books

"Meghan Markle hated every second of it." The 6 biggest revelations from the new royal book, The Palace Papers.

There have been plenty of tell-all accounts on the royal family for decades now.

But this week, we were brought a little closer into the world of the British monarchy, thanks to a new insider book. 

Tina Brown - the former editor-in-chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker - has released a new book titled The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil which explores the stories from the inside. 

Brown is known to be on good authority when it comes to her sources that have "inside knowledge" as Prince Margaret's best friend Lady Anne Glenconner said when endorsing the book.

And trust us when we say that Brown had plenty of scandals, rumours and royal shenanigans to work with.

Watch back Meghan telling Oprah about The Firm 'perpetuating falsehoods'. Post continues below.


Video via CBS News

Given just how much information was included in this book, we've decided to unpack the six biggest tales. 

Here are the juiciest revelations. 

1. Here's why the 'fab four' only made one official charity appearance together.

In February 2018, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle came together in a Royal Foundation appearance/charity event.

It had previously been announced that Meghan would become a fourth patron of the Royal Foundation, leading to the two royal couples being described as the 'fab four'.

Alas, the fab four rarely united after that event. And there's a reason why.

Brown said that Meghan had gone off script when making a short speech at the event, which upset Kate and William. Meghan had passionately talked about women's empowerment and how women "don't need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it."

Perhaps it was the politicisation of her words that Kate was upset with, as when her speech came next, it was "dry" in comparison.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Getty.

Brown wrote: "When it was Kate's moment to speak, she was strikingly less articulate, as well as brief."

From here on, things were a bit tense between the 'fab four'.

It's fair to say that Brown digs into each of the royal family members in her book - she describes the Queen as "conflict-avoidant" and "remote", not to mention the Queen's response to the serious allegations against her son Prince Andrew. But some have reviewed Brown's book to read more skewed to Kate and William than to Harry and Meghan. 

2. The Queen was worried about Prince William's behaviour as a child.

Prince William as a child with his mum Princess Diana. Image: Getty.

ADVERTISEMENT

It's never ideal to hear that the Queen doesn't think you're monarch material. And that's exactly what happened to William.

A revelation from Brown was that the Queen initially saw Prince William as a bit of a "brat" during his youth, and she feared he wouldn't grow out of it.

In The Palace Papers, Brown said that Diana herself called her son a "holy terror," and the heir to the throne was considered "an entitled little monster" nicknamed "Basher Wills" at his nursery school.

Brown recounts, "As a toddler, [William] had been a cause of concern to the Queen when he showed signs of being a brat. She complained to her husband that their grandson was 'out of control' and needed a stricter nanny. She was not amused that he loved to say, 'When I am King, I'm going to make a new rule that...' By the time he was four, he had the unattractive habit of yapping at his nanny, Barbara Barnes, 'No one tells me what to do! When I am King, I will have you punished'."

Luckily by the time he was six, Palace insiders said William had mellowed out and become a lot less selfish. If anything Brown said, Prince Harry took over a bit of William's naughtiness. 

"It's as if nurture kicked in over nature and they traded personality traits. Duty and responsibility were drilled into the heir to the throne - subduing his boisterousness - while Harry became the skinny, exuberant imp of misrule."

3. Meghan Markle didn't enjoy her trip to Australia, finding it "pointless".

Meghan and Harry in Australia in 2018. Image: Getty.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Brown, Meghan did not enjoy her trip to Australia in 2018.

Following in the footsteps of the Queen and Prince Philip, Harry and Meghan had gone to Australia to tour the region and strengthen their ties to the Commonwealth country. And that supposedly wasn't something of interest to Meghan.

Keep in mind the sheer fanfare and excitement that Aussie royal fans had at the time of the tour.

"So, Meghan must have been thrilled with it all… right? No. She apparently hated every second of it," wrote Brown.

A former Palace employee said to Brown that Meghan had found the itinerary "pointless", perhaps referring to the fact that her time wasn't being spent making real change and making a difference. Rather, she was the centre of attention, and the whole experience could have been the penny-drop moment that maybe royal life wasn't what she had initially expected.

"She didn't understand why things were set up in that way. Instead of being excited when thousands of people showed up at the opera house, it was very much like, 'What's the purpose? I don't understand this'."

