British Royal Family

"The squeaky third wheel of the Palace": The biggest revelations from Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's tell-all biography

Finding Freedom uncovers the inner workings and feelings of the couple - from their 2018 royal wedding right through to their sensational exit from the regal fold.

By Jess Pullar
Behind the scenes, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have been riding a rollercoaster of emotions.
Of course, that's not uncommon knowledge - it's widely known that the pair were struggling as they tried to live a life away from the cameras as much as possible, while also fulfilling their royal duties.
And it was this very reason that the pair chose to step back from their roles in the first place.
Well, that's certainly part of it, but according to an explosive new royal biography, the story is a lot more complicated than that.
Respected royal reporters Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie have penned Finding Freedom, a book which unveils the truth behind the "misconceptions" of the Duke and Duchess.
Released on August 11, we're already seeing a plethora of insights and details about what was really happening behind the scenes during their biggest moments.
We take a look at the biggest revelations to come from the tell-all biography.
Harry and Meghan's behind the scenes reel is told like never before in new book Finding Freedom. (Getty)

Meghan "gave up her entire life" for the royals

The book claims that the Duchess felt she had to give up her "entire life" to be part of the royal family, and was hurt when it was suggested that her and Harry's exit was entirely her own idea.
"The courtiers blame Meghan, and some family do," a source said in the book.
According to the source, Meghan tearfully told a pal in March that she had been willing to do whatever it takes.
"But here we are," she reportedly told them. "It's very sad."

Rumours of long-standing feud between Kate and Meghan were not true

In 2018, reports swept the world pertaining to a so-called feud between Duchesses Meghan and Kate.
From tears during rehearsals for the grand royal wedding to disagreements over treatment of staff, the headlines were drenched in reported 'drama' between the two royals.
But the book claims the feud had virtually no basis.
"The truth was that Meghan and Kate just didn't know each other that well," the royal writers explain in the book.
The biography also directly clarified those reports of Kate's "tears" while Princess Charlotte was being fitted for her bridesmaids dress ahead of the royal wedding.
According to the writers: "Some of the children weren't cooperating, and there was a lot going on."
"Everyone tried to help where they could, but it's never easy with kids at fittings. There were no tears from anyone."
Despite frequent rumours, the 'feud' between Kate and Meghan wasn't want it seemed. (Getty)

Harry and Meghan believed other royal households were leaking stories about them

According to Scobie and Durand, Harry and Meghan adopted a "trust no one" approach.
"There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust," the pair reveal in the upcoming book.
"A friend of the couple's referred to the old guard as 'the vipers'."
"Meanwhile, a frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes' team as 'the squeaky third wheel' of the palace."
The Duke and Duchess did not trust Palace aids amidst their time as senior royals. (Getty)
The book claims that relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges had deteriorated to a point that by March 2020, the couples were barely speaking.
If you cast your minds back, you may also remember the Commonwealth Day service, and the exchange that got frankly everyone talking.
It was the first moment the two couples had been publicly seen together since Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back as senior royals.
While the foursome, formerly dubbed the 'Fab Four' seemed amicable, royal watchers spoke widely of supposed tension between the couples.
The book references it to the point where their tensions had mounted by that March day, which led to the awkward encounter.
Watch the moment in the player below. Story continues below...

The beef was not between Meghan and Kate, but there was unease between Harry and William

While there's no denying there were tensions between the former Fab Four right up until this year, as stated above, the book clarifies this was not because of a feud between Kate and Meghan.
Indeed mounting tension between the two brothers dates right back to Harry and Meghan's earliest courting days, where the book claims William told Harry not to rush things with Meghan.
"Don't feel you need to rush this," he said to his brother, sources say.
"Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl."
If you read that sentence again, we'll take a moment to let the phrase, 'this girl' sink in - apparently, those were the very words that ruffled Harry's feathers.
"Harry could see through William's words. He was being a snob," a source close to Harry says in the book.

The Cambridges were upset at the way Meghan and Harry went about their exit announcement

According to a source, William was "hurt" more than "upset" at the way the Sussexes went about their exit.
As the pair's announcement was made in January, the world was barely reeling for an hour before Buckingham Palace released another quick statement to clarify that no plans had been finalised.
Cue more reeling as it seemed to suggest some serious crossed wires within the royal fold.
Harry and Meghan's exit announcement did not go to plan - on all counts. (Getty)

Harry and Meghan felt like they took a "back seat"

While Harry and Meghan went about the duties we'd expect from any senior royals in the months following their wedding in 2018, the pair still felt they were given a "back seat".
"While they both respected the hierarchy of the institution, it was difficult when they wanted to focus on a project and were told that a more senior ranking family member, be it Prince William or Prince Charles, had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time – so they would just have to wait," an extract of the book states.

