Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are entering ‘the era of visibility’ and ‘seem to be existing in a different place’, according to the couple’s biographer Omid Scobie.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘now in the thrive chapter’ of their life as they plan to restart more in-person charity work with their Archewell Foundation, he said.
Mr Scobie, who is a trusted media contact of the Sussexes, also told how they are ‘really excited’ about a busy autumn and winter of public engagements in the US.
The Sussexes, who live in an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, have been on parenting leave since the birth of their second child Lilibet Diana on June 4.
Mr Scobie co-wrote their biography Finding Freedom, with an updated paperback version out on August 31, the day Harry’s mother Princess Diana died in Paris in 1997.
The author’s comments come one day after the Sussexes issued an extraordinary statement in response to the Afghanistan crisis, declaring themselves speechless.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in London in March 2020 before they quit as senior royals. The couple now plan to restart more in-person charity work with their Archewell Foundation
Royal author Omid Scobie is a trusted media contact of the Sussexes and co-wrote their biography Finding Freedom, with an updated version set to come out on August 31
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex volunteer with Baby2Baby at Dr Owen Lloyd Knox Elementary School in Los Angeles in August 2020 as they provide school supplies and clothing for pupils
Mr Scobie, who wrote the book alongside Carolyn Durand, told People magazine today: ‘They’re a couple who do very well in those moments of human interaction.
‘They need to be on the ground. They say that the proof is in the pudding, and what we are about to see is that pudding.’
Harry and Meghan say they are ‘speechless’ over Afghanistan crisis
Harry and Meghan issued an extraordinary statement yesterday in response to events in Afghanistan – declaring themselves ‘speechless’.
Saying that the world is ‘exceptionally fragile right now’, the couple also pontificated at length about other recent humanitarian disasters.
They said on their Archewell website that they had been left heartbroken and scared by the earthquake in Haiti, new Covid variants and the continuing global health crisis.
On Afghanistan, they wrote of their ‘many layers of pain’ but made no mention of US President Joe Biden, about whom they have been openly supportive. He and his administration are now being widely blamed for the US abandonment of the country which has triggered an unfolding political and humanitarian catastrophe.
Harry and Meghan were widely criticised for speaking out ahead of the US election last November.
They did not endorse a presidential candidate but their comments – including one that ‘it’s vital we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’ – were interpreted as clear support for Mr Biden over Donald Trump.
Former Army officer Harry, 36, twice served on the frontline in Afghanistan. He has since done much to support British veterans, particularly through his Invictus Games competition for injured service personnel.
In their 663-word joint statement, titled ‘A message from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’, the couple – who quit royal duties last year for a life in California – called on global leaders to speed up humanitarian talks and urged support for charities trying to help those in need. They said that while people were ‘not meant to live in a state of suffering’, they were being ‘conditioned’ to do so, adding: ‘When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them.’
They wrote: ‘The world is exceptionally fragile right now. As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless. As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken.
‘And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.’
Speaking about how the Sussexes are trying to prioritise their mental health and stay away from ‘some of the toxicity’ towards them, Mr Scobie said: ‘They seem to be existing in a different place, and that place is much healthier.
‘Meghan famously spoke about that it was not enough to survive – we are now in the thrive chapter.’
Mr Scobie was referring to Meghan’s interview with ITV in October 2019, in which she said: ‘I’ve said for a long time to H – that’s what I call him – it’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.’
It was announced last month that Harry and Meghan’s ‘heartbreak’ following Prince Philip’s death will feature in a new epilogue to Finding Freedom.
The section will also recount ‘Meghan’s emotional healing journey from losing a child to the birth of their daughter’ and detail the couple’s move to California, according to publisher Harper Collins.
The Duke and Duchess have long denied personally co-operating with Mr Scobie and Ms Durand. But the two writers have boasted of having ‘unique access and the participation of those closest to the couple’ – which is unlikely to have been given without Harry and Meghan’s knowledge or permission.
The decision by the authors to ‘cash in’ on Philip’s death, just months after his funeral in April, as well as include intensely private details about the loss of Harry and Meghan’s baby – either with or without their permission – is likely to have upset and angered the Royal Family.
They are already reeling from the news that Harry is to bring out a ‘tell-all’ memoir about his life and the explosive interview he and Meghan gave to US star Oprah Winfrey earlier this year in which they made a series of shocking claims about senior family members.
On July 26, Harper Collins detailed the update to Finding Freedom, which was published in summer 2020 and originally chronicled Harry and Meghan’s romance and decision to quit the Royal Family acrimoniously.
The firm boasted that the writers would share ‘behind the scenes of Harry and Meghan’s ground-breaking interview with Oprah, details behind the couple’s move to California, the various philanthropic and business endeavours the Sussexes have been involved with since their move and what’s to come with Archewell Productions [their TV company]’.
It added that the update would also feature ‘Meghan’s emotional healing journey from losing a child to the birth of their daughter [Lilibet], the continuous challenges the couple face regarding privacy and the British Press [and] the heartbreak the couple felt over Prince Philip’s death.’
Finding Freedom claimed to lay bare details of the couple’s whirlwind romance, marriage and devastating falling-out with the Royal Family.
It charted the breakdown of Harry’s relationship with his brother William and accused senior royals of being jealous of the couple’s popularity.
But it was also ridiculed for banal revelations such as how Meghan impressed Harry when they first went on holiday to Africa together by going to the toilet in the bush.
Harry joined his brother William at Kensington Palace in London on July 1 to unveil a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday
Harry and Meghan in a photo to announce they were expecting their second child in February
Omid Scobie spoke to People magazine ahead of the re-release of Finding Freedom this month
There were also questions as to how the authors would know intimate details such as how the prince used to send former actress Meghan ‘ghost’ emojis on his text messages when they were first dating.
Harry and Meghan’s ‘heartbreak’ following Prince Philip’s death will feature in an epilogue to their biography Finding Freedom
Just how much of the updated book’s information will be entirely new remains to be seen in light of interviews the Sussexes have given over the last year.
Harry hit out at his family in an interview with presenter James Corden, likened his life as a royal to The Truman Show film – where the main character is manipulated in a false world for entertainment – and accused the Royal Family of ‘total neglect’ in a TV series on mental health with Miss Winfrey.
He also criticised his father and grandmother’s parenting skills in a popular US podcast.
Harry and Meghan have also painted the monarchy as a racist and uncaring institution.
They even alleged a member of the family made a racist comment about the skin colour of their son Archie and claimed that Buckingham Palace failed to help when Meghan had suicidal thoughts and asked for assistance.