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Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family

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When news of the budding romance between a beloved English prince and an American actress broke, it captured the world’s attention and sparked an international media frenzy.
But while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have continued to make headlines – from their engagement, wedding, and birth of their son Archie to their unprecedented decision to step back from their royal lives – few know the true story of Harry and Meghan.

For the very first time, FINDING FREEDOM goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan’s life together, dispelling the many rumours and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond. As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple’s lives as few outsiders can.

With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, FINDING FREEDOM is an honest, up-close, and disarming portrait of a confident, influential, and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicated to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world.

354 pages, Hardcover

First published August 11, 2020

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About the author

Omid Scobie

8 books50 followers
British journalist and writer best known for co-authoring the book Finding Freedom. Scobie's work focuses on the British royal family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,764 reviews
February 18, 2022
Update This was the original first review. So it turned out that Scobie, Meghan and Harry all lied. Meghan's lawyers wanted this book not allowed as evidence into the case she brought against the Daily Mail (aka 'that rag'). They had to admit that they had spoken to spoken to Scobie, and he didn't write the book without their input. He is now their official #1 paid PR person. Spin spin spin. And a new chapter of this book is due out sometime soon (Aug 2021).

I have no respect for any of these people. Meghan equates success with fame and big, big money. So it is endlessly milking of her connection to the Royal Family. She hasn't got anything else to say that anyone was ever interested in. Two animal metaphors - she was the spider who lured the fly into her web as her main means of climbing the ladder of 'success', he is the lamphrey, the jawless fish that attaches itself by suckers to a shark or other fish and derives everything it needs in life from it.

What I think is the worst, is not the 'we moved to California for privacy and only brief our two PR teams once a day and do Oprah, Netflix, anything that will pay us for our Royal stories' is that she cut off her father because he sold pics to the paparazzi - so wtf was she doing briefing them to photograph her laying a wreath, doing anonymous charity etc - and all her family. And has done the same with Harry. He got on with his brother, was best friends with his sister-in-law, his grandmother before Meghan, and now ... he joins her in her poisonous and often lying statements about them.

I'm no royalist. I'm not exactly a republican either. In other words if the UK became a republic, I have no issue with that, if it says a monarchy, the same. I think the royal family are self-entitled people who exploit everything they can for more, even more money and have laws enacted to protect their greed and privacy, see … And What Do You Do?: What The Royal Family Don't Want You To Know. But Meghan, she's really the works, isn't she? At least from this book which might mean to be flattering but since she is in the news all the time, and it isn't how the book says, it isn't.

I switched to the audio book to do a final review - more about the author's motives for writing the book and how it has backfired on him. This review was written as I read the book and events emerged. For less opinion and more reaction, read HarryMarkle.com

This book, meant to show the world that Meghan (and Harry, but he doesn't really count) are truly wonderful people. But it's all backfiring on them as they've thrown the authors under the bus. HarryMarkle has it that the authors are between a rock and a hard place. They have a note at the end of the book talking about all their sources and saying they consulted with H&M on occasion. Meghan is saying the book is all fantasy, not true at all, she never spoke to them, never briefed her friends, it was all lies. Because she doesn't want the authors to be called in a court case.

So either the authorss admit that they fabricated the whole book and their credibility (such as it is, does Scobie have any credibility when all he's ever done is write puff pieces abour the royals), has gone down the drain. Should he defend himself and say that the book was true, and Meghan knew about it and was consulted, he's going to lose all those free tours with the royals that he gets to write about them. He's damned either way. Good.

The Daily Rag goes further and says that the nascence of the book was discussed with the authors as a way of presenting her a favourable light.

The trial is scheduled for January. Should be interesting. I think Meghan will pull out rather than risk losing. I think that depends on if they can get Jessica Mulroney who told People Magazine about the Letter or at least the bits of it that made Meghan look like a saint and her father the sinner, but she's an ex-friend now, so maybe....

I saw a cartoon the other day. Meghan was calling, "Come here, come on now," but on seeing Harry, she says, "Not you. The dog." Tomorrow I'm getting an audio file from the friend who gave me the book. I told her I cannot finish it, my teeth ache. I admire those people who actually got through this Bible of the Latterest Day Saintess and Lastest Prophetess and Second ComingCame of Our Saviouress and her meek disciple Harry.

I can't finish this book. My heart sinks when I pick it up. It's a paean of praise to a woman who has cast off her family, her friends, her husband's family, everything that doesn't fit into her overblown ego and self-confidence that is entitled to Live Like a Billionaire, Break the Internet a la Kim Kardashian (she actually said that), and probably be a Hollywood Star and then Ascend the Ladder, like Reagan, to the White House (she has said she has political ambitions). And everyone and everything that gets in the way of any of that, has to go.

She leaks stuff. Like the H & M necklace she wore when she was dating Harry and then complaining the media won't let her alone (she was advised not wear it). She phoned a photographer to take pics! And she is upset with her father because he made money off the papps? The book writes things about that letter her 5 friends leaked to People but she is sueing some papers over because her father gave a story about it. She is so hypocritical. She's for anything that benefits her meteoric rise and hates anything that takes away from her carefully and expensively crafted (she only uses the best PR companies, advertising agencies etc) image. So leaking the good stuff is all right, writing about the bad stuff isn't.

Meghan is a creature of her own self-invention and it is very difficult to sustain that in this age of mass and instant dissemination of information. But she's trying. And Harry, what about Harry? He always looks so damn miserable and spouts all this woke stuff that she does, but he doesn't mean it any more than she does, it's all private jets and conspicious consumption for them.

