All The Bombshell Royal Family Revelations In Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Biography, Finding Freedom
Since the news first broke that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were dating in 2016, the couple has become the focus of the world’s renewed interest in the Royal Family. Unfortunately, the attention hasn’t always been positive; Meghan’s marriage and subsequent transition into the Firm made her an easy target of harsh public scrutiny. For years, the couple struggled in the limelight and wrestled with the strict royal protocol until they couldn’t anymore, giving up their titles in order to live as private citizens.
Months after their unprecedented departure, new biographical book Finding Freedom dives into the details of their tumultuous time as royals. Finding Freedom may be a biography, but don’t expect Harry and Meghan to publicly give it their blessing; the book was written Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, longtime correspondents and experts on the Royal Family. Pulling from numerous inside sources, the authors attempt to provide a nuanced explanation of the events that may have led to the Sussexes’ split from the Firm. The work touches on the widely known facts — such as Meghan and Harry’s deal to revisit the terms of their departure from the Royal Family after a year — but it also digs deeper into the emotional scars that the couple received.
Racial ignorance played a significant role in Megxit
There’s no ignoring the elephant in the room — Meghan is a biracial Black woman. In 2020, it doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal for a Black woman to marry the man who is sixth in line for the throne, but Meghan and Harry’s relationship stirred up a great deal of controversy in the United Kingdom, and according to Scobie, even within Buckingham Palace.
Anyone who has ever married into the Royal Family has heavily scrutinized, but what Princess Diana and Kate Middleton faced is starkly different from the barrage of insults that Meghan has been subjected to. From the moment that the British media discovered that she was dating Harry, the Hollywood actress was dragged in the tabloids for everything, labeled everything from “difficult” to “bossy” for literally no reason. Even after being part of the family for two years, many still considered Meghan an outsider, someone who just didn't fit in with the Crown.
Seeing his wife be the target of racial attacks from all sides was enough to radicalize Harry into seeing the painful lived consequences of anti-Blackness and realize how important it is to be actively anti-racist, says Scobie. The prince began using his platform to speak out in defense of Meghan, plainly calling out the societal prejudice against her.
'Harry's journey to wokeness has been very public," said Scobie in a recent interview with NPR. "We've seen him learning and educating himself along the way, but this experience of witnessing Meghan face racist remarks and commentary would have been the first time he'd seen someone in his life or someone he was particularly close to affected by it in a certain way."
"[Meghan marrying Harry] was a chance for the royal family to have diversity, inclusivity, and representation in a way that no other moment in their lives could have brought," explained Scobie. "History will remember them as a couple that were perhaps failed by the institution of the monarchy, where there was this chance to have a woman of colour, an American woman of colour, in the house of Windsor representing the monarchy just as much as her husband."
Megxit almost tore the Royal Family apart
Though official statements shared that the Queen fully supported Harry and Meghan's decision to step down from their positions as members of the Royal Family, Finding Freedom tells a different story. According to the book, most members of the Firm were truly hurt and blindsided by the departure, and it created some bad vibes in the palace.
Shortly after the announcement was made, Meghan and Harry still had to work, but the tensions ran so high that it made it very difficult to do so. Finding Freedom reveals that Meghan's very last official engagement at the annual Commonwealth Day Service was marked by stress and drama; it claims that she was "emotionally bruised and exhausted" after the event ended because her sister-in-law Kate wouldn't even acknowledge her. The book says that things were so bad that Meghan "couldn’t imagine wanting to set a foot back into anything royal again."
Harry's familial relationships suffered as well, Finding Freedom alleges. His close connection with his older brother had been strained since Prince William suggested that he and Meghan take more time to get to know each other before going public, and Megxit widened the emotional distance between them even further.
"As we write in the book, it wasn't anger," explained co-author Durand in an interview with the TODAY Show. "It was hurt."
The Royal Family is working on rebuilding its relationships
Thankfully, share Obie and Durand, all is not lost for the Royal Family — even though Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie are now miles away, they're actively working on rebuilding their relationships. They've reached an understanding with the Queen that will allow them to live as private citizens on a trial basis for a year, after which they'll revisit the agreement to see if it still works for both parties.
Surprisingly, the coronavirus has also actually brought them closer together. After experiencing some mild symptoms of the respiration disease, Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to isolate in his home in Scotland on the Balmoral Estate. Finding Freedom allege that the news strengthened the family's resolve to remain on good terms with each other and made Harry and William work harder to reconnect.
"Like in any family, there have been some ups and downs," Durand told TODAY. "But the brothers are making their way back to each other, and that will take some time."