ET earlier on Thursday that 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth was "devastated" about their decision to distance themselves from the royal family.

"The queen is devastated by the decision, although she had been aware of their struggle the last few months and has been concerned for their well-being and happiness," the source said. "Many family members were very disappointed with the Sussexes," noting that some members of the royal family have called the move "selfish."

But there seemed to be even more to the matter, as another source told ET that Queen Elizabeth actually asked 35-year-old Harry not to release their statement on Wednesday, but he defied his grandmother and did it anyway. However, the source says that despite any bad blood over Harry and Meghan's announcement, courtiers from all four households met Thursday afternoon to discuss how best to help them with their transition. The royals are now resolved to help the couple, the source says.

See more on Meghan and Harry's decision in the video below.