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
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.
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
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.
“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.
2. Prince William and Kate Middleton were glad ‘the drama was gone’ when Harry and Meghan stepped back
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
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.
“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.
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’
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.
“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.
“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”.
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
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.
“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.’”
7. Camilla, queen consort, sometimes ‘calls the shots’ for King Charles
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”.
- 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