Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are back in the U.K. to attend royal engagements before officially stepping down on March 31, the war of words with the Queen continues to intensify.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly felt "insulted" after the palace forbid the couple to use "Sussex Royal" for their branding.
"Meghan said that [she and Harry] were left with no choice but to make a public statement," the close friend explained. "She said if anyone should feel insulted, it should be them. They never intended to capitalize on the word royal, and to insinuate they were somehow abusing their privileges is absurd."
The friend added that despite the ongoing controversy, Harry and Meghan's relationship grew stronger as they strive to become a good role model to their 11-month old son Archie.
"She said she and Harry will continue to rise above jealousy and pettiness and focus on the good they are creating and on being the best parents to Archie.
"She said she will continue to champion Harry because out of everyone, he has the most integrity and the most loyalty."
However, the source mentioned that Meghan believes the Queen was "under pressure" to give those mandates and does not really want to intentionally hurt the couple.
The Sussex Being "Picked On"?
Meghan and Prince Harry also pointed out being "picked on" and treated differently by the Buckingham Palace for seeking "independence" outside the royal family.
This refers to their official statement saying: "While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place."
Both media and public interpret this as a reference to Prince Harry's first cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who have their own careers outside the monarchy and are not obliged to carry out official engagements on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Beatrice works full time at a finance and consulting firm while Princess Eugenie has a developing career in the art world.
Aside from the Princesses of York, the Queen's son, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie Countess of Wessex, were also given permission to pursue a career and make their own living while simultaneously representing the Queen.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their statement through their official website "Sussex Royal,"they laid their future plans outside the royal family as they transition for an independent life.
This includes being able to balance their time between the U.K. and North America and having a full-time career and being financially independent, meaning the duo will no longer receive money from the Sovereign Grant.
However, Prince Harry and Meghan will continue to use their titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as the Baron and Baroness Kilkeel and the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton. Prince Harry will also remain as sixth in line to the throne.