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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle feel they are 'being driven out' according to friend Tom Bradby

The ITV reporter filmed the couple's documentary in South Africa

prince harry meghan new zealand

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to step back from royal duties follows "really bad personal splits" within the royal family, according to Tom Bradby. The ITV reporter, who is also a friend of the couple and filmed their documentary in South Africa, opened up about the reason behind the shock decision on Thursday evening's ITV News broadcast, and said Prince Harry and Meghan felt they had been "driven out".

WATCH: Everything you need to know about Prince Harry and Meghan's shock decision

Tom also said that while it is understood the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William hadn't been informed before the statement was released on Wednesday, there had been discussions within the family about Prince Harry and Meghan's future roles "for some weeks". Speaking on ITV News, Tom explained: "And certainly as I understand it what happened is he was asked by members of his family — or at least his officials — to put some of these ideas in writing. He said, 'I really don’t want to do that because it normally leaks.' And they were very insistent in order to go forward and discuss it properly it had to be put in writing. He did put it in writing, and it did leak. So yes, I don't think [the royal family] got much heads-up as to the actual announcement, but they certainly knew what was going on. I think [Harry] felt once it had been leaked all bets were off."

MORE: 12 questions we have as Prince Harry and Meghan step back from royal duties

Tom Bradby Prince Harry Meghan documentary

Tom Bradby says Prince Harry and Meghan feel like they are being "driven out"

Speaking about the reason behind the Duke and Duchess' decision to step back from royal duties, Tom added: "There've been a lot of fallouts; a lot of harsh things were said around the time of the wedding. And it's gone a bit too far. And certainly the rest of the family find Harry and Meghan very difficult and, from Harry and Meghan’s point of view, they’re just being driven out as they see it. And it's sad."

RELATED: 4 other royals who stepped back from royal duties

Tom Bradby royal wedding© Photo: Getty Images

The ITV reporter was a guest at the royal wedding

The royal couple also reportedly want to "make a break for independence and freedom" after seeing how the monarchy is focusing on direct heirs Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George. "'You wanted a slimmed-down monarchy. There's no place for us in it,'" Tom said of their viewpoint. "'We need to learn to live on our own. We want to get on and do that.'"

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