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Finding Freedom book faces criticism from Amazon UK readers

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive new biography Finding Freedom is facing criticism from Amazon UK readers over its ‘sugar-coated’ and ‘sickly sweet’ view of the couple.

The controversial biography about the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, and written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, was released earlier this week and was quick to reach the top of the media giant’s bestsellers list as royal fans rushed to pre-order their copy, while it also hit the number one on the UK and US sites.  

However many Amazon UK readers have slated the book online, with one commenting: ‘Confused who wrote this…Biographical autobiography written in the style of Mills and Boon. Sugary love triumphs over adversity story that will be loved by people who love the woke couple and laughed at by the rest.’

It comes after royal experts widely panned the biography, with some saying it ‘choked readers’ with it’s ‘exhausting’ and ‘banal detail’, and calling it the ‘pure and undiluted voice of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’.

Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle's, 39, new biography Finding Freedom has faced criticism from Amazon UK readers over its 'sugar-coated' view of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle’s, 39, new biography Finding Freedom has faced criticism from Amazon UK readers over its ‘sugar-coated’ view of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 

One Amazon reviewer, who had given the book one star out of five, wrote: ‘It’s a hagiography not a biography.’

They continued: ‘Pretty ordinary book because it’s very one sided! It’s a text book guide to settling immature scores.

‘I also find it rather poor that the authors are adamant that neither Harry nor Meghan assisted with this book yet there are some very very personal details that could only have come from either the couple or very very close friends.’

Another called it ‘badly written, self pitying drivel’, while one added: ‘This book is sickly sweet and makes Meg (as H and her friends call her) to be some kind of woke Mother Theresa.

The explosive biography was released earlier this week and quickly hit the global bestseller list on Amazon

The explosive biography was released earlier this week and quickly hit the global bestseller list on Amazon 

‘It’s obvious that there has been a huge amount of cooperation with the couple, probably similar to how Princess Diana worked with Andrew Morton.

‘I just hope the authors share some of their profits because as they say in the book, both are careful with money!! Perhaps the book should have been titled Finding Freebies.’

Another said it should be read with ‘a large pinch of salt’, explaining: ‘Quite possibly all true but the spinning wheel must have been on overtime. 

‘I’m amazed that Harry and Meghan say that they haven’t been interviewed. Their friends must have incredible recall of private conversations.’

Many Amazon readers have left scathing reviews of the biography, with one commenting that the book was a 'sickly sweet' read

Many Amazon readers have left scathing reviews of the biography, with one commenting that the book was a ‘sickly sweet’ read 

However other readers said the book helped them understand the couple further, with a host of reviewers giving the biography five stars.

One wrote: ‘I bought this book thinking that it would be a complete waste of time but I was curious as to what the royal couple wanted the world to know.

‘I started to feel truly sympathetic towards what has been written and I sense that it is an honest portrayal of what really happened. This is a love story (an unusual one) and the circumstances are explained.’  

Another person, who rated the book with four stars, added: ‘I found that the authors actually humanised the couple.’ 

Omid Scobie

Carolyn Durand

The book’s writers Omid Scobie (left) and Carolyn Durand (right) give personal details about the Duke and Duchess but insist they didn’t interview the couple for the biography

What the royal commentators say about Finding Freedom 

Richard Kay – ‘Invites the kind of intrusion Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are so quick to deplore’

Valentine Low – ‘The pure, undiluted voice of H&M…not a reliable narrative

Penny Junor – ‘What seems absolutely clear, however, is that they colluded. If not, they would have kicked up a huge fuss about this book.’

Camilla Tominey‘Strangely, touchy-feely Finding Freedom hasn’t brought a word of complaint from the Sussexes’

Victoria Arbiter –No friend would speak without permission as it would be the ultimate act of betrayal’

Russel Myers – ‘When you dive down into the detail it’s no way they didn’t help…some people will see it as fabulously wealthy people having a moan and it won’t go well’

Richard Fitzwilliams – ‘As the details it contains lack sources… it will be of little historical interest other than as a curiosity.’

Andrew Morton – ‘The fall out of the royal princes is biblical, like Cain and Abel…This is Hansel and Gretel, two innocents at large in the big bad world.’

Katie Nicholl – ‘[The authors] They are, perhaps, might be the only winners in this rather sad story.’

Hadley Freeman –  ‘Finding Freedom chokes the reader with banal details…yet it is opaque when it comes to real insights.’

 

It comes after royal experts delivered scathing verdicts on the book, with Richard Kay saying the biography ‘not only fuels the suggestions that the couple either hand-fed these anecdotes – so precise and so private – to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand themselves, or allowed others to do so on their behalf, it also invites the kind of intrusion they are so quick to deplore’.

Palace insiders have described the book as ‘score settling’ after Harry and Meghan left the Royal Family for a life in Los Angeles – after suddenly announcing their intentions in January in a move that left The Queen ‘hurt’.  

The book offers new insights into Harry’s falling out with William and how the couple felt ‘thrown under the bus’,  after the disagreements started started when the Prince’s older brother referred to Meghan as ‘this girl’ and voiced concerns that he might be rushing the romance. 

The authors say Harry ‘felt people working with his brother had put things out there to make William look good, even if it meant throwing Harry under the bus’. 

The biography offers new detailed insights into Prince Harry and Meghan's life with their son Archie

The biography offers new detailed insights into Prince Harry and Meghan’s life with their son Archie 

Excerpts from the book have already revealed many inside details about the couple’s departure from the Royal Family, including how the couple considered driving straight to confront the ‘devastated’ Queen about Megxit after returning from Canada in January.

Sources close to the couple also claim in the book that royal aides feared Meghan and Harry’s popularity was eclipsing that of the Royal Family itself – and says the couple were jealous of William and Kate getting the best roles and ‘didn’t feel supported’ by the royals.

The author’s note appears to acknowledge that the writers worked with the couple on the biography, reading: ‘We have spoken with close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organisations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate, the couple themselves.’  

Among the fresh revelations in the book are: 

  • Meghan Markle formed such a close bond with Prince Charles that she considers him her ‘second father’;
  • Meghan was often ‘seen carrying binders full of research on Royal protocol’ so she didn’t put a foot wrong;
  • The Queen gave Meghan a royal masterclass in protocol and described Meghan as ‘very clever and good’;
  • Harry felt he was ‘thrown under the bus’ by aides working for his brother Prince William;
  • Royal courtiers feared the brother’s falling out ‘could spell the end of the monarchy’;
  • Meghan left the UK ’emotionally bruised and exhausted’ after her last frosty event with William and Kate;
  • Russian hackers stole hundreds of their personal photos in 2018 after gaining access to an online account.

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