William's fury at Meghan and Harry

  •  The Duke of Cambridge has been 'shocked and saddened' at his brother's behaviour towards the monarch the sources told a local NewsPaper.
  •  They said William believed the Sussexes statement was 'petulant and insulting to the Queen'.
  • The Queen 'blindsided' by the Sussexes' interview with the US talk show host, which has already been filmed
  • It also emerged that Oprah was with the couple immediately before they responded to monarch's statement
  • The host took her £50m Gulfstream jet to Santa Barbara, where she owns a home a short drive from the pair
  • Prince Harry did not inform the Queen about the 'tell-all' interview with Oprah Winfrey 
  • Sources question whether he instigated the discussions with the Queen over the Sussexes' 'divorce deal' in order for it to be settled before the interview, which was recorded last Tuesday.  
  • Her Majesty was 'blindsided' last week when it emerged that the Duchess of Sussex and her husband had agreed to talk to the American chat show host 
  • She learned of it only when US TV network CBS hurriedly issued a statement on Monday after a producer working for Ms Winfrey mistakenly alerted ITV to the project.

Prince William was left furious and saddened by Meghan and Harry's parting shot at the Queen and believes the couples' final statement was 'insulting, disrespectful and petulant', it was claimed last night.

The Duke of Cambridge has been 'shocked and saddened' at his brother's behaviour towards the monarch the sources told the Sunday Times - after Harry and Meghan were stripped of their royal patronages and Her Majesty suggested a 'life of public service' is not compatible with the couple's lucrative new career in America.

Courtiers and other members of the family were equally upset by the tone of the pair's response - released just minutes after the Queen's announcement - in which they argued 'service is universal'.

But the row has now placed even further strain on the relationship between the brothers, with some in the Palace claiming it is the most serious royal rift in decades.

As Prince Charles yesterday made a 200-mile round trip to be by poorly Prince Philip's hospital bedside, it was also claimed that billionaire chat show host Oprah Winfrey spent two days with the Sussexes last week filming their prime-time interview on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

She flew into California on her £50million private jet and was with the couple hours before they released their statement on Friday. Sources claimed to The Sun that the chat show host's 'intimate' access gave her a 'real insight' into the rift with the Royal family and they believe her interview to be broadcast on 7 March will be 'pure gold'

William, 38, has struggled to accept the concept of Megxit and now feels there is added pressure on him with Harry turning his back on the UK.

The Times sources said William believed the Sussexes statement was 'petulant and insulting to the Queen' and he was left 'really sad and genuinely shocked' and  is 'very upset by what has happened'.

While other Royal sources said: 'Don't disrespect your granny, Harry' and 'You don't answer the Queen back — it's just not done.'

In other developments:

A joint statement on the Megxit outcome from the Duke and Duchess and the Queen was initially planned, but abandoned when the sides could not agree on wording:

Palace aides were furious at the 'downright rude' response to the Queen from the couple which they believe made a 'mockery of the Queen's 70 years of service';

Harry is understood to have called the Queen last week to ask about the health of Prince Philip.

UK TV  channel discovered that the Duke and Duchess were to give an interview with Ms Winfrey when a member of the chat show host's team requested access to news presenter Tom Bradby's 2019 interview with Meghan in which she expressed unhappiness at her treatment by the British media.

When the tv channel approached a spokesman for Harry and Meghan for comment, the decision was made to release a statement revealing the interview.

A source said: 'They had kept the interview totally secret. The Queen was not told, the Palace was not told.

'It seems clear from the sequence of events that they wanted and needed to know the final outcome [of the Queen's decision] before they taped Oprah.'

The couple recorded their tell-all sit down with the American chat show host on Wednesday and Thursday  this week - just hours before the couple issued their parting shot.

It has also emerged that Oprah had been with the Sussexes immediately before their riposte was released, having taken her £50 milllion Gulfstream jet to Santa Barbara - where she owns a second home a short drive from the pair.

In stark contrast to that glamorous meeting, Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, remains in hospital, and was visited by a teary-eyed Prince Charles yesterday, with the 99-year-old expected to continue to be monitored and encouraged to rest into next week.

