Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Felt Palace Wasn't 'Looking Out for Their Interests,' New Book Claims

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tell ET that the couple did not contribute to the book.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plans to step down as senior members of the royal family in January, news that surprised many including Queen Elizabeth II. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been vocal about their need to live a more private life, there has been a lot of talk about the ongoing riffs between the couple and the rest of the royals.

A new book, Finding Freedom, written by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, takes a look at the couple's decision to break free from the monarch and make a name for themselves, as well as the reported fallouts they had with Harry's family. An excerpt from the forthcoming book was published in The Times on Saturday, claiming that Harry and Meghan felt that "so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests," as well as why they shared news of their departure before having an official meeting with the queen.

While the book makes striking claims, a spokesperson for the couple tells ET: "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 and their own independent reporting."

In the excerpt, Finding Freedom claims that Harry and Meghan "didn’t want to walk away from the monarchy; rather, they wanted to find a happy place within it." The book claims that Harry mentioned their decision to step down as senior members to his grandmother and father, but was told that the queen wasn't able to see him until January 29.

"'He felt like he was being blocked,' a source close to the prince said," according to the excerpt.

"'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 of not being taken seriously,' a source close to the couple said. 'Everyone had their chance to help but no one did,'" the except adds.

Sources also told the authors that the couple's decision, as well as creating their Royal Sussex website and "keeping the family and their team in the dark," created "a lot of ill will in the household."

"'Harry and Meghan would have reached a more beneficial agreement to allow them to live the life they wanted if they had handled things in a private, dignified way,' a senior Buckingham Palace aide explained," per the excerpt.

Meanwhile, the book also claims that Meghan told a friend that she "gave up" her "entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad."

It also touches on the couple's final appearance as senior members of the royal family at Commonwealth Day on March 9, and their little interaction with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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Unlike in previous years, the Sussexes and the Cambridges did not participate in the Queen's processional, meaning they went directly to their seats without any fanfare. 

"Although they had been part of the procession of senior royals who entered the church with the Queen in previous years, this year they discovered they had been removed from the line-up. The decision had been made without their consultation, and they were informed long after the 2,000 orders of service had been printed for guests, with their names notably absent," the excerpt reads. "To smooth things over, the Cambridges agreed to take their seats at the same time as the Sussexes and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. But if looks were anything to go by, the Cambridges were unhappy with the decision. While Harry and Meghan both greeted William and Kate with smiles, the Cambridges showed little response."

A source previously told ET at the time that the brothers are "talking more and they’re on better footing" after a difficult period.

"The brothers don’t hate each other as has been reported," a royal source told ET, adding that "they do talk."

Harry and Meghan officially stepped down as senior royals on March 31. They have since relocated to Los Angeles with their 1-year-old son, Archie. In May, ET learned that William and Harry were “back in touch.”

The restrengthening of their brotherly bond came following a hectic few months which saw their father battle the coronavirus, Harry move to North America with his family while stepping down from royal duties, and reported conflict between Meghan and Kate.

“There have been clearly some quite major rifts in that relationship, but things have got better and I know that William and Harry are in touch on the phone,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET. “They have done video calls together, they have done a lot of family birthdays and I think with Prince Charles not being well, that really forced the brothers to pick up the phone and get back in touch.”

Since being in Los Angeles, Meghan and Harry have also continued to volunteer at various organizations, as well as speak out on the Black Lives Matter.

For more on the couple's time in L.A., watch below.