Royal experts have delivered their scathing verdicts on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new explosive biography Finding Freedom.
The controversial new book written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was released yesterday and raised eyebrows for its gushing praise and intimate knowledge of the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39.
Royal expert Richard Kay said 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’.
Meanwhile other commentators have criticised the book for ‘choking readers’ with it’s ‘exhausting’ and ‘banal detail’, and called it the ‘pure and undiluted voice of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’.
Royal commentators have delivered their scathing verdicts on the explosive new biography about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Richard Kay commented: ‘The fact [the Duke and Duchess of Sussex] they have said nothing – beyond the routine denial that they had not been interviewed for the book – leaves readers to make up their own minds.
‘Because for a couple so obsessive about their privacy, the book is all the more remarkable because it is, from start to finish, an extraordinary invasion of their own privacy.’
Meanwhile he also wrote it is ‘all saccharin-wrapped as a fairy tale of a prince meeting the love of his life – with the absence of ‘happy ever after’ always someone else’s fault.
‘Meghan herself is presented as a paragon. Who could resist her? Certainly not Harry, who in the four years since they met, has gone from a fun-loving royal – the most popular member of the ‘Firm’ – to the angst-ridden ‘woke prince’ of LA.’
The biography, which was released yesterday, offers highly personal insights into the royal life of Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 39
Meanwhile Richard said the book would be upsetting for the Queen, writing: ‘It is likely the book will make particularly hurtful reading for the Queen, the grandmother Harry has said he ‘adores’, if indeed a copy finds its way to Balmoral, where she has just begun her summer break.’
Valentine Low, the Time’s long-standing royal correspondent, wrote the book was ‘the pure, undiluted voice of H&M.’
He said it was ‘not a reliable narrative’ or ‘edifying experience’, explaining: ‘This book has only one story to tell: how Harry and Meghan are the innocent victims of a wicked Palace and an even more wicked media, and it’s all everyone else’s fault.
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 cries out for a decent account of how things really fell apart.’
He goes on to say there is ‘too much information’ and calls the level of detail ‘exhausting’.
Valentine added that Prince Harry and Meghan ‘deserve a better account’ than Finding Freedom.
Royal expert Penny Junor has questioned whether Harry and Meghan ‘colluded’ with the Finding Freedom authors and says the couple would have ‘kicked up a fuss’ about the book had they not been involved.
Ms Junor, author of Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son, Husband, told MailOnline: ‘The authors have some extraordinarily personal and private details about Harry and Meghan, but the couple have said they didn’t speak to them directly and we have to take their word for it.
‘What seems absolutely clear, however, is that they colluded. If not, they would have kicked up a huge fuss about this book.
‘I suspect they wanted to get their story and their feelings about how they were treated out into the public arena and have done so via friends who sound as though they were very well and carefully briefed.’
Meanwhile The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey commented that ‘Strangely, touchy-feely Finding Freedom hasn’t brought a word of complaint from the Sussexes.’
She wrote: ‘Ordinarily, one would expect a pair as fiercely protective of their privacy as the Sussexes to issue a stern legal rebuke to the grotesque intrusion this book so patently represents.
‘Yet the eagerly-awaited publication of what Mr Scobie on Tuesday reiterated was an “unofficial, unauthorised biography” has strangely heralded not a whiff of discontent from a couple who have turned complaining into an art form.’
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter questioned the level of detail in the book on Twitter, posting: ‘No friend would speak without permission as it would be the ultimate act of betrayal.
‘If an aide broke their trust they’d promptly be fired. With such personal details revealed it is far better to have had the couple’s permission than to have sold them out.
‘Common sense says no close friend would willing speak to a journalist without an OK from the subject in question.’
And, speaking to Andy Peters on Lorraine this morning, Russel Myers, royal editor at the Mirror, said: ‘Looking between the lines Harry and Meghan must have had a hand in it, maybe not direct, but by giving a carte blanche to all their friends.
‘They have intimate details of things like their first date, which they can’t have known without speaking to them.
‘They have said they didn’t have anything to do with the book but when you dive down into the detail it’s no way they didn’t help.
‘They’re no different to any other family, but some people will see it as fabulously wealthy people having a moan and it won’t go well.’
Meanwhile Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, said the book would not be remembered in the history books in the same way as his famous biography of the princess.
He told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl: ‘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.’
Meanwhile Katie asked ‘was as it worth it for Harry and Meghan?’, adding: ‘The irony of Finding Freedom is that, locked down in their rented mansion in LA, the Sussexes have less freedom than they did when they lived in Windsor.’
She said: ‘[The authors] They are, perhaps, might be the only winners in this rather sad story.’
Royal expert and commentator Richard Fitzwilliams slammed the couple with his review of the book, commenting: ‘They come across as a couple with many talents but who are also extremely selfish and controlling.’
In his opinion Finding Freedom ‘will be of little historical interest’, writing in the Express:’ As the details it contains lack sources, though we are assured what it claims are facts have two each, it will be of little historical interest other than as a curiosity.’
Meanwhile The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman wrote that the book makes up for a lack of novelty with ‘cattiness’.
She commented: ‘It is not Harry and Meghan’s fault that their book has come out in the middle of a global pandemic, but it does underscore their occasional tone deafness in the latter half of the book.’
Hadley goes on to write: ‘Finding Freedom chokes the reader with banal details (if you ever wondered if Meghan craved sweets during pregnancy, this is the book for you), yet it is opaque when it comes to real insights.’
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 gives a dramatic account of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ departure from royal life and offers new insights to Harry’s falling out with William.
The fraternal dispute is said to have erupted after the Duke of Cambridge’s referred to Meghan as ‘this girl’ and voiced concerns that his younger brother might be rushing into 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’.
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.