Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were jealous of Prince William and Kate Middleton, money sparked a huge row and the Sussexes were considered “the squeaky third wheel” of the Royal Family.
These are among the many bombshell claims in the new book Finding Freedom, which reveals how relations between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and his family became frosty in the months before they quit The Firm.
The first extracts from the eagerly-anticipated book are being released this weekend – and it is anticipated the explosive revelations will send relations to a “new low”.
A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the couple did not contribute to the book, but he did not deny the content of the first of three days of extracts published in the Times and Sunday Times.
The extracts offer a glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes as it became clear there was serious trouble within the Royal Family before Meghan and Harry announced they would quit life as senior royals in a move dubbed Megxit.
Finding Freedom authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who are accused of being cheerleaders for the Sussexes, describe a culture of increasing tension between the couple and other senior royals.
Meghan, Harry and one-year-old son Archie are now living in pal Tyler Perry’s £14 million Tuscan-style mansion in Los Angeles after breaking out on their own.
Here are some of the sensational claims revealed in the first extract of the book.
After “being in control of their narrative” in the early days of their marriage, the Sussexes became frustrated that the Cambridges got all the best official roles and felt “cut adrift” from the Royal Family, the book claims.
Meghan and Harry were upset they had to take a “backseat” to other family members, including Harry’s dad Prince Charles, who were given priority for their own projects.
It is said the couple struggled to adjust to life within the monarchy’s ranks, and felt they weren’t being supported or protected as their popularity soared.
They felt they had been patronised by other family and staff members “for too long”.
Harry felt some palace officials “simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult”.
He also felt “used” for their popularity.
The book claims Harry and Meghan felt like they didn’t have a choice when they decided to give up their roles and move to the US to do their own thing.
Finding Freedom claims relations between the Cambridges and Sussexes grew so bitter that by March the couples were barely speaking.
Kate “purposefully” snubbed Meghan and “barely acknowledged her” as the couples made their final public appearance together at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey in March.
They barely spoke despite not having seen each other since January.
The book also claims that Kate and Meghan barely said a word to each other at a charity polo match in July 2019, where they were photographed standing next to each other with their children.
The Duchess of Sussex tearfully told a friend she had “given up her entire life” for the Royal Family, it is claimed.
She allegedly made the comment in March, around the time of the tumultuous split from the Firm.
Meghan is said to have told a pal: “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”
There were suggestions Harry was obsessed with press coverage and online comments about him and his wife.
The book says he would scroll through news articles on his iPhone and sometimes couldn’t stop himself from reading the comments, no matter how cruel they were.
One troll’s comment, “the world would be a better place without Harry and Meghan in it”, had more than 3,500 likes.
Harry is alleged to have said: “It’s a sick part of the society we live in today, and no one is doing anything about it. Where’s the positivity? Why is everyone so miserable and angry?”
Senior courtiers, who Princess Diana used to refer to as “men in grey suits” wanted the popularity of the Sussexes to be reined in, the book alleges.
“The establishment feared their popularity might eclipse that of the royal family,” the book says.
It also claims senior officials blocked Harry and Meghan from setting up their own individual household in Windsor.
The couple saw themselves as a “major draw” for the royals but were baffled why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests, it is said.
As relations soured, the Sussexes felt there were many officials they couldn’t trust, and suspected other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.
A friend referred to the old guards as “the vipers”.
Harry and Meghan grew frustrated after the Queen and Charles refused to bend the rules over Megxit, the book claims.
A senior courtier said Harry “was sorely mistaken” if he thought he would get exactly what he wanted.
The source added: “The Queen understood the difficulties they faced, but the rules don’t bend for anyone.”
In the months leading up to Megxit, many reports claimed that Meghan was to blame for tension within the family.
But the book says there were problems between Harry and William long before she arrived on the scene, and Harry was already taking steps to distance himself from royal life.
It is said he craved a life away from the media and avoided the pomp as much as he could.
The book says: “Meghan simply emboldened him to make the change.”
“Fundamentally, Harry wanted out,” a source close to the couple told the authors.
A frustrated palace staff member described the Sussexes’ team as “the squeaky third wheel” of the monarchy.
Resolving matters between the households was a struggle because so many staff members were involved, the source claimed.
The Duke of Sussex is said to have felt unprotected by his family and thought he was being disparaged within the palace “for being too sensitive and outspoken”.
Initially, the couple wanted to find a “happy place” within the monarchy instead of walking away entirely.
But as the weeks went on they realised they “couldn’t go back to the way things had been at home” and decided to step back as senior royals, the book says.
When the Sussexes were negotiating their departure from the family, the biggest argument was about money.
An aide joked about Meghan launching a line of beauty products to earn cash.
They said they would cut themselves off from the sovereign grant, but doing so wasn’t so easy.
A source told the authors: “The biggest row was over money, because it always is.”
It was unclear how the Sussexes’ finances would work once they separated from the royal family, with the book saying courtiers claimed Harry’s position was completely unrealistic.
In their bombshell statement on January 8, Harry and Meghan announced their intention to “work to become financially independent” while also “fully” supporting the Queen.
The Sussexes weren’t entirely free from blame as relations deteriorated.
A website designed to clarify Harry and Meghan’s future was “deeply upsetting” to members of the royal family and “hurt the Queen”, the book claims.
The couple “created a lot of ill will in the household and especially in the family” through actions including keeping the royals and their own team in the dark about their plans.
The Queen was “blindsided” by the website which laid out the couple’s transition to private life.
The surprise announcement on January 8 was followed by a short statement from Buckingham Palace 15 minutes later.
Aides including the Queen’s private secretary were “furious”.
Being told to operate under Buckingham Palace’s umbrella after splitting their household from the Cambridges’ was “a big disappointment to them”.
The Sussexes had wanted to set up their own household in Windsor, but the idea was quickly nixed by palace officials.
This is said to have fuelled the couple’s desire to go out on their own and pursue their own interests.
Harry and Meghan are said to have considered the extreme measure of breaking royal protocol and going to see the Queen as tensions grew.
The book says Harry spoke to Charles and the Queen about his desire to make changes before he left for Canada for six weeks at the end of last year.
It was during that stay on Vancouver Island the couple decided to quit as senior royals, and Harry told his grandmother and father in an email, and then requested a meeting as soon as the Sussexes returned to the UK for a brief visit in January.
After Harry was told the Queen wouldn’t be available until the end of January, the Sussexes considered driving straight from the airport to see the monarch.
But they decided not to because it would have “ruffled feathers” and caused problems.
In an interview with the Times, Mr Scobie said it was hard for Meghan as a mixed-race American to join the royal family.
He wrote: “That was going to ruffle some feathers.”
He hinted at racist attitudes in the household: “I would say that there are certainly individuals there who may like to take a look at how they view the world.”
The revelations come after the Sussexes launched legal action in Los Angeles after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their 14-month-old son Archie.
A complaint filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday claims an unnamed individual photographed Archie at their home during lockdown.
The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded across North America by paparazzi and targeted with incessant intrusions into their private life.
Harry and Meghan – who departed the Royal Family in March, saying they wanted a more private life – “seek no special treatment whatsoever” and only want the right to privacy, the lawsuit says.
The couple say they have “done everything in their power to stay out of the limelight” except in relation to their work, which they accept is newsworthy.