Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were said to have felt hurt and dismayed when Queen Elizabeth II did not feature them in her Christmas speech in 2019.

It is customary for the British monarch to include photos of her family in her video message for the public in the festive season. But a portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie was obviously missing from her 2019 address.

According to "Finding Freedom" authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, this had hurt the couple. They felt dismayed that their picture was not among those placed on the desk beside the queen. Instead, a framed portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton with their children was very visible on camera.

"One didn't have to look further than the family photos displayed during the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day. In the Green Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, where the Queen delivered her address, viewers glimpsed photos of the Cambridges and their children, Charles and Camilla, Prince Philip, and a black-and-white image of George VI," the authors wrote in their book as quoted by The Sun.

"Noticeably absent was a photo of Harry, Meghan, and their new baby, Archie. Palace sources insisted that the photos were chosen to represent the direct line of succession," they added.

Scobie and Durand wrote that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had long felt "sidelined by the institution and were not a fundamental part of its future." It is said that the absence of their photo from Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas speech in 2019 "had been yet another sign that they needed to consider their own path."

The authors' claims coincide with another revelation from American writer Christopher Andersen's book "Brothers And Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan." In it, he wrote that the Duke of Sussex had a "major rift" with his grandmother over the alleged Christmas snub. He had reportedly confided with a friend that he "felt as if he, Meghan, and Archie were being erased from the family." It is believed that Queen Elizabeth II specifically instructed not to have her grandson's family photo placed on the desk.

Queen Elizabeth II
Britain's Queen Elizabeth is seen sitting at a desk in the 1844 Room after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth, in Buckingham Palace, in this undated photograph received in London, Britain 24 December, 2017 REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY