Prince Harry’s friends reportedly question his decision to date Meghan Markle after challenging their jokes about sexism, feminism and transgender people

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.Rosa Woods – Pool/Getty Images

  • Childhood friends of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wouldn’t get along.

  • A forthcoming book claims Harry’s inner circle thought he was “crazy” to date her.

  • Markle challenged the group on their jokes about sexism and transgender people, the book says.

Prince Harry’s childhood friends thought he was “crazy” to date Meghan Markle after he called out the group over jokes involving sexism, feminism and transgender people, according to an excerpt from an upcoming book.

Royal biographer Tom Bower is the author of ‘Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War between the Windsors’, which will be released in the UK on Thursday. An excerpt from the book focusing on the tensions in the relationship between the Duchess of Sussex and Harry’s schoolmates was published by The Times of London on Sunday.

According to the excerpt written by Bower, whose Curtis Brown author profile describes him as having written “very critical unauthorized biographies”, Markle joined Harry on a long weekend in Sandringham with 16 of his friends relatives soon after news of their relationship was made public in September 2017.

The couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017.Karwai Tang/WireImage

The group, who are not identified by Bower but who he says were mainly friends of Harry from his time at Eton boarding school, took part in a weekend of filming. “Like other filming weekends, Harry looked forward to endless banter, jokes – and lots of booze,” Bower wrote.

The author goes on to write that Harry had not anticipated Meghan’s reaction to the topics of the group’s jokes.

“Their jokes about sexism, feminism and transgender people ricocheted through the living rooms and dining rooms. Without hesitation, Meghan challenged every guest whose conversation violated her values,” he wrote, according to the Times of London. “According to some of Harry’s friends, she berated them again and again about the slightest inappropriate nuance. No one was exempt.”

Video: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walked away from the royal family

Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. However, Markle and Harry have shown a history of supporting LGBTQ people, including honoring the community during Pride Month 2019.

Harry also made his stance on sexism clear when he said the phrase ‘Megxit’, often used to describe the couple’s decision to step back from royal life, was misogynistic towards his wife.

Bower says in the Times excerpt that Markle’s decision to call out these jokes left Harry’s friends questioning her and their relationship. “Meghan was a drag on the party, they concluded. She lacked a sense of humor. On her way home from lunch on Sunday, the texts rang between the cars: ‘OMG and ELLE?’ one said; ‘Harry must be f—g crazy,'” Bower wrote.

Despite the reported tension between the group and Markle, Bower said she later joined Harry at her close friends Thomas Inskip’s wedding in Jamaica in November 2017. The Times added.

“Their suspicions of Meghan grew; the feeling was mutual. Meghan disliked Inskip and his crowd. Their jokes and attitude to the world seemed unacceptable to her,” Bower wrote. It is unclear from the clip what Inskip’s role, if any, was in the jokes previously made, or if he was present at the Sandringham filming weekend. Insider could not reach Inskip for comment.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle.Max Momby/Indigo/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time reports of Markle’s relationship with Harry’s group of friends have surfaced. In 2019, royal biographer Angela Levin told the CBS special, ‘Harry and Meghan Plus One’, that the Duchess of Sussex was “not popular” with those around her, who believed she was “leading the show”.

The insider’s Mikhaila Friel spoke to royal commentator and former editor of The International Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams about the alleged split, who said it could be linked to her lifestyle healthy and modern that Harry adopted after they met in 2016.

“I think these reports relate to the indisputable fact that Harry has changed and Meghan’s new-age lifestyle suits him perfectly these days,” Fitzwilliams said.

“From embracing feminism to practicing mediation, she changed it, and she’s also a strong presence,” he added. “She’s what he needed, and he openly shared with us some of the issues he’s faced over the past 20 years.”

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