A controversial biography of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was finally released today after weeks of revelations about the couple’s departure from the Royal Family and rift with Prince William and Kate.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they were not interviewed for the book and did not contribute to the tale by authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which provides a high level of personal detail and a dramatic account of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ departure from royal life.
But Scobie said today that while they did not interview the couple, ‘many’ friends gave them insights – providing ‘a lens to the couple through their friends and their circle of aides’.
Palace insiders have described the book as ‘score settling’ after Harry and Meghan left the Royal Family for a life in Los Angeles – after suddenly announcing their intentions in January in a move that left The Queen ‘hurt’.
The book also offers new insights into Harry’s falling out with William and how the couple felt ‘thrown under the bus’, after the disagreements started started when the Prince’s older brother referred to Meghan as ‘this girl’ and voiced concerns that he might be rushing the romance.
The authors say Harry ‘felt people working with his brother had put things out there to make William look good, even if it meant throwing Harry under the bus’.
Excerpts from the book have already revealed many inside details about the couple’s departure from the Royal Family, including how the couple considered driving straight to confront the ‘devastated’ Queen about Megxit after returning from Canada in January.
Sources close to the couple also claim in the book that royal aides feared Meghan and Harry’s popularity was eclipsing that of the Royal Family itself – and says the couple were jealous of William and Kate getting the best roles and ‘didn’t feel supported’ by the royals.
Among the fresh revelations in the book are:
- Meghan Markle formed such a close bond with Prince Charles that she considers him her ‘second father’;
- Meghan was often ‘seen carrying binders full of research on Royal protocol’ so she didn’t put a foot wrong;
- The Queen gave Meghan a royal masterclass in protocol and described Meghan as ‘very clever and good’;
- Harry felt he was ‘thrown under the bus’ by aides working for his brother Prince William;
- Royal courtiers feared the brother’s falling out ‘could spell the end of the monarchy’;
- Meghan left the UK ’emotionally bruised and exhausted’ after her last frosty event with William and Kate;
- Russian hackers stole hundreds of their personal photos in 2018 after gaining access to an online account.
Meghan Markle sees Prince Charles, who walked her down the aisle at her wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018, as a ‘second father,’ the book claims. She is said to have found him ‘supportive and loving’ from the moment she was introduced to him
The Duchess of Sussex received a ‘master class,’ on royal protocol from The Queen during a trip to Chester in 2018 (pictured), during which Her Majesty gave Meghan a pair of pearl-and-diamond earrings, the new book Finding Freedom claims
Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie says Meghan was the victim of ‘racist and sexist tropes’ in Britain and blames the monarchy for Megxit row because Royals refused to accept the Sussexes’ demands
The Duchess of Sussex was the victim of ‘racist and sexist tropes’ in Britain from commentators and royal courtiers who were resistant to change, the author of the controversial new biography Finding Freedom claimed today.
Omid Scobie’s book was finally released today after weeks of revelations from its pages telling Harry and Meghan’s side of the Megxit story.
It offers highly personal insights – although Scobie and co-author Carolyn Durand claim they did not interview Harry and Meghan, and the couple did not co-operate.
They do say, however, that ‘many’ friends gave them details for the book and that every revelation is confirmed by at least two sources.
Scobie said the authors ‘had a lens to the couple through their friends and their circle of aides’ as well as covering the couple’s private and public engagements.
Scobie and Durand have also blamed the monarchy for the bitterness of the Megxit row, saying it was the institution’s resistance to change and refusal to accept Harry and Meghan’s demands that led to the row over their departure from royal duties.
Scobie told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme how he felt Harry and Meghan had ‘clearly tried to do their best to make it work’ before Megxit took place in March.
He added: ‘They even went as far as presenting a potential roadmap for how they would navigate their roles moving forward, and ultimately it was the institution that turned back on them and told them what they had presented just wasn’t an option.
‘And so this is a couple that really wanted to make it work, but ultimately I think the setup of the royal institution just isn’t built for change on that dramatic a level.’
Scobie also claimed that Meghan was the subject of a narrative calling her ‘Duchess Difficult’ amid reports of her disagreements with palace staff.
Among the aides who left the palace in the months after the royal wedding were communications expert Samantha ‘the Panther’ Cohen and assistant Melissa Toubati.
The book claimed the couple had ‘grown dissatisfied’ with Toubati and were ‘not disappointed when she left’, despite a royal aide praising her as ‘hugely talented’.
And it claims the couple were ‘forced to let go’ of their son Archie’s night nurse during her second shift ‘for being unprofessional’, without going into further details.
Senior aides were also said to have been unimpressed by Meghan’s lavish baby shower in New York in February 2019 with ‘what looked like carefully stage-managed paparazzi walks of the duchess in big black sunglasses from her hotel to her car and a laundry list of insider party details’.
Scobie also told ITV’s Lorraine that commentary about Meghan ‘used every kind of sexist and racist trope that we attach to successful women and women of colour’.
Addressing the rift between Prince William and Prince Harry, the book says the falling out led senior royal courtiers to fear for the future of the monarchy.
The Queen was said to be ‘concerned’ after the brothers falling out while Harry believed he and Meghan were ‘thrown under the bus’ to protect other members of the family.
A courtier told the authors of Finding Freedom that a crisis meeting was held in 2019 to ‘protect the monarchy.’
Harry had fallen out with his brother after he voiced concerns that he might be rushing his romance with Meghan.
