Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have dropped a series of sensational bombshells over the past few years through their shocking interviews, podcast conversations and an “unauthorised” biography they were later discovered to have contributed to.
But while the vitriolic attack they’ve launched on the royals shows no sign of ending as fans await Harry’s much-anticipated new memoir – due for release this Autumn – a new book by former BBC journalist and Sunday Times best-selling author, Tom Bower, has threatened to jeopardise their status as California’s new golden couple.
The author of Revenge: Meghan, Harry And The War Between The Windsors details several stories of betrayal, manipulation and heartbreak, through interviews with the couple’s friends, family members and former colleagues – some of whom claim to have been “used” and “ghosted” by the Duchess of Sussex and left “terrified” to speak out against her.
Speaking to Closer, Tom says he looked into the story Meghan had spun about herself. And he felt the only way to understand it was to dig into the past. He formed a view that Meghan really does seek to damage the British monarchy.
During the couple’s May 2020 interview with America’s talk-show powerhouse, Oprah Winfrey, Meghan, 40 – who has already been married once before to producer Trevor Engelson, 45 – claimed that when she first went on a date with Harry, 37, in 2016, she “didn’t know a lot” about the British royal family.
But Tom says that after speaking with a former colleague who had been with Meghan shortly before her first date with Harry at London’s exclusive Dean Street Townhouse, he uncovered how the former Suits actress had fooled Harry as she had “extensively” looked into his passions and interests – and knew he was exactly the man she wanted.
Tom feels her marriage to Trevor was always a “stepping stone”. He says, “She dated chef Corey Vitiello for two years but she needed someone far more powerful and famous, so that led to Harry. She was on a man-hunt and she got her man.
“She had researched Harry very carefully and knew what motivated him. His unhappiness about Diana, his love for Africa and the animals, and that he was a very unhappy man. She’s very clever.”
Since stepping down as a senior royal and relocating to the family’s £11 million mansion in the US, Meghan has taken shots at the royals – claiming they ignored her mental health battle, refused to intervene with negative press, and accused a still-unnamed “senior royal” of racism over comments made about her and Harry’s son Archie, now three (they also share one-year-old daughter Lilibet, who is named after the Queen).
But Tom disagrees, saying, “The royal family tried very hard to welcome her. I think it was quite clear from her conduct before the wedding and all of the celebrities she invited, that she was using the royal family to promote herself.”
There were also rumours of a falling out between her and sister-in-law Kate, 40, over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress, and Meghan has claimed Kate had made her cry. However, Tom’s book also reveals how it was Kate who “burst into tears” over her daughter’s dress, which Meghan allegedly refused to alter despite Kate feeling the hemline was too high for a three-year-old, and asking the bride-to-be if Charlotte could wear tights as per royal protocol.
The book also claims that Meghan “compared Charlotte” to Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney’s daughter which upset Kate too.
While Harry and Meghan’s popularity has plummeted since their departure, Kate and Prince William have gone from strength to strength. The Cambridge family proved a huge success at the Queen’s Jubilee last month, with a recent government poll showing Kate and William as the second and third most popular royals behind the queen, while Harry came in 13th place and Meghan in 14th – beaten to the bottom only by Prince Andrew.
And Tom says that for Kate and William, while their popularity has improved, the rift has hurt them deeply.
“I think they’ve been outrageously wounded by Meghan’s assault and Harry’s behaviour. I feel very sorry for them,” he adds. “Now they are having to repair the damage the Sussexes have caused. I’m delighted they’re going to America [to host the 2022 Earthshot Prize in Boston] to show them who the real royals are. They’re taking the battle to them.”
Another heartbroken family member, Tom says, is Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle – who famously fell out with Meghan after posing for paparazzi pictures ahead of her 2018 wedding.
He said, “I spent two days with Thomas Markle in Mexico and he’s a very good man, a decent man and a broken man. He loves his daughter. He said, ‘Whatever she’s done, I still love her because she’s my daughter.’”
And while he hopes his book will “diffuse” any future bombshells Meghan and Harry plan to drop on the royals, Tom says the fate of the royal rift rests on whether or not Harry releases his memoir, which he promised in a £16.7 million deal with publisher Penguin. Harry and Meghan also signed multi-million pound deals with streaming giants Netflix and Spotify in 2020.
He says, “Their overheads are vast and they have nothing to deliver to Netflix. Meghan made a terrible mistake dumping on the royal family because they were her calling card.
“Their rift can be mended if they don’t cause any more damage, but they earn their money causing damage, so it’s a catch-22.”
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