This is the last update. I can't finish the book. I wish there was an audio of this saccharine tripe.

All the updates, and notes on reading it
132 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2020
Warning ⚠️ MAJOR CRINGE FEST: Very Strong Stomach Needed

There is just no way imaginable that Meghan was not very intimately involved in the writing of this drivel. It smacks of her self serving, innocent, ingenue me me me persona. Too many very intimate details and then nothing we haven't all already read in the tabloids already. This is the start of Meghan's slow revenge war against the BRF as she singles out and personally attacks HMTQ, TRH'S The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Unfortunately it is nothing more than 1 giant whinging spree. Filled with the kind of ‘woe is me’ victimization and one-sided pettiness we have come to associate only to well with The Sussex’s - where nothing is ever their fault and the whole world is out to get them. This book swiftly descends into a complete snooze fest.

Finding Freedom comes on the tail of a tour of Africa, against a backdrop of some of the most impoverished people in the world, with a lip biting account from The Duchess lamenting that it is not enough just to survive (serious side eye). It also comes at a time in history when we are suffering a global pandemic, that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. America faces its most important election in a century. Britain is suffering its worst recession ever.

The very loud and clear message I received was that this book could not be more tone deaf if it were 10 feet underwater

Regrettably the only ones that gain from this book are the authors.
2 reviews1 follower
July 27, 2020
Dire and I'm being kind. Advance copy donated by cousin who is journo on UK broadsheet. Quite apart from where you stand on the whole Harry & Meghan story, this book is hilarious. The writing style is so syrupy, the cover should have a diabetes warning on it. I'm no fan of the royal family but even I could pick out the factual errors in the book. If your idea of a hard hitting, factually based film is The Sound of Music then this is the book for you. If not, then spend the book price on a splurge at Krispy Kreme, the sick feeling you'll get will be the same but at least you'll have enjoyed it. I normally pass books on but this one is charity shop bound.
March 17, 2022
Update 17 March Goodreads Support have replied and said I am allowed to rate a book twice if it is materially different. An audio book and a hardback are considered different enough so that I can replace my rating. The ToS makes no mention of any difference being necessary, only that all editions can be reviewed and rated as many times as you want. This is apparently going to be amended.

In February, Goodreads Support asked me to remove the rating from this book because I have rated it twice and it is 'skewing the ratings'. I thought we were allowed to rate books we had read twice, twice? 18 Feb 2022

Update 2 I haven't changed my opinion of the book, but in the interests of fairness, there must have been a lot of skewed information in the media - fake news? - about 'the letter' that was released in part by Meghan's friends to a magazine, but she sued the DailyMail for printing saying it was an invasion of privacy. ALL the media was that the Daily Mail was in the clear. But in fact, they lost the case. So why do the media dislike Meghan so much and like the Daily Rag (no one likes the Daily Rag, it just has good comments) and other media that they won't print anything in her favour? 18 Feb 2022

Update This is the 2nd review, not the original. Soon (that was Aug. 2021) Scobie is reissuing this book with an extra chapter which naturally hasn't been collaborated on but he has palace 'sources'. Why anyone in the palace would speak to this apologist for these two I don't know. They left the UK for privacy and have done nothing but trade on their royal titles to get tv interviews, Netflix, Spotify and lord knows what else million dollar deals, have a huge PR team that almost daily puts out something, like a long one about Meghan being speechless about Afghanistan. (Harry is a bit like a lamprey to a shark, if you don't know what that is, look it up!)

There are some American reviewers giving this book 5 stars because of the racist campaign by all the media in the UK. What campaign? What racism? She was so welcomed when she married Harry. She was thought to be a breath of fresh air into the stuffy stultified royals, Black, American, beautiful, divorced, lots of interesting things to shake them up. But she was just Me-Again on the make. A sociopath who has cut out all her family, every single one except her mother, and it seems cut out all of Harry's family for Harry too. But that's not what the book's about!

Why was this book written? The author has called Meghan's detractors, "morons", was it to right that situation since the author is such a fan? Would anyone devote a couple of years of their life to writing something like that without any other benefit? Now being the mouthpiece of or ghostwriting implies a much closer connection to the subjects, Meghan and Harry. That would make sense. But I don't think it was quite that.

Omid Scobie is "Bazaar.com's Royal Editor at Large and has covered the lives and philanthropic work of the younger members of the British Royal Family for over eight years." So he writes puff pieces about the royals who then give him free trips abroad to cover their work. It's all about recognition and publicity the charity, the school or the toilet manufacturer that has built a new factory bringing more employment to an area.

He saw a gap in the marketplace, an offering the fans would buy, a way to endear himself to his bosses and royals and hopefully climb the ladder of predecence of journalists with access to the Royals and their extensive foreign tours, balls, and glittering social events. Why else? That is a respectable reason, who wouldn't want to advance their career? The problem is that it rebounded on him.

We see what Meghan does (and Harry follows), we see the single photographer at events meaning it wasn't paparazzi, it was one she hired. We see that she fired the PR team at Kensington Palace to steer her through Royal life and hung on to her NY and Hollywood team of PR, Accountants and even her Agent proving her intent all along was to use the royal marriage as an opportunity to advance her career and not to become a British royal.

So there is not one niche but two. Meghan's going to want someone on her side to report on her showbiz, political and so-called environmental and woke activities on this side of the pond. Clever man. This is good business. But it's all been scuppered now Meghan is calling him a liar.

