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Yet more ‘truth bombs’ from Philip’s funeral to Oprah fallout in new chapter of Finding Freedom

An updated edition of Harry and Meghan biography Finding Freedom made a string of fresh claims last night that are likely to trigger debate about the state of their relationship with the Royal Family.

A leaked version of the epilogue claimed the couple had considered naming the royal they alleged had made a racist comment about their son, Archie; that some royals were ‘quietly pleased’ the Duchess of Sussex missed Prince Philip‘s funeral and that Prince William was ‘furious’ about their interview with Oprah.

The new edition – due to be released on August 31, the 24th anniversary of Princess Diana‘s death – also said the Sussexes had ‘no regrets’ about quitting their royal roles and that Meghan found her explosive Oprah interview ‘cathartic’ and ‘liberating’.

Buckingham Palace did not comment on the book’s contents when it first emerged last year and last night a spokesman declined to comment on the latest claims.

Lawyers for Harry and Meghan have distanced themselves from Finding Freedom, describing it as unauthorised, and saying the authors did ‘not speak for our clients and seem to rely on unnamed sources’.

The book’s authors meanwhile, have said that Finding Freedom is ‘independent and unauthorised’ and have also claimed that the couple did not speak to them about its contents. Last night, the Daily Mail contacted Harper Collins, the publisher, for comment but did not receive a reply.

OPRAH FALLOUT

Meghan plunged the monarchy into crisis after telling Oprah Winfrey that an unnamed royal had expressed ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin before he was born.

The epilogue reveals that a source told authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand that the Sussexes had considered naming the family member – but had ultimately decided not to.

It also claimed that ‘sources close to the Sussexes’ had said that the Royal Family’s reaction to the allegations made by the couple ‘was not positive’.

The source told the authors that there had to be ‘some acknowledgment’ about what the Sussexes went through for there to be ‘progress’.

The criticism came after a carefully-worded statement from the Queen following the controversial Oprah interview, which expressed concern for the couple but insisted that ‘some recollections may vary’.

Meghan (centre) plunged the monarchy into crisis after telling Oprah Winfrey (right) that an unnamed royal had expressed ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin before he was born

In the updated edition, the authors write that the ‘unaddressed’ allegations ‘have continued to threaten the Royal Family’s image around the world’ and ‘could no doubt bring down the monarchy’.

Sources told the authors that the Duke of Cambridge was said to be ‘furious’ after the interview because ‘private family matters were being discussed in the public domain’.

Days later, Prince William firmly told reporters that the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’ but, according to the book, he is ‘unlikely’ to ever comment on the claims again.

The updated book claimed that although emotions within the Royal Family were still ‘raw’ over the Oprah interview, it quoted a source close to the couple saying the couple’s intervention could ‘force people to talk in order for the healing to begin’.

PHILIP’S FUNERAL

The book details how family tensions were put aside after Prince Philip died in April.

The Duchess of Sussex, who was pregnant with daughter Lilibet, was absent from the funeral after doctors refused her clearance to fly.

The book details how family tensions were put aside after Prince Philip died in April. Pictured: The funeral of Prince Philip

The book details how family tensions were put aside after Prince Philip died in April. Pictured: The funeral of Prince Philip

Authors Scobie and Durand wrote that Meghan had hoped to return with Harry but added: ‘In truth, several members of the Royal Family are understood to have been ‘quietly pleased’ that Meghan stayed in California because they ‘didn’t want a circus’ or, commented a senior royal source, ‘the duchess creating a spectacle’.’ They also claimed that the funeral was ‘surreal’ for Harry.

They cited a source suggesting that saying goodbye to his grandfather was made even more difficult by being with family he hadn’t seen in over a year ‘while the world watched’.

FAMILY RIFT

The leaked epilogue claimed that Harry and Prince Charles, were only on ‘light speaking terms’ in the lead up to the funeral but that the pair chatted after the service at a small gathering at Windsor Castle.

The book alleged that though there were many unresolved issues, the funeral had allowed for ‘steps forward’ in the ‘healing process’ for the pair.

The book also detailed how Harry and William (pictured at Philip's funeral) had 'at least two further conversations' after the funeral beyond the chat they were seen having as they left St George's Chapel in Windsor

The book also detailed how Harry and William (pictured at Philip’s funeral) had ‘at least two further conversations’ after the funeral beyond the chat they were seen having as they left St George’s Chapel in Windsor

It also detailed how Harry and William had ‘at least two further conversations’ after the funeral beyond the chat they were seen having as they left St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

It added that Harry was also able to spend time with the Queen with a source saying: ‘Her life of duty and service is one of the many ways in which she has inspired him to also serve.’