Harry and Meghan knew the sex of the royal baby

While the world was completely in the dark about the royal baby (we don't say that lightly - see what went on behind the scenes of reporting on a top secret royal birth here), it turns out Meghan and Harry were actually quite prepared.
Rightly so, given they were not only first time parents, but also first time parents expected to share the experience with the entire world watching.
The biography reveals both Harry and Meghan actually knew baby Archie was going to be a boy, and even settled on his name a week before he was born.
According to the book, Meghan "quietly shared that she was expecting a boy with a number of friends at the fete, such as Amal Clooney, who hadn't already been told."
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Meghan's due date was April 28 - so she was over a week overdue in the end.

Harry impressed Doria Ragland in his own unique way

According to the book, Prince Harry met Doria Ragland, the mother of Meghan Markle, in Los Angeles at the home of one of his own friends.
Obviously feeling the pressure to impress the to-be Duchess' mother, Harry apparently used "his words and actions" over gifts in order to win her over.
We reckon it worked.

Meghan and Harry's dog's name revealed

Remember when Meghan and Harry got a dog, and literally every publication under the sun covered the news, without knowing literally anything about it?
Well, we finally have some extra details where the Sussexes furry friends are concerned.
The pair welcomed their black lab in August 2018, naming him Pula - which translates to "rain" in Setswana - and it's also the currency in Botswana, a place close to the hearts of both royals.
Harry and Meghan own a black lab named Pula. (Getty)

Prince Harry had a secret Instagram account

While both Harry and Meghan's @SussexRoyal Instagram page had millions of followers, it seems the Prince wanted to share another side to his life on the platform... only with not quite so many people.
According to Finding Freedom, Harry had an account with the user name @SpikeyMau5.
The unique name was funnily enough a play on one of his favourite DJ's, DeadMau5.

Harry dropped the L-bomb first

Ah, young love, eh? The book even goes so far as to give us details we never knew we needed, but we're sure glad we know now.
That of course includes the fact that Harry was first to tell Meghan he loved her.
He certainly wasn't left hanging on a response either, apparently, Meghan was swift with her reply: "I love you too."
And the rest, as they say, was history.

Meghan's first meeting with William went down a treat

According to the authors, William was ecstatic to meet the Hollywood actress, saying: "I was looking forward to meeting the girl who has put that silly grin on my brother's face."

How Meghan eased initial tensions with Kate

According to a friend who spoke to the authors, Kate is an "extremely guarded person" (understandable given her delicate role in the Monarchy.
So when Meghan first met Kate, she eased tension by giving her a fancy gift - a soft leather Smythson notebook.
Apparently, Meghan's adoration for Princess Charlotte also sealed the deal between the two in-laws.
Meghan won Kate over with a nice gift and affection for Princess Charlotte. (Getty)

Meghan was secretly present at a royal event splashed across the world - before anyone knew she was dating Harry

Yep, it is possible to go completely undetected at royal events - Meghan is case in point.
When Pippa Middleton married partner James Matthews in the UK in May 2017, Meghan was supposed to attend the nuptials.
While it was decided at the last minute that she would forgo the initial ceremony, she did attend the reception.
Turns out Meghan slotted into the post-wedding celebrations on this fateful 2017 day. (Getty)

The nightmare photoshoot no one knew about

In November 2018, the world was utterly besotted with a photoshoot released for Prince Charles' birthday, which featured Charles and his wife alongside Harry, Meghan, Kate William and their three children.
But while their happy facades might look natural, it turns out there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that no one knew about at the time.
The book claims both Wills and Harry were not super keen to get together for the shoot that day.
"The boys can be hot and cold with their father," a source told the authors, adding that planning for the photoshoot was "an absolute nightmare."
"Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available."

About the authors of Finding Freedom

Omid Scobie
Omid has fronted media coverage pertaining to the Sussexes ever since Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018.
Writing from the UK for Harper's BAZAAR US and with frequent appearances on Good Morning America, the journalist has made a strong name for himself in producing regular exclusive stories, citing sources close to Meghan and Harry with the latest details on their endeavours.
Carolyn Durand
Carolyn is a senior journalist who has covered the royals for more than 15 years. She currently writes on all things royal for ELLE magazine.
She has a longstanding background in covering all things to do with the regal family, having garnered herself a solid reputation over the years.
This no doubt singled her out as a fitting choice to pen the biography alongside Scobie.