Prince Harry once suggested bringing in a mediator in hopes of resolving his rift with the royal family – but the offer caused his stepmother Camilla to "splutter into her tea."
The claim was made by Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent and author Katie Nicholl in her new bombshell book titled "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown." While the book is expected to drop on Oct. 4, Vanity Fair published an excerpt on Wednesday.
Nicholl alleged that the Duke of Sussex attempted to patch things up when he and his wife, Meghan Markle, made a stop in Britain on their way to The Hague for The Invictus Games in April of this year.
"Charles insisted on meeting Harry and Meghan before their audience with the queen," Nicholl wrote. "According to one insider, he wanted to make sure Harry wouldn’t be able to sweet-talk her the way [Prince] Andrew had and get her to agree to anything without Charles’s say-so."
However, Nicholl described the Sussexes’ meeting with Charles and Camilla as "awkward."
"The Sussexes were late, and Charles had just 15 minutes with his son and daughter-in-law before he had to leave for the Royal Maundy Service at Windsor Castle, where he was standing in for the queen for the very first time," Nicholl wrote. "While father and son are said to have greeted each other warmly, there were moments of tension."
An unnamed family friend was quoted as saying, "Harry went in with hugs and the best of intentions and said he wanted to clear the air. He actually suggested that they use a mediator to try and sort things out, which had Charles somewhat bemused and Camilla spluttering into her tea. She told Harry it was ridiculous and that they were a family and would sort it out between themselves."
At the time, Prince William and Kate Middleton were said to be skiing with their children. Harry’s older brother "pointedly did not change his holiday plans."
Nicholl pointed out that "there were raised eyebrows at the palace" after Harry spoke of his meeting with the queen on the "Today" show. During his appearance, the 38-year-old said he wanted to ensure that his grandmother was "protected" and had "the right people around her."
"It wasn’t clear whether Harry was referring to his father and William or the aides who were closest to the queen — such as her private secretary, Sir Edward Young, her personal adviser and in-house dress designer, Angela Kelly, and trusted courtier Paul Whybrew," Nicholl wrote. "It seemed Harry’s drive to win back some of the trust that had been shattered post-Oprah was dashed. There was also still the matter of what Harry plans to disclose in his forthcoming memoir."
"For Charles and William, the situation with the Sussexes hasn’t just been hurtful and upsetting on a personal level," she claimed. "There have been real repercussions, particularly for William, whose young family has been thrust into the spotlight prematurely. He always expected Harry would be his wingman; there was a long-term plan in place for the brothers to work together and support one another."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former "Suits" star, 41. The couple’s decision was dubbed "Megxit" by the press.
"After Harry announced their departure, William summoned aides to address the future, in what has been referred to by some in William’s circle as the ‘Anmer Summit,’" Nicholl claimed. "But William and Kate also felt a sense of relief that ‘the drama was gone’ when Harry and Meghan left, as a source told me. To this day, William still cannot forgive his brother."
In the wake of quitting royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple described painful comments about how dark their son’s skin might be before his birth. The duchess also talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen, who has worked with Charles for about a decade, recently claimed to Fox News Digital that Harry’s relationship with William continues to be strained.
The queen passed away on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96. The Sussexes were on a planned trip to Europe for a series of charity events when the monarch died. The couple stayed in the U.K. through Monday for Elizabeth’s state funeral before her private burial. They participated in several outings honoring the late monarch, leading up to the funeral proceedings. At one point, William invited his brother and sister-in-law to join him and his wife to greet well-wishers.
In his first televised address to the nation as king, Charles said: "I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas," which sparked hope of a reconciliation.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Sussexes had returned to California, where they reside with their two children.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment concerning Nicholl's book. However, a spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital that the palace doesn’t generally comment "on such books."