Queen Elizabeth II told her grandson Prince Harry that Meghan Markle couldn't have whatever she wanted on their wedding day, claims a new book on royal life. "Battle of Brothers: William, Harry, and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult", penned by biographer and historian Robert Lacey, who is known for his work on the popular Netflix series The Crown, addresses one of the most controversial issues surrounding the Royal Family and reveals details that were previously unknown.
Meghan Gets What She's Given
One of the most scandalous stories is about the disagreement over the tiara Meghan had to wear during her wedding. At the time, the soon-to-be-royal reportedly wanted to wear the Vladimir Kokoshnik tiara that once belonged to Russia's Romanov dynasty. The piece was the Queen's favourite and Her Majesty reportedly declined Meghan's request. This allegedly angered Prince Harry, who told his grandmother: "What Meghan wants, Meghan gets". According to Robert Lacey, the Queen responded with:
"Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets the tiara that she's given by me".
Harry and William's Feud Over Vogue Cover
Just like Princess Diana and Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle was offered to appear on the front cover of British Vogue. However, the Duchess of Sussex kindly declined the offer and instead proposed to guest edit the September issue. She reportedly spent months working with the team to create the Forces of Change edition.
According to Robert Lacey, the rest of the family did not appreсiate Meghan's efforts as they believed that the content was far from impartial. William and Harry had an argument over the issue. Lacey writes that nobody knows the details of the brothers' showdown, but described it as "another classic Harry explosion, followed by a further, even deeper rift". Lacey claims that after the discord Harry and Meghan decided not to appear at Balmoral, where senior members of the Royal Family spend their summer holidays.
Harry, I'm Your Father
Over the course of her royal tenure Princess Diana, Harry and William's mother, faced numerous speculations from tabloids about her relationship with her friend, former cavalry officer James Hewitt. The press has repeatedly speculated that Hewitt was Harry's father.
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The new tell-all book claims that these rumours prompted Prince Charles to sit down with Harry and address the issue.
"Charles's concern was to reassure his son 'that without doubt he and not Hewitt was his father' - and presumably Charles emphasised how the calendar made the rumour quite impossible since Hewitt had not met Diana until two years after Harry's birth", Lacey wrote.
Lunch? No, Thank You
After the Sussexes dropped their bombshell announcement about the decision to quit royal life a meeting was arranged between senior members of the family in order to work out the details of their transition. Her Majesty summoned Prince Charles along with her grandsons William and Harry to negotiate a deal. Prior to the Megxit talks, the family had to sit down for lunch, but according to the new book Prince William was so angry at the move that he decided to skip the affair.
"The Queen had suggested the family should gather for lunch before their big pow-wow in the library that afternoon, but he refused his grandmother's invitation. "He would obviously turn up at 2 p.m. for the meeting, he said, but he only wanted to talk business", wrote Lacey.
Other interesting takeaways from the book:
- Prince William did not approve of Harry and Meghan's decision to keep the details about their son's birth secret. In particular the couple's decision to conceal the identity of Archie's godparents.
- The royal biographer says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share the same flaw, accusing the couple of self-pity. "The months since their marriage had demonstrated that the couple share a common character flaw — they both have a tendency to cascade downwards from their peaks of generous self-confidence into miserable moments of self-pitying victimhood", Lacey wrote.
- Prince Harry's relationships failed because his girlfriends were afraid of royal life.
- Prior to their royal resignation, the Queen wanted Harry and Meghan to spend time, a year or two, in Johannesburg as Her Majesty knew that the couple longed for an ordinary existence. According to the book, the Queen got a chance to lead a "normal" life when she stayed on Malta together with Prince Philip between 1949 and 1951.