The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have jeopardised their links with the monarchy by commenting on the US election, aides have said.
In a video message released last week Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called on American voters to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity” in “the most important election of our life.”
While they did not specifically mention anyone by name, the remarks have been interpreted as referring to US President Donald Trump.
The comments may have been a breach of the Sandringham accord, which was written up when the couple quit their royal duties last year.
In agreeing to it the couple vowed to ensure “everything they do will uphold the values of Her Majesty”, which includes remaining politically neutral.
Royal aides told The Sunday Times that the remarks broke the pledge, leaving the Royal Family “wringing their hands”.
“The feeling is it’s a violation of the agreement,’ one source said.
They suggested that a breach of the agreement would likely hinder Harry’s chances of renewing his connections with the military posts he holds dear, such as the Royal Marines.
The Duke agreed to step away from positions such as captain general of the military force for a year while the new royal arrangement is reviewed.
Once this period has elapsed the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge will decide whether the new set up works.
“The door was left open,” one aide told the Sunday Times of Harry’s now vacated positions.
They said it would be “harder” for Harry to “hang on to” some of those roles now.
Another source added: “If Trump is re-elected and makes another visit here, what is the Queen supposed to say when her grandson and his wife have effectively campaigned against him?”
The couple were also criticised by Piers Morgan after their intervention.
The Good Morning Britain host accused the pair of making the “Queen’s life extremely difficult” by wading into politics.
Morgan is adamant that Harry and Meghan should renounce their royal titles if they want to express their views on the US election.
In his column for the Daily Mail, he wrote: “The Royal Family… [know] that to publicly declare any kind of partisan views would make the Queen’s life extremely difficult.”
Donald Trump was another person who did not receive the remarks in a positive manner.
Speaking of Meghan from the White House podium on Wednesday he said: “I’m not a fan of hers.
“I would say this – and she has probably heard that – I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.”
A spokesman for the Sussexes said Harry’s message did not reference any specific party of candidate, but was instead “a call for decency in how we engage with each other.”