Royal experts say everyone 'from the Queen down are very worried' about the direction 'divisive' Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are taking as they give their verdicts on extraordinary ITV interviews
- Queen and senior royals are 'very worried' about Meghan and Harry's media war
- Experts say the palace are concerned and 'horrified' by content of interviews
- Meghan Markle told of difficulties at being in the spotlight in ITV documentary
- The couple spoke to ITN News At Ten host Tom Bradby on their tour of Africa
The Queen and senior royals are 'very worried' about the direction 'divisive' Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are heading after they launched their extraordinary attack on the British media, royal experts claim.
Royal commentator Phil Dampier, who wrote 'Royally Suited' about Harry and Meghan's romance, said senior royals 'from the Queen down' are concerned and branded their comments in their new ITV documentary 'very serious'.
Jonny Dymond, the BBC's royal correspondent, said: 'I think they (the royal family) will be pretty horrified actually.'
While royal commentator Penny Junor described the couple's actions as a 'big mistake'.
It comes after the Sussexes told of their struggles with being in the spotlight and 'unfair' scrutiny in an explosive documentary called 'Meghan and Harry: An African Journey' that aired last night.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told of their struggles with being in the spotlight and the 'unfair' scrutiny they now face in interviews shown on an ITV documentary last nigh
In Meghan's first on-screen interview since becoming a mother the former Suits actress insisted that she had 'no idea' about the level of attention she would face
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Phil Dampier, who has written about the royals over three decades, said: 'I hope on their six week holiday they reflect very carefully on what they do next.
'They had turned a corner with the Africa trip but all the good works were overshadowed by this attack on the press. 'They are either being badly advised or ignoring advice.'
The documentary, presented by long-time friend of Prince Harry and ITV anchor Tom Bradby, saw Meghan admit she had 'no idea' she would face such intense scrutiny.
Royal commentator Penny Junor (pictured in 2017) described the couple's actions as a 'big mistake'
In her first on-screen interview since becoming a mother, the former Suits actress appeared to be holding back tears as she talked about being 'vulnerable' during her pregnancy with baby Archie.
But Mr Dampier said: 'I'm frankly astonished that Meghan is surprised by scrutiny from the tabloids and that she claims there aren't any tabloids in the US.
'She has been an actress for many years and must've had all sorts of publicity, good and bad. I can't believe she would be that naive.
'Also, surely Harry, who is so desperate to protect her, would have warned her right from the start what she was letting herself in for. And they both said as much in their engagement interview.
'I can honestly say that most tabloid royal reporters and editors I know wanted Meghan to succeed and saw her as a breath of fresh air.
'They have brought the bad press on themselves by lecturing people about climate change while using private jets themselves, telling the public - who paid for their home renovations - that they couldn't see pictures of Archie's christening, or know the names of his godparents, or even their dog! The British people don't like hypocrisy.'
The programme also sees Bradby quiz Harry about his relationship with his brother.
Appearing to confirm the rumoured 'rift' between the 'Fab Four' - Harry, Meghan, William and Kate, Harry said he and his brother are on 'different paths'.
Mr Dampier commented: 'It was very significant that Harry admitted there were problems with William.
'That proves the tabloids don't just make everything up and there has been a rift.'
Royal commentator Penny Junor described the couple's television appearance as a 'huge mistake', and urged the duke to change his approach.
She said: 'My advice would be to keep his head down, and I'm afraid to say, stop whingeing.
'It's beginning to sound like a bit of a whinge. That's not the Harry that we know and love.
'Yes, Harry's been through a lot, but there's a lot of other people who have been through a hell of a lot as well, and a lot of people who don't have the privileges that he has.'
Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited - a book on Harry and Meghan's romance, who has written about the royals for three deca
Ms Junor acknowledged Harry and Meghan are doing 'good work' with their platform, but he 'has to get a grip on himself'.
She said: 'He does do, and can continue to do, some really good work and make a real difference to people's lives.
'He's got to stop feeling sorry for himself and look at the positives - shut out the criticism, just ignore it as his father has done, and get on with the work, get on with the job.'
She suggested Harry should follow the Queen and the Prince of Wales's leads.
The expert added: 'The royal family has always in the past very successfully pursued this policy of keeping their head down and saying nothing.
'I think that is a dignified way of dealing with problems, but it's not the American way and that's the real problem.'
She continued: 'I think it's fine if you need somebody to speak to. Maybe the Queen and Prince Charles have not internalised it.
'But their counsellor has not been the great British public via a television documentary.
'It's fine to speak to someone in private, a therapist, but don't spill your soul in public. I don't think it works.'
She compared Harry's behaviour to that of his mother's, adding: 'Diana was a great one for baring her soul in public. Harry is doing exactly the same thing.