BULLYING CLAIMS

The new version of the book claimed Harry and Meghan felt courtiers were still trying to undermine them after Megxit by leaking information about them, including allegations that Meghan bullied staff. 

The book pointed to allegations, which appeared in The Times in March ahead of the Oprah interview, from royal aides claiming Meghan had faced a complaint she bullied staff, driving out two personal assistants and undermining the confidence of a third member.

Pictured: The new version of the book, an unauthorised account of Meghan and Harry's departure from the Royal Family, is due to be released on August 31

Pictured: The new version of the book, an unauthorised account of Meghan and Harry’s departure from the Royal Family, is due to be released on August 31

The duchess denies the claims and Scobie and Durand said the ‘attempt to discredit’ Meghan by those who used to be in the couple’s inner circle ‘served as a reminder’ to the Sussexes that they had made the right decision to leave.

The authors wrote: ‘What has continued to be troubling for the couple, more than a year after their decision, is knowing that courtiers inside the institution are still appearing to actively undermine Harry and Meghan by deliberately leaking information to discredit them.’

ARCHIE

The book also accused courtiers of lying to the Press over Meghan and Harry’s wishes about Archie being made a prince. Meghan had suggested to Oprah that senior royals plotted to ensure Archie would never have a title or adequate security.

The book claimed that Palace aides were actually instructed to brief the Press that the couple did not want a title for Archie. It said that in reality, the couple did want the option, ‘given that it would provide their son with a level of security that only comes with a title’.

The book also accused courtiers of lying to the Press over Meghan and Harry's wishes about Archie being made a prince. Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019

The book also accused courtiers of lying to the Press over Meghan and Harry’s wishes about Archie being made a prince. Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019

The authors added: ‘The differential treatment the couple felt had been bestowed upon their son was a major sting to Harry and Meghan.’ But long-standing rules, laid down by George V, mean that the title of HRH passes only to the children of a sovereign and their grandchildren through the male line, meaning Archie will be given a title when his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king.

NO REGRETS

Despite the fallout from Megxit and the couple’s explosive Oprah interview, the book claims that the Sussexes have no regrets.

A friend of Meghan told the authors that she found her interview with Oprah ‘cathartic’. The friend added that all the things she had kept to herself or been ‘too afraid to say’ she felt ‘safe to finally share. It was liberating’.

The book also claimed that Harry and Meghan had a low-key second wedding anniversary in May 2020 when lockdown restrictions were imposed in California, and celebrated with a Mexican takeaway.

Despite the fallout from Megxit and the couple's explosive Oprah interview, the book claims that the Sussexes have no regrets. Pictured: Harry and Meghan appear in the official trailer for the documentary series The Me You Can't See, a co-creation of Harry and Oprah Winfrey's

Despite the fallout from Megxit and the couple’s explosive Oprah interview, the book claims that the Sussexes have no regrets. Pictured: Harry and Meghan appear in the official trailer for the documentary series The Me You Can’t See, a co-creation of Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s 

The Sussexes spent the day at their nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion – which they took out a mortgage to buy –’remembering their 2018 nuptials with people who had been involved in the ceremony’ and ‘exchanged cotton-based gifts, as is traditional for second wedding anniversaries’.

The authors also offered a new take on Harry’s financial situation in the run-up to their departure from the UK, saying if the couple had not had Harry’s inheritance from his mother, they ‘wouldn’t have survived’.

Harry told Oprah his family ‘literally cut me off financially’ in the first quarter of 2020 and he went for the multi-million pound Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

The book also detailed how Harry had been denied permission to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph last Remembrance Sunday because he was no longer a ‘frontline royal’.

The Duke of Sussex spent ten years in the military but lost his three honorary military titles including Captain General of the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal last year along with his wife Meghan Markle.

The book also detailed how Harry had been denied permission to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph last Remembrance Sunday because he was no longer a 'frontline royal'. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II during a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2020

The book also detailed how Harry had been denied permission to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph last Remembrance Sunday because he was no longer a ‘frontline royal’. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II during a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2020

Harry commissioned a wreath but it was left in its box at a branch of the Royal British Legion in Kent, which, according to a source, left Harry feeling ‘saddened and disappointed.

The source told the authors: ‘Ten years of service and a lifetime commitment to the military community and this is how it’s been acknowledged by his family.’ 


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