King Charles was only given 20 minutes notice before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a big announcement – and royal authors say it completely overshadowed his work at the time

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stood behind King Charles on balcony of Buckingham Palace

King Charles was left feeling ‘crushed’ following an announcement from his son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a royal book claims.

Harry and Meghan first met in July 2016 before going public with their relationship in November. At the time, the monarch, who was then the Prince of Wales, was preparing to meet the King of Bahrain during a delicate tour in the Persian Gulf sovereign state.

According to Finding Freedom authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who are thought to be close with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, his team had spent months organising the tour, hoping it would be “covered significantly” by the media.

But Charles was reportedly “crushed” when Harry and Meghan confirmed their relationship publicly while also launching an attack on the media, as he thought the announcement would dominate the news cycle, overshadowing his tour.

The authors claimed Harry gave his father just 20 minutes’ notice before releasing a statement that confirmed his relationship with Meghan.

The book reads: “It was a critical moment that had been in the works for months. A statement from Kensington Palace condemning the Press and, in the same breath, confirming Harry’s new girlfriend would all but eliminate coverage of Prince Charles’s tour of the Gulf.”

Royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim: “The team at Clarence House, which had spent months putting together Prince Charles’ tour in the hopes that it would be covered significantly, was crushed.”

The book also says Harry was challenging anyone who “questioned his new relationship”, with the authors writing that the Duke of Sussex would wonder if people were judging them because of race or snobbery.

Harry had allegedly cut ties with a friend for “gossiping about Meghan” and was “poised for an outright war” with the media.

However, the book insists Charles “understood that the situation with Meghan had reached a tipping point” despite being “disappointed” by the timing of his son’s statement.

Relations between the King and his second son have fractured over the years following Harry’s decision to leave the Royal Family and his subsequent attacks on the monarchy.

He will be travelling to London in a matter of days to attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, attending a service of thanksgiving at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, May 8, where he is expected to provide a reading.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will see his father. The last time they saw each other was when Harry dashed back to the UK in February in the hours after the King’s cancer diagnosis was made public. But the pair spent just 45 minutes together on a whirlwind trip that saw Harry spend only 24 hours in his home country.