The childhood friend of Prince Harry was “punished” for sharing “doubts” about Meghan Markle ahead of their marriage.
Tom Inskip advised the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live together before “doing anything more serious”, according to upcoming biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family.
The book claims the royal’s close confidant – regularly nicknamed “Skippy” – revealed his reservations about the American actress ahead of their engagement in late 2017, The Daily Telegraph reported.
This meant that, at the 2018 wedding, Inskip and his wife Lara Hughes-Young were “punished” by not being invited to the evening wedding party at Frogmore House following the Windsor Castle ceremony.
According to the paper, a source close to the duke, 35, and duchess, 39, told the authors of Finding Freedom, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, that it caused the two close friends to grow apart.
They reportedly said that while Inskip’s advice “came from a good place”, the prince was “really hurt him that someone he was so close to would not trust his judgment”.
It has been widely suggested that sources who spoke to Scobie and Durand did so with the Los Angeles-based royal couple’s blessing.
Inskip formed a friendship with the royal while they were both pupils at Eton, and the pair were often pictured partying together in their younger years.
They remained close until spring 2017 when the duke served as usher at Inskip’s wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica – accompanied by his then-girlfriend, the duchess.
It is unclear whether Harry has been made godfather to the couple’s son Albert, who was born earlier this year.
Similarly, the identities of the duke and duchess’ one-year-old son Archie’s godparents have remained a secret.
Also revealed by Finding Freedom – written “with the participation of those closest to the couple” – was the duchess’ devastation after the couple stepped back as senior royals earlier this year.
The book quotes her speaking to a friend, who she told: “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”
The authors added that the duke long wanted distance from royal life, saying: “It’s why he gravitated toward the military, had always avoided the pomp as much as he could, and didn’t give his child a title.
“He long craved a life away from the prying eyes of the media.
“Meghan simply emboldened him to make the change.”