Despite the end of the book containing a note saying that Harry and Meghan were consulted, despite writing things like, 'she gave a secret smile and thought to herself' Meghan is now saying that it's fiction, fantasy, out and out lies. He wasn' there, she didn't do it, he made it up. She lost a legal battle to keep the book and authors out of court saying it was irrelevant.

Since the book and its authors will be admitted into the court case she has brought against newspapers publishing her father's letters (which he told them and for which he received no money) we will see. It is apparently all right for the 'secret 5' who will be identified in the court case, to leak to People Magazine, the nasty stuff that Thomas Markle is supposed to have done. Meghan says essentially it was her copywright, no one should have published them (unless it benefited her) without her permission.

No one writes letters to their parents and keeps copies. They email them! The letter was written to be leaked for publication by her 'secret 5' - her side of just how rotten her father was. She expected retaliation, she wanted it. She said to someone or other she wanted to be the most famous person in the world and realised she would need controversy for that. But her father couldn't affford lawyers and so went to the newspapers.

Well she's got controversy. Either she or Scomid will come out of this looking like liars - or both, and I think everyone feels sorry for her father. Other than her mother she's not even on speaking terms, let alone wedding-invite terms- with a single member of her family and has managed to estrange Harry from his.

The court case is January. And Meghan won, and the Daily Mail lost which was unexpected. Meaning can you trust anything the media put out? Perhaps if the information had been correct it wuold have been expected!
1 review
July 27, 2020
The book does more damage to the reputation of its subjects than it does good. In trying to gain sympathy and paint the royals, particularly the Cambridges, as villians, the writers present both Harry (probably more than his wife) and Meghan as whiny, resentful and full of themselves while also contradicting the authors own past stories, turning this supposedly "their side of the story" into an embarrassing account of illusions of grandeur, self importance, complains and mudslinging!
P.S. I am a POC and this review is not based on racism.
1 review
July 28, 2020
FINDING FREEBIES - THE MAKING OF A MODERN VICTIM. So tired of these two whingers releasing books and docos and smoke signals telling world how great they are, while they couch surf and torch their own families behind their backs. Megan will play the Race Card and Harry will play the Diana card until the cards disintegrate. Let's hope that happens sooner rather than later. If these two losers are reading this review: SHAME ON YOU for selling out your families and disrespecting The Queen of England, who has served her nation with zero complaint her entire adult life.

STOP LYING! Megan, hon. Nobody believes a single word salad that comes out of your mouth. From the laughable "5 Friends" (i.e, yourself) to the endless petty lawsuits, suing literally nobody. It's clear that Megan selfishly never wanted to fit into the Royal Family. She wanted to take over as this book clearly detailed. Why on EARTH would these two arrogant, greedy numpties demand the same treatment and level as the future King and Queen of the Commonwealth?

Here's what this book taught me: Megan is interested purely in her own gain to the detriment of everyone around her. Megan, the self-ordained spokesperson for BLM, who only got anywhere in this world because she used (her Dad) and married white men. And when her plan to disparage everyone around her in an effort to become number one in the RF flopped on its face, she cried out discrimination. Now she is desperately trying to look like a poor sad victim-hence this train wreck of a book. How Hapless Harry goes along with the destruction of his own family beggars belief.

As many other pundits have said: the telling of "their side" during a pandemic is staggeringly selfish and tone deaf. Let's all hope it blows up in their faces, that everyone finally sees the truth of these petty shameless characters, and that they will - finally - go crawl under a rock and spare humanity the screeching sounds of their sanctimonious delusional hypocritical preaching and endless complaining, courtesy of two of the most privileged people on planet earth.
Profile Image for Karen Breuer.
1 review1 follower
April 29, 2020
It’s crap, but what can one expect from a book about Meghan Markle and Just call me Harry.
1 review3 followers
July 27, 2020
For all the media hype that was made around this book, it turned out to be a collection of independent reporting made by other royal reporters, opinions from different sides of the royal fandom, sickly sweet sycophancy from the author who happens to be their mouthpiece.
Furthermore, this has Meghan Markle's calligraphy written all over it as we can see her writing style, reminiscent of her Tig blog.
If you're a book collector, then knock yourself out. otherwise it's just an upgraded gossip diary.
Profile Image for Fff.
371 reviews5 followers
May 5, 2020
Omid Scobie is MeGain's pet. So, what are you expecting from this book about MeGain: "MeGain, me, me, me...! I am the most wonderful woman in the world!"
Just useful as toilet paper when in need!
1 review
July 27, 2020
Harry married a fraud. A book of lies and bitterness.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,263 followers
August 13, 2020
I didn't think I would purchase this, however, parts of the excerpts and Omid's and Carolyn's post-release interviews were intriguing.

Mostly, I found this book to be a more balanced look at the couple, Harry and Meghan, the royal palaces and their courtiers, and also the events leading up to the dissolution of William and Harry's working relationship.
Frankly, I think the blame lies with the person on whom the crown lays since she alone could have reined in all parties involved.

This entire situation was an epic failure of leadership.

That said, it's unlikely this book will change the minds of those who, for whatever reasons, dislike the couple; nevertheless, it's important that the malicious lies from the tabloid British press be debunked. The most damaging, IMO, being that Meghan made Kate cry which we now know was categorically false.

Furthermore, whatever you might think or feel about any of the players, there is absolutely no justification for the threats or vitriol that's being lobbed around anytime the names Harry and Meghan crop up.