The book says Harry considered this remark as ‘snobbish’ and relations between the once inseparable brothers worsened when Harry and Meghan moved out of Kensington Palace and split up the so called ‘Fab Four’ by setting up their own team to market the SussexRoyal brand.
The authors said courtiers realised that if the brothers were at war the Monarchy might not survive.
One courtier was quoted as saying: “It’s no secret, the future of this monarchy relies solely on the four people currently in Kensington Palace. The public popularity only lies with them . . . When he [the Prince of Wales] becomes King, the only way it lasts is if the four of them are not at war. We cannot have them at war.”
A source told the authors: “Harry was upset that it was playing out so publicly and that so much of the information being reported was wrong.
“There had been moments where he felt people working with his brother had put things out there to make William look good, even if it meant throwing Harry under the bus.
‘It was a confusing time, and his head was all over the place—he didn’t know who or what to believe, and he and William weren’t talking enough either, which made everything a lot worse.’
The falling out culminated at the Sussexes last public engagement in March 2019 before officially leaving Royal duties.
The book claims that Harry and Meghan greeted William and Kate with smiles but claims the Cambridges ‘barely acknowledged’ them.
And the couple left the service ‘hurt’ that they had been left off the official order of service which they took as a snub.
Meghan saw Charles as a ‘second father’
The book tells how Meghan formed such a close bond with Prince Charles that she considers him her ‘second father’.
She is said to have found her father-in-law ‘supportive and loving’ from the moment she was introduced to him. A source told the authors that Meghan doesn’t consider Charles a father in law but a ‘second father’.
Charles had walked Meghan down the aisle at her Windsor wedding when her own father Thomas Markle was forced to pull out due to health reasons.
He had also embarrassed the soon to be wed couple by colluding with a photo agency for a series of staged shots, leading to a rift between father and daughter.
The book says Charles was equally fond of Meghan who a friend of the Prince described as a ‘sassy, confident beautiful American.’
The authors write: ‘Meghan had her own reasons for admiring her father-in-law, who had poignantly walked her down the aisle when her own father let her down.’
At the time, a trusted confidant said Meghan ‘found such a supportive and loving father in Charles, which has really changed her life for the better.’
Not a father-in-law but a ‘second father,’ according to the source.
A friend of Charles’s said that the Prince of Wales had ‘taken a real shine to Meghan. She’s a sassy, confident, beautiful American. He likes very strong, confident women.
‘She’s bright, and she’s self-aware, and I can see why they’ve struck up a very quick friendship.’
Charles liked Meghan’s energy. ‘The Prince of Wales has always been fond of people from the Arts, like Emma Thompson, who he’s been mates with for years,’ another source said.
Harry and Meghan were ‘forced’ to dismiss Archie’s night nurse’ during her SECOND shift at Frogmore Cottage because she was ‘unprofessional ‘, biography claims
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were ‘forced to let go’ of Archie’s night nurse during her second shift with the couple ‘for being unprofessional’, their bombshell new biography Finding Freedom claims.
The book, out today and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claims the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38, wanted to hire a night nurse to establish a sleep schedule and be an extra pair of helping hands’ after the birth of their son Archie, one.
However, the nanny’s time with the family was ‘brief’, with the authors writing: ‘Meghan and Harry felt they were forced to let the nurse go in the middle of her second night of work for being unprofessional.’
According to the book, Prince Harry and Meghan had originally decided to ‘forgo’ a full time nanny however decided to work with a night nurse after Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, flew back to Los Angeles.
The book goes on to say the couple felt the nurse’s behaviour was ‘unprofessional’, but does not explain the details of what happened.
‘Meghan ticks the boxes. Most of all she’s married to his beloved’
The book says Meghan enjoyed a close friendship with Camilla and struck up a close rapport with the Queen with the former actress keen to learn everything about royal life.
They had their first engagement together on June 14th 2018 on a trip to Chester with a source telling the authors the Queen had confidence in Meghan as she is ‘very clever and good at understanding what’s required.’
Writing about the visit authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: ‘The Queen was wonderful, warm, and generous toward the new Duchess,’ a source close to Her Majesty said.
‘She made sure Meghan knew what was going on and made her feel very much at home because it was her first trip.’ Indeed, before the two stepped off the train, the Queen gifted Meghan with a delicate pair of pearl-and-diamond earrings.
Meghan, an avid learner studying all she could on royal protocol, was often seen carrying binders full of research so she didn’t put a foot wrong. She took her new role incredibly seriously. That day was different, though; she was getting a royal master class in training from the Queen herself.’
Meghan left the Royal Family ’emotionally bruised’ after frosty final encounter with William and Kate
Another revelation in the book is that the Duchess of Sussex burst into tears after the ‘raw emotion’ of leaving the royal family hit home on one of her final engagements, following a frosty final encounter with Prince William and Kate.
The authors of ‘Finding Freedom’ revealed that tears flowed as Meghan said farewell to close members of her support team after Harry had joined her at Buckingham Palace following a presentation ceremony.
It was her penultimate royal engagement and Meghan had met with 22 students who had received scholarships from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Meghan was patron having taken over from the Queen in 2019.
After the ceremony Prince Harry quietly slipped into room 1884 – where the Queen often receives her most important visitors – to see his wife.
Meghan Markle is said to have burst into tears after a frosty Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, where she sat with Harry just behind Prince William and Kate, as the ‘raw emotion,’ of leaving the royal family hit home
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle on May 8 last year
Meghan Markle ‘fell hard’ for Prince Harry after seeing him play with friend Jessica Mulroney’s children gave her a glimpse of how he’d be as a father, new biography claims
Meghan Markle ‘fell hard’ for Prince Harry after watching him win over best pal Jessica Mulroney’s children gave her a glimpse of how he’d be as a father, their bombshell new biography Finding Freedom claims.
