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Royal rift revealed: Book claims the Sussexes and Cambridges hardly spoke

© Phil Harris/Daily Mirror/PA WireCommonwealth service: The Sussexes and Cambridges barely spoken says book
Commonwealth service: The Sussexes and Cambridges barely spoken says book

Relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges grew so bitter that were barely speaking, according to a new book about Harry and Meghan

Finding Freedom claims the couples hardly spoke at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey in March, despite not having seen each other since January.

The book’s authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, said: “Although Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the duchess barely acknowledged her.”

Mr Scobie told the Times yesterday: “To purposefully snub your sister-in-law…I don’t think it left a great taste in the couple’s mouths.”

The authors describe a culture of increasing tension between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family.

They say the Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press. “There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust,” the authors write.

“A friend of the couple’s referred to the old guard as ‘the vipers’. Meanwhile, a frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes’ team as ‘the squeaky third wheel’ of the palace.”

Harry and Meghan “liked being in control of their narrative” in the early days of their marriage, the authors say.

But being told to operate under Buckingham Palace’s umbrella after splitting their household from the Cambridges’ was “a big disappointment to them”.

“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 authors write.

The book says the Sussexes even considered breaking protocol by springing a surprise visit on the Queen when they believed they were being blocked from seeing her.

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the couple did not contribute to the book, but he did not deny the content of The Times’s extracts.

He said: “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 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.

The lawsuit is the latest example of their war against what they describe as an intrusive tabloid media.

Meghan is also suing Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over articles which featured parts of a “private and confidential” letter from the duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

The Sussexes considered the extreme measure of breaking royal protocol to contact the Queen as tensions grew in the royal family, according to the new book.

It claims Harry spoke to the Prince of Wales and the Queen about the need to change things before he left for Canada for six weeks at the end of last year.

The authors write: “He felt at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls.”

While in Canada, the couple decided to step back as senior royals.

Harry attempted to set a meeting with his grandmother at the start of January, but was told she was unavailable until the end of month.

The book claims when the couple flew back to the UK they “toyed with the idea of driving straight from the terminal to see the Queen”. But this was abandoned because they decided it would have “ruffled feathers” and caused them difficulty.

“At this point they felt like they had brought up the subject enough times with family members over the past year and they were fed up with not being taken seriously,” a source close to the couple said.