Queen Elizabeth chose to focus on the future of the monarchy, instead of her personal familial feelings when it came to handling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s decision to step down from their senior royal roles, according to royal expert Matthew Dennison. In an excerpt of his new book, The Queen, printed in Us Weekly, he wrote that she was “hurt and disappointed,” but that based on that decision, they would no longer be able to use their “royal highness” titles.

He wrote in the book, which is out September 1: “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.’ 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.”

The Behind the Mask author continued: “As throughout a life in which she had consistently honoured her father’s belief that ‘the highest of distinctions is the service of others’, she had placed the monarchy first, safeguarding its mission of service and duty that could never, she was certain, be a part-time calling.”


Meanwhile, TMZ reports that Meghan rejected her estranged father’s attempt to reconcile with her. He told TMZ he sent her flowers for her birthday, and told the outlet that he wants to be a part of Meghan, Harry and their two kids’ lives, but that it’s okay that she’s not interested.