Meghan and Harry considered naming the royal they alleged made a racist remark before their son Archie’s birth, it was claimed last night.
An updated edition of a biography of the couple says they weighed up ‘sharing this detail’ in their bombshell TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.
However Meghan ultimately told Oprah that revealing the individual’s identity would be ‘very damaging to them’.
A leaked epilogue to the update of Finding Freedom makes a series of dramatic claims about the couple, the state of their relationship with the Royal Family and the fallout from the tell-all interview in March.
It says Prince William was left ‘furious’ by the broadcast – but that Meghan found it ‘cathartic’ and ‘liberating’. It also quotes a friend of the duchess as complaining that, several months later, ‘little accountability’ had been taken by the monarchy over her allegations.
Harry and Meghan have repeatedly insisted that Finding Freedom was unauthorised and that they had not offered any co-operation. However, the authors – Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – are seen as being close to the couple. The updated edition, with a new epilogue, is due to be published next week.
The book says Meghan found the experience of speaking to Oprah ‘cathartic’ and ‘liberating’
Meghan and Harry considered naming the royal they alleged made a racist remark before their son Archie’s birth, according to a new chapter of biography Finding Freedom
The sensational claims made in leaks of the epilogue last night included that:
- Members of the Royal Family were ‘quietly pleased’ that the Duchess of Sussex missed Prince Philip’s funeral because they feared she would ‘create a spectacle’ if she attended;
- While Harry and his brother have spoken on multiple occasions, Harry and his father Charles were only on ‘light speaking terms’;
- The book alleges that palace courtiers had lied to the media over Meghan and Harry’s wishes on the issue of Archie not being made a prince, claiming that the couple did in fact want this option;
- It criticises the monarchy after courtiers ordered an inquiry into claims of bullying against the duchess while the couple’s allegations of racism did not receive the same treatment;
- The book claims Harry was left ‘deeply saddened’ after he was refused permission to have a wreath laid in his name on Remembrance Sunday last year because he was no longer a ‘frontline royal’;
- The authors also offer a new take on Harry’s financial situation in the run-up to ‘Megxit’, saying the couple ‘wouldn’t have survived’ without his inheritance from his mother Diana;
- The epilogue also claims Meghan had no idea that diamond earrings given to her as a wedding present were from Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi prince accused of ordering the murder of a journalist.
The updated edition of the controversial biography is likely to trigger intense debate over the state of Harry and Meghan’s relationship with senior royals.
It claims that although emotions within the Royal Family are still ‘raw’ over the Oprah interview, it quotes a source close to the couple saying ‘it will force people to talk in order for the healing to begin’.
In a sign that relations remain frayed, the source tells the authors that ‘it will take time to get past the hurt’.
‘There has to be some acknowledgement of understanding about what the Sussexes went through in order for there to be progress,’ the source is quoted as saying.
The book also suggests that Meghan personally contacted one of the authors to see if they were OK after they allegedly received abuse on social media.
Last night, Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the latest claims.
The new epilogue also suggests that Harry and Meghan feared courtiers were trying to damage them even though they have moved to the United States.
It says that more than a year after their decision to leave their royal roles, the couple felt that ‘courtiers inside the institution’ were still ‘appearing to actively undermine Harry and Meghan by deliberately leaking information to discredit them’.
On the issue of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, it says that Meghan hoped to return with Harry but adds: ‘In truth, several members of the Royal Family are understood to have been ‘quietly pleased’ that Meghan stayed in California because they ‘didn’t want a circus’ or, commented a senior royal source, ‘the duchess creating a spectacle’.’
Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in August
Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2018
On the allegations of racism in the Oprah interview, the book criticised the fact that the Buckingham Palace response to the claims contained no condemnation, and that the phrase ‘recollections may vary’, contained in a statement, meant ‘full ownership was not taken’.
The authors claimed that William was ‘furious’ that family matters had been discussed publicly during the March broadcast.
Shortly after the interview went out, he was asked about the couple’s allegation that a senior royal had expressed ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin colour before he was born.
As William left a school he had visited in east London, a reporter asked: ‘Is the Royal Family a racist family, sir?’ He replied: ‘We’re very much not a racist family.’
