Insiders within the UK royal household have revealed new details on how Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left royal life.
Palace sources said Prince Harry and Meghan had battles with the media and royal household staff over the course of years.
And all the time, the shadow of Princess Diana — Prince Harry’s mother who died in a Paris car crash when he was 12 — hung over Meghan’s marriage and her move from actress to duchess, The Times reported.
The new details come as Prince Harry returns to the US after a European tour that was extended when his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II died.
For most events surrounding the funeral, Prince Harry was in civilian garb rather than military uniforms, a stark reminder that he is no longer a working royal.
“There were constant battles with the media and expecting the team to be on your side,” said one unnamed inside source. “He was always on Twitter. You then had to be on everything, too. Every minor infraction was a big deal.”
Another said Prince Harry “definitely had mistrust of the courtiers at Buckingham Palace and his father’s palace”.
Before Meghan arrived in the UK, Prince Harry had to fight to secure her bodyguards.
His private secretary, Ed Lane Fox, argued Meghan needed immediate protection but it took two months to be approved.
“Ed had to wage a huge battle to get [the Home Office] to understand that she would not be able to live her life without police protection,” a source said.
“Ed did amazing things for her behind the scenes, but none of them was really appreciated.”
The royal insiders also revealed details of a meeting between the Duchess of Sussex and Miguel Head, Prince William’s private secretary, before her wedding.
The royal household reportedly wanted to avoid the mistakes made when Princess Diana married then-Prince Charles.
“The entire place, because of everything about her and because of what Harry’s previous girlfriends had been through, was bending over backwards to make sure that every option was open,” a source said.
Despite official efforts to bring Meghan into the royal family, relations with staff deteriorated over time to the point where the couple retired.
In late 2017, a senior aide warned the royal couple over how they treated staff and the need for understanding.
In autumn 2018, communications chief Jason Knauf grew more concerned about how staff were being treated by Meghan and Prince Harry.
On one occasion, there was a clash between Meghan and staff members over a mix-up over press attending an event in London.
In February 2021, her lawyers issued a statement denying accusations that she bullied staff.