Given it has been making headlines for several weeks now, avid royal fans might be surprised to discover that Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, the new biography of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that has been written with their blessing and the co-operation of their friends, is only published today.
The juiciest bits of the book were serialized in advance of its publication, and generated many stories—covered in full by The Daily Beast.
Key revelations included that Harry and Meghan didn’t like being silenced, hate the press, hate social media trolls, felt their star power was under-appreciated by the palace, that Kate was not warm and welcoming to Meghan, that Harry felt his brother referring to Meghan as “this girl” was snobbery and that Meghan definitely did not make Kate cry during a bridesmaid fitting for her daughter Charlotte.
Harry was furious at the racism Meghan faced, the queen told Harry he and Meghan were welcome to return to the royal fold whenever they wanted, and one senior royal family member called Meghan “Harry’s showgirl.”
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However, a rapid read of the highly engaging new book by The Daily Beast in its entirety has yielded a number of new nuggets, the best of which we share with you below.
- While working as a calligrapher Meghan did the wedding invitations for the actress Paula Patton’s 2005 wedding to the singer songwriter Robin Thicke.
- Meghan was always careful with her money and as a struggling actress was reluctant to upgrade her car even though a problem with the central locking meant she had to get into it via the trunk. When she hit a big time with Suits, one of her first purchases was a Big Green Egg barbecue.
- Meghan accepted fees upwards of $10,000 to appear on red carpets, such as a September 2014 Marchesa launch in New York City, as a speaker at an event in Toronto in 2015 sponsored by Dove soap, and at the “Women in Cable Telecommunications Signature Luncheon” in Chicago that same year.
- Harry googled Meghan before their first date and found an Instagram photo of Meghan in a slinky silver minidress at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards. “He liked what he saw,” the authors say.
- Harry’s attire for his first date at was his “signature look of white shirts and chinos.”
- Harry’s favorite emoji is a ghost. Nobody can explain why.
- When Harry and Meghan took off to a lodge in Botswana in the early day of their relationship, they were greeted by a picture on the table of Harry’s grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, on a state visit there in 1979.
- On the same trip, Meghan, “immediately impressed Harry with her packing skills. She is always taken pride in being a great packer going as far as layering dry sheets in between her clothes to keep them smelling fresh, and no matter the destination always brings tea tree oil for cuts and pimples. Her skills were appreciated by the Prince.”
- While camping, Meghan “cleaned her face with baby wipes and happily wandered into the woodlands when she needed a bathroom break.”
- The couple spend an inordinate amount of time at various branches of Soho House.
- Who leaked the news that Harry was dating Meghan to the Sunday Express? A member of the staff of Prince Andrew, the rotter.
- Harry calls Meghan “Meg,” Meghan calls Harry “H.”
- In a titanic effort to get away from it all, Harry took Meghan to the Arctic Circle for their first new year together.
- Harry and Meghan's TV watching comprised Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Moana, and The Lion King. Elton played “Circle of Life” at their wedding party.
- The couple were photographed in a “steamy embrace” while on holiday in Jamaica, but the pictures have never been published.
- New details on Meghan’s wedding day prep: the playlist while she was getting ready was Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Holly, and Ben E. King.
Also, Meghan’s make-up artist Daniel Martin “gave Meghan a dewy glow with a mix of toner, moisturizer, a sunscreen primer, and just a spot treatment of foundation on her T-zone. He finished up by smudging chestnut, cocoa, and rust shades onto her lids and applying lashes to their corners.”
Meghan didn’t wear lipstick, opting for a balm instead.
- Proud Meghan boasted to her friends that Archie was in the ninetieth percentile for height after he was born.
- Meghan’s morning ritual starts with “a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon, followed by her favorite breakfast of steel cut oats usually made with almond or soy milk, and bananas and agave syrup for sweetness.” For snacks in between meals she opts for “apple slices and peanut butter.”
- Harry and Meghan take turns making breakfast for each other. When they lived in the UK they used “organic seasonal produce” from posh farm shop Daylesford.
- The couple are both fans of self-help books, with Harry counting Eight Steps to Happiness is a favorite while Meghan likes Motivation Manifesto.
- Some fellow cast members on Suits got resentful when Meghan, “suddenly became the jewel in the crown of the show.”
- Meghan’s wardrobe nearly filled an entire spare bedroom at Harry’s house in Kensington Palace, Nottingham cottage.
- Meghan was given an SAS drill which simulated kidnapping.
- Meghan, “wondered if there wasn’t a message being sent,” when Princess Michael wore a racially insensitive broach to the first big party that Meghan was invited to. Michael apologized but, “Some aides questioned the sincerity of the princess’ apology.”
- Meghan is religious, with a friend telling the authors, “Her relationship with God and with her church is extremely important to her, but something most people do not know about it plays a central role in her life, as an individual, as a woman.”
- When Meghan and Harry rented a holiday home near Soho Farmhouse in Oxford, they didn't often go to the Farmhouse but had croissants delivered and Farmhouse chefs would come over and cook for them.
- Oprah Winfrey reached out to Doria to offer her support and the two have become confirmed friends.
- Idris Elba guest-dj’d for an hour at their reception.
- Senior courtiers attended a retreat in the spring of 2019 to discuss the feud between the young royals. “We cannot have them at war,” one said.
- The couple knew all along they were having a boy and had picked out the name Archie well in advance.
- Meghan asked her mom to text her estranged dad to say that Archie had been born but said she didn’t want to know if he replied.
- Harry regretted not heeding the advice of his PR supremo Sara Latham “who warned him about potential media storm” of taking a private jet just before launching a sustainable travel initiative.
- “People can get news directly from us,” Meghan said at an early planning meeting for their social media accounts.
- A senior aide at Buckingham Palace described Meghan’s suing of the Mail on Sunday as “a death wish,” adding, “you just don’t take on British press.” Harry had hoped his family would be willing to show support for the decision “but the silence was deafening.”
- The couple plan to make their money through “smart speaking engagements, production deals and other commercial endeavors that have social impact.”
- Harry doesn't like Frogmore Cottage anymore: “The home although still full of their belongings was empty and cold.”
Our quick review? Unputdownable, despite all the extracts already published.