Finding Freedom, the new book by BAZAAR‘s Royal Editor at Large, Omid Scobie, and fellow royal correspondent, Carolyn Durand, details the events that led to Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry stepping down as senior members of the royal family.
The Times is sharing a series of excerpts, which reveal what really went on behind-the-scenes prior to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to step back and leave England. One particular focus of the first extract, published on Saturday, is the treatment Meghan received during her time in the royal family, including how much she was blamed for the Sussexes deciding to move to Los Angeles.
According to Scobie and Durand, “few knew how much she sacrificed to try to make it work.” In fact, according to the pair, “Meghan tearfully told a friend in March: ‘I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.'”
When it came to the negotiations between Meghan, Harry, and the royal family, the duchess seemed to be on the receiving end of many slights. According to Finding Freedom, “One aide made a joke about Meghan launching a line of beauty products,” when the Sussexes revealed their plan to stop taking money from the Sovereign Grant and become financially independent.
And when it came to Megxit in general, “The courtiers blame Meghan, and some family do,” a source told Scobie and Durand. But the fault was far from being solely Meghan’s. In actuality, Prince Harry was the driving force behind the couple’s decision to step back. As the excerpt revealed, “Meghan simply emboldened him to make the change. She supported him no matter what.”
A source confirmed in Finding Freedom, “Fundamentally, Harry wanted out… Deep down, he was always struggling within that world. She’s opened the door for him on that.” However, it would seem that there was one aspect of leaving his role within the royal family that Harry wasn’t prepared for, and that was the decision to strip the prince’s honorary military appointments from him.
According to the publication, this also devastated Meghan, who reportedly told a friend, “It was so unnecessary… And it’s not just taking something away from him; it’s also that entire military veteran community. You can see how much he means to them, too. So why?”
When the Sussexes returned to England to complete their final commitments as senior royals, Meghan and Harry found themselves in an extremely awkward situation at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. It seemed as though Kate Middleton and Prince William barely acknowledged the couple, who had been dropped from the procession without discussion. A friend revealed to Scobie and Durand that, after the service, Meghan “was emotionally bruised and exhausted.” The friend explained, “Meg just wanted to get home… At that point she couldn’t imagine wanting to set a foot back into anything royal again.”
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