Prince Harry was 'staggered' after the Queen excluded him and Meghan Markle from family photos in her Christmas broadcast in 2019, a new book says

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  • Tom Bower's "Revenge" describes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship with the royal family.

  • Bower writes of Harry's reaction to being left out of the Queen's Christmas broadcast.

  • The book is due to be released on Thursday.

The Duke of Sussex was "staggered" to learn that Queen Elizabeth II had excluded him from photos on her Christmas Day broadcast in 2019, an upcoming book on the royal family by Tom Bower says.

The Mirror reported that in "Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors," due to be released on Thursday, Bower writes of Prince Harry's reaction to his grandmother's annual broadcast, which showed her sitting at her desk in Buckingham Palace surrounded by photos of her family.

In her address to the nation, the Queen reflected on anniversaries of historic world events and achievements, as well as a year that had been "bumpy" for the UK and the royal family. Photos of the Queen's father, King George VI, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince Philip were visible in the shot.

The Queen during her Christmas broadcast in 2019
The Queen during her Christmas broadcast in 2019.Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

"As Harry watched his grandmother from Vancouver, he was staggered. Four silver-framed family photographs had been carefully placed behind her," Bower writes, according to The Mirror.

"To Harry's fury, there was no" picture of him, Meghan, and Archie, he says, adding: "The Windsors were airbrushing the Sussexes from history."

At the time of the broadcast, Markle, Harry, and their son, Archie, were celebrating Christmas privately in Canada, marking their first Christmas without the royal family. The couple wouldn't announce their step back from royal duties until January 2020, but the decision had been in the works for months, the excerpt of the book published in The Mirror says.

The couple's step back could have played a part in the Queen's decision not to feature a photo of them, prompting her to instead focus on a "slimmed down" monarchy, the excerpt says. According to The Mirror, Bower writes that Markle "consulted with her Los Angeles team about the best terms for their departure from Britain," which coincided with Prince Andrew's BBC "Newsnight" interview in November 2019.

The Queen paid tribute to Harry and Meghan's son in the broadcast

While Markle and Harry weren't included in the photos on the Queen's desk, it's worth noting that they were honored in a different way.

During the Queen's speech, she referenced the couple's son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on May 6, 2019.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie
Harry and Meghan Markle with their son, Archie, on September 25, 2019, in Cape Town.Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

"Two hundred years on from the birth of my great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great-grandchild into our family," she said while a photo showing the Queen and Prince Philip with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Archie was displayed on screen.

Representatives for Buckingham Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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