Finding Freedom: All The Revelations From New Harry And Meghan Biography

This is what you need to know about Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's new book...

Harry and Meghan Finding Freedom

by Grazia |

We're still a few weeks away from the official release of Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's Finding Freedom - the new book about Harry and Meghan's relationship - but some of its revelations have emerged via extracts published in The Times. Here's what you need to know about the book's contents so far, ahead of its release on August 11th.

What is revealed in the book?

Finding Freedom has promised to lift the lid on the atmosphere behind the scenes that led to Meghan and Harry leaving the Royal Family – a move famously dubbed Megxit - saying that ‘few knew the true story.’ It appears the book has done just that, saying that friends close to the couple call Palace courtiers ‘vipers’, such is the feeling they were not on the side of the couple.

It was Harry’s decision to leave the Royal Family

Whilst many have speculated that the Sussexes decision to leave the Royal Family was down to Meghan, Finding Freedom insists that the impetus very much came from Harry. ‘Few knew how much she sacrificed to try to make it work,’ it reports. ‘As Meghan 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.”’

Meghan and Harry returning to London just before their decision to leave the Royal Family went public
Meghan and Harry returning to London just before their decision to leave the Royal Family went public ©Getty Images

Instead, Finding Freedom suggests that Harry has long struggled with his role in the Royal Family – a sentiment that was behind his decision to join the army, and decline to give Archie a title. ‘Meghan simply emboldened him to make the change,’ the book says. It details months of in-fighting where Harry and Meghan felt the Palace were capitalising on their global popularity but refusing to support them in their desire to operate differently as the backdrop to their bombshell announcement they were quitting the Royal Family.

Meghan and Kate have struggled to move past ‘distant politeness’

Much has been made of the sour relationship between the two Duchesses over the years – with stories emerging that Meghan made Kate cry over an argument about whether Princess Charlotte should wear tights at her 2018 wedding.

Finding Freedom will only add to that narrative. Whilst the book points out that ‘the state of affairs between the two women was just an offshoot of the real issue at hand’ it says that the pair have failed to establish more than a cordial relationship. ‘The two duchesses’ relationship had struggled to move past the distant politeness of when they first met,’ it says of a moment Kate and Meghan were photographed together with their children at the polo but where they apparently barely exchanged a word.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Commonwealth Ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Commonwealth Ceremony ©Getty Images

The book goes on to describe one of Harry and Meghan’s final events as Royals, the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey, where it alleges the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were frosty with the couple. ‘It was the first time the two couples had seen each other since January. “Harry,” William nodded, ignoring Meghan,’ it reports. ‘Although Meghan tried to make eye contact with Kate, the duchess barely acknowledged her.’

Who are Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand: the authors of Finding Freedom?

The authors of Finding Freedom are Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, two royal journalists who have been following Meghan and Harry’s careers for years.

Scobie has been covering the lives of the royals for over eight years, and is Harper Bazaar's royal editor at large, as well as being a regular on Good Morning America and ABC News. And he hosts the network's podcast The Heir Pod. As well as all this, he has also followed Harry, Meghan, William and Kate on their engagements in the UK and around the world.

Durand is a royal writer who has covered the royal family for the last 15 years for places like ELLE and Oprah. She is also a producer, and has produced multiple interviews with members of the Royal Family including Prince Harry.

Harry and Meghan in the rain at the Endeavour Awards
Harry and Meghan in the rain at the Endeavour Awards ©Getty Images

Did Meghan and Harry collaborate with Finding Freedom’s authors?

Some reviews of Finding Freedom have called it an ‘unauthorised biography’, claiming that Harry and Meghan have both sanctioned friends to speak to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – and given the pair an off-the-record interview themselves.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has denied that the couple had anything to do with the book. 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom’,' it reads. 'This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.'

Scobie also categorically denies the couple were involved to The Times, saying ‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we.’ When pressed on it, he repeats: ‘There’s no on-the-record interviews with the couple.’

However, he does admit that his time around the royal couple whilst reporting on their charity events has left him well placed to understand their characters and that in writing Finding Freedom he and Durand would like to ‘correct the record’ on the narrative already out there about Harry and Meghan.

What do the reviews say?

As yet, no reviews have been published, but it's already clear the book will be divisive. The Daily Mail has claimed that the release of the book 'will push [Harry and Meghan's] relations with the Royal Family to new low’ thanks to its revelations about the famously private institution.

The authors also say they’ve faced a barrage of criticism online already about the book in an attempt to discredit it – even though no-one has actually read it yet. It’s true much has been made of the fact the book’s price has already been slashed and there have been reports it’s been through several re-drafts.

What the public will make of Finding Freedom, we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s clear it’s set to be the most talked-about royal book since Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story – for which the Princess of Wales was the major source.

Gallery

Best Books About The Royal Family

Best Books About The Royal Family
1 of 15
CREDIT: Meghan: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton

The man who interviewed Diana so famously takes on Meghan, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood: growing up in The Valley in LA, studying at an all-girls Catholic school and her breakout into acting. The book also delves into her previous marriage and divorce in 2013, her struggles in Hollywood.

