Meghan’s ‘heated’ tiara spat with Queen
From tensions with Kate Middleton and Prince William, to a spat with the Queen over a tiara - the drama between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the rest of the British royal family is laid bare in new bombshell book.
The allegations contained in Finding Freedom have reportedly left the Palace - particularly, Prince William and Kate - "sad" and "disappointed".
"I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are," Meghan told a friend, according to the revealing biography.
These are the must-know details revealed in Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.
WHO WROTE IT?
The biography was informed by close friends of Prince Harry and Meghan, with rumours suggesting that the couple may have also contributed to it - a claim they have denied.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom," a statement from Harry and Meghan said. "This book is based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."
Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand interviewed more than 100 sources close to Harry and Meghan, since 2018, with each detail said to have been confirmed by at least two separate sources.
In an interview, Mr Scobie told The Times: "The book doesn't claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we".
'A FOREVER THING'
Prince Harry and Meghan knew they would be "a forever thing" by their third date, the biography claims.
Their whirlwind romance began at one of London's most sought-after members' clubs - Soho House's Dean Street Townhouse - and three hours later, Harry "was in a trance", according to Finding Freedom.
The pair were "in their own little world" as they spoke about making "change for good".
Hours after their date, Meghan told a friend: "Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?"
The book also explains: "'Almost immediately they were obsessed with each other,' a friend said. 'It was as if Harry was in a trance.'"
A friend told the authors: "Harry knew they would be together at that point. She was ticking every box fast."
Meghan then followed Harry's secret Instagram account, @SpikeyMau5.
MEGHAN 'TIPPED OFF PAPS'
Meghan would "occasionally" tip off paparazzi in her pre-royal career as a Hollywood actor on TV drama, Suits.
Though the former Deal or No Deal model was fiercely private when it came to anyone knowing about the early stages of her romance with Prince Harry.
The book sates: "While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince.
"She knew keeping things quiet meant they could get to know each other without pressure or further worries that came from reporters covering their romance."
KATE & MEGHAN
Meghan and Kate did not get along at all, and the only thing they had in common was "the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace".
The book explains that Duchess of Sussex felt let down because Kate didn't really "reach out" to her.
"At the outset of her romance with Harry, Meghan had fully expected Kate to reach out and give her the lie of the land on everything an outsider to the Firm needed to know," the authors wrote.
"But that was not how things turned out. Meghan was disappointed that she and Kate hadn't bonded over the position they shared, but she wasn't losing sleep over it."
There was one particularly awkward incident in 2017, when Kate left Kensington Palace alone in a Range Rover … bound for the same shopping strip that Meghan was also leaving for.
Meghan later rejected a peace offering of flowers from the Duchess of Cambridge, declaring the gesture was not enough.
'A SNOB': PRINCE WILLIAM
Harry believed William acted like a "snob" and did not welcome his then-girlfriend Meghan into the family.
But William thought he had actually "rolled out the red carpet".
Harry was angered when Wills referred to Meghan as "this girl"
Meghan by referring to her as "this girl", according to the book.
"Don't feel you need to rush this," Prince William told Prince Harry, according to sources. "Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl."
"In those last two words, 'this girl', Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world," the book reveals. "During his ten-year career in the military, outside the Royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession."
The biography continued: "William may have felt he was acting out of concern, but Harry was offended that his older brother still treated him as if he were immature".
"Harry was p***** off," a source revealed. "P***** off that his brother would ask such a thing."
"After all, these are two brothers that have spent their whole lives with people trying to take advantage of them," the source said.
"They've both developed a radar to detect that type of person, but as William didn't know a whole lot about Meghan, he wanted to make sure Harry wasn't blindsided by lust."
The book also alleges that a senior royal referred to Meghan as "Harry's showgirl".
There was intense rivalry directed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the rest of the royal family, Finding Freedom reveals.
"As their popularity had grown, so did Harry and Meghan's difficulty in understanding why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests," an excerpt from the book revealed.
"They were a major draw for the royal family. Instead they had to take a back seat.
"Sometimes they would be told that their projects had to wait when the Prince of Wales or Prince William had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time."
The book suggested that Prince Harry and Meghan had to stay out of the spotlight.
"While they both respected the hierarchy of the institution, it was difficult when they wanted to focus on a project and were told that a more senior ranking family member, be it Prince William or Prince Charles, had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time - so they would just have to wait," the source said.
TENSIONS WITH THE QUEEN
The tiara Meghan wore on her wedding day caused a spat with the Queen, which led the monarch to declare: "Meghan cannot have whatever she wants".
Finding Freedom states that Queen's dresser Angela Kelly deliberately dragged her feet in helping Meghan choose a tiara for their 2018 wedding day, and there was confusion over the origin of an emerald headpiece that Meghan originally chose, according toThe Sun.
The Queen ultimately said no to Meghan wearing it, as it was unclear where it was actually from.
