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A nanny who lasted two days: 13 revelations from the new tell-all Meghan and Harry book, Finding Freedom.

If there's one thing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's journey from dating to marriage, to stepping down from royal duties, has not lacked, it's commentary from 'insiders' and 'experts'.

But new book Finding Freedom, written by royal reporters Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, has described the journey - full of controversy and resentment - from beginning to end, based on the authors' own experiences as members of the royal press and quotes from sources 'close to the couple'.

Harry and Meghan have not contributed to the book, but in terms of royal exposés, this is as 'official' as it gets.

Harry and Meghan, from birth to now. Post continues below video.


Video via Mamamia.

Finding Freedom was published on August 11, giving readers an insight into the lives of the couple, and their relationships with the royal family, before, during and after their decision to leave England behind.

This is what we've learned from Finding Freedom.

The first time Harry and Meghan said 'I love you'.

Harry and Meghan met on a blind date in the summer of 2016, in a discreet Soho, London club. For three hours they spoke, huddled "in their own little world".

"Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other," a friend told the authors.

"It was as if Harry was in a trance."

Shortly after the date, Meghan began following a mystery Instagram account, @SpkieyMau5, belonging to the undercover prince. 

After three months, Prince Harry said he loved her.

"It was Harry who said it first, but Meghan immediately replied, 'I love you, too'," the book says.

Almost immediately, Harry became protective of his connection with Meghan.

According to the book, word got back to him that an old friend of his had been gossiping about Meghan's Hollywood background. The prince immediately cut him off.

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During the early days of their romance, Meghan was photographed in a 14-carat gold necklace with the initials "H" and "M." 

The book claims the necklace sparked controversy amongst palace aides.

"She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images - and new headlines."

There was a secret engagement months before an official announcement.

Harry and Meghan took a trip to Botswana in August 2017, where they celebrated their first anniversary as a couple and Meghan's 36th birthday. The trip may have also seen the prince get down on one knee.

During their official engagement interview in November of that year, Harry said he proposed earlier that month during a cosy night at home.

But the biography says their wedding plans had already been a done deal for at least three months.

The book also claims that the couple were already engaged when they made their debut at the Toronto Invictus Games in September 2017.

Meghan reportedly hinted at the engagement by wearing a white button-down top known as the "Husband Shirt" from her designer friend Misha Nonoo's collection. 

Prince William was wary of Meghan's intentions.

Prince William angered Harry with a perceived 'snobbish' tone when warning his younger brother about his relationship with an American actress, Finding Freedom claims.

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William told Harry to "take as much time as you need to get to know this girl", with a source close to William claiming he didn't want his brother to be "blindsided by lust".

"In those last two words, 'this girl', Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world," a Sunday Times excerpt, released ahead of the book's publication, says.

"Also, to remove Meghan from the equation, Harry was tired of the dynamic that had become established between him and his older brother," the authors add.

The riff between William and Harry had been brewing for a while, with Harry reportedly disillusioned by his place in the royal pecking order and feeling like a 'third wheel' with William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

William wasn't the only one who questioned Harry's relationship; palace insiders also referred to Meghan as "Harry's showgirl" and said she came with a lot of baggage, the authors claim.

How Meghan met William and Kate.

When it came time for Meghan to finally meet Prince William, Meghan was apparently ready to be "grilled", according to the book. 

But things weren't as intense, with William reportedly saying "I was looking forward to meeting the girl who has put that silly grin on my brother’s face." 

Meghan also met Kate during a visit to Kate and William's Kensington Palace home. In the book, a friend explained that Kate is an "extremely guarded person" but things became more relaxed when Meghan gave Kate a birthday gift, a soft leather Smythson notebook, and doted upon Princess Charlotte. 

There was no feud between Meghan and Kate.

Image: Getty.

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The book claims rumours of an ongoing feud between the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex were false - they just had nothing in common.

The widely reported rumours that Meghan made Kate cry during a bridesmaid fitting for Princess Charlotte before her royal wedding were also untrue.

"Some of the children weren’t cooperating, and there was a lot going on," a source who was there says in the book.

"Everyone tried to help where they could, but it's never easy with kids at fittings. There were no tears from anyone.

"And in the end, the fitting was fine. Kate and Meghan were both a little stressed but professional in the room, and there were other people there."

"The truth was that Meghan and Kate just didn't know each other that well," the authors state.

The Sussexes moving to Windsor and removing themselves from Kensington Palace had nothing to do with Kate. In fact, it was mostly Harry who felt suffocated by his brother.

Inside Harry and Meghan's wedding.

Finding Freedom gives us some behind-the-scenes insight to Harry and Meghan's wedding. 

