Feuds, infighting, and the feeling that they were being stifled by palace courtiers—all of those things were at the heart of Prince Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to quit the royal family, according to a sensational new biography on the royals.
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family—the new book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be serialized by The Times all weekend. It has been billed as “their side of the story,“ and reveals the full extent of the battles between Harry and Meghan and William and Kate, the latter of whom is said to have publicly snubbed Meghan on her final royal engagement.
According to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who have been working on the book since 2018 and claim to have spoken to over 100 sources close to the couple, the Sussexes resented not being able to be the royals they wanted to be. They were particularly upset when they were told that after splitting from the Cambridges and leaving Kensington Palace, their new household would be under the umbrella of the Queen’s office at Buckingham Palace which was “a big disappointment” to them.
In the excerpt published in the Times 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. According to sources who spoke to the authors, Harry believed that some courtiers “simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult.”
Until now it has been widely accepted that Harry and Meghan quit as senior royals to pursue independent careers and escape the negative media spotlight. In the book Meghan compares her treatment in the media to “death by a thousand cuts.” However, as Finding Freedom reveals, the war at the heart of the Windsor Family, and particularly between the “Fab Four” of Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate, was a major factor in the couple’s decision to step down as senior royals. The in-fighting, which led to arguably the greatest crisis the royals have faced since the death of Princess Diana, is laid bare in the book, which reveals how the Sussexes’ were jealous of the Cambridges’ autonomy and felt William and Kate were always given priority over them.
The authors write in the new excerpt, “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. They were a major draw for the royal family […] Instead they had to take a backseat. Sometimes they would be told that their projects had to wait when the Prince of Wales or Prince William had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time.“
The book reveals how Harry and Meghan were deeply unhappy at the end of last year and discussed wanting something to change with the Queen and Prince Charles before they left for Canada for a six-week holiday . According to the book Harry “felt at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls.”
Once they were out of the country the couple plotted their exit from Britain and the Royal Family, developing their own website and working with a new team of US based lawyers and publicists. According to the book, their decision to keep everyone in the dark “created a lot of ill will in the household and especially in the family”.