Meghan Markle allegedly “hated being a second-rate princess” before she made her royal exit with Prince Harry.
The claim was made by a Kensington Palace staffer “who remembered Meghan well” in a new book written by Tom Quinn titled “Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family.” It features exclusive testimony from palace staff with historical sources, as well as royal insiders. It aims to examine the traditional upbringing of the British royal family and how it has impacted them over the years.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment concerning Quinn’s book. However, a spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital that the palace does not generally comment “on such books.”
Quinn told Fox News Digital that the former American actress identified with Princess Diana, a member of the royal family who was treated unfairly by the press and then hounded by paparazzi until her tragic death in 1997 at age 36.
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“It’s very easy to see why Meghan would identify with Diana because, in a sense, Diana was also a rebel within the royal family,” Quinn explained. “Their views of the royal family coincide. They’re very similar. Diana hated all that stuffiness. She didn’t like the pheasant shooting that she was dragged along to. And it’s interesting because Diana grew up in that world. She grew up on an enormous estate. The Spencers are one of the most aristocratic families in the U.K. They’ve married into the royal family for over 500-600 years. But I think when Meghan thinks of Diana, she sees a kindred spirit.”
According to Quinn’s book, the palace staffer described the 41-year-old as “a very nice, smiley, super-positive person.” However, as someone who “always felt in control of her own destiny” she found herself in an institution “she couldn’t influence.”
“She was dazzled by the worldwide fame that being a princess would bring, but she was shocked by the palace protocol and by the fact that she was not and never could be first in the pecking order,” the staffer alleged, as quoted in Quinn’s book. “She hated the constraints and the rules; she hated being a second-rate princess – second to Catherine Middleton, I mean. She thought she would be living in Windsor Castle, for example, and just couldn’t believe it when she and Harry were given Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace.”
Markle, a star on the legal drama “Suits,” became the Duchess of Sussex when she married the British prince, 38, in 2018.
Six months after their royal wedding, it was revealed that the couple would set up a home at Frogmore Cottage. A Buckingham Palace statement confirmed that the couple had accepted the gift from Queen Elizabeth II.
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At the time, the Sussexes were living in Nottingham Cottage, or “Nott Cott.” It appeared in the couple’s Netflix documentary that premiered in December. In the six-part docuseries, Markle recalled how the modest two-bedroom residence took Oprah Winfrey by surprise.
“We were living on palace grounds,” said Markle. “Kensington Palace sounds very regal – of course, it does, it says ‘palace’ in the name, but Nottingham Cottage was a small [house].”
The staffer said that Markle was in for a rude awakening when she became a member of the royal family.
“She hated the fact that she had to do what she was told and go where she was told in the endless, and to a large extent pointless royal round,” the source alleged. “I don’t think in the whole of history there was ever a greater divide between what someone expected when they became a member of the royal family and what they discovered it was really like. She was hugely disappointed. She was a global superstar but was being told what she could and could not do, what she could and could not say. She hated it.”
The source noted that Markle “quickly realized that she was treated by the royal establishment and the aristocratic advisers in a slightly condescending way because she was not a blood royal.”
Quinn said that like Markle, Diana “didn’t like all the rules you had to obey.” When the press began targeting Markle, it only confirmed her feelings that “she was very much like Diana.”
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However, he said the two women could not be more different.
“I think what Meghan forgets is that Diana may have occasionally been very cross that a newspaper said things about her that she didn’t like, but she was also absolutely brilliant at getting the newspapers on her side,” he said. “The paparazzi chased her everywhere, but she was also very good at getting [the press] to say wonderful things about her. At times, people used to joke in the U.K. that newspapers talked about Diana as if she was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. And I think Meghan forgets that Diana also used the press. Diana liked the press because they helped her create this global image that she was eventually able to enjoy.”
Still, Quinn could see why Markle identified with her late mother-in-law.
“Diana wanted to go to the cinema, she wanted to do all the fun things, not the old-fashioned things,” he explained. “Diana didn’t like all the rules you had to obey. For example, in Kensington Palace at the time, if one of the members of the family wanted to go to the hairdresser in the morning, they had to check there wasn’t a more senior royal going out roughly at the same time. It was ridiculous. They can’t just leave. They just can’t go for a walk without checking in and making sure you’re not upstaging a more important member of the family. Diana hated all of that.”
The palace staffer alleged that while Middleton dealt with the same media scrutiny as Prince William’s wife, she “used charm and patience to get people on her side rather than trying to hector them into being nice to her.”
“The thing to remember is that there is no limit to Meghan’s ambition, and like most fiercely ambitious people, she never thinks, ‘Have I got this wrong? Am I overreacting?’” the staffer alleged in the book. “But it remains true that she is a lovely person so long as she is never crossed.”
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Quinn, who has covered the British royal family for decades, had some advice for Markle.
“If she wants to be like Diana, she needs to maybe be nicer to the press,” he said. “Fighting with them and continually complaining about them – it doesn’t do any good. Every time Meghan complains, the newspapers turn that into a story. A friend of mine said, ‘If the tabloids in the U.K. won’t leave you alone, if they’re constantly pestering you, there’s no point in shouting at them, throwing pots and pans at them. The best thing to do is to make them a cup of tea, serve it on a tray and take it out to them. Be nice to them because the British tabloids never expect that.’ And that’s what Diana did, metaphorically.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020. They now reside in California with their two children.