When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told the world they were quitting the royal family, they said they had spent months thinking about the life-changing choice.
However their statement came as a huge shock to everyone – including their closest family and friends.
Sources have said the royals had very little notice about the Sussexes’ decision, with Princes Charles and William only getting the full statement a few minutes before it was shared around the world.
Meghan and Harry decided to keep many of the details of their controversial decision under wraps, with insiders saying they didn’t know who to trust after months of leaks and fallouts.
When they released their statement on Instagram, they also shared their new website – sussexroyal.com – which would later contain on the logistical details of their plans.
It explained finances, security and their hopes for their future charity work.
However, their decision to keep the website a secret from the rest of the family and several staff members reportedly caused a lot of upset.
Writing in their new book Finding Freedom, royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write: “Even sources close to Harry and Meghan had to admit that the way the couple were forced to approach the situation (mainly in the act of keeping the family and their team in the dark about the website) created a lot of ill will in the household and especially in the family”.
They also claim that Meghan and Harry felt they had no choice in their drastic approach, saying they believed the rest of the family were “patronising them”.
They write: “Harry and Meghan, however, felt they had been patronized by other family and staff members for too long.
“People had humoured them when they brought up their grievances, never thinking the couple would actually do anything drastic.
“The explosive reaction was a direct result of their growing impatience. If other members of the family and those working with the households had taken their requests more seriously, it wouldn’t have reached that point.”
Both Charles and William were said to be “incandescent with rage” at Meghan and Harry’s decision, with the Queen “deeply upset”.
An insider told the Sun : “Their statement was not cleared with anyone. It breaks all protocol. This is a declaration of war on the family.
“There is fury over how they’ve done this without any thought for the implications for the institution. The Queen is deeply upset. The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are incandescent with rage.
“Courtiers can’t believe it. There are so many unanswered questions but they’ve just up and done it without a thought for anyone else.”