After a chaotic year, Queen Elizabeth may have hit her breaking point when it comes to dealing with her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
Last month, a source claimed the matriarch was contemplating hiring a lawyer to take action against the Sussexes — a report that sent shockwaves through the country.
"The Queen lawyering up is totally unprecedented — it's her way of saying, 'Enough is enough now,'" Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell explained to Closer magazine. "The Queen is is a warm, fair, loyal, forgiving, compassionate woman — but if you cross her more than once, or tell her lies, you lose her respect. And it seems like things have gone too far — Harry and Meghan show no signs of stopping the missiles."
Since leaving the royal family, Harry has given several interviews about his struggles, and in July, he revealed he'll be releasing a memoir about the highs and lows of his life.
"Back in the day, the 'never complain, never explain' rule could work, and it added to the mystery and privacy of the royals. Nowadays, with how quickly news travels and social media, it simply can't work, especially given Harry and Meghan's allegations," Burrell noted.
"This constant drip of information from across the Atlantic, which seems never-ending, has the potential to do an awful lot of damage to both the monarchy and her family," he said, adding that Elizabeth is "apprehensive" about what Harry could say next, which is why she has to "fight back" before he makes another move.
Despite putting on a strong front, Matthew Dennison, author of The Queen, believes the matriarch is "hurt and disappointed" by Harry's departure from the family.
"Elizabeth’s official statement expressed loving finality: ‘It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,’" he noted. "It was an attempt to reassert control in the interests of damage limitation, and a decisive but dark beginning to a new decade. Elizabeth had never been a sentimental woman; she had acted in the only way she understood.”