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Long before Meghan Markle officially joined the royal family after marrying Prince Harry in May 2018, we knew the former actress and advocate used her platform and voice with confidence. But that same self-possession didn’t exactly translate once the Duchess of Sussex became a royal, and the way she worked and interacted with palace staff didn’t particularly mesh with their accustomed status quo. In Tina Brown’s new royal book, the writer details how Meghan’s directness often led to awkward conflicts with palace staff.
In The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil, Brown reveals how royal staff initially reacted to Meghan’s perspective on her work as a newly-minted member of The Firm. “‘They just couldn’t deal with Meghan’s level of directness,’ a Palace source explained to me,” Brown writes in her book. “In other words, ‘Why didn’t that invite go out?’ rather than ‘I wonder if you could just check if that invitation did in fact go out if you don’t mind Allegra?'” Brown muses as an example.
Tina Brown's book seeks to clear any notion that Meghan Markle caused a rift between Prince Harry and Prince William. https://t.co/ATD6MpcQQX
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Of course, Meghan had been so accustomed to her independence, and making decisions for herself. “‘I suspect Meghan was trying to be herself, and trying to get things done the way she had been brought up in the industry, as well as in the States,’ one of the Suits executives told me,” Brown continues. “Either not understanding how to get what she needed done, or thinking she had more seniority. Whatever it was, I’m sure that almost everywhere she turned she was banging into a wall, and simply did not know how to handle it. And after a while, the graciousness just disappears when you constantly make wrong turns.”
The difficult working relationship between Meghan and Prince Harry and palace staff eventually came to a head when the couple made the decision to take a step back from their duties and open a new chapter in America. For Meghan, in particular, the transition from independent, working actress to a royal whose schedule and engagements were pre-determined must’ve been incredibly jarring.
And without enough time to find a way to make the transition work for Meghan or those she would eventually collaborate with, it’s no wonder her working relationship with royal staff became so strained. It’s one thing to become a member of the royal family when you’ve had some time to acclimate or were more familiar with them like previous royal spouses. But for Meghan, she had added obstacles ahead of her, and wanted to maintain her sense of self in a very intense environment.
Even as casual British royal family observers, there’s still so much we don’t know about what happens in the House of Windsor. 2022 is poised to be a memorable year for the royal family. But with historic highs come lows and pitfalls. Royal biographer Tina Brown takes readers from the troubling years following Princess Diana’s death, to the rift between Princes William and Harry, the scandals of Prince Andrew, and Queen Elizabeth’s steady resolve through it all in The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil. Brown’s book features new, intimate details about the royal family, and contemplates how the House of Windsor moves into a new era.
Before you go, click here to see the 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.