Meghan Markle "Thought She Was Going to Be the Beyoncé of the U.K.," Former Palace Insider Claims

Being a royal was very different from what she imagined.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex makes the keynote speech during the Opening Ceremony of the One Young World Summit 2022 at The Bridgewater Hall on September 05, 2022 in Manchester, England.
(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty)

Meghan Markle's relationship with Palace staff while she was a senior royal is being picked apart in a new book.

Courtiers (opens in new tab), by royal reporter Valentine Low, examines what was behind the bullying allegations against the Duchess of Sussex (which made the object of an official investigation, whose results weren't released to the public). Low spoke to former staff and insiders to paint a picture of what really went down.

In one excerpt published by The Times (opens in new tab), Low describes the process of royals and Palace officials negotiating the terms of Prince Harry and his wife's departure from royal life, and not anticipating "the very obvious dangers that lay ahead."

He also reminds us that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted a "half-in, half-out" kind of deal, whereby they would have a lot more freedom but still conduct certain royal duties. However, Low writes that the Queen was against this idea. A source said of her opinion, "There was a very clear view: you can’t be in and out."

A former Palace insider called this whole process "incompetent beyond belief," and said it could have been handled in much better ways.

The insider told Low, "I think Meghan thought she was going to be the Beyoncé of the UK. Being part of the Royal Family would give her that kudos. Whereas what she discovered was that there were so many rules that were so ridiculous that she couldn’t even do the things that she could do as a private individual, which is tough...

"It just required the decision-makers to sit around a table and say, 'OK, what are we going to do about this? What do you need to feel better? And what can we give?'"

Low contrasts this quote with another point of view: the one that there was no possible solution that would keep everyone happy.

"I think that it was an impossible task," another Palace source told him.

"I think in Meghan and the household, you had two worlds that had no experience of each other, had no way to relate to each other, had no way to comprehend each other.

"And Meghan was never going to fit in that model and that model was never going to tolerate the Meghan who Meghan wanted to be.

"So I think that it was inevitable that they would not be able to work together. I don’t think there’s anything Edward [Young, the Queen's private secretary] could have done about that that other members of the Royal Family would have accepted."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.