Prince William ‘distraught’ and ‘blindsided’ at Meghan Markle and Harry’s announcement

Prince William ‘distraught’ and ‘blindsided’ at Meghan Markle and Harry’s announcement

 

Prince William was ‘distraught’ and ‘blindsided’ when Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step down as senior royals, a new book claims.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had returned from a winter break on Vancouver Island and wanted to discuss the situation with other members of the Royal Family.

The Queen reportedly said the family could meet at the end of January 2020.

But Harry and Meghan had not told anyone they intended to share a statement online on January 8, announcing their decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family and start a new life in America.

Robert Lacey’s book Battle of Brothers claims the relationship between William and Harry was “utterly broken” since the announcement was made.

William reportedly thought the Duke of Sussex had “betrayed” the Queen, not respecting royal protocols, because of the way he and Meghan announced the news.

According to the royal author, the two brothers have barely spoken since, other than wishing each other Happy Birthday. 

Senior members of the Royal Family saw the way the Sussexes announced their plans as a sign of “disrespect”, the author wrote.

The book claims the rift between the two brothers “could cause immense damage to the monarchy”, according to The Sun.

A source said: “Harry hadn’t even had a meeting with the Queen to talk through their plans before announcing it to the world.

“There was a moment in January when it could have been sorted out amicably.

“But this was a betrayal of his grandmother that William has struggled to understand, and their relationship remains strained.

“William loves his brother deeply. This is why it is so hurtful to him.”

Announcing their decision to step down as senior royals, Harry and Meghan wrote on social media: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.

“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.

“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.

“Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

Shortly after, Buckingham Palace replied: “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess are at an early stage.

“We understand the desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

Harry previously spoke about his relationship with William and said: “Inevitably stuff happens. But we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers.

“We’re certainly on different paths at the moment. I’ll always be there for him and as I know, he’ll always be there for me.

“We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy but I love him dearly.”

Mirror Online has contacted the Palace for a comment.

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