Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s withdrawal from royal duties, and the resulting friction between the media and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has been largely blamed on the former Suits actress’s failure to understand the rules of royal life.

But, says Gus Carter, comment editor of the UK’s longest-established weekly magazine The Spectator, it’s really Harry that’s to blame.

Examining the Royal Family’s furious reaction to Amol Rajan’s two-part documentary on the Megxit affair, he says that The Firm depends on the media to connect it to royal fans.

And while Prince William has always played by the established rules of the media game, Harry refused. “This, more than anything,” he says, “explains the Sussexes' departure from Britain.”

While Meghan felt had enough media experience to cope with the kind of attention she would receive as Duchess of Sussex, Harry refused.

Instead, Carter writes in The Spectator this week, the young prince declared a form of war

Certainly there were initial teething troubles when the TV star tried to integrate into the royal family, Carter writes.

He notes the problems with Meghan’s dad and her sister’s eagerness to reveal family secrets to the press, as well as so-called “ tiara-gate”, where Meghan was reportedly refused permission to use part of the vast royal jewellery collection.

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But, he says, “it’s clear that Harry is the one who disrupted that seemingly ancient dance between journalists and family.”

Harry’s reluctance to expose his wife to the kind of public attention that contributed to the death of his mother, Princess Diana, he says, goes some way to explaining his refusal to take part in the “game” that royals and the media have played for generations.

Harry “knows what’s expected of a royal,” Carter says, and yet he “chose to ignore those unspoken rules of engagement.”

While Meghan, as an outsider, can be forgiven for not immediately grasping what’s required, he adds, Harry has known what was required all his life.

“To be born into the firm,” Carter stresses, “means a different level of understanding”.

The deal between the Royal Family and the media may be unspoken, Carter says, but it’s necessary. “Break it, and you break the monarchy,” he warns.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been contacted for comment.

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