The book, out today and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claims the Duke of Sussex, 35, ‘never turned up empty-handed’ when they visited Jessica, her husband Ben and their children John, Brian and Ivy at their Toronto home.
As well as his generosity, the trio of youngsters were charmed by Harry’s willingness to get on the floor to play with them – something which also appealed to his future wife Meghan, 39.
The fledgling couple spent time with the Mulroneys, part of the Canadian political dynasty, before their relationship was made public in 2016. The book claims Harry and Meghan ‘hid out’ at the family home when the news first broke.
The authors write: ‘It was there that Meghan got a first-hand glimpse of how Harry might be as a father, falling hard as he expertly won over the Mulroneys’ then six-year-old twins, Brian and John, and three-year-old daughter Ivy.
‘Already experienced in charming little ones, he never turned up empty-handed, instead arriving with small presents each visit.
‘But it wasn’t just his generosity that endeared him to the kids. Harry was also willing to get on the floor with them to play or smush up his face against the window, his funny expressions never failing to earn a giggle.’
The bond between Harry, Meghan and Mulroneys was clear to see when Brian, John and Ivy were all given important roles in the Sussexes’ wedding.
Brian and John were entrusted with the task of carrying Meghan’s intricate veil as she made her way up the steps of St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Finding Freedom provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from royal life, with co-authors Scobie and Durand insisting ‘all information in this book has at least two sources’, including members of the Sussexes’ inner circle.
The book reveals how Meghan and Jessica met after the then actress moved to Canada to film US legal drama Suits. Jessica helped introduce Meghan to some of her famous friends, including singer Michael Bublé.
The book also discussed how Meghan would consult with Jessica over what to wear for important dates, including meeting the Queen.
However Meghan and Jessica are understood to have grown apart in recent months after TV presenter Jessica became embroiled in a social media row with black influencer Sasha Exeter in June.
Exeter claimed Mulroney had sent her a string of unpleasant messages and threatened to ruin her career after taking offense over one of Exeter’s posts in which she called on people with large social media followings to speak out about Black Lives Matter.
The blogger also said Mulroney was guilty of using her white privilege and wealth to try and intimidate her.
Mulroney apologised but the spat led to the cancellation of her wedding themed reality TV show I Do Redo, as well as the loss of her Good Morning America fashion slot.
Mulroney’s lucrative partnership with Canadian department store Hudson Bay was also canceled and her husband Ben, 44, was forced to step back from hosting CTV entertainment show etalk.
Meghan, who is currently holed up in Tyler Perry’s LA mansion with husband Prince Harry, 35, hasn’t spoken to Mulroney since the row was made public.
Friends said Mulroney is now at her wits’ end and is considering writing a tell-all book about Meghan ‘because she has nothing to lose’.
Although Mulroney is still on a social media sabbatical, her husband Ben has scotched the rumours, declaring them ‘false’.
His appearance and the reality that ‘Megxit’ was happening led to all Meghan’s pent up emotion coming out, according to the authors.
Finding Freedom has been released today
The authors wrote: ‘After the meeting it was time to move on to the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. That was when Harry quietly slipped through the door of the 1844 Room to say hello, and the reality—and the emotions—finally set in
‘Meghan turned around to hug goodbye the last remaining people in the room, including an author of this book. With the state room almost empty except for a few familiar faces, the tears the duchess had been holding back were free to flow.
‘She embraced some of the dedicated team members whose tireless efforts—to promote the couple’s work, launch landmark projects, and deal with the near-daily crises brought on by the tabloids—had come to an abrupt end. ‘I can’t believe this is it,’ she said, hugging one the young female aides she had become close with.
‘Though Team Sussex was a much smaller operation than the more sophisticated offices at Clarence House and Kensington Palace, in the short space of a year since setting up, they had become like family.
At the end of the engagement, Harry joined Meghan and gave her a hug before she quickly changed into her clothes for the Commonwealth Service. ‘The last hat for a while, guys!’ Meghan said with a smile, her tears now wiped away.’
It was at the Commonwealth service that the frosty relationship between brothers William and Harry and their wives was laid bare.
Kate was said by the authors to have avoided eye contact with Meghan with her husband simply nodding towards Harry.
After the service Meghan booked the first flight to Canada and left the UK ’emotional bruised and exhausted’.
Meghan and Harry would ‘binge watch’ Game of Thrones
Harry and Meghan would snuggle up in a sofa and ‘binge watch’ the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ as their romance blossomed
The couple also enjoyed watching the hugely popular crime drama ‘Breaking Bad’ and Disney movies such as ‘The Lion King’
The viewing tastes of the royal couple were revealed in the eagerly awaited biography ‘Finding Freedom’ which is published today.
The authors said the couple spent much of their time during the early days of their romance ‘curled up’ in Harry’s modest living room watching TV.
They said they would emerge ‘from time to time’ to visit a nearby cinema in Notting Hill and afterwards grab a bite to eat.
The authors write:’ London was starting to feel like home. On many nights, she and Harry curled up in his modest living room, binge-watching TV (Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad were favourites).
‘They also had the same taste in films. Fans of Disney, they loved to watch movies like Moana and The Lion King.
