Harry and Meghan’s brutal royal goodbye
A brutal final farewell at a Commonwealth Service held at Westminster Abbey in March underscored Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to leave the royal family.
That's according to revelations in a new book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which was released in the UK on Tuesday.
It contains a series of revelations about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal life such as why they kept Archie's christening a secret and how Meghan felt the couple's explosive departure could have been different.
But among one of the most shocking chapters is the description of the final days of life in the royal family, where Prince Harry and Meghan felt they had been isolated and left exhausted by the political machinations inside the Palace.
The book describes how the fiercely protective Harry could act emotionally and impulsively and the couple had been left drained after the last few months of royal life.
After a "Sandringham Summit" in which Prince Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and William nutted out the details of the Sussex's new life, the couple returned to the UK in March 2020 to conduct a final flurry of engagements.
In contrast to a warm and emotional reception hosted for students from Commonwealth Universities, and a private lunch held for staff at the Goring Hotel, the Westminster Abbey service was described as frosty at best.
The couple, who had already had their ego bruised by not having their photograph present over the Queen's shoulder during her Christmas speech, realised their names had been scrubbed from the Order of Service at the last minute after 2000 copies had been printed.
"Although they had been part of the procession of royals who entered the church alongside the Queen in previous years, this year they discovered they had been removed from the line-up," the authors said.
"It felt intentional. "Harry was more than disappointed," a friend said."
As a concession, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge agreed to walk in with them but barley uttered a word to the couple, instead turning to talk to Sophie and Edward.
Buckingham Palace shrugged of the move saying there was "no set process for the event", but Meghan booked the first flight back to Canada feeling "emotionally bruised and exhausted."
"Meg just wanted to get home," said a friend. "At that point she couldn't imagine wanting to set a foot back into anything royal again."
Meanwhile Prince Harry stayed three more days in the UK but did not see William and Kate again.
A friend of Harry's is quoted as saying "to repair that relationship will take time."
"They see things differently. They feel that the experience that they've gone through over the last couple of years, they come at it from different points of view," the friend said about the once inseparable trio.
The stinging farewell is one of a number of claims regarding the famous split between the royal brothers that damaged the perception of the monarchy.
The authors claim that Prince Harry felt people were "working" to make Prince William look good while he was being "thrown under the bus".
The relationship between Kate and Meghan is described as never having moved past politeness, with dreams of a royal "fab four" never coming to fruition.
One courtier said: "It's no secret, the future of this monarchy relies solely on the four people currently in Kensington Palace.
"The public popularity only lies with them … When he [the Prince of Wales] becomes King, the only way it lasts is if the four of them are not at war. We cannot have them at war."
Originally published as Harry and Meghan's brutal royal goodbye