Harry’s Remembrance Day wreath was ultimately left in its box at a branch of the Royal British Legion in Kent.
A source close to the prince is quoted in Finding Freeedom saying that ‘ten years of service and a lifetime of commitment to the military community and this is how it’s been acknowledged by the family’.
Lawyers for Harry and Meghan have distanced themselves from Finding Freedom, describing it as unauthorised, and saying the authors ‘do not speak for our clients and seem to rely on unnamed sources’.
Yet more ‘truth bombs’ from Philip’s funeral to Oprah fallout in new chapter of Finding Freedom: Book claims failure to deal with Sussex claims of racism ‘could bring down the monarchy’
An updated edition of Harry and Meghan biography Finding Freedom made a string of fresh claims last night that are likely to trigger debate about the state of their relationship with the Royal Family.
A leaked version of the epilogue claimed the couple had considered naming the royal they alleged had made a racist comment about their son, Archie; that some royals were ‘quietly pleased’ the Duchess of Sussex missed Prince Philip’s funeral and that Prince William was ‘furious’ about their interview with Oprah.
The new edition – due to be released on August 31, the 24th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death – also said the Sussexes had ‘no regrets’ about quitting their royal roles and that Meghan found her explosive Oprah interview ‘cathartic’ and ‘liberating’.
Buckingham Palace did not comment on the book’s contents when it first emerged last year and last night a spokesman declined to comment on the latest claims.
Lawyers for Harry and Meghan have distanced themselves from Finding Freedom, describing it as unauthorised, and saying the authors did ‘not speak for our clients and seem to rely on unnamed sources’.
The book’s authors meanwhile, have said that Finding Freedom is ‘independent and unauthorised’ and have also claimed that the couple did not speak to them about its contents. Last night, the Daily Mail contacted Harper Collins, the publisher, for comment but did not receive a reply.
Meghan plunged the monarchy into crisis after telling Oprah Winfrey that an unnamed royal had expressed ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin before he was born.
The epilogue reveals that a source told authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand that the Sussexes had considered naming the family member – but had ultimately decided not to.
It also claimed that ‘sources close to the Sussexes’ had said that the Royal Family’s reaction to the allegations made by the couple ‘was not positive’.
The source told the authors that there had to be ‘some acknowledgment’ about what the Sussexes went through for there to be ‘progress’.
Meghan (centre) plunged the monarchy into crisis after telling Oprah Winfrey (right) that an unnamed royal had expressed ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin before he was born
The criticism came after a carefully-worded statement from the Queen following the controversial Oprah interview, which expressed concern for the couple but insisted that ‘some recollections may vary’.
In the updated edition, the authors write that the ‘unaddressed’ allegations ‘have continued to threaten the Royal Family’s image around the world’ and ‘could no doubt bring down the monarchy’.
Sources told the authors that the Duke of Cambridge was said to be ‘furious’ after the interview because ‘private family matters were being discussed in the public domain’.
Days later, Prince William firmly told reporters that the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’ but, according to the book, he is ‘unlikely’ to ever comment on the claims again.
The updated book claimed that although emotions within the Royal Family were still ‘raw’ over the Oprah interview, it quoted a source close to the couple saying the couple’s intervention could ‘force people to talk in order for the healing to begin’.
The book details how family tensions were put aside after Prince Philip died in April.
The Duchess of Sussex, who was pregnant with daughter Lilibet, was absent from the funeral after doctors refused her clearance to fly.
The book details how family tensions were put aside after Prince Philip died in April. Pictured: The funeral of Prince Philip
Authors Scobie and Durand wrote that Meghan had hoped to return with Harry but added: ‘In truth, several members of the Royal Family are understood to have been ‘quietly pleased’ that Meghan stayed in California because they ‘didn’t want a circus’ or, commented a senior royal source, ‘the duchess creating a spectacle’.’ They also claimed that the funeral was ‘surreal’ for Harry.
They cited a source suggesting that saying goodbye to his grandfather was made even more difficult by being with family he hadn’t seen in over a year ‘while the world watched’.
The leaked epilogue claimed that Harry and Prince Charles, were only on ‘light speaking terms’ in the lead up to the funeral but that the pair chatted after the service at a small gathering at Windsor Castle.
