The queen told Prince Harry not to announce that he and Meghan Markle were going to quit as “senior” royals—an instruction the couple defied, according to a report Thursday. Courtiers at Buckingham Palace also told the London Evening Standard that, “Harry and Meghan will be punished for this.” The Standard claimed the queen had told Harry that he and Meghan should not issue the statement outlining their plans, without talking to Prince Charles first. The queen also told Harry she would meet him, but only after he had spoken to Charles about his “wishlist.” Harry and Meghan went ahead with their dramatic announcement, after first sending an outline to Charles of their plans—and being told more time was needed to evaluate its “complex implications, particularly over funding.” Prince Charles and Prince William were reportedly sent Harry and Meghan’s statement only 10 minutes before the world saw it.
A source told The Daily Beast that Meghan and Harry felt “totally unwelcome” in the royal family. For their part, senior members of the royal family are said to be “disappointed,” and “incandescent with rage.” In a terse official statement yesterday, the Palace has said Harry and Meghan’s plans were “complicated” and “will take time to work through.” The Standard also reported that Prince William had wanted to visit his brother after Harry and Meghan made clear their unhappiness in an ITV documentary last autumn—but that the meeting had never happened.