Prince Harry and Meghan have "single-handedly modernised the monarchy" – but courtiers are stoking up 'hysteria' against them, a source close to the couple said yesterday.

In astonishing claims, the adviser accused the courtiers of being "afraid of and inexperienced at how to best help harness and deploy the value" of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

As the fallout over the royal couple's TV documentary took another remarkable twist, the source even suggested that palace insiders were hell-bent on stoking up "anti-Prince Harry and Meghan hysteria".

Harry & Meghan: An African Journey teaser trailer. Video / ITV

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The incendiary claims, reported in a well-sourced story by US broadcaster CNN about Sunday's ITV program, angered many in the wider royal household, where staff feel they have done their best to support the Sussexes in extremely "trying" times.

One well-placed royal insider said: "It's akin to saying that the Sussexes are too good for the Royal Family, which is extremely disrespectful to everyone who works for, and on behalf of, the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family."

"While not everyone agrees with what the duke and duchess have been saying, there has been immense sympathy that they find themselves in such a difficult place and people have been trying to help."

Meghan says she struggles with scrutiny on her and Harry. Video / itv

Referring to the documentary, the source said: "Harry's clear anguish was incredibly raw and difficult to watch."

"The truth is that no one is "anti" Harry and Meghan and no one is briefing against them.
'And it is also just plain wrong to say they have single-handedly modernised the monarchy. Modernisation is an ongoing process led by Her Majesty the Queen."

"No one has ownership of it. It is not a competition."

"None of this is remotely helpful to the monarchy as an institution. It is promoting discord and taking attention away from the good works senior royals do across the board."

The row came as Meghan last night made an appearance at the official opening of the 2019 One Young World (OYW) summit at London's Royal Albert Hall, described as a "global forum for young leaders".

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Meghan wore her hair down and an elegant purple dress as she attended the event without Harry, in her role as vice-president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. She was welcomed on to the stage as "a global champion for the rights of women and girls, activist and philanthropist' and embraced OYW co-founder Kate Robertson.

The One Young World Summit was Markle's first public appearance since the Sussexes' Africa tour documentary aired earlier this week. Photo / Getty Images
The One Young World Summit was Markle's first public appearance since the Sussexes' Africa tour documentary aired earlier this week. Photo / Getty Images

It was her first public appearance since the broadcast of Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. Yesterday's online story by CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster quoted a "senior royal source", close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, hitting out at the reaction to comments Prince Harry made about his brother in the documentary.

The source suggested parts of the media were turning "brotherly concern from Prince William for Prince Harry into hysteria". A royal source said in response to the ITV interview that William felt "concerned" for his younger brother, "as anyone would watching the documentary".

Royal insiders told the Daily Mail they believe the comments to CNN highlight the level of "paranoia" among Harry and Meghan's aides, or Team Sussex as they tend to call themselves.

"It's very much a mentality of 'us against the world', which is a real shame," said one insider.

"The duke and duchess have much to offer and could be a formidable asset for the Royal Family. But they need to work as a team with the rest of the royal household and, rightly or wrongly, there is a lot of distrust right now."

"There's also a startling lack of self-awareness about some of the problems they have experienced that have been of their own making, such as the row over their use of private jets. None of this is healthy – for anyone."

Sources close to the couple are unapologetic about the furore caused by their documentary.

An aide said they thought it was "sympathetic and balanced", and showed "some of the real behind the scenes pressures" of a royal tour and their lives.