A long-awaited biography chronicling the relationship between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is soon to be released, providing claims and revelations about the couple’s meeting, marriage, work and departure from the royal family.
The biography is not authorised, and this has been clarified by representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who stressed that they had not been interviewed for the book and that the author’s version of events comes from their ‘own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting’.
Nevertheless, the biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, penned by royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, is making waves for its apparent behind-the-scenes revelations about a relationship which has been subject to unthinkable levels of press and public fascination, attention, scrutiny and harassment since it begun in 2016… eventually leading the couple to step away from royal life in hope of a future where there lives will be less interrogated.
Three excerpts from the book have now been serialised in the Times and Sunday Times, detailing a fractious relationship between the Sussexes and some members of the royal family and their staff, the early days of their relationship, lead up to the wedding – including clarifying previous tabloid stories – and the days preceding their landmark statement about become financially and physically independent from the monarchy.
Here are the most fascinating claims from ‘Finding Freedom’:
Prince Harry had a secret Instagram account with an unlikely handle
Scobie and Durand claim that shortly after Meghan and Harry had their first date, the Suits actor began following an Instagram account called ‘@SpikeyMau5’.
The secret account belonged to none other than Prince Harry and was named after Harry’s love of house music, paying homage to DJ Deadmau5, claims the book. The ‘spike’ part of the handle refers to a nickname some protection officers had for the Prince and a Facebook alias he also used to go by.
Meghan did not have a private account, famously and had 1 million followers long before she met the Prince thanks to her Suits fame.
Prince William allegedly told Harry to take it slow with Meghan
Prince Harry was allegedly aggrieved when he was advised by his elder brother to take his relationship with Meghan slow.
According to the book:
‘Don’t feel you need to rush this,” William told Harry, according to sources. ‘Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.
In those last two words, “this girl”, Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world. During his 10-year career in the military, outside the royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession.
According to the book, the Duke of Cambridge was pleased his brother seemed happy with his new love, but was looking out for Harry, who can allegedly take things too personally and can be sensitive in comparison to William.
The book claims others within palace circles made swift judgments about Meghan, which only increased Harry’s protectiveness of his future wife.
The souring relationship between the Cambridges and Sussexes
The book claims that the relationship between William and Kate and Harry and Meghan had deteriorated even before the 2018 royal wedding.
‘Although Meghan might have understood Kate’s wariness to strike up a meaningful friendship, they were still no closer by the time she was a fellow senior working member of the royal family and the wife of William’s brother. Flowers for her birthday were nice, but Meghan would far rather have had Kate check in on her during the most difficult times with the press.’
However, while not particularly close friends – and let’s be fair, many other sisters-in-law might feel the same – the book says they ‘were not at war with each other’ like some sections of the media claimed, pitting both women against each other.
The book suggests that shortly before Harry and Meghan announced they were effectively leaving the royal family at the start of the year, relations between the Cambridges and Sussexes had soured culminating in the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey where they barely spoke with one another.
Prince Harry allegedly reads comments about himself and Meghan
Since the get go, the royal couple have been the subject of many hurtful stories, but rather than ignoring them, Harry indulges by reading them, the book claims, even scrolling to read ‘trolls’ comments under tabloid newspaper articles.
This is not the first time this has been claimed of Prince Harry. In 2017, former royal editor at The Sun Duncan Larcombe told Cosmopolitan UK: ‘I was always surprised at just how religiously he reads stuff that’s written about him. I think Prince Charles hasn’t read a newspaper in years but Harry, and to some extent William, they almost read everything that’s written. It’s a sign that probably deep down he is worried about what people think of him.’
‘False’ Royal Wedding stories
The book clarified false wedding stories that circulated following the 2018 extravaganza. A story that did the rounds, adding to the harmful ‘duelling Duchesses’ narrative, was that Meghan left Kate in tears following a bridesmaids fitting. This was false, the book says.
A source, who was at the mid-May wedding fitting and has never discussed before what really happened, said stories about tears have been ‘puzzling’ to those who were present. ‘Some of the children weren’t co-operating, and there was a lot going on. Everyone tried to help where they could, but it’s never easy with kids at fittings. There were no tears from anyone. And in the end, the fitting was fine. Kate and Meghan were both a little stressed but professionals in the room, and there were other people there.’
The book says they have confirmed with ‘several aides’ from across the palace that the story was false.
Another similar story, claiming that Meghan instructed Diptyque diffusers to be placed around St George’s Chapel for her wedding day, was not all it seems either. The book says the plans were signed off by all parties and were similar to scented candles Kate requested for her Westminster Abbey wedding in 2011.
Meghan ‘gave up her entire life’ for the royal family
Following a tense few months, Meghan reportedly tearfully told a friend in March: ‘I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.’
The Sussexes’ anger at the palace refusing to clarify false tabloid stories
Much of Harry and Meghan’s upset was around not feeling supported by all sections of the royal operation, the book claims, with anger at leaks to the press and bureaucracy which meant some of their plans were put on hold.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also saddened by the palace not clarifying false news stories, the book says.
While it is very much the norm for the palace to not wade into every story about the royals, the couple were reportedly upset when they did issue a rare statement to deny that the Duchess of Cambridge had undergone a Botox procedure.
Their third date was in Botswana
After conducting their first date – a blind date, set up by a mutual friend – at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, the couple’s third date was in Botswana.
It’s long been known that the African nation holds a special place in the couple’s heart – Meghan’s engagement ring contains a stone sourced from the country and the mother-of-one has discussed camping there with her husband before – it perhaps wasn’t known that they holidayed together so early on.