Before meeting Meghan Markle, Prince Harry "made jokes that we are no longer allowed to make," insisted one former classmate.
The claim was made in a new book by author Tom Quinn titled "Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family." It features exclusive testimony from palace staff with historical sources, as well as royal insiders. It aims to examine the traditional upbringing of the British royal family and how it has impacted them over the years.
Quinn also took a close look at the Duke of Sussex’s schooling at the prestigious Eton College, which he attended from 1998 to 2003.
"In the past, I’ve worked as a journalist for very old-fashioned magazines in England where most of the readers are people who hunt, shoot and fish," Quinn explained to Fox News Digital. "They tend to be very grand, very right-wing. They typically really dislike what they would describe as ‘woke’ and ‘tree-hugging.’ They think real country people are defined by the fact that they shoot things. And if you go to a school like Eton, you don’t get a broad social mix. It’s only people from the old English aristocracy who are very conservative… This is the world that Harry grew up in. His only friends were the sons and some daughters of the old English aristocracy who are all like this. And so, his world was limited by that."
One Eton contemporary admitted to Quinn that Harry, 38, "hated all that politically correct stuff – all that woke nonsense."
"He was funny, a bit cynical and great company because, like the rest of us, he made jokes that we are no longer allowed to make," the source claimed. "After Meghan came along, he changed completely into what he would once have been the first to mock: a sort of Guardian-reading tree-hugger. It was all Meghan’s influence. We used to joke that she must be very good in bed to have turned his head that far."
Sources who befriended Harry at Eton alleged that they were "stunned" by how quickly Harry changed after he met the American actress. The former "Suits" star, who met Harry in 2016, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married the British prince in 2018.
"His friends were horrified because it was almost as if he’d gone over to the enemy," Quinn chuckled. "They were very rude about it. When Harry met Meghan, they got close very quickly. Harry wanted her to meet his friends. It never occurred to him that she might think they were awful, that they would make racist jokes. Harry once famously went to a party dressed up as a Nazi. They wouldn’t think anything of that because they never worried about that sort of thing. They thought that kind of thing would mean you were left-wing and a tree-hugger. They didn’t think it was terrible to make racist jokes."
"I think they were really shocked," Quinn continued. "Meghan spent the day apparently telling them that they couldn’t make these awful jokes. One of them said at the end of the day, after meeting Meghan, they exchanged messages, not with Harry and Meghan, but with each other saying, ‘Why is Harry going out with this awful woman? She’s a tree-hugger. She’s obsessed with being woke.’ But I think Harry’s world was very split. And Meghan is a very powerful personality. Everyone says it."
Quinn’s book alleged Harry’s friends were not prepared to be "reprimanded" by Markle, insisting she "lacked any sense of humor" One pal allegedly texted to the other, "OMG what about HER?" with another chiming, "Harry must be f---ing nuts."
It was undeniable to everyone that Harry was captivated by the screen starlet. As he struggled to be "the spare" with his elder brother Prince William being the heir to the British throne, Harry "felt he had to escape." However, the prince was not prepared for how adopting "Meghan’s way" would make him open to the same press attention "he has always hated."
"I think by adopting completely Meghan’s view of the world, I think it made it much more difficult for him, certainly in his relationships with other members of the royal family," Quinn explained. "It created this huge split. He feels completely removed from his old life, the one of the British royal family, which is still very conservative. In being loyal to his wife and his new life in the states, he has adopted all the values that come with that, all the ideas, all the outlooks. You’ve got William, who has bought into the traditions of the royal family because he’s the heir, he totally believes in the product. And then you’ve got Harry and Meghan who don’t believe in the product at all."
"In some ways, the press in the U.K. have treated Meghan and Harry unfairly," Quinn shared. "[But] I think the real problem is that Meghan is so different. Her values, her views are so different. Now that Harry is a part of that, it’s hard to see how the two sides can ever be reconciled. It’s very difficult. I do think it made things much more difficult for Harry as far as the U.K. and the royal family are concerned."
Harry previously described that he fell in love with Markle "so incredibly quickly." Quinn noted that the prince found the California native’s outlook on life "incredibly refreshing," a stark comparison to what he was exposed to at Eton.
"It was as if someone had opened a door to a new world for him," said Quinn. "He thought the only world that existed was this world, the one where you laughed at tree-huggers, you laughed at the people who didn’t like shooting pheasants and deer. That was the only world he knew. And then suddenly, he came across a person who didn’t share any of those values. I think, at first, it was a real shock to him. And then, in a funny way, it showed him the way out. His friends at Eton, whom he’d known and hunted with, suddenly felt he was no longer one of them. And ultimately, they went one way, and he moved over to the other side."
"It was a big shift for Harry, but I also think it’s desperately what Harry needed," Quinn pointed out. "He needed someone who was strong because he didn’t have that from a woman as he was growing up. He needed someone to give him a sense of direction. And it was a delight for him to discover that there was a world beyond the racist aristocrats that he grew up with. And I think he was delighted to escape from them."
A former Kensington Palace aide who worked closely with the Duchess of Sussex claimed that "Harry was never like this before he met Meghan."
"He had no ideas of his own," claimed the source. "He rarely, if ever, spoke about global warming. He was a sort of Tim-Nice-but-Dim character who liked getting pissed with his army and Eton friends, did a bit of shooting and fishing and was otherwise undistinguished."
"Harry was always looking for a woman to whip him into shape; nice chap but no idea where he was going or what he should do – at least until Meghan came along," a friend from Eton added.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020. They now reside in California with their two young children.