After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back from their royal duties, Harry's father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, were reportedly "incandescent with rage" at the news, a source told The Sun, adding how Queen Elizabeth II was also "deeply upset."
"This is a declaration of war on the family," the source said of the announcement that British tabloids are dubbing "Megxit."
"Their statement was not cleared with anyone. It breaks all protocol," the source added. "There is fury over how they've done this without any thought for the implications for the institution. The Queen is deeply upset. The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are incandescent with rage.
The source also claimed that "Harry and Meghan wanted it their way or the highway."
"So they've gone and exiled themselves from the Royal Family. It's extraordinary," the source said.
In her official statement from Buckingam Palace, the queen said that the palace was still in "early stage" discussions with Harry and Markle. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," the palace statement read.
The Daily Mail reported that senior royals only learned about Harry and Markle's decision through the news. "It's deeply unfair to the Queen, who doesn't deserve to be treated this way," a source told the newspaper. "It is a shoddy way to treat her. The family understands that they want to do something different and is perfectly willing to help them. People are just devastated."
"There's still a rift between the two brothers," the source said Wednesday, referring to a reported rift between Harry and William that began when Harry and Markle moved from London to their current home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. "It's sad because when they were younger, William would be the first person Harry would go to with big news like this."
"William is incredibly hurt," the source said, "but at the same time he has his own family to focus on and is trying to move forward with his life."
Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, announced Wednesday that their royal duties in 2020 would look different from years prior and that they'd be splitting their time between the U.K. and North America.
"We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment," the joint statement read.
They claimed the "geographical balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."
Photo credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty