Meghan and Harry blame Palace staff for royal feuds
The sacking of Prince Harry and Meghan's night nurse just two days into caring for their son Archie is set to trigger more hateful headlines for the estranged young royals - a sensational snippet of insider gossip given its first airing in a new tell-all about the couple.
Finding Freedom, a book believed to have been privately endorsed by Harry and Meghan, confirmed the hired help was given their marching orders halfway into the nurse's second shift for reportedly being "unprofessional and irresponsible."
The experience - which was not explained in detail in the book - reportedly made the new parents so jumpy that "neither found themselves comfortable sleeping through the night without going to check on Archie regularly" - choosing instead to let a second nurse go within weeks and looking after the baby by themselves.
While the controversial book is at pains to dispel reports that Meghan was demanding of staff, the briskly mentioned episode raises the question how a well-vetted professional could let the couple down so dramatically.
It's not the only anecdote which sets out the battle between the young couple determined to do things differently, and the protocol and power plays which worked against them by Palace staffers.
The manipulative influence of senior courtiers - who Harry's mother Diana dubbed "the men in grey suits" - began even before Meghan married into the Firm; a culture shock for the Suits star who was told not only what to say (nothing) but what to wear.
In the early days of their long-distance dating, Meghan was chastised by a Kensington Palace aide, who rang her in Toronto to criticise her for wearing a $300 Maya Brenner necklace featuring the initials 'M' and 'H'.
Snapped wearing the love trinket while running errands, Meghan "was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images and new headlines."
Saying little to the staffer, she was apparently distraught when she told a friend afterwards, "I can't win. They make out like I'm to blame for these pictures, that it looks like I'm encouraging them, that me even acknowledging the cameras may not be sending the right message. I don't know what to say."
Similarly, while denying ever reportedly making Kate cry during bridesmaid fittings for Meghan and Harry's 2018 wedding, the book details a clash with the Queen's personal dresser, who Harry accused of ignoring his request for a tiara fitting.
Angela Kelly had accompanied Her Majesty and the couple as they chose Queen Mary's diamond bandeau, but allegedly failed to respond to repeated emails asking to schedule a hair trail.
Frustrated by the stalling, Harry took it on himself to get the plans moving, calling his grandmother and getting the fitting sorted.
The antagonism of staff, who the couple accuse of regularly leaking damaging details, reaches its peak when the couple first raise their intention to step back from royal duties, in an email to the Queen and Prince Charles.
The details of the private message were promptly leaked to the press, and in a meeting to make the arrangements, one royal aide cattily predicts Meghan will launch a line of beauty products. Another is quoted as saying the couple did not communicate their future plans in a "private, dignified way."
Perhaps most shocking is the arm's length relationship between William and Harry and their wives - making a lie of the 'Fab Four' image fostered early on.
While the couple had been dating in secret since June 2016, she did not meet William until early November and even then Kate was not there; instead choosing to stay at Anmer Hall with George and Charlotte.
It was a warm welcome, the book claims, with William opening the black double doors to his home and telling her: "I was looking forward to meeting the girl who has put that silly grin on my brother's face."
Despite the warmth Harry had shown Kate during her first moves into public life, the favour was not returned to his then bride-to-be, who had to wait until January 10 to receive her first brief audience with the future queen.
Instead, Meghan kept close her celebrity posse of friends, and made her own London circle, which she turned to during some of the darkest days of the tabloid coverage.
The avalanche of negative press, as well as Meghan's bi-racial background, was blamed for triggering death threats and online abuse, which described her as the N-word or a "mutt."
So concerned were officials, Meghan was put through security training before her wedding, including a mock kidnapping by SAS soldiers who bundled her into the back of a car.
Kate had done the same after she married William but for Meghan it was seen as critical training as soon as possible, as the couple had received an unusually high number of threats.
It was retreating from that world of daily racial attacks and palace politics that explained their choice to step back as senior royals and go their own way.
The book's launch came on the same day Harry gave an interview to US civil rights campaigner Rashad Robinson, in which he compared addressing racism without first fixing institutional problems to "bringing a buck of water to a forest fire."
He said: 'We have to go to the root of the problem, the source of the problem, and actually fix it there.' 'As we've discussed before, it is going to take every single one of us, this is not down to the black community, it's going to take every single person on the planet right now.'
Originally published as Shock sacking: Meghan and Harry blamed Palace staff for royal feuds