According to a new book about the couple, the Prince of Wales had confirmed his son’s plans to confirm his relationship with Meghan just twenty minutes in advance.
Larence House is said to have been ‘crushed’ because the confirmation of the rumors dominated the news cycle and caught the attention of Charles and Camilla’s diplomatic tour of the Gulf.
In Finding Freedom, serialized by the Times and the Sunday Times, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie wrote that Harry felt the need to “prioritize” Meghan over his duty to the larger royal family in the statement that touched on “racial undertones” of some coverage.
According to the co-authors, Charles was “disappointed” with the timing of the announcement, but understood that a “tipping point” had been reached with Harry’s relationship with Meghan.
The statement was issued by Prince Harry’s then communications secretary on November 8, 2016, when Charles arrived in Bahrain – which his team had hoped would “be covered significantly.”
The book said: “A statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press and, in the same breath, confirming that Harry’s new girlfriend would virtually eliminate reporting of the Prince Charles Gulf tour.
“The Palace decided to go ahead with the statement anyway, much of which had been prepared by Harry himself.
The Clarence House team, which had spent months putting together Prince Charles’s tour hoping it would be covered significantly, was crushed
Charles heard it just twenty minutes before it went out. Indeed, once Harry made his statement, the statement dominated the news cycle.
“The Clarence House team, who had spent months putting together Prince Charles’ tour hoping it would be covered significantly, was crushed.”
Extracts from the book, due to be published by Headquarters on August 11, also include claims that the Duke of Sussex was angry about what he saw as his brother’s “snobbish” attitude toward his bride, and suggestions that the Sussexes felt that their complaints were not being dealt with seriously and believed that other royal households leaked stories about them to the press.
Harry confirmed that he was dating American actress Meghan Markle in the November 2016 statement, and lashed out at the “wave of abuse and harassment” she was facing in the media.
In a long and forcefully worded statement, Harry’s communications secretary Jason Knauf outlined the difficulties Miss Markle had faced since news of their relationship broke out.
Knauf said, “A limit has been crossed in the past week. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, is the victim of a wave of abuse and harassment. ‘
He added, “Prince Harry is concerned about Mrs. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
It was the first official confirmation from Kensington Palace that the couple was dating.
News of the royal romance came out about a week before the statement was issued, with The Sunday Express reporting that the pair met in May while Harry promoted Invictus Games 2017 in Canada, the paralympic-style contest for injured soldiers and women and veterans he founded.