Royal courtiers poked fun at Meghan Markle behind her back by joking she would start a beauty line after she and Prince Harry quit royal life, a new book will claim.
Finding Freedom is being touted as an glimpse behind the curtain of the secret lives of the royal couple’s lives in the leadup to the ‘Megxit’ saga.
Explosive new extracts are being serialised this week in the Times and Sunday Times before it hits the bookstands.
It delves behind the scenes of the Sussexes’ bombshell exit from the the royal family, and the couple are widely speculated to have cooperated with the authors.
The couple’s representatives have denied they had a hand in it, but have not challenged the details laid bare in the Times newspapers.
The book, by royalty insiders Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, will also reportedly claim that palace staff chided Meghan behind her back after she and Harry tried to air their frustrations.
One royal aide is said to have joked Meghan would launch a line of beauty products once she left the royal family.
The book will also claim courtiers questioned the couple’s ability to attain financial independence from the Crown.
The outgoing Duke and Duchess had set up a website named ‘Sussex Royal’ they had hoped to trademark, and begun seeking commercial deals including speaking engagements, as well as setting up a charitable foundation.
But the handling of their exit was said to have soured relations with the Palace, as the Queen was believed to have been blindsided by their announcement.
They were also forced to stop using the Sussex Royal brand, following a palace intervention – and the book claims the Sussex website ‘hurt the Queen.’
A senior Buckingham Palace aide told The Times the feeling among royal circles was that the Sussexes should have handled affairs with more subtlety.
They said: “Harry and Meghan would have reached a more beneficial agreement to allow them to live the life they wanted if they had handled things in a private, dignified way.”
The couple moved to Canada with baby Archie after receiving the Queen’s blessing.
But they have since relocated to a luxury mansion in Los Angeles amid the coronavirus pandemic, to be closer to American Meghan’s mother.
Senior courtiers had been concerned by the couple’s growing celebrity profile, and their grievances, according to reports of the book’s claims.
They Sussexes are said to have attempted to appeal to courtiers in several royal households for months before Megxit – but found they could trust only a select few.
Harry and Meghan are said to have become suspicious royal householder insiders were leaking stories about them to the press.
According to the book excerpt, there was a clash between the ‘old guard’ at The Firm – including the Cambridges’ staff – and the new team the couple had brought in.
The book’s authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, wrote of a growing split between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family.
“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 Telegraph has also reported that palace staff were judgmental of Suits actress Meghan’s past life – complaining about having to wait on ‘an actress on a cable show’ when they had signed up ‘to serve Queen and country.’
It was unclear how the Sussexes’ finances would work once they finally separated from the royal family.
The new book claims courtiers described Harry’s position as completely unrealistic.
The authors write that while “it was easy to say they wouldn’t take money from the sovereign grant, it was quite another thing to follow through”.
Their book says the Queen told Harry his proposed arrangement would not work, prompting him to search for solutions across several days of intense meetings with top aides from all three royal households.
The authors quote one source as saying: “The biggest row was over money, because it always is.”
There has been much speculation about the millions Harry and Meghan could make through lucrative contracts, with suggestions ranging from acting, film or television, to brand partnerships, to public speaking, and even book deals.
The couple have promised that “everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty”.
A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the couple did not contribute to the book, but he did not deny the content of extracts being published this week.
The spokesman told the Press Association 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 Sussexes have launched legal action in LA this week after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their 14-month-old son Archie.
The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded by paparazzi since their move, and adds the couple have been trying to avoid the spotlight by seeking a private new life, except in relation to their work.