Prince William "struggled to understand the betrayal" of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from life as senior royals because they allegedly did so before consulting the Queen.

The couple announced in January this year that they would step back from senior positions in the Royal Family following talks at Sandringham between Harry, Prince Charles, Prince William and the Queen.

Meghan and Harry have since relocated with their son Archie Harrison to California, having spent the intervening period living in Canada.

But now a new book claims that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their plans to step back from life as senior royals without consulting the Queen – a move which reportedly hurt Harry's brother Prince William.

Battle of Brothers, a new book about the royal family written by royal expert and bestselling author Robert Lacey, claims to offer an unparalleled insider account of tumult and secrecy revealing the untold details of Prince William and Harry’s early closeness then estrangement.

It charts the relationship between Harry with his brother William, including the younger sibling's decision to step away from life as a senior royal.

In it, details of Megxit are revealed – and it says Prince William was left feeling so hurt by the move that he is said to have refused to eat lunch with the other members of the royal family who were preset at the "Sandringham Summit", and only wanted to attend the meeting.

And now, talking about the book's claims, a source told The Sun of the Megxit rift: “The monarchy is an institution based on hierarchy and respect — something drummed into those boys growing up.

“What Harry did drove a horse and cart through royal protocol — putting their plans on Instagram and their website first.

“There was a moment in January when it could have been sorted out amicably. But this was a betrayal of his grandmother that William has struggled to understand, and their relationship remains strained.

“William loves his brother deeply. This is why it is so hurtful to him.”

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