The book alleged that though there were many unresolved issues, the funeral had allowed for ‘steps forward’ in the ‘healing process’ for the pair.
The book also detailed how Harry and William (pictured at Philip’s funeral) had ‘at least two further conversations’ after the funeral beyond the chat they were seen having as they left St George’s Chapel in Windsor
It also detailed how Harry and William had ‘at least two further conversations’ after the funeral beyond the chat they were seen having as they left St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
It added that Harry was also able to spend time with the Queen with a source saying: ‘Her life of duty and service is one of the many ways in which she has inspired him to also serve.’
The new version of the book claimed Harry and Meghan felt courtiers were still trying to undermine them after Megxit by leaking information about them, including allegations that Meghan bullied staff.
The book pointed to allegations, which appeared in The Times in March ahead of the Oprah interview, from royal aides claiming Meghan had faced a complaint she bullied staff, driving out two personal assistants and undermining the confidence of a third member.
Pictured: The new version of the book, an unauthorised account of Meghan and Harry’s departure from the Royal Family, is due to be released on August 31
The duchess denies the claims and Scobie and Durand said the ‘attempt to discredit’ Meghan by those who used to be in the couple’s inner circle ‘served as a reminder’ to the Sussexes that they had made the right decision to leave.
The authors wrote: ‘What has continued to be troubling for the couple, more than a year after their decision, is knowing that courtiers inside the institution are still appearing to actively undermine Harry and Meghan by deliberately leaking information to discredit them.’
The book also accused courtiers of lying to the Press over Meghan and Harry’s wishes about Archie being made a prince. Meghan had suggested to Oprah that senior royals plotted to ensure Archie would never have a title or adequate security.
The book claimed that Palace aides were actually instructed to brief the Press that the couple did not want a title for Archie. It said that in reality, the couple did want the option, ‘given that it would provide their son with a level of security that only comes with a title’.
The book also accused courtiers of lying to the Press over Meghan and Harry’s wishes about Archie being made a prince. Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019
The authors added: ‘The differential treatment the couple felt had been bestowed upon their son was a major sting to Harry and Meghan.’ But long-standing rules, laid down by George V, mean that the title of HRH passes only to the children of a sovereign and their grandchildren through the male line, meaning Archie will be given a title when his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king.
Despite the fallout from Megxit and the couple’s explosive Oprah interview, the book claims that the Sussexes have no regrets.
A friend of Meghan told the authors that she found her interview with Oprah ‘cathartic’. The friend added that all the things she had kept to herself or been ‘too afraid to say’ she felt ‘safe to finally share. It was liberating’.
The book also claimed that Harry and Meghan had a low-key second wedding anniversary in May 2020 when lockdown restrictions were imposed in California, and celebrated with a Mexican takeaway.
Despite the fallout from Megxit and the couple’s explosive Oprah interview, the book claims that the Sussexes have no regrets. Pictured: Harry and Meghan appear in the official trailer for the documentary series The Me You Can’t See, a co-creation of Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s
The Sussexes spent the day at their nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion – which they took out a mortgage to buy –’remembering their 2018 nuptials with people who had been involved in the ceremony’ and ‘exchanged cotton-based gifts, as is traditional for second wedding anniversaries’.
The authors also offered a new take on Harry’s financial situation in the run-up to their departure from the UK, saying if the couple had not had Harry’s inheritance from his mother, they ‘wouldn’t have survived’.
Harry told Oprah his family ‘literally cut me off financially’ in the first quarter of 2020 and he went for the multi-million pound Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.
The book also detailed how Harry had been denied permission to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph last Remembrance Sunday because he was no longer a ‘frontline royal’.
The Duke of Sussex spent ten years in the military but lost his three honorary military titles including Captain General of the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal last year along with his wife Meghan Markle.
The book also detailed how Harry had been denied permission to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph last Remembrance Sunday because he was no longer a ‘frontline royal’. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II during a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2020
Harry commissioned a wreath but it was left in its box at a branch of the Royal British Legion in Kent, which, according to a source, left Harry feeling ‘saddened and disappointed.
The source told the authors: ‘Ten years of service and a lifetime commitment to the military community and this is how it’s been acknowledged by his family.’