Meghan Markle complained of ‘not getting paid’ for royal tour, book claims

Royal without the royalties.

It apparently didn’t take long for Meghan Markle to realize she wasn’t all that excited about the reality of what her role as Duchess of Sussex entailed.

A new bombshell book claims she was overheard lamenting “I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this,” amid her first royal tour in fall 2018 — just months after she tied the knot with Prince Harry.

In Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown, author Valentine Low writes about what appeared to be Markle’s growing frustration with the day-to-day demands of her royal duties.

Things apparently came to a head when she and Harry embarked on a royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand – their first together as Duchess and Duke of Sussex.

While Markle generally made a positive impression on Australian audiences, her “refreshingly casual approach to royal visits” proved to be a hit,” as Low describes, with gestures such as donating a “farmer’s family” banana bread that she’d baked herself.

But behind the scenes, “it was a different story,” the author claims.

Low writes about the saga: “While she enjoyed the attention, Meghan didn’t understand the point of all those walkabouts. [and] shaking hands with countless strangers.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex tour New Zealand - 31 Oct 2018

Markle’s frustration with staffers reportedly came to a head during her first royal tour in the fall of 2018.


Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Africa - 02 Oct 2019

Markle’s frustration with staffers reportedly came to a head during her first royal tour in the fall of 2018.


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Low goes on to suggest that Markle’s alleged harsh treatment of aides, particularly those involved with the Duke and Duchess’s PR and communications team, escalated during the tour.

According to the book, Jason Knauf – who had been in charge of the couple’s media operations – filed a complaint via an October 2018 email that reportedly read in part: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to to bully two household PAs in the past year.”

He also allegedly berated Markle for showing “unacceptable” behavior towards a staffer who “did first-class work”.

Knauf stepped down from the position towards the end of the year – and a flurry of other layoffs would soon follow.

Author Valentine Low wrote the new royal tome.

Markle, 41, and Harry, 38, infamously announced that they had decided to step down from their formal positions within the royal family in 2020. Soon after, they moved to the former ‘Suits’ actress’ native California.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 at the age of 96, the late monarch was reported to have been “exhausted by the turmoil” surrounding the couple’s move and “deeply hurt” by their departure – giving her the opportunity to spend time with great-grandchildren Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.

Prince Harry couldn’t make it to his grandmother’s deathbed at Balmoral Castle in time to say goodbye. Although only two of her children – King Charles III and Princess Anne – were with her at the end, Harry’s last known personal contact with the monarch was in June 2022 to mark the celebration of Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee.

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