Prince Charles and William 'tried to help Harry and Meghan step back from royal life', author claims

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
An author claims William and Charles wanted to find a way forward for Harry and Meghan. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles and Prince William wanted to find a way to help Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to a royal author.

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace, which explores the Duke of York’s friendship with the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the subsequent fallout.

The book claims that those inside the palace used the disastrous interview which Andrew, 60, gave to BBC Newsnight about his friendship, as a chance to also move Prince Harry and Meghan out of the royal picture.

According to the MailOnline, the book claims the interview, in November 2019, was seen as a good time for a leak about the Duke and Duchess’s hopes of stepping back from their senior royal roles.

Cawthorne told Yahoo UK: “Charles and William genuinely wanted to find a way forward for what the Sussexes were looking for and to support them in their discussions with the palace.”

He previously told the MailOnline that the Charles and William factions saw the interview as the “starting shot” to pruning the “unwieldy monarchy”.

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new job: Couple sign up as speakers for star-studded NYC agency

Andrew has stepped back from his royal duties. (Getty Images)

He says the first rumours of the Sussexes hoping to step back circulated the same day as the Andrew interview.

Cawthorne also says the plans for the couple had been months in the planning, but in secret.

However, whether it was Charles, 71, or William, 38, who were directly involved in using the interview to organise a leak is not clear.

Cawthorne told Yahoo UK: “The idea that the BBC interview might not be a good idea existed well before it took place. Jason Stein, Prince Andrew’s communications secretary, felt so strongly that he resigned over it when the palace cleared the interview two weeks before.

“But once the interview on, the palace couldn’t just hope for the best and courtiers had to prepare for the eventuality of what to do if it failed.

“Charles and William would not have had any hand in these strategies.”

Read more: This year's must-read royal biographies, from Harry and Meghan's 'real story' to feuding princes

Harry and Meghan volunteering with Homeboy Industries in LA. (Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are living in Los Angeles after stepping back from their senior roles at the end of March.

It was revealed this week that they have signed up as speakers with an agency that includes names like Serena Williams, and Barack and Michelle Obama.

Meanwhile Andrew is continuing to feel the effects of his friendship with Epstein and is embroiled in a transatlantic legal row.

One of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, has accused the Duke of York of having sex with her three times when she was trafficked by the American.

Andrew denies the claims.

He says he has made several offers to US authorities to speak about Epstein, but they say this is not true.

He is also looks unlikely to ever be able to return to royal duties, after reports earlier this month that the Queen is resigned to the decision for him to step back being permanent.