The royal couple originally announced their decision to step back from their roles in January of 2020.
“The hardest part for them was taking those initial steps away from their royal roles,” royal author Omid Scobie told People magazine in an interview published Thursday.
“That was harder than they would ever imagined.”
Scobie, alongside royal reporter Carolyn Durand, wrote “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.” The biography focuses on the married lives of Prince Harry and Markle. The book was written with Markle’s contribution of a third-party source.
The couple’s “one foot in, one foot out approach” was vetoed by Queen Elizabeth II, according to the royal expert.
“They knew that they had to change things, but what they had actually planned wasn’t actually what was best,” the royal expert said.
“They tried to find a way to compromise,” Scobie added. “But would that have enabled them to have that level of happiness and security that they have today? Probably not. Those ties to the institution [of the monarchy] would have still been strong and there would have constantly been issues about financial endeavors and the business decisions they made.”
Representatives for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not respond to Fox News’ immediate request for comment.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star, 40. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
In the wake of quitting royal duties, they gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey in March, in which the couple described painful comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth. The duchess talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.