‘And thanks to the arrival of awards season in the United States, Meghan was also in possession of a stack of screeners sent out to voters and SAG-AFTRA members. Because Meghan was a member, the pair were able to view the year’s best cinema from the comfort of their own home.
‘They emerged from time to time, visiting the Notting Hill movie theatre the Electric Cinema to see Hidden Figures or grabbing a bite to eat.
They had their tried-and-true spots, including Soho House, the site of their first meeting, and the Sands End, a rustic style gastropub in Fulham owned by Mark Dyer. The former Welsh Guards officer—who accompanied Harry on his gap year—had always been on hand to offer the prince advice and support.’
The book reveals that while in London Meghan was able to fly under the radar and make regular shopping trips to Whole Foods in Kensington High Streetin West London.
But with huge press interest in their romance Harry was left ‘angry and shouting’ after a paparazzi photographer captured the couple in a ‘steamy embrace on their private balcony while attending a wedding in Jamaica.
The couple had flown out for the nuptial of Harry’s close friend Thomas Inskip and had purposely booked a secluded room at the Round Hill Hotel in Montego Bay.
As they embraced on the balcony a photographer was able to get his shots – despite Harry being assured all 110 acres of the resort would be closed to the public.
Meghan was also photographed in her tiny swimsuits’ frolicking in the sea with the prince, according to the book.
Harry was ‘apoplectic with rage and told palace aides to make sure the photos were never published.
‘Do whatever needs to be done’ Harry is reported in the book as saying.
The authors continue: ‘In their villa bedroom, Harry was angry and shouting while Meghan was concerned. She more than understood his feelings about media intrusion, how that deep distrust had formed after his mother’s death and had never gone away, bubbling up each time a reporter took their efforts to get a story too far.
‘But she had never seen him like this. In past incidents with the paparazzi, Meghan had usually been able to find the right words to soothe his anger.
‘Often, she was the only one able to calm Harry down when he got into one of his moods. In Jamaica, however, he remained frustrated for days. He was in such a state that even his buddies remarked on his dour mood.
‘Although Meghan had never seen this side of Harry before, she wasn’t put off by it. Instead, she was sad to see him so affected.’
The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, on December 25, 2018
The book revealed the Prince of Wales’ official 70th birthday photograph with his family was a ‘nightmare’ to plan because his sons blew ‘hot and cold’ with their father. The picture was taken at Clarence House on September 5, 2018
Prince Harry went on a secret diamond scouting mission for Meghan Markle’s ring six months before he proposed – while the couple openly discussed their wedding with palace aides a year after meeting, new biography claims
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle openly discussed their wedding a year after meeting, according to the authors of new biography Finding Freedom.
Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim the Duke and Duchess of Sussex consulted with palace aides about when the best time for a ceremony would be in June 2017.
The couple reportedly met for the first time in London in June 2016, and quickly became ‘obsessed’ with each other, the hotly anticipated book claims.
Although he was yet to propose, Harry, 35, reportedly had a ring ‘in the works’ from as early as May 2017, having sourced the ‘conflict-free’ diamond while on a secret scouting mission in Africa with a close friend.
‘By June 2017, [Meghan] and Harry weren’t talking about their wedding as a possibility so much as an absolute,’ the authors write.
‘They even went so far as to bring the Palace into the conversation, consulting with the prince’s aides about the best time for a ceremony.’
They added: ‘Unbeknownst to most, [Harry] already had an engagement ring in the works. That May, Harry travelled alone to Botswana in his role as patron of Rhino Conversation Botswana.
‘While in Africa, he did a little secret diamond scouting with a close friend who helped him to source the perfect conflict-free stone.’
Harry and Meghan didn’t announce their intention to marry until November 2017, where the Duke said he popped the question ‘earlier this month’ while they were ‘roasting a chicken’ during a ‘cosy night in’.
However the book also claims they were already ‘secretly engaged’ at the Invictus Games that September, after Harry popped the question in August 2017 while the couple were on a romantic holiday in Botswana – where they are said to have celebrated both Meghan’s 36th birthday and their first year as a couple.
The bombshell biography suggests Meghan dropped a huge hint she and Prince Harry were ‘already engaged’ at the event in Toronto.
The games was the couple’s first official outing together, and the now Duchess of Sussex wore a £137 blouse by her fashion designer friend Misha Nonoo dubbed the ‘Husband’ shirt for the occasion.
At the time many royal watchers hoped the wardrobe choice was a sign of Meghan’s intentions towards the prince.
Speaking after their official engagement announcement, former Suits star Meghan said it was ‘an amazing surprise’, adding: ‘It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.’
In the interview given to the BBC’s Mishal Husain at Kensington Palace, Harry added: ‘She didn’t even let me finish, she said, ‘Can I say yes, can I say yes’ and then there was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like, ‘Can I, can I give you the ring?’ She goes, ‘Oh yes the ring’.
‘So no, it was – it was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch her by surprise as well.’
A friend of the couple told Scobie and Durand that Harry was so ‘obsessed’ after their first date in summer 2016 it was as if he was ‘in a trance’.
A friend of Meghan’s added: ‘He definitely didn’t hide the fact that he was keen. He wanted her to know he was very interested.’
The couple felt a ‘palpable attraction’ after their first date, with Harry reportedly left in a ‘trance’ and Meghan telling friends ‘this could have legs’.
The 2017 trip to Botswana was not the couple’s first visit to the African country. In their 2018 engagement interview, Harry recalled how he ‘convinced’ Meghan to fly out there to join him on a trip and said they spent a romantic five days camping out under the stars.