What exactly did they do that was so unbecoming? Till this day, no one has been able to give a cogent and reasonable answer. Some have said Meghan only speaks to her Mom so therefore she must be evil. Huh? I know loads of kind thoughtful people who're estranged from family.

Some say she's a social climber who jettisoned her childhood friends for A-listers. Huh? I have exactly 4 really close friends all of whom I met in my 20s and till this day whenever childhood friends attempt to reconnect, I always feel anxious and uncomfortable because I can never understand their motives.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that the common denominator (and the reason Meghan is being eviscerated) is that she MARRIED PRINCE HARRY? Would we have cared about her lack of or class of friends or even her ambition/career had she not MARRIED PRINCE HARRY?
Profile Image for Lem-ne.
876 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2020
What a load of bol*&%ks. Obviously co written by Meghan who is trying to be the next Diana it seems. William and Kate are in line to be King and Queen consort and Harry was always the spare. That didn't sit well with special snowflake Meghan. And before people start dropping the race card, I couldn't care if she was pink with yellow spots on.
2 reviews
July 27, 2020
Rehashed tabloid drivel featuring their side. Been called a hagiography in the press and that team is apropos. Nothing revealing. One wonders the authenticity of the content as the author, Omid purposely lied about his age to a Times reporter. He said he was 33 but is in fact 38 or 39. It isn’t even written well. Hard to get through the book. Was hoping for new revelations. Was hoping to see the couple in a new, favorable light. But the book did the opposite. Don’t buy this book until it’s at Poundland!
Profile Image for M.
131 reviews4 followers
August 20, 2020
To anyone who believes the lie that Meghan and Harry had nothing to do with this book, read this...

The first week of August 2020, the Justice in her lawsuit, Justice Warby, said reporter Mr. Scobie (the author of this book) tweeted about the applications in court just 58 minutes after they were filed. I quote, “The record shows that the application notice and supporting witness statements were all submitted for filing at 8:06am and finding at 8:32am. The evidence of Mr. Mathieson is that they were served on the defendant at 8:30am and that by 8:45am, within 15 minutes of receiving the application, he received a call from a representative of Sky News asking if he had a comment to make about it. The defendant’s side had not made the application public. At 9:30am, a copy of the title page of the claimants witness statement was posted on the Twitter feed of someone called Omid Scobie.” "The inference invited is that he had been provided with a copy by representatives of the claimant. This seems very likely.” Within an hour of court the author of this book has material only Meghan and the party she is suing would. Justice Warby is linking Omid directly to Meghan and her team as the sources of his “leaks” that he tweets about and obviously writes about in this book. If you think Meghan didn’t have a hand in writing this very idealistic, fantasy of her greatness and how she is such a victim of the world, then you need to find freedom from naiveite. It is hard for her and H to claim they were not involved in this book filled with intimate details when she has no problem making sure the author has a copy of her court applications within minutes of court.

You also just need to head to the author's note at the back of the book too. Omid and Carolyn forgot to edit this out, but of course it might've been too late. Meghan and Harry changed their mind within their PR machine at the last minute to say they didn't have any inference on this book. Direct quote, "We have spoken with close friends of Harry and Megan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organizations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate the couple themselves." The couple themselves. There is no way Meghan and Harry didn't know about his book or what was in it.
4 reviews
September 18, 2020
Nothing is EVER their fault. People believe Meghan to be fake because she is so perfect. Charles thinks shes confident beautiful self aware and impeccable. VERY DETAILED description of her meeting with the Queen. Details no one else would know but Meghan or Harry. It almost reads as if she was writing every detail in a journal and gave snippets to Scooby Do for this book. William and Catherine are bullies and snobbish. Harry is irrational and emotional. The rest of the royals are jealous. But Meghan is perfect.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
6 reviews1 follower
July 27, 2020
After finding out the author himself tells porky pies have no reason to believe this book is anything more then fiction. All lies and drama. Pity party book.
Profile Image for Lvly.
2 reviews
August 26, 2020
UPDATE: I finally read the book. Yes, it is praising them. But I actually think they are also criticized on occasion. If there wasn’t a full on smear hate racist campaing in the brit tabloids, then I would’ve said it is a bit much. But as it is, with them still vilified and the duke and duchess of Lazy still touted as “perfect”, this book is a pertinent defence. It actually makes me happy that they escaped such a toxic environment. Looking forward to what they do, because it’s heaps more interesting than what what the rest don’t. And don’t @ me until “top CEO” lazy waity actually does back to back work, and above all, prince Pedo deems it appropriate to renonunce his titles. So sick of racist brits who have no clue about their history, their empire built on enslaved persons’ backs. And of course, what is Brexit if not racism/xenophobia at its best? Go in a corner please and eat an avocado.

Can’t wait for this one! While I’m betting there won’t be spilled tea, at least it may provide some insight into how they were racist bullied out of their country.
1 review
July 27, 2020
Anything that has MeGains hands in the content is just a bunch of lies to make her look good. Its trash and not worth your money
1 review
August 15, 2020
More like Funding Freedom. H&M claim they had nothing to do with this book. So why aren't they suing the book for unauthorized approval or for "lies". She's suing the Magazine, why not the authors of this book? Even Scobie acknowledged in an interview that they were very involved in the book. Now they are denying it. Furthermore, where is the 2nd Author at?? Why is no one interviewing her? Why is she hiding?
Why doesn't H & M realize no one cares for them. Especially MegNuts! Wish they would just go away!
2 reviews
July 29, 2020
Don’t waste your money on this whinge fest.
43 reviews1 follower
August 12, 2020
As expected with the reviews--those that like H&M are giving it five stars and those that don't care for the couple are giving it one star.

