Sussex book lifts lid on decline in royal relations

A new book on Harry and Meghan has described how relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges grew so bitter that by March the couples were barely speaking.

Finding Freedom, serialised by The Times and The Sunday Times, claims the couples hardly spoke at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey despite not having seen each other since January.

The book's authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, said: "Although Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the duchess barely acknowledged her."

Mr Scobie told the Times: "To purposefully snub your sister-in-law... I don't think it left a great taste in the couple's mouths."

27 PHOTOS
Harry and Meghan step down
See Gallery
Harry and Meghan step down
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-520/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 1/7/20 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Canada House in London, England, UK.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced Wednesday that they were stepping back from their role as "senior members of the royal family"� and would work to become financially independent. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look at a special exhibition of art by Indigenous Canadian artist, Skawennati, in the Canada Gallery during their visit to Canada House, central London, UK on January 7, 2020. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Photos/Abaca Press/TNS/Sipa USA)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/19/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at Royal Ascot Day One at Ascot Racecourse. (Berkshire, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 7/5/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle The Duchess of Sussex attend the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception at Marlborough House. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-09/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/24/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Lycée Qualifiant Grand Atlas and meet students and teachers in Asni Town, Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-09/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 10/22/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island in Australia.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/24/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Lycée Qualifiant Grand Atlas and meet students and teachers in Asni Town, Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 5/8/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning May 6th, at a photocall in St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 12/25/18 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Christmas church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 10/2/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Johannesburg, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 10/2/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Johannesburg, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-22/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/9/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex, The Duchess of Sussex and members of The Royal Family at the Trooping The Colour ceremonies as The Queen marks her official birthday - including an inspection of the troops from the Household Division, the Horseguards Parade March in Whitehall and watching a fly-past from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/25/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex during their visit to Morocco tour The Andalusian Gardens. They viewed traditional Moroccan arts and crafts on display in the walled public gardens amid exotic plants, flowers and fruit trees. They met with young social entrepreneurs and discussed youth empowerment in Morocco. (Rabat, Morocco)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/25/19 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are received by HM The King of Morocco in an Audience today at the Royal Palace, Rabat, Morocco.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving after their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. Picture date: Tuesday January 7, 2020. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire PA
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The authors describe a culture of increasing tension between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family.

They say the Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.

"There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust," the authors write.

"A friend of the couple's referred to the old guard as 'the vipers'.

"Meanwhile, a frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes' team as 'the squeaky third wheel' of the palace."

Harry and Meghan "liked being in control of their narrative" in the early days of their marriage, the authors say.

But being told to operate under Buckingham Palace's umbrella after splitting their household from the Cambridges' was "a big disappointment to them".

"As their popularity had grown, so did Harry and Meghan's difficulty in understanding why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests. They were a major draw for the royal family," the authors write.

100 days since Duke and Duchess ceased to use HRH
Harry and Meghan 'liked being in control of their narrative' in the early days of their marriage (Ben Stansall/PA)

The book says the Sussexes even considered breaking protocol by springing a surprise visit on the Queen when they believed they were being blocked from seeing the monarch.

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the couple did not contribute to the book, but he did not deny the content of The Times's extracts.

The spokesman told the PA news agency: "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."

The revelations come after the Sussexes launched legal action in Los Angeles after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their 14-month-old son Archie.

A complaint filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday claims an unnamed individual photographed Archie at their home during lockdown.

The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded across North America by paparazzi and targeted with incessant intrusions into their private life.

Harry and Meghan – who departed the Royal Family in March, saying they wanted a more private life – "seek no special treatment whatsoever" and only want the right to privacy, the lawsuit says.

The couple say they have "done everything in their power to stay out of the limelight" except in relation to their work, which they accept is newsworthy.

The lawsuit is the latest example of the couple's war against what they describe as an intrusive tabloid media.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over articles which featured parts of a "private and confidential" letter from the duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS