Prince Harry and Meghan Markle felt snubbed by Queen Elizabeth II during her high-profile Christmas speech — seeing it as proof they were being pushed out of the royal family, according to a new book.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt they were “noticeably absent” from the family photos surrounding the Queen as she spoke from Buckingham Palace, according to an extract of “Finding Freedom” published in The Times of London.
The rest of the senior royals — including Harry’s brother William and his family, along with the princes’ father, Prince Charles — were there proudly on display.
Already feeling they had “long been sidelined by the institution” of the monarchy, they saw it as proof that they were “not a fundamental part of its future,” according to the book.
“For Harry and Meghan, it had been yet another sign that they needed to consider their own path,” authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote.
At the time, the couple were under fire for spending the holidays with baby Archie in Canada, breaking tradition by being away from the rest of the royals.
Just weeks later, on January 8, Harry and Meghan announced their plans to leave royal duties after they leaked to The Sun newspaper, finally forcing through Megxit.
The Queen was also accused of removing the Sussexes’ photo from her audience room in Buckingham Palace earlier last year. In sharp contrast, she had displayed two photos of the family the previous Christmas, including an official wedding portrait.
Palace sources had insisted the photo omission was not a snub, but merely a representation of the direct line of succession, the book notes.
The Queen also singled out the Sussexes during her broadcast — saying how “delighted” she was at the birth of Archie.
While their photo was not on her table, the broadcast included an image of the couple introducing baby Archie to the Queen and Prince Philip, along with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland.