MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have "lobbed a huge bomb" into the Royal Family during their first year of Megxit, a royal author has claimed.
Penny Junor said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell allegations during their Oprah interview hit "the heart of the institution," one year after they quit royal life.
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Meghan and Harry stepped down from royal duties and stopped using their HRH styles on March 31 last year.
Ms Junor, author of Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son, Husband, said: "When Harry and Meghan left a year ago people were surprised and disappointed because they were a great pair.
"Harry was a hugely popular royal and Meghan was a great asset to the family.
"A year on, I think a lot of people are really angry and think that they have betrayed their family and lobbed a huge bomb into the heart of the institution and sort of taken a swipe at the UK as well."
The Sussexes' explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey hurled the Royal Family into one of its worst crises for generations earlier this month.
Meghan said an unnamed royal – not the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns with Harry about how dark their son Archie's skin tone might be before he was born.
The duchess also told how she "didn’t want to be alive anymore" and had suicidal thoughts during her time as a royal – but was not supported by the institution when she begged for help.
Harry said he felt "let down" by his father the Prince of Wales, cut off financially by his family in the months before Megxit, and shared his shock at losing his taxpayer-funded security.
The interview was aired while 99-year-old Prince Philip was in hospital recovering from heart surgery.
And Ms Junor described the crisis as worse than the abdication of Edward VIII.
"The circumstances are very different. Edward VIII was pushed out, whereas Harry and Meghan chose to leave, but I think this is more damaging," she said.
"It looked as if Edward's abdication was going to damage the monarchy, but in fact, it didn't because his brother was ready to step into his shoes, and George VI did a really good job and restored the reputation of the monarchy."
She added of the Oprah interview: "These are really terrible accusations that that will stick."
Others came out in support of the Sussexes following the interview.
Bernice King, the youngest child of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King, tweeted at the time: "Royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism."
Tennis star and Meghan's friend Serena Williams also backed the duchess, tweeting: "Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced.
"I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of colour to minimise us, to break us down and demonise us."
In the days that followed the interview, US broadcaster Gayle King – a friend of Meghan's – revealed that initial talks between Harry and Charles and the Duke of Cambridge were "not productive".
'BETRAYAL OF TRUST'
Ms Junor suggested that King's disclosure would have an indelible impact on Harry's relationship with his family.
"The fact that the gist of that conversation was broadcast is a terrible betrayal of trust," Ms Junor said.
"I don't know how the whole problem will be resolved because Harry has demonstrated that he's not trustworthy, and that if the royal family make any approach to him, if he doesn't like what they say, the chances are it's going to be on global television."
The Sussexes, who are expecting a baby girl in the summer after a miscarriage last year, have embraced their new life in California, away from the monarchy.
They have secured lucrative multimillion-pound deals with both Netflix and Spotify, established their philanthropic Archewell foundation and moved into an £11 million mansion in Montecito.
Meanwhile, Harry could earn millions in his new role as a chief impact officer for BetterUp Inc, which sells companies employee coaching and mental health help.
Following Meghan and Harry's Oprah chat, the Queen issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately as a family, but that "some recollections may vary".
Buckingham Palace is also considering appointing a diversity tsar to help assess and improve representation across the royal household.
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