Brown's claims are corroborated with a report published in The Times, which said that Meghan had commented to her Australian team while at the opera house - "What are they all doing here? It's silly."

In Meghan's defence, perhaps as an American she couldn't understand Australia's love and fascination with the monarchy.

Her team then responded with, "They're here because they admire and support a monarch and an institution that you're representing". At least according to The Times

4. Prince Andrew wasn't completely honest with the Queen about what his infamous Newsnight interview would entail.

Image: BBC.

ADVERTISEMENT

Everyone would remember *that* sitdown interview that Prince Andrew did with BBC's Newsnight

In November 2019, Prince Andrew recorded an interview at Buckingham Palace about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, where his responses to the journalist's questions were considered incredibly entitled and deflective. Following the immense criticism - a highlight being that Prince Andrew said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender - the Queen's son voluntarily stepped back from his royal duties.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud: The interview that was "nuclear explosion level bad". Post continues after audio.


And reportedly, the interview is a "source of regret" for him, for a number of reasons - one of them being that he didn't exactly provide his mother with the whole truth about what the interview would entail.

Brown explains, "A Palace source told me that Andrew went directly to Mummy to get permission to film thereafter already telling the BBC they were cleared to do so. He positioned the broadcast to the Queen as a discussion about his official duties and his success with [email protected], his entrepreneurial initiative.

"Expecting just that, Her Majesty, I am told by a source close to her, watched the broadcast alone in her private sitting room at Windsor after enjoying a light dinner on a tray. One only hopes she did not upend her favourite champagne nightcap."

And given the aftermath of that interview and all that has followed, perhaps Andrew is no longer the Queen's favourite child...

5. The Queen's 2019 Christmas broadcast hurt Meghan and Harry's feelings.

Image: The Royal Family YouTube.

ADVERTISEMENT

For years now the Queen has used her annual Christmas broadcasts to share photos of her family. Always neatly - and intentionally - placed in certain positions, it was surprising for many in 2019 when the Queen aptly didn't include an image of Harry or Meghan on her desk

Brown wrote: "The Queen told the director of the broadcast that all the displayed photographs were fine to remain in the shot except for one. Her Majesty pointed at a portrait of Harry, Meghan and baby Archie. 'That one,' said the Queen. 'I suppose we don’t need that one'."

According to Brown, this decision from the Queen pushed Harry and Meghan "over the edge" in deciding to leave the royal family and move to the US.

"If the Sussexes had any residual misgivings about whether they wanted out, those doubts vanished when they viewed the Queen's 2019 televised Christmas message," she said.

Essentially, the couple had been "kicked to the margins of the monarchy", and that particularly hurt their feelings. 

"Her Majesty eloquently made the point in her speech by saying nothing. The subtext was all in the flotilla of carefully arranged family photographs positioned on her writing desk, a grouping that, in case anyone thinks is accidental, has been artfully changed every year since the monarch’s first televised seasonal message in 1957."

And perhaps to make things less awkward and put more of the focus on her words, for the last few years since the Queen has dedicated her desk space to frames of her and Prince Philip.

ADVERTISEMENT

6. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a "mutual addiction to drama".

Image: Getty.

In what was perhaps the most gossipy of Brown's claims, she suggested that Harry and Meghan both have a "mutual addiction to drama".

Painting them as a dramatic duo, Brown said that Harry hadn't been as supportive or prepared Meghan enough for what she could expect. Brown's sources suggested that Harry was disillusioned by the monarchy, and saw Meghan as the perfect way out. 

"They were both now drunk on a shared fantasy of being the instruments of global transformation, who once married, would operate in the celebrity stratosphere once inhabited by Princess Diana," Brown wrote in her book. 

"Their new complicity required Meghan to fight all the norms he [Harry] had kicked against for so long. She was now his comrade-in-arms. An aide described their confrontational stance to me as a mutual 'addiction to drama'."

As for whether any of these revelations are gospel truth, we will have to wait and see what the royal family says. But as the Queen so famously said: "Never complain, never explain."

For more on Tina Brown's book, you can click here

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

Can’t live without your phone or the internet? Take our survey now and you could win a $50 gift voucher!