Royal... confusion? Prince Philip is finding it hard to understand why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would step away from their duties at the palace for a "self-centered celebrity"-filled life in North America.
"He can't understand what was so awful about being a member of the royal family," Ingrid Seward, author of Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century, told Us Weekly on Monday, October 26. "They had a beautiful house. They had a huge influence, and Harry was really enjoying helping the military. And Meghan had got the beginnings of a place for herself in the Commonwealth and then they had a beautiful child Archie.
"So, beautiful house, beautiful child, looked after — what was so awful about that?" she questioned. "I don’t think Philip can understand what he calls Harry’s dereliction of duty. All Harry could say was, 'I didn't want to be a prince,'" the author continued to explain. "He just couldn't fathom it and can't fathom it."
While noting the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, was "hands-off" when it came to Harry and Meghan's final decision, Philip couldn't recognize the couple's problem with the royal family to begin with.
The red-headed prince, 36, and Suits alum, 39, first announced they would be stepping away from their senior royal duties in January. They completed their duties in March and fled to California to start life anew, leaving the royal family distressed and at odds with the new Hollywood couple.
While many royal members had an issue with the American actress when she wed Harry in May 2018, "Philip was very welcoming to Meghan because of course, she was a newcomer and a very different newcomer," but at the "time of Meghan and Harry's romance, he wasn't around nearly as much because he'd retired,” Seward dished. "So he didn't see very much of Meghan at all. So he didn’t really have a chance to form a relationship with her."
Philip was even looking forward to attending the lovebirds' nuptials. "He was determined that he was going to go to the wedding because he literally just had a hip operation six weeks before, which is a really good example of him being absolutely determined that whatever happened," the author noted, "he was gonna walk down that aisle at the wedding and take his seat and he was not gonna have a cane and he was not going to have a wheelchair.”
At the start of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new married life, Philip "had very high hopes for Meghan," Seward claimed. "And then I think he would have been very, very disappointed at how it panned out."
Harry and Meghan fled to the U.S. without looking back. They found their forever home in the celeb-filled Montecito community in Santa Barbara, Calif. They hoped to give Archie as normal of a life as possible while they work on rebranding themselves as Hollywood stars.
Since their royal departure — which became known as 'Megxit' — tensions between Harry and older brother Prince William continued to worsen. Although Harry warned the 38-year-old and their father Prince Charles about his desire to leave, William and Charles brushed off the statement.
However, Harry was serious, telling his family: "Look, we've come to the conclusion we quite like Canada. We'd like being on the side of the Atlantic. We think we want to stay here for a bit, but we think we can still say Royal," biographer Robert Lacey, who wrote Battle of Brothers: William & Harry — The Inside Story of a Family, explained.
Prior to Megxit, Queen Elizabeth II wanted "Harry, William, Charles and herself" to "hash things out," but William — who felt "blindsided" and "incredibly hurt" after finding out Harry and Meghan were going through with their departure — declined his grandmother's invitation. "I put my arm around my brother all our lives," the older brother said, according to Lacey's book, "and I can't do it anymore. We're separate entities."