A new biography about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is coming out - but what does it reveal?
A new biography that charts the story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is hoping to give readers an unprecedented look behind-the-scenes of 'Megxit' and the reasons why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to remove themselves from official royal duties early in 2020.
Finding Freedom is written by royal correspondents Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, and although neither Harry nor Meghan made any contributions to the unofficial publication, its content has been pieced together from the authors’ experiences working in the royal press.
Here's a handful of the exciting revelations we've learned so far:
What have we learned?
One of the most recent extracts to be published, claims Prince Charles was “crushed” as confirmation of his son's romance dominated the news cycle and took the limelight away from his and Camilla’s diplomatic tour of the Gulf.
Durand and Scobie wrote that Harry felt a need to “prioritise” Meghan over his duty to the greater royal family in the statement which hit out at the “racial undertones” of some coverage.
Harry confirmed he was dating US actress Meghan Markle in the November 2016 statement and lashed out at the “wave of abuse and harassment” she has faced from the media.
News of the royal romance emerged around a week before the statement was issued, with The Sunday Express reporting the pair met in May while Harry was in Canada promoting Invictus Games 2017.
According to the co-authors, Charles was “disappointed” with the timing of the announcement but understood that a “tipping point” had been reached with Harry’s relationship with Meghan.
The statement was issued by Prince Harry’s Communications Secretary on 8 November 2016, as Charles arrived in Bahrain - which his team had hoped would be “covered significantly”.
The book said: “A statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press and, in the same breath, confirming Harry’s new girlfriend would all but eliminate coverage of Prince Charles’s tour of the Gulf.
“The Palace decided to go ahead with the statement nonetheless, much of which was drafted by Harry himself.
“Charles learnt of it just 20 minutes before it went out. Sure enough, as soon as Harry put out his declaration, the statement dominated the news cycle.
“The team at Clarence House, which had spent months putting together Prince Charles’s tour in the hopes that it would be covered significantly, was crushed.”
Are Harry and Meghan liked within the Royal Family?
The book also covers claims that the Duke of Sussex was angered by what he perceived as his brother’s “snobbish” attitude to his bride, and suggestions the Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.
The tensions continued further, especially following Harry and Meghan's decision to retire from royal duties.
By March 2020, Kate Middleton and Prince William and Meghan and Harry barely spoke a word to each other at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey.
Harry is also said to have grown weary of relationship advice from his brother, who "just wanted to make sure that Harry wasn’t blindsided by lust."
But who could blame Harry's reluctance at receiving advice from fellow Royals: according to the book, a senior courtier is reported to have described Meghan as the Palace’s “squeaky third wheel”, and even senior royals were labelling her “Harry’s showgirl... with a lot of baggage."
The pair are also reportedly extremely savvy about their personal brand, launching their own website and attempting to trademark the name ‘Sussex Royal’.
“As their popularity had grown, so did Harry and Meghan’s difficulty in understanding why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests,” an extract reads.
“They were a major draw for the royal family.
When can I read it?
The book is currently being serialised by The Times and the Sunday Times, with extracts appearing daily.
A full release of the book is set for 11 August 2020, and it is due to be published by HQ.