7 British royal book bombshells, revealed – from Queen Elizabeth being ‘exhausted’ by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, to Camilla, queen consort ‘calling the shots’ for King Charles

Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Camilla, queen consort, and the rest of Britain’s royal family are probably not too pleased about the bombshell revelations in two new books. Photos: DPA, Reuters, @courtjeweller/Twitter
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the rise of King Charles to the British throne, and his family’s very public fall outs, it’s undoubtedly one of the most prolific times in British royal history. And of course, what better time for royalists to lift the lid on arguably the world’s most famous family?

Two new royal books are hitting the shelves, and they’re certainly not afraid to make some pretty bold statements on what’s happened behind the palace walls.

Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales and Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave the gate to view the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, on September 10. Photo: AP Photo

Royal expert Katie Nicholl has shared insights in her book The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown, while Valentine Low’s upcoming book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown has already been making headlines too.

Here are some of the biggest book bombshells that were made this week …

1. Queen Elizabeth was ‘exhausted’ by the royal family’s issues with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry stand on a balcony to watch a fly-past of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London, in July 2018. Photo: AP Photo

A personal friend of Queen Elizabeth spoke to royal expert Katie Nicholl about the late monarch’s thoughts on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

In an excerpt of Nicholl’s upcoming book, The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown, she said she spoke to an unnamed friend of Queen Elizabeth who told her that the queen was “exhausted” by the repercussions of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s step back from the royal family.

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“She was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it any more,’” the friend of the queen told Nicholl.

Fortunately, following the queen’s death, royal historian Robert Hardman told People that the monarch “adored Harry right to the end, and Harry adored her.”

2. Prince William and Kate Middleton were glad ‘the drama was gone’ when Harry and Meghan stepped back

Britain’s Prince William, Kate, then Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside Buckingham Palace in London, on June 5. Photo: PA via AP

On the other hand, Harry and Meghan’s step back from the royal family was a “relief” to Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to an excerpt from Nicholl’s upcoming book published in Vanity Fair.

Indeed, according to an anonymous source who spoke to Nicholl, things had become so tense between the Waleses and Sussexes that William and Kate felt a “sense of relief” when the latter stepped back.

According to the excerpt, a source told Nicholl that the Prince and Princess of Wales felt like “the drama was gone” when Meghan and Harry resigned as senior royals.

3. Meghan complained about not getting paid for her first royal tour

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, receive native flowers from Finley Blue and Dasha Gallagher, left, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, in October 2018. Photo: AP

Markle complained about not being paid for her first royal tour in the autumn of 2018, according to another new book.

Markle travelled with her husband in October to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. The couple had 76 engagements scheduled over 16 days and, according to the new book, Markle struggled to make sense of why she was taking part in the gruelling tour.

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“Although she enjoyed the attention, Meghan failed to understand the point of all those walkabouts [and] shaking hands with countless strangers,” said Valentine Low, author of Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown, which will be released on October 6.

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex arrive at Fua’amotu airport in Tonga in October 2018. Photo: AFP

Low wrote that Markle was overheard complaining about the tour. “I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this,” she said, according to the book.

Behind the scenes, Low claimed that tensions were growing between Markle and her aides. According to the book, Jason Knauf, who headed the couple’s media operations, filed a complaint via email during the month of the royal tour.

He allegedly called out Markle for exhibiting “unacceptable” behaviour toward a staffer who was “delivering first-rate work” and expressed his concern about her treatment of two PAs, per the book.

4. Prince William and Kate Middleton realised they needed to ‘up their game’

Britain’s Kate, then Duchess of Cambridge, right, with Prince Harry and his then fiancée Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in London, in February 2018. Photo: AP

William and Kate realised they needed to “up their game” after Markle’s first royal engagement, according to The New Royals.

Harry and Meghan joined William and Kate on a panel at the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in 2018, months after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their engagement in 2017. A source told Nicholl that William and Kate experienced a “wake-up moment” after the event.

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“The Cambridges had already signalled their intention to be more than ‘ornamental royals’ and had, along with Harry, made a huge success of their mental health campaign Heads Together,” Nicholl wrote.

Meghan Markle, left, and Catherine, then Duchess of Cambridge, attend the first Royal Foundation Forum in February 2018, in London. Photo: Rota/i-Images/Zuma Press/TNS
However, the appearance proved that Meghan was more than capable of handling herself well in the spotlight.

“But Meghan was the breakout star of the foursome. She was polished, passionate and funny, using all her TV-honed skills to present her case,” according to the book.

Meghan’s reception at the event came as a surprise to William and Kate, who had previously been the sole faces of modern royalty.

“That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realised that Meghan was very impressive, very confident and very capable,” according to the source who spoke with Nicholl.

5. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s team called themselves the ‘Sussex Survivors Club’

Harry and Meghan’s former staff members referred to themselves as the “Sussex Survivors’ Club” due to difficult work relationships with the couple, according to Courtiers.

Per the book, sources also said that staff members labelled Markle a “narcissistic sociopath” and repeatedly said they felt like they “were played”.

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The book alleges that Harry and Meghan’s plans to exit royal life were laid out by November 2019 – two months before they announced their step back – and kept “amid the greatest secrecy”. Markle reportedly told one staff member that she and the prince would be leaving, but sources who spoke to Low said the rest of the team didn’t find out until a meeting at Buckingham Palace in January 2020.

Low wrote that the team “found it hard to accept they were being dumped just like that” and that “some of them were in tears”.

6. Prince Harry thought he would be ‘irrelevant’ once Prince George turned 18

King Charles, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Anne, princess royal arrive at Windsor Castle on September 19, in Windsor, England. Photo: Reuters

In excerpts from Courtiers, published by the Times of London, the author claimed Harry’s frustration with the media and royal life was compounded by his belief that he would one day be insignificant.

Britain’s Kate, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte and Prince George attend the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in Britain, on September 19. Photo: Reuters
According to the book, the Duke of Sussex also reportedly compared himself to his uncle Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his royal titles in January after a sexual assault lawsuit was filed against him.
Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as they lay wreaths during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London, Britain, in November 2017. Photo: EPA-EFE/British Ministry of Defence

“He had this thing that he had a shelf life. He was fixated [on] this. He would compare himself with his uncle [Andrew]. He would say, ‘I have this time to make this impact. Because I can,’” a source told Low. “Until George turns 18, was the way he was thinking about it. ‘Then I will be the also-ran.’ He was genuinely thinking of it as, ‘I have this platform now, for a limited amount of time. I want to move forward, move forward.’”

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7. Camilla, queen consort, sometimes ‘calls the shots’ for King Charles

Britain’s King Charles, left, and Camilla, the queen consort, sit at Westminster Hall, where both Houses of Parliament are meeting to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth, at Westminster Hall, in London, on September 12. Photo: AP

Camilla, the queen consort, influences some of King Charles’s professional choices, according to Nicholl’s upcoming book.

In the excerpt, Nicholl also explored Charles and Camilla’s close relationship, pointing specifically to how the queen consort has helped the monarch professionally.

According to Nicholl, the king practices his speeches for Camilla and speaks to her about his ideas, and she wrote that there are “times when she calls the shots”.

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  • After Queen Elizabeth’s death and King Charles’ rise to the throne, two new books by royal experts – Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals and Valentine Low’s Courtiers – are hitting the shelves
  • The books reveal Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘relief’ at the Sussexes stepping down, and Harry comparing himself to Prince Andrew and thinking he’ll be ‘irrelevant’ once Prince George is 18