Best Books About The Royal Family
2 of 15
CREDIT: The Final Curtsey A Royal Memoir by the Queen's Cousin by Margaret Rhodes

The intimate and revealing autobiography of Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. This is as close to the royal family as you get. The publishers say: ' In the Second World War years she 'lodged' at Buckingham Palace while she worked for MI6. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin, Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip. Three years later the King and Queen attended her own wedding; Princess Margaret was a bridesmaid. In 1990 she was appointed as a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother, acting also as her companion, which she describes in touching detail. In the early months of 2002, she spent as much time as possible with her ailing aunt, and was at her bedside when she died at Easter that year. The next morning she went to Queen Elizabeth's bedroom to pray, and in farewell dropped her a final curtsey'

Best Books About The Royal Family
3 of 15
CREDIT: Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

Published in August 2020, this book is expected to be a 'bombshell' that it's been claimed will 'settle scores'. In its description, the publishers claim: 'Finding Freedom goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan's life together, dispelling the many rumours and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond. As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple's lives as few outsiders can.With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, Finding Freedom is an honest, up-close, and disarming portrait of a confident, influential, and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicated to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world.'

Best Books About The Royal Family
4 of 15
CREDIT: Mau2019am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Definitely one for fans of The Crown and its various Princess Margarets… She made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up. She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine and Pablo Picasso lusted over her. To her friends Princess Margaret was witty and regal, to her enemies, she was rude and demanding. Ma'am Darling looks at her from many angles, creating a kaleidoscopic biography, and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.

Best Books About The Royal Family
5 of 15
CREDIT: Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith

This vivid, eye-opening biography--the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more – claims to be the first authoritative treatment of Charles's life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.

Best Books About The Royal Family
6 of 15
CREDIT: The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves by Andrew Lownie

A well-researched deep-dive into the lives of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten, a couple who witnessed much of the 20th Century's history – including Royal landmarks – at first hand.

Best Books About The Royal Family
7 of 15
CREDIT: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.

Best Books About The Royal Family
8 of 15
CREDIT: Our Rainbow Queen by Sali Hughes

A photographic journey through Queen Elizabeth II's ten decades of colour-blocked style. From the dusky pinks the Queen wore in girlhood all the way through to #NeonAt90, by way of that hat she wore on the announcement of Brexit, and not forgetting her trusty Launer handbag ever at her side, this must-have collection celebrates the iconic fashion statements of our longest reigning and most vibrant monarch.

Best Books About The Royal Family
9 of 15
CREDIT: The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown

The original people's princess, Diana is the subject of many great books – this, by Tina Brown, is by someone who knew her personally and the world she inhabited.The book explores, 'Diana's sexually charged mother, her subtly scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but eventually came to understand, and a terrifying trio of in-laws and relations: Fergie, the force of nature whose life was full of its own unacknowledged pathos; Princess Margaret, the fading glamour girl; the implacable Queen Mother and more formidable than all of them, her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate "other woman" into this combustible mix, and it's no wonder that Diana felt the need to break out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.'So yes, quite a lot there.

Best Books About The Royal Family
10 of 15
CREDIT: Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton

Formerly 'Her True Story' before it was revealed much of the book was based on taped interviews with Diana herself and the book was reissued, this is the often-quoted pretty much definitive story of Princess Diana.

Best Books About The Royal Family
11 of 15
CREDIT: The Royals by Kitty Kelley

Originally not available in the UK for fear of legal repercussions, this book makes for a page-turner for Royal gossip fans. The description promises: 'Kitty Kelley has gone behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace to raise the curtain on the men and women who make up the British royal family. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Diana...here are the scandals of the last decades: the doomed marriages and the husbands, wives, lovers and children caught in their wake and damaged beyond repair. No one is spared.'

Best Books About The Royal Family
12 of 15
CREDIT: The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly

Angela Kelly has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty's Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty's Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen, with the monarch's position.

Best Books About The Royal Family
13 of 15
CREDIT: Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss and Love by Katie Nicholl

It's another book about Harry and Meghan, but coming from Katie Nicholl - one of the best authorities on the royal family - you know that it's good. This book details their romance right up until the royal wedding.

Best Books About The Royal Family
14 of 15
CREDIT: Meghan Misunderstood by Sean Smith

The latest biography on Meghan Markle to hit our shelves (from November 12), the description says Sean Smith 'pulls no punches as he reveals the remarkable and powerful story of this self-made, intelligent American woman with a strong social conscience who has made such an impact on our lives.'

Prince Philip Revealed: A Man Of His Century
15 of 15
CREDIT: Prince Philip Revealed: A Man Of His Century

Royal expert Ingrid Seward presents an incredibly in-depth exploration of the man who has stood by the Queen's side for decades. The perfect accompaniment to his forthcoming centenary celebrations next year.

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