In one part of the book, the authors claim that Harry became frustrated by the Queen's longtime dresser, Angela Kelly, who he felt was stopping Meghan from accessing her chosen tiara for a wedding hair trial. 

At the time, a number of UK tabloids reported that the Queen had rejected Meghan's first choice of tiara, but the book claims it was actually Harry and Angela who had the conflict. 

During their wedding day, the pair reportedly danced to the 1968 song 'I’m in Love' by Wilson Pickett at their evening reception at Frogmore House. 'My Girl' by The Temptations and a selection of Stevie Wonder songs were also played. 

The family photoshoot for Prince Charles' birthday was a "nightmare". 

In November 2018, an official photo of the Royal Family was released to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday. 

Charles, Camilla, Harry, Meghan, William, Kate and their kids were all pictured smiling at each other in the photo. 

But according to the book, the process of planning the photo shoot was "an absolute nightmare".  

"The boys can be hot and cold with their father," a source claims. 

"Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available."

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The birth of baby Archie.

According to the book, Meghan initially considered a home birth before welcoming her son Archie at a hospital in London in May last year. 

"I know there were stories about a home birth, and it was certainly something that was discussed early on, but Meg knew it would be a hospital birth for a few months. All she cared about was having the baby in the safest way possible," a source claims.

"She was more and more nervous as she approached the due date, so I would say in some ways it was a relief for her to be doing it in a traditional hospital."

Harry and Meghan also apparently knew all along that they were having a son and even had Archie's name picked out. The name wasn't announced to the public for two days because the couple wanted to tell the Queen first. 

The book also claims that the pair hired a night nurse for Archie, who they later fired after just two nights on the job for "being unprofessional and irresponsible." 

They then hired a second night nurse but "neither found themselves comfortable sleeping through the night without going to check on Archie regularly." The couple ended up doing it themselves and hired a nanny for during the day.

Meghan believes Thomas Markle was "corrupted" by media.

The authors share quotes from a "trusted confidant" of Meghan, who said the Duchess believed her father Thomas Markle was a victim of Britain's ruthless tabloid media.

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"My dad never sought this out. I really believe that he's the victim, and now I feel sad because I believe he’s been fully corrupted," the confidant claims Meghan told them.

The Queen's reaction to Harry and Meghan's decision to leave.

The Queen had known for a while that all was not well with Harry and Meghan regarding 'royal life'. 

In November 2019, she broke tradition to call Harry (family members usually called her) to ask if he and his family would be joining her, as is tradition, for Christmas at Sandringham.

She was surprised when only a few days later, the couple were planning to spend Archie's first Christmas on a six-week sabbatical to Canada.

Image: Getty.

It was during this time they make their decision to step back from senior royal duties. 

Harry, Meghan and Archie returned to their Frogmore Cottage home in early January, and within hours had summoned aides and informed them of their decision.

Harry wanted to speak to his grandmother and father in person, but aides insisted he write it down. Harry was reluctant as he worried about it leaking - proof of his distrust of the various Houses.

On January 8, their plans were frontpage news on The Sun, forcing them to release their official statement that evening.

The palace quickly released a statement soon after. 

"Flustered Buckingham Palace aides ditched their original statement and put out a short media release fifteen minutes after the Sussexes released theirs," the book claims.

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According to one insider, "Harry felt very constrained. He wanted to be able to speak to his grandmother and his father but constantly found aides blocking his path. It was so frustrating for him. Some people think the Sussexes leaked the story to The Sun to bounce the Royal Family into something - almost out of desperation - but I’m not sure that’s true."

The book says the Queen was "disappointed and hurt" by the couple's "suboptimal" behaviour.

Harry disappointed to lose his military appointments. 

According to Finding Freedom, Harry's loss of his honorary military appointments was a "tough pill to swallow, and the one that has been the most painful for Meghan to witness him go through," a source says in the book.

"It's the one that made Harry emotional." 

Meghan later reportedly told a friend that "it was so unnecessary". 

"And it’s not just taking something away from him; it’s also the entire military veteran community. You can see how much he means to them, too. So why? The powers [of the institution] are unfortunately greater than me."

Meghan felt she gave up her entire life for the royals.

Meghan told a friend in March this year she was hurt to receive most of the blame for leaving the royal family.

According to the book, courtiers and some of the family blame her for the decision, which was equally Harry's choice.

"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'," the book states.

Harry and Meghan believe other royals were leaking stories about them.

The book describes a growing culture of tension between the Sussexes and other royals.

Harry and Meghan did not believe the rest of the family were taking their complaints seriously and suspected other households were leaking stories about them to media.

"There were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust," the authors write.

"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."

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family was released on August 11.

This article was originally published on July 27, 2020, and was updated on August 12, 2020.

Feature image: Getty.

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