Prince Harry ‘feared he would become a has-been once his nephew George turned 18’: Bombshell new book also details bullying claims against Meghan Markle by her royal staff
- Harry, before he met Meghan, had ‘long-held’ fear’ that he would be an ‘also-ran’
- This apparently compounded the frustration he felt when aides talked him down
- Extracts of Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown published last night
- Book says Meghan strongly criticised plan drawn up by young female employee
The Duke of Sussex was ‘fixated’ about becoming a has-been once his nephew Prince George turned 18, a new book claims.
It alleges Harry, before he met Meghan, had a ‘long-held’ fear’ that he would be an ‘also-ran’.
This apparently compounded the frustration he felt when aides talked him down from things he wanted to do separately from William and Kate, the book says.
Extracts of Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown by Valentine Low were published by The Times last night.
The book also makes claims about Meghan’s treatment of staff. On one occasion the Duchess of Sussex is said to have strongly criticised a plan drawn up by a young female employee in front of colleagues.
William later tried to comfort the unnamed staff member by saying she was doing a good job and the woman burst into tears.
The Duke of Sussex was ‘fixated’ about becoming a has-been once his nephew Prince George turned 18, a new book claims
It alleges Harry, before he met Meghan, had a ‘long-held’ fear’ that he would be an ‘also-ran’
The book also makes claims about Meghan’s treatment of staff. On one occasion the Duchess of Sussex is said to have strongly criticised a plan drawn up by a young female employee in front of colleagues
After Meghan and Harry married, Samantha Cohen, the Queen’s former assistant private secretary, joined their team as their interim private secretary.
The book quotes a source saying that she too was ‘bullied’ and nothing she did was ever good enough for the couple.
Extracts claim a source once said: ‘Sam [Cohen] always made clear that it was like working for a couple of teenagers. They were impossible and pushed her to the limit. She was miserable.’
The duchess’s lawyers denied in 2021 that Miss Cohen had been bullied, saying that the couple were always grateful for her support and dedication.
They have also long described such allegations as ‘massively inaccurate’ and that the duchess has ‘absolutely denied’ bullying anyone.
While an inquiry launched by Buckingham Palace concluded that it would review how it handled bullying complaints, it did not say that the duchess had actually bullied anyone.
Poll shows rise in support for monarchy
Support for the monarchy has increased following the Queen’s funeral, a poll shows.
Some 47 per cent believe Britain will be worse if it is abolished, the survey of 1,000 adults found – up from 42 per cent who said the same in June.
Only 22 per cent said scrapping the monarchy would improve the UK, down slightly from 23 per cent. The poll also revealed that 56 per cent still expect the monarchy to last for at least another 50 years, up from 45 per cent in March this year.
The proportion who said Charles III will make a good King has risen from 49 per cent to 61 per cent, closer to the level of support for Prince William, whom 72 per cent expect to do a good job in the role when the time comes.
Kelly Beaver, chief executive of Ipsos, which carried out the survey, said: ‘King Charles starts his reign with the majority of Britons optimistic that he will make a good King and an increased belief in the longevity of the monarchy.’
The book also tells how Meghan clashed with her personal assistant Melissa Touabti over free gifts including clothes, jewellery and candles that some companies sent to the duchess.
Ms Touabti, who quit just six months after joining the palace, followed the rule that members of the Royal Family cannot accept gifts from commercial organisations, but the book claims her approach ‘did not go down well with Meghan’.
The book is due to be published on October 6 by Headline Books.
In June, Buckingham Palace effectively buried a report into allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex.
Royal aides admitted for the first time the findings would never be made public.
A source told the Daily Mail at the time: ‘People suspected it would be buried, and now it seems that it has.’
The Daily Mail understands that even those who took part in the inquiry haven’t been told what the outcome is.
Palace officials would confirm only that their investigation had concluded and ‘recommendations on our policy and procedures’ had been taken forward.
Royal aides announced in March last year that they were launching an inquiry into claims that Meghan’s ‘belittling’ behaviour while a working member of the Royal Family drove two female personal assistants out of the household and ‘undermined the confidence’ of a third.
Staff were said to have been left in tears and feeling ‘traumatised’ – with some likening their condition to having post-traumatic stress.
The Royal Household employed a third-party law firm, paid for by the family privately, to probe the claims in a move that some predicted could increase tensions between Harry and Meghan and ‘the institution’.
The allegations have always been strongly denied by the duchess, whose lawyers described them at the time as a ‘calculated smear campaign’.
After Meghan and Harry married, Samantha Cohen (pictured), the Queen’s former assistant private secretary, joined their team as their interim private secretary
Last year a palace spokesman made clear that the specifics of the allegations – which were brought to the attention of senior household staff at the time by Harry and Meghan’s concerned press secretary, Jason Knauf (above) – would not be investigated
Last year a palace spokesman made clear that the specifics of the allegations – which were brought to the attention of senior household staff at the time by Harry and Meghan’s concerned press secretary, Jason Knauf – would not be investigated.
But they said they would investigate how the ‘historic allegations of bullying’ were handled by officials and whether any changes to their HR policies and procedures should be instigated as a result.
A spokesman confirmed that ‘if’ those findings were to be made public, they would be included in this year’s Sovereign Grant report – the official annual review into the royal household’s public finances.
But announcing the report yesterday, the Master of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said of the investigation: ‘There is nothing on this in the report.
‘As we said last year, this work was undertaken privately and had no Sovereign Grant money spent on it.
‘The review has been completed and recommendations on our (HR) policy and procedures have been taken forward. But we will not be commenting further.’
Did Harry turn down dinner over duchess’s exclusion?
By David Wilkes
Prince Harry ‘refused’ to have dinner with his father and brother after Meghan was banned from joining the family at Balmoral on the day the Queen died, it was claimed today.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was reportedly left ‘furious’ after King Charles phoned to tell him it was ‘not appropriate’ for Meghan, 41, to accompany him to the Scottish estate on September 8.
William took an RAF flight to Scotland with their uncles Andrew and Edward. But Harry is said to have missed it because he was ‘so busy trying to get Meghan to Balmoral and rowing with his family’.
Told to make his own travel arrangements, he landed at Aberdeen airport without the Duchess of Sussex minutes after the Queen’s death was announced to the world.
There was never any suggestion Kate would join William but the Sussexes were said to have announced that morning Meghan and Harry were on their way – but by the afternoon the plan had changed.
Today, The Sun reported that Harry was invited to dine at Birkhall, his father’s home on the Balmoral estate, with the King, William and Camilla, Queen Consort the night of the Queen’s death. But he was said to have instead remained at Balmoral Castle with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke of York.
A source told the newspaper: ‘Charles has an open invitation for Harry to dine with him whenever he is in the country. But Harry was so furious that he refused to eat with his father and brother.
‘And he got out of Balmoral at the earliest opportunity to catch the first commercial flight back to London.’
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