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  • Meghan Markle “suddenly found herself in an institution she found she couldn’t influence,” author Tom Quinn quotes a Kensington Palace “staffer” as saying in his book, Gilded Youth.
  • Meghan Markle reportedly “hated the constraints and the rules” of the royal family. 
  • Never had there been a “greater divide” between expectations and the reality of someone marrying into the royal family, the “staffer” said. 
Meghan Markle, who according to 'Gilded Youth' disliked the royal family's 'pecking order,' looks on
Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The royal family’s “pecking order,” also known as the line of succession, reportedly bothered Meghan Markle. A 2023 book claims the Duchess of Sussex “hated” the “constraints and rules” that came with royal life.

Meghan Markle ‘couldn’t influence’ the royal ‘institution’ after being ‘in control of her own destiny’

Now living in California, Meghan entered royal life when she’d been spearheading her many endeavors. In 2016, when she met the Duke of Sussex, they included an acting career, lifestyle blog, and charity work. 

Meghan soon learned, per Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family, royalty didn’t mean “control.” 

“She is basically a very nice, smiley, super-positive person,” Quinn quoted a “staffer at Kensington Palace who remembered Meghan well.” 

“Having always felt in control of her own destiny and with the sort of personality that strives to be the best,” they continued, “she suddenly found herself in an institution she found she couldn’t influence and that assigns roles to people that do not change.” 

“The worldwide fame that being a princess would bring” left Meghan “dazzled,” they claimed. However, it contrasted Meghan’s shock over “palace protocol” and that she was “not and never could be first in the pecking order.”

Meghan ‘hated the constraints and the rules’ of royal life

The palace “staffer” continued, saying Meghan disliked the “constraints” and rules” that came with being a senior royal. But especially being lower in the “pecking order” than, say, her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. 

“She hated the constraints and the rules,” the “staffer” claimed. “She hated being a second-rate princess—second to Catherine Middleton, I mean.” Meghan “thought she would be living in Windsor Castle, for example, and just couldn’t believe it when she and Harry were given Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace.”

“Most of all, she hated the fact that she had to do what she was told and go where she was told in the endless and, to a large extent, pointless royal round.”

Meghan Markle’s expectation of royal life wasn’t anything like reality

Meghan Markle, who reportedly didn't like the royal family's 'pecking order,' walks with Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Jack Taylor/Getty Images

As Meghan said herself, the reality and idea of royal life, at least in her experience, have been very different. The same “staffer” echoed Meghan’s comment in Gilded Youth, saying there’d never been a “greater divide” between expectations and “what they discovered” royal life “was really like.”

Despite being a “global superstar,” Meghan was “told what she could and could not do, what she could and could not say,” they added. “She hated it.” 

Meanwhile, Meghan claimed in 2022’s Harry and Meghan that she “tried so hard” to “fit in.”