Speaking to Prince Harry prior to the wedding, the Queen warned her grandson about Meghan's attitude.
Meghan and Harry were "unhappy" when told Meghan's first choice of tiara was not appropriate - as no one knew exactly where it came from.
"There was a very heated exchange that prompted the Queen to speak to Harry," the book claims.
"She said, 'Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she's given by me'."
For her wedding, Meghan ended up wearing the Queen's first choice: a diamond bandeau worn by Queen Mary, and made in 1932.
"The Queen also questioned why Meghan needed a veil for the wedding, given it was to be her second marriage', the source alleged, adding that: 'Meghan can be difficult,'" the Daily Mail reported, of the book.
Meantime, Finding Freedom also revealed that Meghan and Harry were offended that a photo of their son, Archie, was not displayed on the Queen's table during her televised address on Christmas Day, taking it as "yet another sign that they needed to consider their own path."
The couple felt it was symbolic that they "had long been sidelined by the institution and were not a fundamental part of its future".
The Queen was said to be "devastated" when informed of the pair's intentions to leave the royal family.
"The Sussexes were very happy when they sent out the statement (about Megxit). They felt they had got back some sort of control.
"Was this what she [Meghan] wanted right from the start? But at what price? They deeply wounded the family."
Meghan believed she was the target of unfair criticism after a string of staff members resigned, reportedly complaining that she was demanding and sent emails at 5am.
"If a man got up before dawn to work, he was applauded for his work ethic. If a woman did it, she was deemed difficult or 'a b*tch'," the authors explained.
"The double standard was exacerbated when it came to successful women of colour, often labelled demanding or aggressive."
Meghan was the victim of racially-motivated criticism by the British press.
"Meghan felt as though some of the commentary and tabloid stories were more than a culture clash; they were sexist and prejudiced.
"Racism takes a different form in the UK from in America, but there is no mistaking its existence and how ingrained it is."
Meghan left a "barrage of voicemails" for her estranged father, Thomas Markle, before her wedding to Prince Harry in May, 2018.
In one, the book claims Meghan said: "Dad, I still love you. Nothing has changed. We're going to get you safely to London. I'm sending a car to come and get you."
While speaking via FaceTime from a bathtub, Meghan told a friend: "I'm assuming he's getting my messages."
"I can't sit up all night just pressing send," she had said, according to the book.
The Duchess of Sussex felt that some royal staff treated her in a "sexist and prejudiced" manner and, as a "successful woman of colour", she was branded "demanding".
"It was open season on Meghan, with many looking for anything and everything to criticise," the book states, quoting a close friend.
"Duchess Different. That's what people have a problem with. She's the easiest person in the world to work with. Certain people just don't like the fact she stands out."
A royal insider expressed concern that Markle came "with a lot of baggage", while a respected courtier told a colleague, "There's just something about her I don't trust".
The book explains that Prince Harry felt some people within the Palace "simply didn't like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult".
The book suggests that Meghan was unfairly blamed for the couple's dramatic departure from the royal family, dubbed "Megxit" by British tabloids.
Particularly over the way their exit was announced - abruptly, and via social media. The move "created a lot of ill-will in the household and especially in the family".
"The aides, including the Queen's private secretary, Edward Young, were furious," the book outlines.
"The private offices don't like that type of behaviour,' a source familiar with the negotiations said. 'It is deeply unhealthy and unwelcome.'"
As for Harry's reasons for turning his back on The Firm? "He wanted to get away from the goldfish bowl that was Kensington Palace," a source told the authors. "Everywhere you turn, you're surrounded by staff and family. He was at a point in his life where he was working with his brother, doing the foundation with his brother and living by his brother. It was too much."
While Palace staff put the blame firmly on Meghan. "The courtiers blame Meghan, and some family do," Finding Freedom states.
The Duchess of Sussex believed she did everything she could to make it work. "As 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.'"
Though the biography says Meghan "emboldened" Harry to quit royal life and Megxit was ultimately his call. "While the British media often blamed royal wives, in Harry's case, he was very much on board with distancing himself from the public eye," the text states, according to The Sun.
"It's why he gravitated to the military, avoided the pomp as much as he could, and didn't give his child a title."
The book alleges Kate and Wills snubbed Meghan during their final royal engagement - held at Westminster Abbey in March.
"William and Kate sat with their backs to the couple, only turning around to chat with Prince Edward and Sophie, next to the Sussexes," a source explained.
"While Harry and Meghan both greeted William and Kate with smiles, the Cambridges showed little response."
According to the authors, Catherine "snubbed" Meghan at the Sussexes' final royal engagement on Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in March. It was the low point of a relationship between the two, which had been only one of "distant politeness" prior.
"Their cordial but distant rapport was apparent when they appeared with each other," the book states.
"The state of affairs between them was just an offshoot of the real matter at hand - the conflict between Harry and the institution. Harry likened it to standing in front of a firing squad."
Originally published as Meghan's 'heated' tiara spat with Queen