Palace insiders think Meghan is radicalising Harry and 'stirring the pot'

·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read

Watch: Duke and Duchess of Sussex's secret supermarket meeting

People working in Buckingham Palace appear to continue to blame Meghan Markle for Prince Harry's increasingly outspoken comments that have soured his relationship with other members of the royal family, according to a royal commentator.

Jonny Dymond, BBC royal correspondent said that he had heard Harry was happier in his role as a working royal before he met his now wife Meghan.

His comments came after Harry spoke about wanting to leave his senior royal role during his 20s in a podcast with actor Dax Shepard.

Harry said: "It was a case of 'I don't want to be here, I don't want to do this job, look what it did to my mum – how am I ever going to settle down and have a family when I know that it's going to happen again? I've seen behind the curtain, I know the business model, I know how this works. I don't want to be part of this'."

Dymond told BBC Radio 4: "It's been put to me by people in different quarters that this is largely as a result of Meghan, that he was happier in his role before Meghan.

"But he himself says in this podcast she was part of the process of him understanding there was a different way and a different place for him to be, he's pretty open about that.

"The way some people in the palace see it, she stirs the pot for her own motives and radicalises Harry."

Dymond later said he had no feelings himself on the matter.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.   (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan in South Africa in October 2019, their last royal tour. (Getty Images)

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Harry described life inside the Royal Family as a cross between The Truman Show and being in a zoo, which Dymond said "will not be something that is happily received by Buckingham Palace or any of the palaces".

Dymond's comments may reflect the breakdown in the relationship between Harry and Meghan and the palace.

However, the Duke of Sussex, 36, was discussing wanting to live a more normal life before he met Meghan, and has previously talked about enjoying his time in the army because he was not treated like a prince.

He talked about enjoying being on patrol bases, saying: "It's as normal as it's going to get. I'm one of the guys. I don't get treated any differently." 

He told the Mail On Sunday in 2017: "There was a time I felt I wanted out.

"But then I decided to stay in and work out a role for myself."

Watch: Ben Shephard criticises new parent Harry's attack on his dad Charles

In that same interview, he said Meghan "absolutely did not" advise him on any of his mental health issues.

However speaking to Shepard, the duke suggested it was Meghan who had prompted his decision to have therapy.

In the past he has said his brother, Prince William, encouraged him to seek counselling.

Dymond's revelation about the palace perception of the couple comes after Meghan spoke about being unable to get help for her mental health difficulties when she was pregnant with their son Archie, who turned two earlier this month.

In the explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said she was told she could not have any help when she was suffering suicidal thoughts, recalling being told she was "not a paid member" 

The duchess, 39, told Winfrey: "I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, because they said, ‘My heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution.’ This wasn’t a choice. This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically, ‘I am concerned for my mental welfare.'

"And people were like, ‘Oh yes, yes, it’s disproportionately terrible what we see out there to anyone else,' but nothing was ever done. So we had to find a solution."

Britain's Prince Harry mans a 50 calibre machine gun on the observation post at JTAC Hill, close to FOB Delhi (forward operating base), in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan January 2, 2008. The government is reviewing Prince Harry's presence in Afghanistan, where he has been deployed with the army for 2-1/2 months, following leaks in the international media that he was deployed there, the Defence Ministry said on February 28, 2008.  Photograph taken January 2, 2008.     REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool   (AFGHANISTAN)
Prince Harry manning a 50 calibre machine gun on the observation post during his time in Afghanistan in 2008. He's previously said he enjoyed his time in the army. (Reuters)

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Harry also told Shepard: "I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first."

The palace's human resources team is also conducting an investigation after allegations of bullying were made against the duchess before the interview aired.

According to The Times, concerns the duchess was "able to bully two PAs out of the household" were raised by Jason Knauf, then a communications secretary within Kensington Palace, but were not taken forward.

They re-emerged before the airing of the interview, and the duchess said she was saddened by the attack on her character, denying any wrongdoing.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said staff would be invited to raise any concerns and an investigation would take place. However results of the probe may not be known for some time, as they will be released via the annual Sovereign Grant report.

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