I started out really loving this couple, but as they complained and whined from their position of monetary and social status privilege I began to like them less and less which made me sad because Harry was always my favorite plus the potential Meghan brought as a breath of fresh air to the royal family.

After reading excerpts of the book I meant to cancel my order, but forgot and so I stayed up late and read the darn thing.

First, it is not at all objective if you are looking for a book that presents both sides factually. This is not that book. Personally I don't think it is that well written as it can be pretty flowery. Major events such as Meghan's first marriage, Harry's defining relationships with his previous serious girlfriends and Meghan's family are glossed over. Secondly, there is no way the couple didn't have significant input into their version of this story.

The two authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, (although Scobie constantly refers to her as Carolyn instead of "we" state "As a rule, no member of the British royal family is officially allowed to authorize a biography. However Carolyn and I were able to gain extensive access to those closest to the couple: friends, trusted aides, senior courtiers, and many individuals in the Sussexes' inner circle." This says it all. There is absolutely no way this could have been written without the support of the couple and I'm quite sure unofficially they authorized the book. Almost all of the book is made up of positive stories and accounts by their friends etc. Absolutely no attempt is made to present other sides (William's, Trevor's, Meghan's family, Harry's family). A true biography would do this. Harry and Meghan are currently suing three different publications and I'm sure if this was not an unauthorized/authorized narrative by them -- that they'd be suing Scobie and Durand too.

While the book is very one-sided there are a few nuggets among the discourse that constantly praises and adulates Harry and Meghan. For instance when Archie was born they decided not to give him a royal title. That is explained here (I don't remember them giving a reason back then)--they want him to have choices as he grows and with a royal title (Prince) he would be locked into a future under British law or rule.

The book does address some of Meghan's family like Samantha and her father Thomas Markle. I do believe the narrative of the book about them to be true. Samantha and Meghan were never close--just look at the age gap. And yet many believe the stories Samantha wove about Meghan. But the truth if you look at the facts is that Samantha was in no position to know what was going on. And I agree with the assessment that she probably has been deeply hurt by the lies her family have spread in the media and former friends. She shut them all out for betraying her and I do agree with this action. Any further interaction with them would have resulted in more stories to sell to the British tabloids.

However, I do think that the supposedly PR savvy Meghan and Harry have made gaffe after gaffe with the public. I think they would have been better off following the palace adage of "never explain, never complain." It is a reality when someone who is rich and privileged complains about anything they get roasted over the coals by the public. In my opinion they should have buckled down and worked at the various duties offered to them. They would have won the public over as Camilla did. As Catherine did. But they were too impatient to do so wanting instant and constant respect and adoration for their limited duties.

So I guess to sum up my review before I take up pages and pages--there is some insight in the book as to Harry and Meghan's actions. There is insight into how awful the press and often the public were to them. But it is telling that the palace court, the people that quit their employment, the friends of Harry before Meghan entered the picture and countless others that have known Harry and known Harry and Meghan remained silent instead of defending them. They didn't leak good stories about them and I think many did not have good experiences overall with the couple and therefore kept quiet.

How will this play out? Time will only show us.
February 14, 2022

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I read this after MEGHAN: A HOLLYWOOD PRINCESS. I actually recommend you do that, too, because AHP is a biography of Markle before her life with Harry, and this book basically takes over where the other book left off. They are both also written from the same sympathetic perspective, and the details sync up nicely.

I bought this book because of all the negative reviews for it on Goodreads or Amazon from people who seemed to be anti-Meghan. Honestly, the hate this woman gets astounds me-- especially compared to the other royals. If you think it's due to anything but racism and classism, I suggest you check out this BuzzFeed article by Ellie Hall comparing the coverage that Meghan gets compared to Kate from the same media outlets. If you ask me, I'd say that Markle is guilty of nothing but "princessing while Black."

Having read FINDING FREEDOM, I will say that it reads like a puff piece, but it's an engaging one, and a harmless one, IMO. If you hate Markle, it probably won't change your mind, but if you're neutral or positive, it's a pretty fascinating read. I liked reading about Markle's interactions with her famous friends (including the daughter of PM Mulroney, Serena Williams, and Eddie Redmayne), her passion for cruelty-free and local goods (one that I share), and her not-so-fairytale romance with the prince. I kept annoying my family with facts I thought were interesting.

I respected Markle before reading this and I still do, now. I can't imagine the pressure of being in the public eye the way she does and I'm glad that she and Harry were able to do what they needed to do for the sake of their respective mental healths (and those of their children).

3 to 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ingrid.
5 reviews12 followers
August 11, 2020
I see a lot of racist reviewing a book that isn’t even out yet.
The spoiler for this book is that you will see a lot of racist leaving fake reviews for a book they didn’t read and mascarade that as indignation. When in reality if FACTS were brought to be debated they all would be trying to come up with excuses. Pathetic. But that’s what is expected of racists and ignorant people that instead of facts spend their little lifes away reading tabloids. Good luck with your hatred. Karma is a bitch, just remember that.
Profile Image for ♥♣Mary♦♠ If She So Pleases.
1,301 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2022
Without this book, gossip would have mellowed down and they would have been able to come and go as they please, as they intended, while maintaining a somewhat healthy relationship with their families and countries. I can only imagine the welcome they'll receive now.

