Prince William 'Threw Harry Out' of Kensington Palace Over Meghan Markle: Book

Prince William threw Prince Harry out of Kensington Palace after arguments over allegations Meghan Markle bullied her staff, a book claims.

The relationship between the brothers was destroyed after staff accused Meghan of bullying in 2018, according to royal biography Battle of Brothers, serialized in U.K. newspaper The Times today.

Numerous colleagues had reported ill-treatment to communications secretary Jason Knauf, including women the American aide "greatly respected," the book said.

In the aftermath, William confronted Harry but the fierce argument that followed did not resolve tensions, author Robert Lacey wrote.

Ultimately, it was Prince William, not his brother who decided the joint household at Kensington Palace must be split, leaving Prince Harry and Meghan to set up a new private office at Buckingham Palace.

Lacey wrote: "William, for his part, felt just as strongly about Meghan and the need for her subversive 'agenda' to be removed from the operations of the British monarchy, which she did not appear to understand or respect.

"He certainly wanted Meghan removed, for a start, from the hitherto harmonious joint household that he and his brother had operated together for the best part of a decade. William simply did not want her or Harry around any more."

And he quotes a friend stating: "William threw Harry out."

The division of the household was announced by Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace in March 2019 but Lacey reports the disagreements had already been raging for months.

Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey how the relationship between Meghan and the royals deteriorated after the couple's tour of Australia and the South Pacific in Fall 2018.

He appeared to suggest jealousy was a factor as he compared Meghan to Princess Diana, who famously outshone Prince Charles on joint royal jobs.

Harry told Oprah: "You know, my father, my brother, Kate and all the rest of the family, they were really welcoming. But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our South Pacific tour."

He added: "It was the first time that the family got to see how incredible [Meghan] is at the job."

However, Lacey said the argument between the brothers started before Meghan and Harry set off for the tour.

Lacey wrote: "We now know that Princes William and Harry were no longer on speaking terms before the Sussexes set off for Australia.

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Prince William attend the annual Remembrance Sunday service at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. Prince William kicked Prince Harry out of Kensington Palace, according to royal biography Battle of Brothers. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"Feelings had already 'changed,' as Harry put it, and drastically so. The brothers had parted on extremely poor terms, with the trouble centring on Meghan's stringent treatment and alleged bullying of her staff."

After Meghan and Harry's return from the Australia tour, where they announced she was pregnant with their first child, their press secretary Jason Knauf raised bullying allegations with a superior.

The Texas-born staffer sent an email in 2018 to Simon Case, then William's private secretary, now the head of the U.K. civil service.

Published in The Times days before the Oprah interview, it read: "I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year.

"The treatment of X [name removed] was totally unacceptable."

However, the situation was expressed more bluntly by one Kensington Palace staffer quoted in Lacey's book.

The aide said: "Meghan portrayed herself as the victim but she was the bully. People felt run over by her. They didn't know how to handle this woman. They thought she was a complete narcissist and sociopath—basically unhinged. Which was why the pair of them were drawn to each other in the first place—both damaged goods."

Battle of Brothers claims Kensington Palace employees who quit Meghan and Harry's service formed a fraternity they titled the "Sussex Survivors' Club."

Lacey wrote: "The b-word [bullying] featured prominently in the accounts of several, along with an even more sinister set of initials: PTSD."

And he quoted a palace aide who said: "I overheard a conversation between Harry and one of his top aides. Harry was screaming and screaming down the phone. Team Sussex was a really toxic environment. People shouting and screaming in each other's faces."

Alongside Meghan and Harry's allegations of racism within the royal family, one of the most dramatic allegations made to Oprah was that Meghan was left suicidal by negative press coverage.

She highlighted a story published in November 2018 which alleged she made William's wife Kate Middleton cry at a bridesmaids dress fitting ahead of her May 2018 wedding.

That article, first published by the Daily Telegraph and later on the front page of The Sun, was the month after Knauf's email to Case alleging Meghan was a bully.

The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah the story about Kate was false and that in fact, it was the Duchess of Cambridge who made her cry.

Meghan said in the CBS tell-all that by January 2019 she was experiencing suicidal thoughts, which she told her husband about before a visit to the Royal Albert Hall.

Harry and Meghan left Kensington Palace to create a new office at Buckingham Palace two months after that.

Neither Harry nor Meghan mentioned to Oprah the conversations happening behind closed doors within the palace during the same time period which centered on the accusation Meghan bullied her staff.

Lacey describes Prince William not only taking his staff's side in the dispute but also fearing his sister-in-law was against the royal institution.

The historian wrote: "Like Knauf, the prince was appalled that his respected staff may have been put in this position.

"For William, Knauf's allegations also clarified something that the prince had long believed — that Meghan was fundamentally hostile towards the royal system, which she failed to understand as an outsider.

"William wondered if she had not wanted to leave from the very start—even dreaming, perhaps, that she could whisk Harry back with her to North America."

In Focus

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, William and Kate

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave after attending the Christmas Day Church service at Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England. Two months earlier their joint communications secretary accused Meghan of bullying her staff.
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The book describes how Meghan and Harry's team denied this interpretation in exchanges with The Times prior to the bullying allegations being made public for the first time in March.

However, Lacey wrote that he had never met Knauf and his latest analysis "relies upon William's personal account of these events to one of his friends who then spoke to this author."

The characterization suggests the material the acclaimed royal author has been given was not simply a leak from a disgruntled former staffer but was from William's circle.

When the bullying allegations were first made, a spokesperson for Meghan and Harry said in a statement: "The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex declined to comment.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day. The Befrienders Worldwide website lists suicide support services around the world.