The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey how they quit royal duties due to a storm of negative press coverage, which they suggested the palace were complicit in.
Meghan described experiencing suicidal thoughts while pregnant amid the pressure of critical news reports.
However, a new documentary on British network ITV outlines a parallel timeline of events within Kensington Palace that took place around the same time.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex fell out with the Duke of Cambridge over allegations Meghan bullied her staff, according to documentary Harry and William: What Went Wrong?
Biography Battle of Brothers has also previously stated that “William threw Harry out” of Kensington Palace over the dispute.
The division of the shared household was announced officially in March 2019—two months after Meghan first told Harry she experienced suicidal thoughts and eight months before they first left Britain for Canada ahead of their royal exit.
Former royal correspondent Camilla Tominey told the documentary how Meghan and Harry wanted to create their own household like William and Kate Middleton‘s.
Now the associate editor of The Daily Telegraph, Tominey told the ITV show: “At that point, Harry and Meghan want their own office like the Cambridges have. They wanted their own office to run out of Windsor, out of Frogmore Cottage, where they were living at the time.”
“And it’s at that point,” she continued, “the Queen and Prince Charles then sweep in and say ‘no, we will manage your affairs’ and in a way that’s the final straw because once again the Sussexes are saying ‘why can’t we have what the Cambridges are having? We should be on an equal footing.'”
Meghan, Harry, William and Kate Middleton had all been based at Kensington Palace together with many shared staff.
However, their joint communications secretary Jason Knauf emailed Prince William’s private secretary in October 2018 to accuse Meghan of bullying two PAs out of the household.
Historian Robert Lacey described in Battle of Brothers how there was then a furious argument between the two princes in which William backed Knauf and Harry backed Meghan.
Ultimately, the household at Kensington Palace was split with Harry and Meghan forming a new private office at Buckingham Palace, where the Queen’s staff are based, rather than independently at Frogmore.
The official announcement in March 2019 came just eight months before the couple gave the first hint of their royal exit when they revealed they were in Canada on Thanksgiving, in November 2019.
However, the timeline of events is particularly emotionally charged because of the way it intersects with the bombshell statements Meghan and Harry made to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
Meghan mentioned a story published in November 2018—one month after the bullying email—accusing her of making Kate cry at a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, which she said was false.
The duchess said by January 2019 she told Harry she was experiencing suicidal thoughts in the face of negative press coverage.
And that was two months before Buckingham Palace officially announced the split of the households.
Meghan also accused the palace of complicity in spreading “falsehoods” in the CBS tell-all.
She said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”
During Harry and William: What Went Wrong?, Omid Scobie, co-author of biography Finding Freedom, said there was conflict from an early stage between Meghan and the palace.
He said: “Meghan came in driven and ready to work and that immediately ruffled feathers. She’s a woman well into her 30s. I think she’s proven to herself and the people she’s worked with up until that point that she knows what she’s doing.
“She was certainly not someone who was going to change herself just to please the people around her. I felt they also had to be reminded: ‘You’re not the stars of the show here. There is a hierarchy and you don’t come very high in it.'”
And Lacey told the documentary: “Someone close to William told me William felt from an early stage that Meghan had an agenda.”
Prince William and Prince Harry during the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England.