Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s latest unauthorised biography, Finding Freedom, has made several claims about the couple – from the reported tiara drama at their wedding to their relationship with the Cambridges.
One particular subject that it describes in great depth is their decision to move away from the monarchy, and a new extract published by Town & Country reveals what really happened between the Queen and her grandson before he left the UK earlier this year.
In contrast to reports that she was against the move, the Queen had lunch with her grandson in March and they discussed his move away from the royal family.
According to one insider, the monarch wanted Harry to know that they would support him on his next steps, and the meeting was without ‘titles. Just granny and grandson.’
The source said that ‘the Queen was still one of the most important women in Prince Harry’s life,’ and that ‘they tucked into a roast lunch, the Queen made it clear to Harry that she would always support him in whatever he decided to do.’
The source added: ‘The Queen had a lot to talk to Harry about and this was the ideal time for them to both say their piece.
‘When Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to quit it all happened very quickly and it was very stressful for all concerned.
‘Sunday was the first time the Queen has had the chance to talk to Harry on his own and really find out what his plans are. It was a much more relaxed environment and they were both able to speak their mind.’
While she was ‘very upset’ that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were moving overseas as she would love to spend more time with their one year old son, Archie Harrison, she ‘accepted… that his mind is made up and he intends to live in North America.’
The Queen also made it clear that ‘the arrangement can only work if they do not exploit their royal status and try to “cash in” — that’s why she wouldn’t let them use the word ‘royal’ for their foundation,’ and she was ‘protecting the institution’.
The aide continued: ‘Harry is also a much-loved grandson who she has always doted on.
‘She made it very clear to him that he and Meghan are always able to come back if they change their minds and she will welcome them with open arms. Hopefully the chat cleared the air and the way forward is looking more positive.
‘But she wanted to make certain Harry knew there were limits and the whole set-up is subject to a review after 12 months.’
The Sussexes are currently living in Los Angeles and have not announced any plans to return to the UK.