‘It was I think about three, maybe four weeks [after their first date] that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana,’ he said at the time.
‘And we, we camped out with each other under the stars, we spent, she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.’
The book claims Harry knew Meghan Markle was his soulmate when she went for a pee in the woods on their first trip abroad.
The book says: ‘Harry was delightfully surprised by Meghan’s down-to-earth attitude.
‘While camping she cleaned her face with baby wipes and happily wandered into the woodlands if she needed a bathroom break.’
It adds that Harry enjoyed a classic bacon and egg breakfast on the glamping trip to Meno A Kwena, where they stayed in a £1,500-a-night tent complete with en-suite bathroom and private terrace.
His future wife, however, opted to begin the day with a bowl of fruit and yoghurt, with her morning ritual traditionally consisting of hot water with lemon followed by steel cut oats with bananas and agave syrup.
She is said to have encouraged the prince to adopt a healthier lifestyle right from the start of their relationship, introducing him to yoga and meditation.
The book claims Harry was impressed that she only brought one backpack for the entire trip, which included sunscreen to protect her fair-skinned new partner.
Meghan is said to have told a friend after returning from Africa ‘just completely spellbound’ that ‘I’ve never felt that safe…close to someone in such a short amount of time’.
Botswana has a special significance for Prince Harry, who first visited Botswana shortly after his mother Princess Diana’s death, when he travelled there with his brother and father.
Harry fell in love with the country on that first trip and has since returned regularly, getting increasingly involved with wildlife conservation efforts in Botswana.
The book also details how Harry cut off contact with his friend Inskip after he voiced concern that he was rushing into romance with Meghan.
The pair later got back on speaking terms.
Harry and William blew ‘hot and cold’ with their father Prince Charles and his 70th birthday photo was a ‘nightmare’
The book also revealed the Prince of Wales’ official 70th birthday photograph with his family was a ‘nightmare’ to plan because his sons blew ‘hot and cold’ with their father.
But the book also comments on how when Charles contracted Covid-19, Harry immediately telephoned his father to find out how the 71-year-old was doing.
Co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in the book: ‘The boys can be hot and cold with their father’ disclosed a source, who gave the example of planning the photo session for Charles’ 70th birthday, which they called ‘an absolute nightmare’.
‘Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available’, the source said.’
Charles’ 70th birthday in 2018 was marked by the release of two official images, featuring the heir to the throne sat on a bench with Prince George on his knee, and sat next to him was the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Charlotte.
Stood behind the prince and his wife were William and Kate, with the duchess holding Prince Louis, and Harry and Meghan.
The book also claims how the relationship between Charles and Harry was more complicated than a traditional father and son bond.
The authors wrote in Finding Freedom: ‘While Charles may be father to Harry, he’s also their boss, and that makes the relationship complex for a number of reasons’, a source added.
‘Charles is extremely focused on his public image, and there have been times Harry has felt that has taken precedence over everything else’, the source said.’
The book looks back over the events of the last few years, from when the couple first met and fell in love, their decision to step down as working royals in order to have financial freedom and the first few weeks of the coronavirus lockdown.
But the relationship between Harry and his father is understood to have moved on from the start of the year when the duke sat down to negotiate with the Queen, Charles and William about his future role.
When Charles caught coronavirus in March, the concern aroused in his son is thought to have brought the pair closer.
The book says: ‘The doctors described the Prince of Wales as in ‘good spirits’ and his symptoms as mild, it was still enough to fill Harry with worry.
‘He immediately called Charles at Birkhall, his Scottish home where he was now quarantined. Harry regularly checked in on his father until he was out of quarantine and recovered – as well as Camilla, who isolated herself as precaution.’
Meghan got SAS training
The Duchess of Sussex underwent SAS training after being sent ‘absolutely terrifying and stomach churning’ threats when she joined the royal family, according to the sensational book Finding Freedom.
She took part in a mock kidnapping and taught how to establish a relationship with her abductors as well as being ‘saved’ from a hostage situation by officers firing fake guns.
The book, which is published today, revealed that Meghan was rushed into her two day training session after she and Harry received a large number of threats when their relationship became public.
A source told authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand that Meghan found the experience ‘ extremely intense and scary’.
Senior members of the Royal family such as Prince Charles and Prince William have undergone the training course at the SAS HQ in Hereford.
The authors said Meghan’s took place before she was officially a member of the royal family due to the high level of threats received by Palace staff.
An aide said: ‘There have been some absolutely terrifying and stomach churning threats made to Meghan since she started dating Harry.
‘Unfortunately, they continued for some time.’
The hate mail culminated with security teams intercepting an envelope that was feared to contain the deadly toxin Anthrax.
The authors write:’ While on the outside it seemed to be much like any other piece of mail received by the busy mail room based at Clarence House, this one was filled with racist musings and unidentified white powder.
‘The material feared to be anthrax, turned out to be harmless. At least physically.
‘The night of the incident, though, Meghan barely slept, later admitting to a friend that she worried the incident was her ‘new normal’.
‘A good friend of Meghan’s called her Grace Under Fire, because despite whatever pressure she was under, she didn’t fall apart.’
The bombshell biography also reveals how Russian hackers were able to steal hundreds of personal photos in September 2018 after gaining access to an online account set up to hold photos of the couple.
Among those stolen in the devastating data breach were unseen photos of Harry and Meghan and the Queen taken at their wedding.
While some of the images were leaked online they were dismissed as fake.