This book is written in the style of a saint in the making, a "leftist saint." With the amount of times this book mentions Obama, you'd think he was running again. I understand the authors' need to defend Meghan after some negative press but the authors of this book are very narrow minded and only have that one goal in mind throughout the whole book. Words to describe this book; gossipy, fashion oriented, yoga, name dropping, teacher's pet, sensitive emotions... I can only imagine some of the guys rolling their eyes while reading this book...It's like a Cosmopolitan magazine article.

Beginning isn't that bad, mostly her accolades, then boom; the working class Londoners are covert racists, mad shade is thrown at William and Kate, and obvious praise and adoration to the Queen and Charles. Most people can and will see through this debacle.

This book certainly doesn't help H&M, only helps those who profit off it, the authors.

The royal establishment is set in their rules, traditions, and ways. No one can change that, not even any of the senior royals. I know there are some snubs who wish to maintain the status quo forevermore and keep everyone in their place. Even Kate had to deal with those but she rose above it. I also know what it's like to have to ice some family out. I wanted to see Meg and Harry succeed despite their family drama. Meghan obviously didn't know what she was getting into, although she did know who the princes were (come on, don't lie). She knew she'd have power and influence but had a different idea entirely of what royals can and cannot do with that.

Royals are there for perpetual charity, to listen to the people, to put others before themselves, and to be the head and/or members of the Church of England, not to promote political agendas and/or organizations (on tax payer's money or with a title) or to profit as business people. That's royal life, nothing new here.

Meg and Harry have made some mistakes (as we all have) like inviting Rick Hoffman to their wedding, who was rolling his eyes the whole time through at Westminster Abbey, like being vocal about a president they don't like (as a royal and otherwise), like promoting disgusting people like Ellen. See how low Ellen has fallen? How many accusers are saying she's a monster. the writers mention Ellen three times in this book...and her new "wife." Ellen was even in Rising Phoenix (which harry was part of). This is why royals aren't public about their lives. I liked Meghan a lot before I knew too much about her. Hasn't it gone through their minds that perhaps the same happened in London?

Meg and Harry can and could have learned from their mistakes, shrugged off the silly media, the prejudice, let bygones be bygones, and moved forward in the UK. Obviously, they don't want to conform to the royal lifestyle, they have different plans in life. Americans have a different form of life, where you can be great despite your family or heritage, where people don't have a "place", where you're afforded more freedoms. We'll see how it goes, not so great so far; the social media bad comments thing (censuring the people), campaigning with the dems... BTW, I don't think Meg and Harry are "bad," I just don't agree with their every move. My advice, don't get into the Hollywood scene, marriages don't last in that cesspool.
2 reviews
August 11, 2020
Regardless of where one stands on royalty and it’s members. This book is written terribly. The author goes over the top and it is really just full of petty things. It is completely one sided and I think quite unkind to the Cambridges (especially Kate who appears to be a villain because she’s a busy working royal with three kids and so can’t take Meghan to the shops when Meghan wants to go). It should have and could have been a more interesting story about bigger issues. But really it’s just a highly biased author going on and going about how Meghan Markle is perfect. Which is fine, but makes for a truly terrible book. Ironically the author also fails to understand of acknowledge his own biases despite accusing many others of terrible prejudices and judgemental attitudes. It really isn’t worth a read, especially considering the fact that there are actually so many well written books out there. I really wouldn’t recommend from a literature point of view.
Profile Image for Lois .
1,766 reviews466 followers
December 9, 2022
2022 Reread Review:
I'm rereading the tabloid biographies of Harry & Meghan and Sussexit. I'm rereading in order of publication to track how the attitudes towards the couple, changed or didn't change, in anticipation of Harry's upcoming memoir 'Spare'.

I think my original review still works for this
Original 2020 Review:
British tabloids: print, online and TV, have been complaining nonstop and demanding Meghan go home.
Calling her 'duchess difficult', british for 'uppity'.
So she leaves and now they are big mad and screaming abandonment.
Make it make sense.

The claims that she, a WOC, 'stole' a white man from a former slave trading and violently colonizing tribe....

The jokes write themselves.

I believe Harry, Meghan, Charles, the queen, and other royals, all indirectly probably contributed some info using their friends and staff which is how most royals have gotten out their side of the story for decades.

Typically, 'the royal' who is the subject of the biography that they either directly or indirectly participated in, will put out a formal statement denying their participation in said biography.

In the case of this book and this story, it just so happens this is the 3rd book, at least, out this year covering the exact same royals, the exact same material and ALL promising to be in sole possession of the 'unbiased truth'.

I read Meghan & Harry: The Real Story by Lady Colin Campbell published end of June. I reviewed it June 26th.

I read Royals at War by Dylan Howard also published end of June. I reviewed it on July 2nd.

The above biographies were written in pretty much the same tone, with pretty much the same claims to 'insiders, palace staff and friends' of whatever 'royal' providing the quote.

All 3 biographies address the popular tabloid stories we've all read, seen and heard and all 3 possess at least a degree of bias.
I give this book the most weight of the 3 ONLY because the authors say they have maintained journalistic 'sourcing' standards. I presume they'll be called out by the over-caffeinated British press I've been reading so much about on anything they misrepresented.
So time will uncover the accuracy of this narrative.

I'm sure the truth is both a matter of perspective and a bit lost in the sauce at this point.
I think everyone involved is going to try to spin themselves as the victims.

