Meghan Markle was reportedly overheard by “several members” of staff complaining she was not being paid to attend royal engagements alongside Prince Harry.
A new book – titled In Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown, written by The Times royal correspond Valentine Low – claims the Duchess of Sussex moaned about not being rewarded for meeting Australian fans during the 2018 engagement.
The couple was embarking on an autumn royal tour during October through the Pacific region, which included stops in Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia after being touted as an “inspiration role model” in that same month.
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But the author of the book writes “it was a different story behind the scenes”.
“Although she enjoyed the attention, Meghan failed to understand the point of all those walkabouts, shaking hands with countless strangers,” Mr Low said, according to The Sun.
“According to several members of staff, she was heard to say on at least one occasion, ‘I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this’.”
The spotlight was firmly on Meghan and Prince Harry during their 16-day tour across the four nations after Buckingham Palace confirmed swirling rumors the American actress was in fact pregnant with their first child.
The couple completed a total of 76 engagements, with a visit to Bondi Beach for a youth mental health program, stopped by Taronga Zoo to visit koalas, and tour of regional New South Wales town Dubbo where Meghan baked banana bread for a family.
But despite the smiling faces and warm reception from the adoring Australian fans, Prince Harry claimed it was a defining tour that changed how Meghan was treated.
“They were, they were really welcoming (of Meghan),” Prince Harry said.
“But it really changed after the Australia tour. After our South Pacific tour. That was our first tour. It was also the first time that the family got to see how incredible she is at the job. And that brought back memories.”
Winfrey confirmed the Duke of Sussex was referencing the 1983 tour of Australia where his late-mother Princess Diana stunned crowds and dominated the headlines, while her husband Prince Charles was given less attention.
“So are you saying that there were hints of jealousy?” Winfrey asked.
“I just wish that we would all learn from the past,” Harry responded before going on to declare the Commonwealth and his family has “one of the greatest assets” in Meghan.
Elsewhere in Mr Low’s book, set for release next month, it is claimed Meghan had threatened to dump Prince Harry if he did not go public with their romance.
The Duke of Sussex was determined to protect his girlfriend but the former actress wanted “public validation that this was a serious relationship”.
“A source said, ‘She was saying, ‘If you don’t put out a statement confirming I’m your girlfriend, I’m going to break up with you’,” the author wrote.
Meghan was concerned Buckingham Palace was not going to protect her from “media intrusion” and social media trolls unless it was announced they were dating.
“Harry was in a panic,” one unnamed source said.
Another added: “He was freaking out, saying, ‘She’s going to dump me’.”
The now father-of-two then reached out to Kensington Palace Communications Secretary Jason Knauf for assistance in revealing the news to the world.
Prince Harry and Meghan have since returned to Los Angeles to be with their two children, Archie and Lilibet, following Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.