A source told the authors the data leak was a ‘wake up call’ for the couple and they improved security.
The authors wrote:’ On September 12 2018, a computer programmer based in Russia managed to hack an online cloud storage account that contained over two hundred unseen photos of Harry And Meghan that had been taken by the photographer Alexi Lubomirski.
‘Among the stole images were pictures of the couple sharing personal moments during their engagement photo series as well as others from their wedding day reception( including some of the Queen).
‘The large set also included outtakes with eyes half closed and other unflattering moments meant for the trash can.
‘The hacker leaked a handful of photos to Tumblr ( photo sharing site) Many fans assumed they were fake, photo shopped images but behind the scenes there was concern at Kensington Palace when they received a tip about the security breach.
‘Harry and Meghan were ‘alarmed to hear that it was so easy to get such personal files of theirs’.
Concern over their safety was also behind the move from rented country home in Oxfordshire to Nottingham Cottage,part of Kensington Palace in London.
A source told the authors pregnant Meghan felt ‘vulnerable’ in the countryside and it prompted their move back into London.
The source said while the area was safe ‘being out in the middle of the countryside, where you don’t know who is out there at night or if someone has managed to sneak nearby’ was enough for them to move out.
Meghan’ faith in God plays a ‘central role’ in her life and has got her through the ‘darkest moments’
Meghan Markle’s faith plays a central role in her life while prayer and conversations with God have got her through the ‘darkest moments’, a source claims in Finding Freedom.
In the hotly-anticipated biography by authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which is out today, the insider claims the Duchess of Sussex’s ‘spirituality’ saw her gather her Suits castmates for a ‘prayer circle’ before they began filming.
According to the source, who is reportedly a close friend and has often prayed with Meghan, 39, both she and Harry have been on a ‘journey of faith together’ during their relationship.
The Sussexes, who stepped down as working royals in March after a series of final engagements in the UK, recently moved to a 14-acre estate in the famed 90210 postcode of Beverly Hills after flying from the Vancouver Island they were living on in March.
Finding Freedom provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from royal life, with co-authors Scobie and Durand insisting ‘all information in this book has at least two sources’.
Discussing the perceived betrayal of her old school friend Ninaki Priddy, who claimed she wasn’t shocked at all by the news of Meghan’s engagement because ‘she was always fascinated by the Royal Family’, the friend of the duchess told the authors: ‘Part of what helped Meghan get through this difficult time was her faith.
‘Her relationship with God and with her church is extremely important to her. That’s something most people do not know about her. It plays a central role in her life, as an individual, as a woman.’
They added: ‘When I talk about her faith being a big part of her life, it’s her faith in God. It’s her faith in her family. Her faith in the people closest to her.’
A further source claimed: ‘It’s prayer and conversations with God that have gotten her through the darkest moments.
‘That’s something that plays a significant role in her life and her relationship with Harry. The two have been on a journey of faith together.’
The book also goes on to discuss the duchess’ regular meetings with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby ahead of her baptism into the Church of England prior to her wedding, with whom she formed a ‘close bond’ according to a royal aide.
Meghan’s family wasn’t overly religious, however she was raised with an ‘awareness of God’, according to the book,
Her mother Doria Ragland was brought up Protestant and her father Thomas Markle became a confirmed member of the Episcopal Church at the age of 14, but Meghan attended a Catholic school for educational reasons.
According to Mr Markle, Meghan was not christened as a child because he and Doria did not share the same faith. A family friend claimed religion was ‘not pushed on her’, but her spirituality is ‘born out of her own individual experience’.
While studying at Northwestern, one of Meghan’s best friends came from a Christian family and the pair would reportedly ‘often pray together while at school’.
This cemented prayer as a tool for Meghan to help her face life’s challenges, write the authors.
‘She used to gather the cast and crew of Suits for a prayer circle before starting work,’ they claim. ‘Her invocations on set were never about a specific theology. Instead, she wanted to bring everyone together during moments of transition or difficulty.’
Meghan’s choice to be baptised before marrying Harry was apparently her choice out of respect for the Queen and a ‘step forward on her own spiritual journey’, according to a friend.
During her meetings with the Archbishop, the pair would reportedly discuss ‘many personal matters’, including her previous marriage to producer Trevor Engelson, with Mr Welby asking her ‘what she learned from her divorce’.
Speaking about her baptism, one of the 18 guests described the service, held at St James’ Palace’s Chapel Royal in March 2018, as ‘uplifting’.
Meghan Markle DID take offence to Princess Michael of Kent’s blackamoor brooch that she wore to Christmas lunch and thought it was ‘insensitive’ towards her African American heritage, biography claims
The Duchess of Sussex felt Princess Michael of Kent’s controversial ‘blackamoor’ brooch ‘sent a message’ after the royal wore the jewel to the Queen’s Christmas lunch, according to new biography Finding Freedom.
Princess Michael of Kent, 75, came under fire in for wearing the jewellery to the Queen’s event at Buckingham Palace in 2017, which was the first attended by Meghan Markle, 39.
The book, out today and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claims that ‘in the back of Meghan’s mind, she wondered if there wasn’t a message being sent in the pin of the torso of an African man wearing a gold turban and ornate clothing.’
Finding Freedom provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from royal life, with co-authors Scobie and Durand insisting ‘all information in this book has at least two sources’.