The interview with Oprah is due to be aired on Sunday March 7, and a person close to the Sussexes said last night that Meghan believes the prime-time broadcast gives her the 'loudest way she'll get her voice back'. 

Explaining the Queen's position on what constitutes public service, an informed insider last night said: 'People need to be able to look you in the eye and know that you are here for them, not filming a Netflix documentary. 

A source told the Sun: 'The pair are clearly very close to Oprah and the fact she's been with them at such an intense time has given her a unique insight into the rift with the royals.

'The drama of last week means that Oprah's tell-all show will be pure gold. It's time to hide behind the sofa for the other royals.'

The chat show legend was a guest at the couple's wedding in 2018, been a firm supporter of their decision to leave Britain and shared weekly emails with the Prince over proposals for a mental health documentary series, reports suggest. 

The Royals are braced for the couple to hit back at the Palace in the interview that was filmed days before The Queen removed Harry and Meghan's royal patronages.

That sparked a barbed response from the Sussexes stating 'service is universal', which Royal sources called 'horribly disrespectful' adding: 'You can't line your pockets while undertaking official duties'.

Speaking about the Oprah interview which was filmed in California, the source close the couple told the Times: 'Having an institutional voice within the royal family wasn't enough [for Meghan]. This interview will be the loudest way she'll get her voice back.

Being a Royal is all about public service, not serving yourself. If public service is not your primary purpose, and making money is, then it's impossible to represent the Queen.' 

'When they first started dating Meghan felt she had lost her voice. She had had a platform as a moderately successful actress, and when she was told to stop using her social media and be careful what she said, I could tell that loss of voice and independence pained her.'

The interview bombshell comes as Prince Philip, 99, continues to be treated in hospital.

An emotional Prince of Wales arrived at King Edward VII's hospital in London to visit his father on Saturday, who has been treated by doctors since Tuesday. He is expected to remain in hospital until next week.

It comes after it was revealed that a 'battle royale' over their royal titles raged behind the scenes, with the Queen telling the couple their commercial careers were completely incompatible with the impartiality required of those in public service.

According to one official, she made it 'abundantly clear' to her grandson that when it comes to being a working royal you are either in, or you are out, telling him: 'You work for the monarchy, the monarchy doesn't work for you.'

With negotiations already tense, the revelation of the Oprah interview sent matters into free fall and was deemed to be the final straw.

'The drama of last week means that Oprah's tell-all show will be pure gold. It's time to hide behind the sofa for the other royals.' 

Officials were angered that Harry and Meghan had kept this secret from the Palace, hoping to announce their interview bombshell once the 'divorce deal' was done.

The interview promises to deliver the most explosive revelations about the royals since Princess Diana lifted the lid in 1995, with the pair set to reveal exactly why they decided to turn their backs on the family and the UK more widely.

TV companies are already locked in an international bidding war for the rights to the programme, which will see Meghan talk about marriage and motherhood, having recently announced her second pregnancy, as well as her handling of life under the most intense of spotlights.

She is highlighted as the star of the show, with CBS, the American network broadcasting the special in the States, billing Harry as something of a support act.

It will be 'time to hide behind the sofa at the palace,' a royal source said.

Last year, The Duke of York was forced to step back from public life following his car-crash Newsnight interview in 2019 about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, while Diana, Harry's mother, told friends she 'deeply regretted' her appearance on Panorama, in which she admitted adultery and spoke frankly of her relationship with Charles.

'Oprah is skilled at getting people to talk about their feelings and bound to take them down a path they'll almost certainly regret,' the source added.

'There will be an element of reliving Megxit and airing their grievances. No one benefits from that, but Oprah will get it out of them whether they like it or not.'  

A YouGov poll found nearly half of Britons think the interview is inappropriate. A further 29 per cent were in favour, while 25 per cent said they didn't know.

It comes after Buckingham Palace announced in a dramatic statement yesterday that they had been stripped of their remaining roles following their move to California .

Pointedly, it said they could not continue with 'the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service'. 

Harry loses his three military titles – Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving. 

His patronages of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union, plus Meghan's of the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities have both been returned. 

The Duke and Duchess have also stepped down as president and vice-president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

Representatives for the Sussexes did not respond to a request for comment yesterday

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