Prince Harry felt he was being “erased” from the royal family after the queen did not display a photo of him during her 2019 Christmas address, according to a new book about the royals.
The claim was made in “Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan,” by longtime royals writer Christopher Andersen.
Andersen spoke exclusively to TODAY Monday about some of the bombshell reporting in his new book, which takes a deep dive into the relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry.
One moment explores the controversy surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s 2019 Christmas address. In previous years during the annual televised speech, the queen showcased photos of Prince William, Prince Harry and other family members.
In 2019, however, while the queen displayed a photo of Prince William and his family on the table beside her, there was no picture of Prince Harry and his family.
This omission was not an accident, Andersen writes, but a response to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to spend that Christmas in Canada rather than with the royal family.
Andersen says in his book that the queen asked a royal aide to remove the photo.
“(The queen) loves all of her children and grandchildren, there's no doubt about that,” he said on TODAY. “But when it comes to 'The Firm,' as they call the royal family, she is all business.
“That’s why she wouldn’t allow Harry and Meghan to remain as kind of part-time royals on the terms that they wanted,” he added, referring to Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as senior members of the royal family in early 2020.
Andersen also writes in the book that Prince William was “shocked” when he realized the photo had been removed, allegedly telling his wife, the former Kate Middleton, that Harry would be devastated by the gesture.
“William knew it would hurt Harry, and it did,” Andersen said on TODAY. “Harry did feel as if he was being, according to a friend of his, was being erased slowly from the family. That was quite the signal that the queen was sending.”
Andersen said his reporting for the new book is based on “solid” sources he has been cultivating “for decades.”
Buckingham Palace and representatives for Prince Charles have not responded to NBC News' requests for comment on the book, while representatives for Harry and Meghan declined to comment on the record. Kensington Palace, which represents William and Kate, had no comment on the book.