Meghan Markle, 39, felt Princess Michael of Kent, 75, was ‘sending a message’ with her controversial ‘blackamoor’ brooch worn to the Duchess’ first Christmas lunch with the royal family (pictured, at the event in 2017)
Princess Michael of Kent found herself under fire in 2017 after she wore a ‘blackamoor’ brooch to the Queen’s Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, attended by Meghan
Princess Michael, who is married to the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael, could clearly be seen wearing the jewellery on her coat as she drove through the gates days before Christmas.
She was not sat at the same table as Meghan but would have been introduced to her at the intimate, private gathering.
Blackamoor are a genre of figurines, small sculptures or jewellery which depict largely men, but sometimes women, with black skin usually from the 18th century.
Many will be worth £10,000 or more.
The princess lives in an apartment at Kensington Palace, just a stone’s throw from Harry and Meghan’s cottage in the grounds.
At the time, Princess Michael was roundly condemned on social media with comments ranging from: ‘Has no-one noticed the blackamoor pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing.? Really? Meghan Markle official meets the family and is greeted by THIS?’
Another attacked her for her ‘racist jewellery’, while a third added: ‘I hope the Queen is going to ban this horrible woman from any further gatherings. This woman is an embarrassment to the Royal Family.
The royal, who is married to the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael, could clearly be seen wearing the jewellery on her coat as she drove through the gates (pictured, a similar brooch)
Blackamoor: 18th century art and jewellery linked to ‘racial conquest’
Princess Michael of Kent donned the blackamoor brooch for the monarch’s annual family lunch in December 2017
Blackamoor jewellery and art was extremely popular in the 18th Century.
But they are now considered to be highly racially insensitive and the word blackamoor has been condemned as a term of abuse for anyone with a dark skin.
In recent years there have been petitions for galleries and hotels to remove them,
Blackamoors first emerged during the Middle Ages when Europeans first encountered the Moors, dark-skinned Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East who came to occupy various parts of the continent.
The African figure is typically depicted with a turban, dressed in lavish jewels and are commonly fixed in positions of servitude—such as footmen or waiters. They are usually carved from ebony or painted black in the case of porcelain.
While they became an art form in the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly in Italy, many believe the figures suggest ‘racial conquest’.
According to the book, the choice to wear the the brooch to the event was ‘at the bare minimum’ an ‘insensitivity to Meghan’s African American Roots and the racism she had encountered since pairing up with Harry.’
The authors write: ‘When it comes to royal fashion, much thought goes into every detail.
‘Princess Michael’s choice of brooch could have simple been a mistake, but in the back of Meghan’s mind, she wondered if there wasn’t a message being sent in the pin of the torso of an African man wearing a gold turban and ornate clothing.’
A spokesperson for Princess Michael said at the time that she was ‘very sorry and distressed’ for wearing the brooch, adding it was a gift she’s worn many times before, without controversy.
The full statement said: ‘The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before.
‘Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence.’
However, the authors of Finding Freedom write that Meghan felt ‘the damage was done.’
They write: ‘Regardless, the damage had been done, particularly since the Queen’s purpose had been to make Meghan, who had just moved to England, feel at home for the holidays.’
It was not the first time that the royal, dubbed Princess Pushy, has found herself at the centre of a racist row.
In 2004 she was accused of insulting a party of black diners at a smart New York restaurant by allegedly telling them to ‘go back to the colonies’ in a row over noise.
The princess strongly denied the allegations, claiming to have said she would be ‘ready to go back to the colonies’ during a dispute about noise with the other table.
But she subsequently went on to make a series of toe-curling remarks in a television interview about the incident, referring to African people as ‘adorable’.
Talking of her extensive travels through Africa she said: ‘I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black.
‘I travelled on African buses. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it’s a knife through the heart because I really love these people.’
How the Sussexes are raising their son away from the spotlight: Biographers reveal Archie enjoys swimming lessons and FINALLY confirm the name of his godmother (and say Meghan Markle can’t help but ‘brag’ about her boy)
The explosive new biography Finding Freedom has shed some light on the life of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s fourteen-month-old son Archie Harrison.
In one part, the authors describe how Archie became the royal couple’s ‘sole source of joy’ during a period when they felt ‘so much stress in their life.’
The book offers new insights into why the couple decided upon his unusual name, which means ‘bravery and strength’, after dismissing the more traditional Archibald ‘after considering it for a second’.
Meanwhile the authors also reveal a glimpse into the couple’s life with Archie, whom they welcomed last June, including the name of one of his illusive ‘secret’ godparents and the swimming lessons he has taken throughout his short life.
Finding Freedom has offered a glimpse into the private life of Prince Harry35, and Meghan Markle’s, 39, one-year-old son Archie Harrison
ECSTASY AT BIRTH
According to Omid and Carolyn, Meghan felt ‘relieved’ to have her ‘beautiful sweet little boy’ in her arms for the first time.
A source told the authors: ‘Archie was alert as soon as he arrived – eyes wide-open.
‘Meghan described the moment she first held him as “ecstasy…total bliss and contentment.”‘
Meanwhile another confidante of the royal said: ‘Like any mother, you can’t fully know what to expect until you have been through all of it.’
A BRAVE NAME
Meanwhile Omid and Carolyn write that Prince Harry and Meghan wanted a name which was ‘something traditional, a name that was powerful even without a title in front of it.’
They write: ‘Archie, meaning strength and bravery, fit the bill.’
Meanwhile a friend of the couple revealed ‘with a laugh’: ‘They thought about Archibald for all of one second. He was always going to be little Archie.’
Meanwhile the book also reveals the reasoning behind the couple’s decision not to give their son a royal title.
