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New book says Prince Harry and Meghan felt ‘overshadowed’ by royal family

by Jennifer McShane
25th Jul 2020

In the first excerpt from the upcoming Finding Freedom, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand reveal just how tense things were behind closed doors

Any book written about the royal family in 2020 is always going to generate interest; this has, after all, been the year of ‘Megxit’, when two members of the royal family stepped back in a way that was shocking – yet surprised no one.

Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family is the new, fairly sensationalised book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, being serialised by The Times.

It has been billed as “their side of the story,“ but, and this is important, does not contain an interview with any member in question of the royal family, but rather over 100 ‘close sources’ – take from that what you will or, take what is being written with a pinch of salt. Either way, it makes for some interesting reading.

The authors started piecing the book together in 2018, and, among other things,  reveals the full extent of the “battles” between Harry and Meghan and William and Kate, who, it has alleged publicly snubbed Meghan on her final royal engagement.

“Although Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the duchess barely acknowledged her,” it says. “To purposefully snub your sister-in-law… I don’t think it left a great taste in the couple’s mouths.”

According to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the Sussexes resented not being able to be the royals they wanted to be, bound by tradition and always trailing behind The Cambridges, who, it seems in the eyes of much of the public, as well as the royal family, can never put a foot wrong.

The Sussexes felt their complaints were not taken seriously and believed others within the royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.

“There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust,” the authors said.  And, the couple, they said: “liked being in control of their narrative” in the early days of their marriage.

It is also claimed that Harry felt “unprotected” by his family and not taken seriously by palace courtiers who felt he was too sensitive and outspoken. Harry also apparently believed that some courtiers “simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult”.

Meghan, who gave up her career and her home to marry Harry in 2018, is said to have told friends “I gave up my entire life for this family.” 

It details apparent in-fighting between the ‘Fab Four’ as they were dubbed by the press and it’s this which, according to the book, was a significant factor in The Sussexes deciding to step down.

Their treatment by some of the British press was also a deciding factor in the couple’s decision to end their time as senior members of the royal family.

News of the book comes just a little while after their announcement not to engage with certain UK tabloids after their frenzied coverage of the royal couple over the past two years was relentless and frequently steeped in racism.

Meghan, who gave up her career and her home to marry Harry in 2018, is said to have told friends “I gave up my entire life for this family.”

The biography will be available to buy worldwide on Amazon.com on August 11, according to the website.

Main photograph: @Sussex98

Read more: Will we ever stop pitting Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton against each other?
Read more: Megxit: the blaming of Meghan Markle for the Royal Retirement is misogyny at work
Read more: Why this parka coat is a symbol of Meghan Markle’s newfound freedom