Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Felt ‘Overshadowed’ by Prince William and Kate Middleton Before They Stepped Down, New Biography Says

When Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex quit the royal family, it seemed they were doing so to become more financially independent and to distance themselves from the negative publicity that has followed their relationship from the beginning.

However, a new biography about the royals has dug deeper into their stunning decision to step back and offers more reasons than just that. Titled Finding Freedom, the book says their decision also had to do with how overshadowed they felt by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry
Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry at an event | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Inside the alleged royal feud between the Sussexes and the Cambridges

According to People, the tension started in 2017 when Prince William allegedly confronted his brother about his relationship with Meghan. Sources claimed Prince William allegedly expressed concern that they were moving too quickly, leaving Prince Harry hurt and angry that he wasn’t getting support from the duke.

RELATED: Prince William’s Feud With Prince Harry Reportedly Began After He Questioned If Meghan Markle Was ‘Right’ for Him

The tension reportedly continued as their relationship progressed, with the Sussexes moving out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage in April 2019.

As feud rumors swirled, royal sources often downplayed them to the press. However, in the October 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Prince Harry admitted to having struggles with his brother.

A new book details some of the alleged problems between the couples

In Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors detail the drama that unfolded behind palace walls. In excerpts obtained by The Times, they write that Prince Harry felt overshadowed by other members of the royal family — even though he and Markle attracted more global interest and popularity than the Cambridges.

Sources claimed the couple had often tried to kickstart projects they deemed important but were discouraged and dismissed by staffers who prioritized more senior members of the family, such as Prince William and Prince Charles.

The Sussexes would have conversations with members of the royal family about some of their concerns, only to have them “being twisted and leaked to the press,” which reportedly made them feel like they had no one to trust.

“He felt at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls for being too sensitive and outspoken,” the writers say of Prince Harry. “He and Meghan didn’t want to walk away from the monarchy; rather, they wanted to find a happy place within it.”

But as time went on, little changed. The pair then decided, just before Christmas 2019, to step back from their senior roles within the family. A source said at that point, Prince Harry felt “sidelined by the institution” and felt as if he and Meghan “were not a fundamental part of its future.”

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex | Karwai Tang

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision in January

One of their last appearances before stepping down was on March 9 at the annual Commonwealth Day service, where things seemed to be icy between the couples. Photos and videos taken at the event show them having little interaction and sitting a row away from each other.

RELATED: Lip-reading Experts Reveal What Prince Harry and Prince William Actually Said to Each Other at Commonwealth Day

Afterwards, according to a source, Meghan hopped on a flight to Canada, where she, Prince Harry, and their son briefly lived before settling in Los Angeles. Reflecting the past couple of years of her life, Meghan reportedly told a friend in March: “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”

But at the same time, Queen Elizabeth has reportedly told them that they can return to their roles whenever they want, should they choose to.

“It’s been made very clear they can come back whenever they want, when they’re ready,” a source who had a part in the negotiations said.

A representative for the couple told The BBC they were not interviewed for the book. “This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting,” said the representative.

The book is slated to release on Aug. 11.