The authors write: ‘They decided to forgo a title for their son because they wanted him to be a private citizen until he was at an age where he could decide which path he would like to take.
The authors revealed how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge settled on the name Archie because it signified ‘bravery and strength’
‘Meanwhile a source also told the authors how the pair both worried about the day Prince Charles would become king and Prince Harry’s children could inherit titles of prince or princess.’
The couple went on to share their views and ‘concerns’ with Prince Charles, who said he would ‘consider when he became king issuing a new letters patent, a legal instrument in the form of a written order issued by a reigning monarch, that would change this style.’
A source added: ‘To not have a senior role in the royal family but have a title is just a burden.’
Meanwhile the couple also sought approval from the Queen before announcing Archie’s name with the authors writing that this was ‘out of respect’ for the monarch.
SHARING NEWS OF HIS BIRTH
After Meghan gave birth, Prince Harry took to texting and calling friends (including Skippy, who he was speaking with more reg at this point) and family with the news.
He started with the Queen and Prince Philip, who were first to hear about Archie’s arrival.
According to the biography, the royal then sent his father and brother texts along with photographs of his new son, before notifying other family members through the special cousins-only Whatsapp group that all royals are a part of.
He also made sure to tell Diana’s family – Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes and Earl Charles Spencer, as well as Tiggy, whom he wanted to pick as a godmother long before he came a father.
Meanwhile the authors revealed that Meghan’s mother Doria messaged Thomas with the news, which Meghan had asked her to do because she didn’t want him to find out after the rest of the world.
The authors write that Meghan didn’t want to know whether her father replied to her mother’s text.
A QUIET BOY
After welcoming their son to the world in June 2019, the couple began getting to know their son.
The authors explain: ‘The couple couldn’t quite get over how silent their new baby was.
‘Meghan told a friend that Archie slept so quietly she sometimes wanted him to make noise so he knew she was okay.
‘Archie had a nursery but also slept in a bassinet in Prince Harry and Meghan’s bedroom.’
The authors write how Meghan ‘boasts’ to friends about her son, often telling friends about how the little royal is ‘ninetieth percentile for height.’
They detail: ‘She eagerly offered to pull out her phone to show some of the many photos she had of her boy.’
SECRET GODMOTHER REVEALED
Meanwhile elsewhere in the explosive biography, the authors reveal one of the secret godparents for the youngster is Izzy May, who lives in West London (pictured at the Duke and Duchess’ wedding)
The Duke and Duchess have never revealed their son Archie’s godparents, but rumours have long swirled about who the chosen few could be.
The book confirms that Izzy May is ‘Meghan’s close confidant and also one of Archie’s godmothers and she made regular visits to Frogmore Cottage.’
Izzy, who lives in West London, was introduced to Meghan by mutual friend Markus Anderson, a director at the A-list members’ club Soho House – who arranged Meghan and Prince Harry’s first dates together.
The former Burberry director of communications even attended the Royal couple’s wedding last May.
She was seated in the second row on the bride’s side – in front of Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey and the Clooneys – perhaps signifying her closeness to Meghan.
Meanwhile the authors write: ‘ She became one of the few people in the UK that Meghan felt she could trust with ‘anything.’
From the Queen herself to the royal family’s bit-part players including Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, no-one is apparently safe from a fun-poking moniker.
One of Queen Elizabeth II’s numerous nicknames is indeed Gary, given to her by Prince William in his childhood when he couldn’t correctly pronounce ‘granny,’ instead saying ‘Gary.’
Meanwhile Omid and Carolyn write that little Archie is no different, with his parents oft referring to the little boy ‘Bubba’ or ‘Arch’.
SWIMMING LESSONS AND BABY CLASSES
The authors write: ‘Earlier in the summer, Baby Archie started taking swimming lessons (after his parents anxiously looked up videos on YouTube about how babies hold their breath under water).’
Meanwhile they also detail how the little boy ‘loved being read to by his parents ‘ and ‘particularly enjoyed the riddle and rhyme book Is Your Mamma A Llama? by Deborah Guarino.’
Later, the authors write: ‘Like many new parents, Meghan enjoyed taking him to classes, like the Happy Clappy music class in Windsor she brought Archie to by herself in Cotober (protection officers stood outside).
‘All the moms and two dads in the room were wide-eyed as the Duchess of Sussex joined their circle with Archie who went straight for the tambourine and according to his mom ‘loved it.’
ANIMAL NOISES IN AFRICA
Baby Archie joined the royal couple on their final tour as working members of The Firm, with the authors writing how he continued to grow and learn during the trip.
They write: ‘After the trip he continued to achieve new milestones, including mimicking the sound of animals during their stay at the high commissioner’s residence in Cape Town.
BABY PROOFING THEIR CANADA HOME
In autumn 2019, the couple decided to take some time away from their royal duty in the UK and travelled to North America.
Prince Harry and Meghan decided to stay aboard for Thanksgiving and Christmas, opting for a mansion on Vancouver Island to spend some well-earned time with their son.
The authors explain how the couple spent time ‘babyproofing’ their Canadian home, despite knowing it was a temporary set up.
They write: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan had done everything they could to make sure it was baby-friendly. Sharp corners were proofed with discreet rubber pads and certain items of furniture moved out of harms way.
‘With the six-month-old now standing and shuffling along the edges of furniture more than crawling, they didn’t want to take any risks.’
Meanwhile they also detail how the couple took ‘daily walks with Archie around the wooded landscape and sandy beachfront.’