KEY POINTS

  • Royal author Christopher Andersen talked about the "turning point" in Harry and Meghan's relationship with the royal family
  • Queen Elizabeth allegedly removed their photo from her desk before filming her Christmas broadcast in 2019
  • The author claimed the alleged decision sent a "pretty strong message"

Queen Elizabeth II's alleged decision to remove Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's photo from her table during the filming of her 2019 Christmas broadcast made her grandson feel slighted, royal author Christopher Andersen has claimed.

Every year, the monarch, 95, gives an address to the Commonwealth while sitting at a desk at Windsor Castle covered in photos of her loved ones. During the 2018 Christmas broadcast, a photo of Prince Harry, 37, and Markle, 40, was featured on the desk, but the couple's portrait was missing the next year.

The New York Times best-selling author — who recently released his new book "Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan" — recently weighed in on this "turning point" in Prince Harry and Markle's relationship with the royal family 

"I think this is a turning point. There are all sorts of subtle messages that are conveyed in this, kind of soap opera that goes on," Andersen told Us Weekly Tuesday.

The author claimed that following the 2019 broadcast, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their decision to leave the U.K. "I think that was one of the things that prompted them to issue the statement that they were stepping back from royal [life for a] full-time real life," Andersen said.

The 72-year-old journalist said that before recording her speech that year, the Queen was asked which photographs she wanted in the shot next to her. Andersen claimed that the monarch said, "We won’t be needing that one," while pointing to a photo of Prince Harry, Markle and their son Archie, who was 8 months at the time.

The photographs that later appeared during the broadcast next to the Queen were of her father King George VI, her husband Prince Philip, heir Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla. There was also a portrait of Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Andersen claimed that being pushed out had been "hurtful" for Prince Harry to see after being a part of the tradition for so many years. The author cited "a friend of Harry's" as saying that the duke felt he was "being erased in a sense from the family."

Although the move might not be that significant for others, it appeared to be the last straw for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, according to Andersen.

"It seems very subtle, but when you think about it, when somebody cuts you out of the family album, so to speak, it’s a pretty strong message," the author said.

In his book, Andersen claimed that Prince Harry's older brother Prince William was allegedly "aghast" when he realized that the Sussex family portrait was missing from the lineup. The Duke of Cambridge allegedly told his wife that his younger brother was likely to be "terribly upset."

A spokesperson for the Queen refused to comment on Andersen's book, telling the New York Post, "We don’t comment on books of this kind as to do so risks giving it some form of authority or credibility." 

Andersen also claimed in his book that Prince Charles discussed the potential skin color of Prince Harry and Markle's future children during a private conversation with his wife, Duchess Camilla, in 2017.

The author told Us Weekly that Prince Harry allegedly confronted his father and brother about the remark, but they allegedly told him he was "oversensitive" and "overreacting."

A spokesperson for Prince Charles has since denied the claim, telling reporters in Barbados that it "is fiction and not worth further comment," Reuters reported.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. Photo: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images