Palace aides believed that the Duchess of Sussex was deliberately laying a ‘trail of evidence’ as she carefully plotted her departure from the Royal Family, a new book claims.

It alleges that her aides – who named themselves the ‘Sussex Survivors’ Club’ after Meghan and Harry quit their roles – called the Duchess a ‘narcissistic sociopath’.

Extracts of Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown by Valentine Low were published by The Sunday Times last night.

The book describes the Sussexes’ deteriorating relationship with their staff – a ‘succession of… decent people’ who had believed in Meghan and ‘would have done anything’ to help the couple succeed.

But it alleges that aides came to believe that Meghan’s departure was premeditated and that ‘one of [her] concerns was whether she was going to be able to make money for herself’.

One ex staff member told the author: ‘She wanted to be rejected, because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one.’

And sources said that her team reportedly said of her on repeated occasions: ‘We were played.’