Meghan Markle and Prince Harry received an emotional email about their exit days before it was confirmed, a royal expert has said.
Queen Elizabeth II is said to have sent the pair a message on her thoughts on their decision to step down last year, making it clear she believed only full dedication was possible as a member of the royal frontline.
Emily Andrews, royal commentator, said the message was sent over 10 days ago, before the Queen had heard about Harry and Meghan's Oprah Winfrey's interview.
The content of the reported letter has not been disclosed by Buckingham Palace, but Ms Andrews claims it mirrored her thoughts on public service – which was later included in the Queen's official statement.
The Mail on Sunday's royal editor took to Twitter: "The Queen wrote Harry a personal letter 10 days (or so) ago to conclude matters.
"At that point Her Majesty the Queen didn’t know about Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah.
"It had been kept a secret, so it was irrelevant to her ‘decision’, entirely consistent with last year’s Sandringham Summit.
"Yes Harry, in particular, wanted to keep his titles but there’s no royal ‘half-in, half-out’."
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She also claimed the Queen's letter was sent after Harry "pushed to get things sorted" in January, writes the Express.
Ms Andrews added: "The Queen’s decision was NOT influenced [by the interview] but she didn’t know and wasn’t very happy.
"Her letter was sent by email, mid-week, while Harry and Meghan were recording with Oprah at their Californian home.
"In it contained that phrase on public service. The Queen's view is clear."
Prince Philip to remain in hospital as he fights infection, Buckingham Palace says
Buckingham Palace issued a statement on Friday, where the monarch announced her decision to strip Meghan and Harry of their royal patronages.
The statement read: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.
"The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
"While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family."
Prince Harry and Meghan responded to the Queen's public announcement with their own statement, reading: "As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
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