I would say that the Cambridge's come off as the Duke & Duchess of Pettyville in this and probably had the least involvement. Or pulled out as the relationship soured between the Fab 4.

I don't really think we'll ever know everything and I don't really care.
None of it is any of my business.
Nothing I've read has really changed the opinions that I formed surrounding why Harry & Meghan exited the UK.
Most of my suspicions were formed by the gaps left by in the first 2 books. This nicely confirmed my theories.

I only gave this 5 stars because of racist trolls in the reviews.
I live for the petty🤷🏾‍♀️
I'm not only a player, I'm the Petty President!
I'd probably give this 3.5 stars which is the highest rating I've given of the 3 biographies on this subject.

I found it interesting that Prince Charles was so heavily involved in the wedding plans. I LOVE that he added Bishop Curry and the Kingdom Choir.
Prince Charles is a bit ruthless in his pursuit of positive press coverage. He knew the details of this historic event would make him appear inclusive and serve as some type of proof he cares about diversity. As was him keeping quiet about it and allowing it to be revealed, as in this book, as a thoughtful detail.

What he cares about is optics and this was beautifully played.
I have no choice but to stan.

Prince Charles is an old hat at using royal biographers to rehabilitate his public image. I'm guessing his staff cooperated as much as the Sussex's in this.

Prince Charles will be reading the room so to speak and be very aware that whatever his personal views, the rest of the world sees Meghan's treatment as racism.

It's hard to tell with covid but given the recent intrusive pics of baby Archie I'd guess the popularity of all things Sussex hasn't diminished at all.
Charles is hedging his bets and seeing what unfolds but making sure he looks good either way.
Same with the offhand offer of support as the couple 'forge their own path'.
Dad can easily withdraw financially and staff support if they aren't playing ball so to speak.
He's paying for a measure of control.
I also think he VERY much wants this resolved and them back in the fold.
I think this is the carrot.

For all of the outrage over money spent on the Sussex's its proven to be faux bullshit.

"The Queen took great pleasure in gifting homes to her family members, a senior aide said. Her Majesty gave Sunninghill Park to Prince Andrew; Bagshot Park to Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Anmer Hall to William and Kate. “It’s her thing!” the aide added."

So the Queen didn't single out Harry with Frogmore, it appears this is a bit par for the course.

I agree that giving money to rich people is the height of ridiculous. However british tabloids are only complaining about the money spent on Meghan.
So yes, that qualifies as a racist concern.

Either apply the money complaint across the board and let the royals pay for themselves full stop or shut up with the racist faux concerns about Meghan's access to family 'firm' funds.

British tabloids are so virulently racist that they give more coverage and seem to have more outrage as a nation about Meghan touching her own belly (baby bump) then they are collectively about their already scandal prone Andrew, also being a sex-trafficking-in-children-while-engaging-in-sexual-assault 'Prince'.

This is the 2nd book to reveal the Cambridge's acting badly.
Royals at War praised William but painted Kate as mean and taunting to Meghan.
As well as Kate having her friends and social circle taunt Meghan at events.

I definitely think Wills and Kate are jealous.
Wills is very like Charles with Diana, in that he doesn't want to share the spotlight.
Even if doing so helps the royal family to have wider and further reaching appeal.
The truth is the monarchs duties are ceremonial. They don't have any real power nor and none of them does anything even slightly resembling work.
So what harm can Harry & Meghan's popularity do to the royal family?
Wills will be Prince of Wales and then King.
His son George will be King after him.
A royal coup isn't a fear even in this century.
The Cambridge's need therapy and to grow up.
Or to continue the Fab 4 and ride on Harry and Meghan's popularity.
Instead they were the driving force behind breaking up the Fab 4.

The Cambridge's 'hired' (implied they kinda enticed key staff with better positions and pay then the Sussex's had the budget to offer) the Sussex's staff, which is a big deal in their social circles and considered rude if not a snub.

The Sussex's lawsuit against the tabloids revealed that the leak at the palace in regards to Meghan was the Cambridge's staff.
That's not independent of William & Kate, that's being lead by them.

I honestly think that's the whole reason the Sussex's went ahead with this lawsuit.
It's a smart way to reveal that they were most definitely being mistreated by the palace. With his brother and sister in law gleefully participating.

I actually think this book is mild and mostly non-accusatory in overall tone. The authors just give tidbits but don't make outright accusations and present the other viewpoint though it's clear they don't agree, they acknowledge a differing view exists.
That's a far cry above Campbell's book which just ignored facts in favor of a predetermined racist narrative.
Mostly amounting to, 'the nerve of that uppity negress'.

If you read between the lines, the palace staff disliked and did not trust Meghan.
This is another area the racism rears it's ugly head. Science has studied race relations for decades. Reliably found is that white people do not trust Black people. Not because of the individual Black person but because that's how racism manifests: preconceived prejudice with the power to both act on those and reliably challenge even the label of racism.

We live in a time in which only 'bad' people are racists so the mind which is disturbed because of one's own racism searches for rational reasons to apply one's own bias.
This plays out in staff not getting back to Meghan to allow her to schedule her tiara fitting. The staff referring to her as 'Harry's showgirl'. It's 2020 and white people the world over know to never refer to a Black adult as a girl or boy much less as the property of a white person.

Because of the ridiculous ass hierarchy which makes up a ludicrous system like monarchy the couple do not have enough power for their extremely relevant and valid concerns to be addressed.
I understand this because I grew up in and even today live in a country where no one who looks like me and all of us combined collectively do not hold enough social power to get our needs addressed. No matter how reasonable, 'Like don't shoot my kids and can I get health-care that doesn't disproportionately harm me?'
If I had it within my power to leave I would too.

