Inside the Royal Family’s ‘Deep Sorrow and Shock’ Over Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Interview
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey continues to send shockwaves through the royal family.
As the royals and their staffs digested the various claims and counter-claims in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's sit-down, there was "anger," a palace source tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story: "There were genuinely mixed emotions and deep sorrow and shock there too."
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Among many stunning revelations in the interview, Meghan, 39, said she had suicidal thoughts and that there were "concerns and conversations" within the royal family about how dark her son Archie's skin might be. Harry also said that his father and brother are "trapped" within the monarchy.
Before the interview, The Times in the U.K. reported that the Duchess of Sussex faced a bullying complaint made by one of her close advisers during her time as a working royal at Kensington Palace — allegations her office has strongly denied. "The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma," a spokesperson added in a statement.
The palace has set up an inquiry and will likely bring in an outside law firm to assist. "For [some staffers] there was real stress and real trauma," one source tells PEOPLE of the discomfort of revisiting the painful period. "These are real people and there is a human toll."
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As the aftershocks of the interview continued to be felt, both princes — who were once so close — separately took time to honor their later mother Princess Diana on what was Mother's Day in the U.K. on March 14. William released pictures of cards his children had made for "Granny Diana," while Harry ensured flowers were placed on Diana's resting place at the Spencer family home, Althorp.
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"It's a sad state of affairs, because William and Harry could have been so brilliant" as a team, a close insider tells PEOPLE. "To think of what they could have achieved together is almost heartbreaking."
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On Tuesday, Oprah's friend Gayle King revealed that Harry and his brother were in touch over the weekend.
"The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation," she told CBS This Morning on Tuesday.
"And I think what is still upsetting to them is the palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still," King added.
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