Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on Saturday distanced themselves from a new unofficial biography, which claims to expose details behind the rift that saw the couple step back from Britain's royal frontline earlier this year.
'Finding Freedom', which is being serialised in 'The Times' this weekend, has claimed that Harry and Meghan were barely speaking to Harry's elder brother, Prince William, and his wife Kate Middleton by March. It also claims friends of the Sussexes, who are now based in California, referred to some Buckingham Palace officials as "vipers".
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to 'Finding Freedom'," a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said.
"This book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting," the spokesperson said.
The book's authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, write about a culture of increasing tension between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the royal family in the lead up to the royal split which became official from April 1.
They say the Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.
"There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust," the authors write. "A friend of the couple's referred to the old guard as 'the vipers'. Meanwhile, a frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes' team as 'the squeaky third wheel' of the palace." In extracts from the book published in the newspaper, the authors claim Prince William was hurt by internal royal family affairs being made
"As Meghan tearfully told a friend in March: '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 book notes.