A new edition of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trashy biography reveals the royal family were “quietly pleased” Meghan Markle was unable to attend Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
The epilogue to a new paperback edition of Finding Freedom also reveals the couple were furious their account of a member of the royal family expressing “concern” over their future child’s skin tone did not lead to an apology from Buckingham Palace.
The Mail reports that writers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand are close to the Sussexes, although the Duke and Duchess maintain they have not contributed to the book.
Following the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing in April, the heavily pregnant Meghan was advised by doctors not to fly out for the funeral, leaving Harry to make the journey on his own. She is reported to have “hoped” to make the trip.
According to accounts, news Harry would be attending the ceremony at Windsor unaccompanied caused a minor uplift among royals who feared his attention-seeking wife would make a spectacle.
Scobie and Durand write: “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 one senior royal source, ‘the Duchess creating a spectacle’.”
The new edition also provides an account of Harry’s “surreal” experience at the funeral, quoting a source who claims that for the fallen prince, “saying goodbye to his beloved grandfather was always going to be difficult, but being alongside family he hadn’t seen in over a year – all while the world watched – was an additional layer of pressure he wasn’t fully prepared for”.
The Telegraph views the leaked epilogue’s account of the funeral as sympathetic towards Harry.
A bone of contention explored by Scobie and Durand is son, Archie’s title, or lack of. Royal protocol dictates that only the grandchildren of the monarch and children in the direct line of succession are made princes and princesses. However, the Sussexes were open to Archie becoming a prince as the title would bring a UK taxpayer-financed security detail for their son with it.
Scobie and Durand write: “Palace aides were actually instructed to brief the press that the couple did not want a title for Archie. 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.”
During the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview televised in March, Meghan was extremely vague about whether she wanted a title for Archie, clouding the issue with racial politics. “But the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be,” she told pal Oprah.
However, on the occasion of Archie’s birth in May 2019, the Sussexes made a huge deal out of not giving their son any titles.
In any case, they have accumulated considerable financial resources to get their own security. Harry had a tantrum during the Oprah interview over being “cut off” by his father, which was a little rich given his and his wife’s famed ability to solicit huge amounts of cash from fawning entertainment giants like Spotify and Netflix.
In any case, Prince Charles reportedly gave his son a cool £4.5m after Meghan decided to set out on their own, no trifling amount of money. Could it not have paid for a couple of henchmen? Perish the thought.
Scobie and Durand unearthed extra details on the Archie racism row sparked by Meghan and Harry in the Oprah interview.
Sources say the couple viewed the royal reaction to the skin tone comments aired with Oprah as “not positive” and wanted “some acknowledgement” of the devastating impact it had on them. Without some form of apology, they could not “progress”. The epilogue also states that prior to the interview, they had weighed up naming the royal in question.
In the aftermath, the Queen extended an olive branch to the LA-based couple, but said “some recollections” of who said what “may vary”.
In the end however, the woke duo were able to progress. Having failed to get a grovelling apology from the British monarch, the book details how Prince Philip’s funeral enabled the Sussexes to take “steps forward” in the “healing process” after the Oprah interview caused such heated outrage among Harry’s relatives.
The new edition is due to be published at the end of the month.