I think for all of the shit talked by the royal family, 'The Firm' wants and needs the star power that Harry & Meghan bring. Star power amounts to social relevance and relevance is always an issue for the firm.

If the Sussex's do plan to return to the firm, they plan to do so from a much stronger bargaining position.
Or they stay in the States and solidify their position as American Royalty.
This isn't as much of a gamble on their part as it may appear.

I think ultimately this hurts Wills future reign. He'd be smart to work this out. The longer it goes on he risks them being successful.Once the Sussex's need no assistance from the palace, that means they owe them nothing either. Should Harry & Meghan find success on the same path as the Clinton's and the Obama's, well that'll be respected everywhere but Britain.
Under that scenario the Sussex's wouldn't need Britain and that would shift the power dynamic.
Even if they move to strip their titles the firm risks such a move being labeled racism abroad.
The Sussex's are not without a measure of power.
The US has it's own hierarchy and they are fully embraced by it here.

With Oprah firmly on the Sussex's team it's inevitable that their popularity will continue to rise globally.
That's why so many powerful people in Hollywood are protecting and sheltering them right now.
When Oprah is your Fairy Godmother doors open.

The British tabloids will continue to have red-faced racists pontificating loudly on TV which will simply serve to cement the image of the racist Brit.
At a time the nation can ill afford it.
Brexit was racist.
Much like with the election of chump in the US in a single election the UK became an openly racist and not giving a fuck nation.
Take it from a US citizen living abroad, it hurts your global image which sticks and stinks like shit.

I mean the Sussex's were making the firm money. While increasing the social relevance of the British institution of monarchy globally with Meghan but they as a couple didn't rate enough to have their needs addressed and concerns treated as more than whining.
So they left.

Either to return with more power or more likely to blaze their own trail.
The thing is it's bad for for future King Wills if he can't make peace with his brother. After all he has to make his position as royal tenable.
Celebrity in the States is a whole other playing field and Harry & Meghan have their bases covered from what I can see.

Whew chile the tea was piping and the house was filthy in this fun gossipy book.
Profile Image for Hannah Nagle.
706 reviews28 followers
August 13, 2020
Note: My friend lent me her copy of this book because she knows I have an interest in the media storm that has surrounded MM and Prince Harry stepping down as royals. I am not well educated in royal culture, nor do I know (or understand) royal etiquette. I know the basics, and I always enjoy looking at the wedding dresses chosen for royal weddings. Prior to her life as a royal, I did really enjoy watching MM on Suits as Rachel Zane - and I will admit I 100% had a crush on the character. That aside, I would not say I am a "fan" of either MM or the royal family.
Book content aside, I agree with the authors (and MM and Prince Harry) that the racism towards MM during her time as a royal is inexcusable. It is disgusting and unacceptable. There is no place for that here.

Now, on to the review.

The first thing I noticed as I got into this book was the excessive casual name dropping. Seriously, it is absolutely everywhere and is never necessary. There will be a mention of a brand MM likes and it will be followed by "this brand is also liked by Madonna and Beyonce!!" Not only is this unnecessary, but it feels forced. It feels like the authors are pushing SO hard to prove to everyone that MM is classy and "just like everyone else!!" I decided to keep a running total of all the name dropping throughout the book and we ended with a total of 102 names. And this tally does not account for the fact that many of these celebrities are named multiple times throughout the book - just that they were named at least once.

The authors refer to Africa as a country. How in the HELL did no editor pick this up?! Was this edited by anyone other than MM and Prince Harry? HOW are you publishing a book and do not know that Africa is not a country.

I am 99.99% convinced MM and Prince Harry ghost wrote this book. It was so self-indulgent that there is no way that two "objective" journalists wrote the book in this tone. (I say "objective" because Scobie is a well-known pal of MM's.) The entire book is written as "why me!! This is so unfair!!"

This book is petty. There are casual, not-so-subtle digs at Kate, William, and other royals throughout the entire book. I'm not saying these people are innocent, but I do think it is unfair to paint them in a petty picture to get the point across. You can state objective facts without being petty. For example, I was really off put but the comment that Kate never had "career aspirations"....unlike Meghan. The whole way it was written made Kate look like an idiot or subpar in relation to someone wanting a career. Who cares!! Some people want a career, others don't! There is nothing wrong with either as long as you mind your own business and do something productive with your time.

In addition to petty, this book puts all of the blame on other people. At absolutely no point in this book is there any reference to MM or Prince Harry taking accountability for their actions. I do not believe they are blameless in all of this.

Ultimately... Do I think MM has tipped off the press on multiple occasions? Yes. Do I believe she deserves to be the subject of blatant racism? Hell no. While she chose to leak tidbits to the press she does not deserve to have all of that come back and focus on her race, or her gender. It is disgusting. I know some people have the mentality that she has "asked for it" but here's what I think: She asked for the attention, but not the overt, blatant racism and sexism and that is where I feel badly for her. It is unfair that so much of her has come to rest on her race and gender, and that is both unfair and unwarranted.

Content aside, this book is simply not well written. It is choppy and doesn't flow well. Chapters end on bizarre cliffhangers. There are content errors (i.e., Africa being a country). The majority of my 1 star rating stems from the fact that this book was quickly written and published, and it shows in the final product.
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