Prince Harry's freedom came with a price.
A new book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed the turmoil in the House of Windsor before the couple gave up their leadership positions in the British royal family and described relationships that were so frosty that Prince Harry, Prince William and their spouses barely spoke to each other The saga ended over time.
The first part of a serialized version of Finding Freedom, published in the Times of London on Saturday, highlighted the hurt feelings caused by Harry and Meghan's decision to go into exile. The authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand highlight a moment during the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey in March, when the two brothers and their wives barely spoke to each other, even though they hadn't seen each other since January.
"Although Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the Duchess hardly recognized her," said the excerpt.
In an interview with the Times accompanying the excerpt, Scobie said, "In Kate's case, deliberately berating your sister-in-law or brother-in-law … I don't think it left a good taste in the couple's mouth."
The service marked a low point after months of intrigue in the palace, which worsened when the couple surprised the royal household in January by publishing their plans for independence. It has limited the frustration of the Sussexes, which the authors portray as striving for more control after being excluded from the machinations of other actors in the royal household despite their public popularity.
"As their popularity grew, Harry and Meghan also had difficulty understanding why so few were looking for their interests in the palace," the excerpt said. "They were a big draw for the royal family."
Scobie and Durand suggest that some palace officials were actually concerned about the popularity of the Sussexes and there were fears that more senior royals would be outshone. Harry is the sixth on the throne behind his father, Prince Charles, his brother William and Williams' three young children, George, Charlotte and Louis.
"The Sussexes had made the monarchy more understandable to those who had never felt a connection before," they wrote. “However, there were concerns that the couple should be included in the group; Otherwise, the establishment feared that its popularity could outshine that of the royal family. & # 39; & # 39;
The couple's plan to be part-time kings fell apart during the conversations with the family, and in January the queen outlined how the couple would resign from royal duties at least for a while in March, but would always remain part of the royal family.
Before the book was published, Harry and Meghan made a statement refusing to participate in the publication.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to the search for freedom," it said. "This book is based on the authors' own experience as members of the Royal Press Corps and their own independent reporting."
Harry's departure was essentially new territory for the House of Windsor. Only the messy abdication of Edward VIII. In 1936 served as a guide to the possible pitfalls.