The Queen was left "hurt and disappointed" by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as senior royals, but believes royal service "could never be a part-time calling", an author has claimed.
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced on January 8 last year that they would step back from senior positions within the Firm following talks at Sandringham with Prince Charles, Prince William, and the Queen.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have since relocated with their son, Archie, to California, where they have since been joined by newborn daughter Lilibet.
Ahead of the publication of a new book about the monarch, titled The Queen, next month, an excerpt about the move has been published by Us Weekly.
The book's author Matthew Dennison claims the Queen's response to Harry and Meghan's wishes was one of "hurt and disappointment", but that she soon "reasserted control" over the situation.
He writes: "Elizabeth’s official statement expressed loving finality: ‘It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.’
"It was an attempt to reassert control in the interests of damage limitation, and a decisive but dark beginning to a new decade.
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"Elizabeth had never been a sentimental woman; she had acted in the only way she understood."
The book adds: "As throughout a life in which she had consistently honoured her father’s belief that ‘the highest of distinctions is the service of others’, she had placed the monarchy first, safeguarding its mission of service and duty that could never, she was certain, be a part-time calling."
Since moving to the US, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a number of outspoken claims against the royal family.
Meghan and Harry bring 'baggage' to Hollywood lifestyle, claims expert
They made a series of bombshell claims about the royal family during their chat with US TV legend Oprah Winfrey, including allegations that Kate Middleton made her new sister-in-law Meghan cry in a row over bridesmaid dresses, as well as revelations that the Duchess of Sussex had suicidal thoughts and that there were concerns within the Palace about "how dark" baby Archie's skin tone would be.
The Duke of Sussex has regularly spoken out about the struggles he faced within the family and how much happier he is now after moving to the US and stepping back as a senior royal.
Beatrice's family 'rift' with Meghan as they celebrate birthdays days apart
One of his appearances in which he revealed the challenges he faced growing up within the monarchy came on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, where he claimed that as a parent he wants to "break the cycle" of "genetic pain" that comes with being a royal.
He also made a number of revelations in his new mental health Apple TV+ series The Me You Can't See in which he spoke about his self described "nightmare time" between the ages of 28 until 32 and how his father, Prince Charles, had "left him to suffer".
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