KEY POINTS

  • A biography claims Prince Philip thinks history repeated itself when Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as royals
  • The book said he likened them to Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, who gave up his crown in 1936
  • Prince Harry and Prince Philip's relationship "suffered" after the former made this decision, the author says

For Prince Philip, Meghan Markle is a divisive force like Wallis Simpson as both were able to convince their husbands to turn their backs on their royal duties, a new book has claimed.

King Edward VIII decided to give up the kingship in 1936 to be with Simpson, who had been married twice when they met. He chose to live a simpler life with the American socialite over the throne. Now, royal expert Ingrid Seward claimed in her new book, "Prince Philip Revealed," that the Duke of Edinburgh felt that history repeated itself with his grandson Prince Harry and Markle.

"For Philip, whose entire existence has been based on a devotion to doing his duty, it appeared that his grandson had abdicated his for the sake of his marriage to an American divorcee in much the same way as Edward VIII gave up his crown to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936," Seward wrote in an excerpt published by Vanity Fair.

Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they were stepping back from their royal duties shortly after they returned from Canada where they spent their Christmas holidays. The book said the Queen had not been amused by the announcement because she was only told about their decision 10 minutes before it was publicized.

Prince Philip was reportedly present and was aware of the implications of the Sussexes' bombshell announcement.

"Philip simply cannot understand how Harry has behaved the way he has done. His grandson’s behavior is completely alien to him so not unnaturally the relationship has suffered," Seward told Vanity Fair of Prince Philip's reaction in an interview.

"Don’t forget this is a man about to turn 100 who has devoted 68 years of his adult life to supporting the monarchy, and this has been a great shock," she explained. "The Queen would not want him to worry at his age, but Philip’s absence from the Sandringham Summit spoke volumes. The fact that he was driven away from the big house at Sandringham before everyone even arrived signaled he didn’t want to be part of it."

Months after stepping down as senior royals, reports have surfaced that Prince Harry and Markle may be considering returning to the U.K. to spend Christmas with the royal family. Markle reportedly wanted Archie to see his great-grandparents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

However, a report from Entertainment Tonight said Prince Harry had no plans to fly to England anytime soon, though he may still change his mind in the coming weeks. After all, Markle and Prince Harry earlier said that they plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America.

Seward has written a number of biographies for several members of the British royal family, including "The Queen's Speech: An Intimate Portrait of the Queen in Her Own Words" in 2015 and "My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage" in 2017.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are currently in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been staying home and practicing very safe behaviors to help flatten the curve. Photo: POOL / Andy Stenning