The Queen and senior royals are ‘very worried’ about the ‘direction’ Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are heading after they launched their attack on the media, royal experts claim.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told of their struggles with being in the spotlight and the ‘unfair’ scrutiny they now face in interviews shown on an ITV documentary last night.
Meghan told how her friends warned her not to marry Harry because the tabloid focus would ‘destroy your life’ and Harry said that he felt pressure to ‘protect’ his family from unwanted media intrusion.
The prince also opened up about his ‘rift’ with his brother William in the searingly honest interviews by ITV’s Tom Bradby during their official royal tour to Africa.
Experts have now given their verdict on the explosive documentary, saying senior members of the royal family will be concerned and ‘horrified’ by the tone and contents of what they said.
They come following months of controversy involving Meghan and Harry, who came under fire for their privacy demands over Archie’s christening, their use of private jets, and Meghan’s Wimbledon appearance when she banned fans from taking photos.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told of their struggles with being in the spotlight and the ‘unfair’ scrutiny they now face in interviews shown on an ITV documentary last night
In Meghan’s first on-screen interview since becoming a mother the former Suits actress insisted that she had ‘no idea’ about the level of attention she would face
They are suing the Mail on Sunday over its publication of Meghan’s estranged father’s letters, and have begun legal action against the Sun and Mirror news groups over allegations of phone hacking dating back to the early 2000s.
Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited – a book on Harry and Meghan’s romance, who has written about the royals for three decades, told MailOnline: ‘I am told that the senior royals from the Queen down and courtiers are very worried about the direction Harry and Meghan are taking and it’s very serious.
‘I hope on their six week holiday they reflect very carefully on what they do next.
‘They had turned a corner with the Africa trip but all the good works were overshadowed by this attack on the press. ‘They are either being badly advised or ignoring advice.’
Jonny Dymond, the BBC’s royal correspondent, said: ‘I think they (the royal family) will be pretty horrified actually.
‘One is because whoever wins these legal actions with the newspapers, are the newspapers actually going to change what they do? Because the newspapers don’t think they have done anything wrong.
‘They think this is about reporting about what is going on.
‘Secondly, the monarchy is supposed to be a unifying force in this country, and yet a very significant chunk of it, Harry and Meghan, are being divisive.
‘It runs against what the monarchy is doing in these already divisive times.’
Robert Jobson, royal editor of the Evening Standard, revealed that senior royals have ‘gone out of their way’ to make the Duchess of Sussex feel welcome.
A Palace figure told the Standard: ‘I know that the Prince of Wales has several times reached out to Meghan.
‘They get on and share a love of music too. I know he invited her to a preview of an exhibition at the palace.
‘The Queen has been a source of strength too and invited them both to Balmoral where family problems are usually aired.’
The prince is questioned about his relationship with his brother (pictured, with wife Kate) in which he appears to confirm there has been rift
In Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which aired on ITV last night, Meghan revealed that ‘not many people have asked if I’m OK’ and admitted that she was finding her new role as a public figure ‘a struggle’.
In her first on-screen interview since becoming a mother the former Suits actress insisted that she had ‘no idea’ about the level of attention she would face.
Appearing to hold back tears, Meghan admitted feeling ‘vulnerable’ during her pregnancy.
But Mr Dampier added: ‘I’m frankly astonished that Meghan is surprised by scrutiny from the tabloids and that she claims there aren’t any tabloids in the US.
‘She has been an actress for many years and must’ve had all sorts of publicity, good and bad.
‘I can’t believe she would be that naive.
‘Also, surely Harry, who is so desperate to protect her, would have warned her right from the start what she was letting herself in for.
‘And they both said as much in their engagement interview.
‘I can honestly say that most tabloid royal reporters and editors I know wanted Meghan to succeed and saw her as a breath of fresh air.
‘They have brought the bad press on themselves by lecturing people about climate change while using private jets themselves, telling the public – who paid for their home renovations – that they couldn’t see pictures of Archie’s christening, or know the names of his godparents, or even their dog!
‘The British people don’t like hypocrisy.’
The prince is questioned about his relationship with his brother, in which he appears to confirm there has been rift.
Mr Dampier added: ‘It was very significant that Harry admitted there were problems with William.
‘That proves the tabloids don’t just make everything up and there has been a rift.’
And Mr Dymond added: ‘The relationship with his brother, Prince William, has clearly changed. Not surprisingly perhaps, he got married. But is clearly changed for the worse.
‘There is clearly some fairly rough times in that relationship. Its a very unhappy picture.’
Today the Daily Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers appeared on Lorraine to speak about the documentary.
He said the interview could be the ‘beginning of the end’ of the couple’s relationship with Harry’s family – because her comments reflect poorly on the other royals.
He explained that her comments insinuate that the likes of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Prince William and Kate Middleton are unconcerned about the well-being of Meghan, despite them all being aware of the ‘struggles she’s going through’.
He said: ‘Meghan is struggling. The very powerful moment where she says nobody has asked her if she’s okay, I think that was very raw and very emotional.
‘But I think this is potentially very damaging for the royal family as well.
‘Because what does she mean by that? Does she mean that Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate, Camilla, have not asked her how she is?
‘They obviously understand the struggles she’s going through as well.’
Myers alleged that Meghan’s accusation of nobody asking whether she’s ‘okay’ suggested that senior royals, including Prince Charles and Camilla Parka Bowles, were unconcerned with her well-being
He went on to explain that he’s been on engagements with the royal couple where the pair ‘don’t look like they’re having fun’, and compared their recent tour of Africa to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent tour of Pakistan.
He said: ‘At its base they don’t look very happy, they look like they’re struggling in the public eye.
‘When I’ve been on engagements with them they don’t look like they’re having fun – a lot of comparisons were made with William and Kate’s tour of Pakistan.
‘They looked like they were having a good time.
‘Will they be stepping away? We could be seeing the beginning of the end with their relationship with the royal family.’
Myers said Meghan was ‘very, very vulnerable’ and revealed that the family are considering permanently moving away following their break from the spotlight