'Diana also read absolutely everything that was written about her and got profoundly depressed about it.'
The prince is questioned about his relationship with his brother (pictured, with wife Kate) in which he appears to confirm there has been rift
Ms Junor said Harry's father Charles had his own troubles with the press, but took a very different stance.
'When I interviewed Prince Charles in the 1980s and his marriage was in trouble, he said to me that he got so angry when he read the newspapers, because they were all so full of lies and he wanted to correct each and every one,' Junor revealed.
Robert Jobson (pictured in August 2017), royal editor of the Evening Standard, revealed that senior royals have 'gone out of their way' to make the Duchess of Sussex feel welcome
'He realised that you can't do that, so he stopped reading the newspapers and he read The Times and that was it. It's far better just to ignore it and just let everything go.'
The royal writer said the Queen had kept her personal feelings and emotions to herself throughout her reign.
'I'm sure there are times when she has found life difficult, but we don't know that and I think she's always conducted herself with huge dignity, and the British public appreciate that,' she said.
'Of course we're talking about different generations, but I think she'd probably be a little bit dismayed by what is going on at the moment. I think it was a huge mistake to make this documentary in this vein.'
Earlier the BBC's royal correspondent Jonny Dymond listed the reasons the documentary comments were a 'mistake'.
He said: 'One is because whoever wins these legal actions with the newspapers, are the newspapers actually going to change what they do? Because the newspapers don't think they have done anything wrong.
'They think this is about reporting about what is going on. Secondly, the monarchy is supposed to be a unifying force in this country, and yet a very significant chunk of it, Harry and Meghan, are being divisive.
'It runs against what the monarchy is doing in these already divisive times.'
Myers said Meghan was 'very, very vulnerable' and revealed that the family are considering permanently moving away following their break from the spotlight
Mr Dymond added: 'The relationship with his brother, Prince William, has clearly changed. Not surprisingly perhaps, he got married. But is clearly changed for the worse.
'There is clearly some fairly rough times in that relationship. Its a very unhappy picture.'
Robert Jobson, royal editor of the Evening Standard, earlier revealed that senior royals have 'gone out of their way' to make the Duchess of Sussex feel welcome.
A Palace figure told the newspaper: 'I know that the Prince of Wales has several times reached out to Meghan.
'They get on and share a love of music too. I know he invited her to a preview of an exhibition at the palace.
'The Queen has been a source of strength too and invited them both to Balmoral where family problems are usually aired.'
Jonny Dymond (pictured), the BBC's royal correspondent, said: 'I think they (the royal family) will be pretty horrified actually.'
Today the Daily Mirror's royal editor Russell Myers appeared on Lorraine to speak about the documentary.
He said the interview could be the 'beginning of the end' of the couple's relationship with Harry's family - because her comments reflect poorly on the other royals.
The royal expert explained that her comments insinuate that the likes of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Prince William and Kate Middleton are unconcerned about the well-being of Meghan, despite them all being aware of the 'struggles she's going through'.
He said: 'Meghan is struggling. The very powerful moment where she says nobody has asked her if she's okay, I think that was very raw and very emotional.
'But I think this is potentially very damaging for the royal family as well.
'Because what does she mean by that? Does she mean that Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate, Camilla, have not asked her how she is?
'They obviously understand the struggles she's going through as well.'
He went on to explain that he's been on engagements with the royal couple where the pair 'don't look like they're having fun', and compared their recent tour of Africa to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's recent tour of Pakistan.
He said: 'At its base they don't look very happy, they look like they're struggling in the public eye.
'When I've been on engagements with them they don't look like they're having fun - a lot of comparisons were made with William and Kate's tour of Pakistan.
'They looked like they were having a good time.
Myers alleged that Meghan's accusation of nobody asking whether she's 'okay' suggested that senior royals, including Prince Charles and Camilla Parka Bowles, were unconcerned with her well-being
'Will they be stepping away? We could be seeing the beginning of the end with their relationship with the royal family.'
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment.
In last night's programme, Meghan told how her friends warned her not to marry Harry because the tabloid focus would 'destroy your life' and Harry said that he felt pressure to 'protect' his family from unwanted media intrusion.
Meghan revealed that 'not many people have asked if I'm OK' and admitted that she was finding her new role as a public figure 'a struggle'.
Their comments came following months of controversy involving Meghan and Harry, who came under fire for their privacy demands over Archie's christening, their use of private jets, and Meghan's Wimbledon appearance when she banned fans from taking photos.
They are suing the Mail on Sunday over its publication of Meghan's estranged father's letters, and have begun legal action against the Sun and Mirror news groups over allegations of phone hacking dating back to the early 2000s.