One royal author believes Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were “edged out” of the palace so that they wouldn’t “overshadow” other members of the royal family—namely, fellow royal couple Kate Middleton and Prince William, and the Queen herself.
If that sounds like a hot take, just wait until you read the rest of Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, a new book out October 20 by royal historian Robert Lacey (a.k.a., historical consultant on none other than Netflix’s The Crown). Lacey makes a whole host of juicy claims in his latest, including details about Harry and William’s feud, among other royal dramas. But in his first U.S. interview on October 19, Lacey teased one major observation about the royal family’s treatment of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in particular—and it’s a “cruel” one.
Speaking with Good Morning America, Lacey said, “The British royal system can be very cruel, and it’s particularly cruel to the spare.” In this equation, Prince Harry, 36, is what Lacey calls the “spare” royal.
“Harry came to realize in his teens that he was typecast as the court jester, the number two,” the royal author claims. “There’s William, standing for duty going ahead down the conventional path. And it’s Harry who strikes out for love, for self-determination.”
While feeling like second-best was certainly enough reason for Harry to act out in his youth, according to Lacey, Harry’s resentment toward “The Firm,” a.k.a., the royal family, really hit its peak after his marriage to Meghan Markle, 39. And it wasn’t because the new Duchess was anything less than what Lacey describes as “a force of nature.” Unsurprisingly, the royal author says Meghan was always a source of inspiration for Harry.
“He falls in love with this megawatt woman. He’s inspired. He’s transformed by her, not really changed, but the ideas and tensions that have been inside him get resolved,” Lacey explained. “And he wants more than that. And the palace couldn’t handle it.”
The result was what the royal expert describes as a newlywed couple that emerged as “mega rock stars” among the royals—a status which, Lacey says, “for the first couple of years, overshadowed William and Kate.” This was enough reason for palace aides to make the decision that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex needed to somehow “be edged out,” according to Lacey, so as to not take up the wrong royal hierarchy. William and Kate are meant to take over the throne, after all.
Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of A Family in Tumult is out October 20 and is available to preorder now.
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