Clarence House ‘crushed’ after Harry and Meghan relationship overshadowed tour

The Prince of Wales had just 20 minutes notice of his son's plans to confirm his relationship with Meghan, according to a new book on the couple.

Clarence House was said to be "crushed" as the confirmation of the rumours dominated the news cycle and took the limelight away from Charles and Camilla's diplomatic tour of the Gulf.

In Finding Freedom, serialised by the Times and the Sunday Times, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie wrote that Harry felt a need to "prioritise" Meghan over his duty to the greater royal family in the statement which hit out at the "racial undertones" of some coverage.

The Prince of Wales was meeting Prime Minister of Bahrain Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa when the relationship was announced

According to the co-authors, Charles was "disappointed" with the timing of the announcement but understood that a "tipping point" had been reached with Harry's relationship with Meghan.

The statement was issued by the then Prince Harry's Communications Secretary on November 8 2016, as Charles arrived in Bahrain – which his team had hoped would be "covered significantly".

The book said: "A statement from Kensington Palace condemning the Press and, in the same breath, confirming Harry's new girlfriend would all but eliminate coverage of Prince Charles's tour of the Gulf.

"The Palace decided to go ahead with the statement nonetheless, much of which was drafted by Harry himself.

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Meghan and Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards
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Meghan and Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London, Thursday, March 5, 2020. The awards celebrate the achievements of service personnel who were injured in service and have gone on to use sport as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London, Thursday, March 5, 2020. The awards celebrate the achievements of service personnel who were injured in service and have gone on to use sport as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex accompanied by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C-L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (C-R), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C-R), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (C-L), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex delivers a speech during the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (2nd-L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (3rd-L), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex attends the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex delivers a speech during the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) leaves after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex presents an award during the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex speaks at the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Mansion House in London after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards.
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
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"Charles learnt of it just 20 minutes before it went out. Sure enough, as soon as Harry put out his declaration, the statement dominated the news cycle.

"The team at Clarence House, which had spent months putting together Prince Charles's tour in the hopes that it would be covered significantly, was crushed."

Extracts from the book, due to be published by HQ on August 11, have also covered claims the Duke of Sussex was angered by what he perceived as his brother's "snobbish" attitude to his bride, and suggestions the Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.

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

Harry confirmed he was dating US actress Meghan Markle in the November 2016 statement and lashed out at the "wave of abuse and harassment" she has faced from the media.

In a lengthy and strongly-worded statement, Harry's Communications Secretary Jason Knauf outlined the difficulties Miss Markle had experienced since news of their relationship broke.

Mr Knauf said "The past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment."

He added: "Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her."

It was the first official confirmation from Kensington Palace that the pair were dating.

News of the royal romance emerged around a week before the statement was issued, with The Sunday Express reporting the pair met in May while Harry was in Canada promoting Invictus Games 2017, the paralympics-style competition for injured servicemen and women and veterans he founded.

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