In the days since it was announced that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family, there's been endless speculation about what prompted the decision.
We've known for quite some time that the Sussexes were unhappy with the restrictions placed on their freedom and the treatment they received from the British tabloid press.
But why was the decision to step away from palace life made so abruptly that the Queen was reportedly notified just 10 minutes before Harry and Meghan's announcement?
Some say the young couple so enjoyed their trip to Canada over the holidays that the idea of returning to the doldrums of royal life was simply intolerable to them.
However, others maintain that the move was prompted by something much more scandalous, and for once, there's real reason to believe that the most dramatic explanation is the correct one.
Throughout Meghan's time as a member of the royal family, People magazine has shown itself to be one of the most reliable sources with regard to inside knowledge about her fraught relationships with her in-laws.
Now, a new report from People confirms that tensions between Meghan and the rest of the royal family were running so high that she and Harry felt they had no choice but to cut ties as soon as possible.
“This is not how they wanted to handle this, but Meghan and Harry’s hand was forced,” a source tells the magazine.
“There is so much bad blood in that family — it’s toxic.”
The insider adds that Harry and Meghan did their best to mend fences but found that their decision to skip the Queen's annual Christmas festivities at Sandringham had strained relations past the point of repair.
“If relationships had been better, things would have been different,” says the insider.
“Meghan and Harry didn’t feel they got enough comfort or solace from them.”
Earlier this week, the Queen issued a statement on the matter that was unprecedented in its candor.
Royal experts confirmed to People that the remarks subtly indicated that this is a time of great upheaval within the royal family.
“It was incredibly personal. I can’t recall a royal statement where one gets the sense so much of the Queen herself speaking," says historian Robert Lacey/
"Using phrases like ‘my family and I’ is very moving. It clearly shows her wish to resolve everything.”
“It’s deliberately very vague and doesn’t tell us much apart from Harry and Meghan have won the first round," says author Ingrid Seward.
"I’ve never seen a statement like that in 30 years. It was very personal and sounds very sad.”
We may never know for certain what exactly transpired among the royals.
But one thing is for certain -- life in Buckingham Palace will never be the same.