The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt they had to step back from their official roles because of 'bad blood' in the Royal Family, it was claimed yesterday.
A friend of the couple said their decision to stand down as senior royals became 'inevitable' as they felt increasingly ostracised.
The source spoke to US magazine People, which has previously run a story defending Meghan which it said came from five of her close friends.
A friend of the couple said their decision to stand down as senior royals became 'inevitable' as they felt increasingly ostracised. Pictured: The Camrbidges and Sussexes in Sandringham on Christmas 2018
'This is not how they wanted to handle this but Meghan and Harry's hand was forced,' the magazine quoted a friend as saying yesterday.
'There is so much bad blood in that family – it's toxic.'
The source added: 'If relationships had been better, things would have been different.'
The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry was offended by his elder brother Prince William warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan.
They say the duchess was also hurt by 'negative press' and what she considered was her 'outsider status as a bi-racial American'.
The source added: 'Meghan and Harry didn't feel they got enough comfort or solace from them [the royals].'
It came as palace aides were locked in meetings yesterday thrashing out the fine detail of Harry and Meghan's 'exit package' from the Royal Family.
Members of the three main royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – plus the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's private office, are attempting to come up with a proposition that satisfies the couple by the end of the week if possible.
The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry (centre right) was offended by his elder brother Prince William (centr left with wife Kate) warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan (right)
Following Monday's historic Sandringham summit the Queen, who has been deeply hurt by recent events, issued a statement capitulating to her grandson's demands to allow him and Meghan to step down as senior working royals.
She made clear that she, Prince Charles and William would have preferred them to stay.
But given the couple's strength of feeling about being allowed to carve out a 'financially