When Will Meghan Markle Return to the U.K. After Royal Exit?
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An updated book about the Duchess of Sussex is revealing a raft of new things about Meghan during her brief time as a working member of the royal family.
Andrew Morton - best known for his 1992 biography on Diana, Princess of Wales - has added six extra chapters to his book on Meghan.
Meghan: A Hollywood Princess was first released in 2018 to coincide with the royal wedding.
READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's complete relationship timeline © Getty The Duchess of Sussex during the 2018 royal tour of Tonga.
But this "fully revised and updated edition", out mid-October, is now shedding fresh light on the Duchess' time in and out of the royal family, drawing on "exclusive interviews with those closest to Meghan".
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Crucially, it promises to reveal the reasons for the "seemingly bottomless rift that has developed between the Sussexes and the House of Windsor".
Here are some of the things we have learnt from the updated edition:
Princess Diana 'the third wheel'
Morton gained global fame for his book on Princess Diana and writes about the late royal in his updated biography on Meghan, suggesting her influence weighs heavily on the Sussexes.
"The ghost of Diana, Princess of Wales loomed large over the lives of Harry and Meghan," Morton writes.
"She was essentially the third wheel in their marriage. Not a day went by without a reference, a memory or, perhaps more importantly, a decision relating to Harry's beloved mother."
READ MORE: Inside Princess Diana's 20-year relationship with photographer
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© Getty Morton suggests Princess Diana was a 'third wheel' in Harry and Meghan's relationship.
Morton says Meghan and Harry took offence from a photo shared by Buckingham Palace of Queen Elizabeth and her heirs.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly saw the images as being evidence of an "unspoken code" about their future roles within the family, saying they suspected the "entire institution was conspiring against them".
The photo at the centre of the so-called unspoken code showed Her Majesty with the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince George, taken inside the Throne Room in December 2019 at Buckingham Palace and "released to mark the start of a new decade".
The palace said the photo was the second time only that a portrait has been issued of the Queen and all three heirs. The first was released in April 2016 for the Queen's 90th birthday.
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© AP/AAP Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.
Kate's lack of 'energy' to bond with Meghan
Morton claims the Duchess of Cambridge didn't have "much energy" to get to know her new sister-in-law around the time of the royal wedding in May, because she was going through a difficult pregnancy with Prince Louis who was born in April.
Morton also claims that despite Kate and Meghan sharing very similar and unique jobs, they had little time to bond and become close "away from public events".
"It was a practical matter as much as anything," he writes.
"Kate spent weekends and holidays at Anmer Hall, the Cambridges' country home in Norfolk, while Meghan and Harry were approximately three hours' drive away, living in a large, remote, rented property on the Great Tew estate in Oxfordshire."
In pictures: All the times Kate and Meghan have worn jewels seen on Princess Diana © Getty The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex at Wimbledon in 2019.
Meghan's 'peace offering' to Kate
In March last year, Meghan told Oprah Winfrey it was Kate who had made her cry during a bridesmaid dress fitting and not the other way around.
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Kate's daughter Princess Charlotte was one of the young attendants.
"She was upset about something, she apologised, she owned it," Meghan told Oprah.
Morton says Meghan gifted Kate a gold bracelet afterwards "an elegant peace offering".
"The spat concerning the bridesmaids' outfits now behind them, Meghan had since given Kate and her six closest friends gold bracelets designed by Californian jeweller Lisette Polny as a thank-you for their help and support," Morton writes.
"It was an elegant peace offering, both women professional enough to know that there was no gain in showing dissent or disdain." © Getty Meghan reportedly gifted Kate a bracelet after the 2019 royal wedding and that controversial bridesmaid dress fitting.
'Bullying' allegations made Harry and Meghan leave
Both William and Harry strongly denied reports of bullying between themselves, issuing a rare joint statement in January 2020 about "a false story" that they say contained "inflammatory language" that was "offensive and potentially harmful".
Morton writes about the issue in his updated book saying: "The Duchess of Cambridge's coolness towards Meghan, and William's alleged bullying contributed to a devastating 'Cain and Abel' fallout between the brothers.
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"Harry was the 'prime mover' in souring relations between the Sussexes and the Royal Family, but it was Meghan who 'took the hit'."
William relieved about Harry and Meghan's break
In October 2019, Harry and Meghan embarked on a successful tour of southern Africa with Archie but as the visit came to an end they took part in a television documentary where they both spoke of their struggles with royal life.
In November they announced they would be taking a break from official duties for a much-needed respite in Canada.
And that decision, Morton says, came as welcome news to Prince William.
"Like many others, Prince William breathed a sigh of relief when Harry and Meghan announced that they were stepping back from royal duties for six weeks or so and spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in North America," Morton says.
"The couple ended up in a remote luxury mansion on Vancouver Island loaned to them by a patriotic Canadian businessman. Palace aides, who had been urging the couple to slow down, were pleased to see them take a breath."
READ MORE: How Prince Harry and Meghan's royal departure unfolded: a timeline
Meghan's 'tiara tantrum' and the 'irate Prince'
Prince Harry "needed acupuncture" to calm his nerves in the lead up to the royal wedding and "was overwrought when the chosen tiara could not be made instantly available for Meghan's hairdresser" who had flown in from New York for a trial, Morton says.
A much-publicised 'tiara tantrum' by Meghan, reported by The Times, led to a sharp rebuke from the Queen who reportedly said to her grandson, "she gets what tiara she's given by me".
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Meghan wore Queen Mary's bandeau tiara on May 19.
Morton writes of the incident: "The Queen's formidable dresser Angela Kelly, who is the guardian of Her Majesty's jewellery, is said to have informed the irate Prince that certain security protocols had to be adhered to in order to access the priceless piece.
"Harry would have none of it, telling anyone who would listen: 'What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.' His ringing phrase did her no favours." © Getty Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wearing the Queen Mary bandeau.
Archie's christening secrecy left William 'perplexed'
Harry and Meghan chose to keep the baptism of their son Archie a private affair with cameras banned from covering the event at Windsor Castle.
Instead, just two photos were released in what was seen as a departure from royal protocol.
The couple also chose to keep "secret" the names of Archie's godparents, a move that "perplexed" Prince William, Morton says.
"The decision to keep the names of the godparents secret was another issue, one of many, that perplexed William," Morton writes.
"He, like others inside the family, felt that those chosen to guide and counsel a future royal prince, seventh in line to the throne, should be identified. Harry and Meghan thought otherwise.
"They explained that the godparents were genuine friends, not celebrities or public figures, and had joined with the royal couple in preferring privacy."
'Unfriendly' and 'jealous' royals
Morton says the Duchess of Sussex didn't have a good experience with some members of the royal family, influencing their decision to leave the UK.
"For her part, Meghan found some of its members – not the Queen or Prince Philip – unfriendly and jealous," he says.
"At a personal level, then, their departure from Britain was quietly welcomed by some in the Windsor family and their courtiers, but on an institutional level it was a heavy blow."
Harry's olive branch to Prince Charles
The Prince of Wales tested positive to COVID-19 in April 2020 and the health scare promoted Harry to reach out to his father, despite growing tension between them following the royal exit.
Reports suggesting Prince Charles was "struggling to breathe" prompted Harry to get in touch from Canada, Morton says.
"Harry's phone calls to his father and brother helped in a small way to bridge the distance between them," he says.
"He also contacted his grandmother to wish her luck before she made her historic and highly emotional 'We Will Meet Again' speech from Windsor Castle."
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