The couple announced in January this year that they would step back from their positions in the Royal Family following talks at Sandringham between Harry, Prince Charles, Prince William and the Queen.
Meghan and Harry have since relocated with their son Archie to California, having spent the intervening period living in Canada.
And now Royal expert Ingrid Seward, whose most recent book is “Prince Philip Revealed”, has told The New York Post's Page Six that the news of their departure will have come as a "huge shock" to the senior royals.
“I think it was a huge shock and then as very often happens shock then turns to irritation because you think why? What have we all done wrong and what it is that they want and what is it that they haven’t got?” Seward told Page Six. “They’ve got a beautiful house, they’ve got a beautiful child, they were doing what they wanted to do, their voices were being heard and I think they just couldn’t understand and probably still don’t.”
She added the Queen had hoped the couple would become the “new face of royalty” and bring the monarchy into the 21st century.
“And I think they could hardly believe it when Harry announced they were leaving for North America and wanted out of royal life,” Seward said.
Seward added that the Duke of Edinburgh will have been upset over the move as he "saw a little bit of himself in Prince Harry".
“Harry is spontaneous, he’s fun and he’s a bit of a daredevil or he was and Philip, when he was young, was all these things too,” Seward explained. “So I think he saw a little bit of himself in Harry and the two of them were able to communicate very well.”