In the first excerpt from the upcoming biography published by the Times of London on Saturday, July 25, authors and royals experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand detailed just how tense things allegedly became among the royal family, especially between the Sussexes and Cambridges—formerly known as the Fab Four.
The book—which features hundreds of new interviews with sources close to the couple—explores the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's journey, as well as their "side of the story," as it reveals everything from their romance to the harsh public scrutiny they faced before ultimately deciding to step down as senior members of the royal family.
It's important to note that Markle and Prince Harry "were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom," according to a statement from a spokesperson for the duke and duchess. "This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."
Below, the five biggest revelations from Finding Freedom's first excerpt.
Prince Harry allegedly felt “unprotected” by his family. Sources say that Prince Harry felt that there were "so many occasions when the institution and his family could have helped them, stood up for them, backed them up, and never did."
He and Markle reportedly suspected other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press. "There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust," the book claims. "A friend of the couple’s referred to the old guard as 'the vipers.' Meanwhile, a frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes’ team as 'the squeaky third wheel’ of the palace."
Sources said Prince Harry believed that some courtiers "simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult." Markle, who gave up her acting career and home in Los Angeles to marry Prince Harry in 2018, is also said to have told friends, "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."
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry supposedly hated not being able to be the royals they wanted to be. The book claims the couple grew frustrated that they weren't in control of their own narrative and took a backseat to Prince William and Kate Middleton.
"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. They were a major draw for the royal family," the book reads. "Instead they had to take a backseat. Sometimes they would be told that their projects had to wait when the Prince of Wales [Prince Charles] or Prince William had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time."
Prince Harry’s decision to step down was reportedly one of the “hardest” of his life. Though it wasn't easy for him to leave, it was his only option in “making things right for his own little family,” a source said. “This is tearing him apart. He loves the queen, but his wife feels aggrieved, and he adores his son. Harry’s whole world is Archie.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to keep everyone in the dark reportedly “created a lot of ill will in the household and especially in the family.” According to the book, the couple's resignation “hurt” the queen, who was allegedly “blindsided” by their decision. The Sussexes even considered breaking protocol to see her in January when they returned to the U.K. for a brief visit but feared it would have "ruffled feathers" and caused more problems.
Megan Markle reportedly felt “emotionally bruised” by her final royal engagement. The book claims the Sussexes and Cambridges hardly spoke during the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, with sources saying Middleton "barely acknowledged" Markle at the ceremony even after she tried to make eye contact with her.
In fact, one of Markle's friends claimed the duchess was "emotionally bruised and exhausted" by the end of that day and "couldn’t imagine wanting to set a foot back into anything royal again."
Originally Appeared on Glamour