Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Staff Reportedly Said They "Were Played" by the Royal Couple While Working for Them

A new book is revealing behind-the-scenes drama.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

Every few months, a royal book crashes onto the scene that reveals some of the juiciest behind-the-scenes drama in the House of Windsor.

This time around, it's royal reporter Valentine Low who's making waves, with his upcoming opus Courtiers: The Inside Story of the Palace Power Struggles from the Royal Correspondent who Revealed the Bullying Allegations (opens in new tab), which takes a closer look at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship with their staff while they were working royals.

That title may be a mouthful, but judging from excerpts published in The Times (opens in new tab), this is going to be a must-read for royal watchers. Still, I'd like to start us off with a reminder to take revelations from unnamed sources with a grain of salt, and to consider that we'll never truly know what goes on behind closed doors.

With that in mind, Low says that members of the royal couple's staff began referring to themselves as the "Sussex Survivors’ Club" after they stopped working for them.

They also apparently took to saying, "We were played," implying that the Sussexes manipulated them in one way or another.

One revelation of Low's in particular is sure to ruffle a whole bunch of feathers: He claims that in the story the duchess told of her treatment at the hands of the Royal Family during her interview with Oprah in March 2021, she had been partly responsible for stirring up an environment where she might be unhappy, so that she would have a reason to leave.

"And yet a succession of perfectly decent people, all of whom believed in Meghan and wanted to make it work, came to be so disillusioned that they began to suspect that even her most heartfelt pleas for help were part of a deliberate strategy that had one end in sight: her departure from the Royal Family," Low writes. "They believe she wanted to be able to say, 'Look how they failed to support me.'"

A former staff member told Low, "Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness. The mistake they made was thinking that she wanted to be happy. She wanted to be rejected, because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one."

I don't know whether this is true or not, because I wasn't there. Still, we can't forget that—even if we assume this is true—there was undeniable rejection of Meghan Markle from the beginning, and blatant racism directed towards her. So even if she encouraged it (again, we don't know if she did), she surely didn't create it in the first place. I'll leave you with that.

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.