Last week, the Daily Mail reported on the imminent release of a new book about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand called Thoroughly Modern Royals: The Real World of Harry and Meghan. For some reason, even though Harry and Meghan are suing the Daily Mail, and even though the Daily Mail gets things wrong so often, many took this and the details in the article to be true.
HarperCollins confirmed today that the book is actually called FINDING FREEDOM: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, due out in August. Per the publisher’s press release:
“For the very first time, FINDING FREEDOM goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan’s life together, dispelling the many rumors and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond. As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple’s lives as few outsiders can.
With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, FINDING FREEDOM is an honest, up-close, and disarming portrait of a confident, influential, and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicated to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world.”
Here's a statement from the authors:
“The aim of this book is to portray the real Harry and Meghan, a couple who continue to inspire many around the world through their humanitarian and charitable work but are often inaccurately portrayed. Our mission has been motivated by a desire to tell an accurate version of their journey and finally present the truth of misreported stories that have become gospel simply because of the amount of times they have been repeated. It is thanks to our sources that we have been able to share the definitive story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
According to Carrie Thornton, VP and Editorial Director, the book is “a balanced and detailed account of Harry and Meghan’s story, one that relies on truth, not speculation”.
There have already been all kinds of stories about what we’ll find out in Finding Freedom. The UK tabloids, even though they got the most basic thing wrong about the book, like the f-cking title, are saying that Harry and Meghan gave the authors an exclusive interview. There’s no mention of an interview with Harry and Meghan in the press release – and since the purpose of the press release is to promote the book and boost advance ticket sales, you’d think if they had an interview with Harry and Meghan, they’d lean into that although they probably don’t mind at all the free marketing around the book, even some of the criticism is building intrigue about what exactly will be revealed.
Of course the usual outlets that have been critical of Harry and Meghan and now the authors of the book, a biography, are calling into question the objectivity of a book that has been written “with the participation of those closest to the couple”. The presumption here is that this will be a puff piece about the Sussexes because otherwise why would “those closest to the couple” participate. Sure. But it’s an interesting accusation because there wasn’t the same concern when people like Ingrid Seward, a journalist herself, publish biographies about the Queen and members of the royal family. Or Robert Jobson whose biography of Prince Charles to commemorate his 70th birthday in 2018 and the stories coming out of that about Charles’s sons and their temperaments is what started the public drama and tension between Princes William and Harry. Charles, you will note, came out of that book looking like the best person ever. And Robert Jobson was granted access to Charles and invited to observe his life for the better part of a year. Obviously there was an understanding there that it would not be a takedown piece on the future king, just as this biography of Harry and Meghan isn’t going to be a takedown piece of House Sussex. Finding Freedom, Harry and Meghan’s story, belongs to the same family of royal biography written by royal reporters that is a pretty standard. But the UK tabloids are talking about it like this kind of sh-t has never been done before when in fact this is how it’s always done – the difference here though may be the sources. Viper courtiers assisted in much of the reporting of the biographies I’ve just cited. But those viper courtiers are now not repping Harry and Meghan which means they can’t control the narrative. These are the same viper courtiers have been leaking and feeding to the UK tabloids and since they’re still leaking and feeding publications like the Mail and the Sun, it sounds like they don’t know exactly what’ll be in the book either. Which makes it all the more exciting for any and all gossips, no matter whether or not you’re pro-Sussex. Tea will be spilled! And the fallout from all the spilling of the tea will mean even more gossip. Because imagine if the following stories are included in Finding Freedom? These are stories that have so far been presented from only one angle. What if the other side of these stories comes out in the book? Here’s the wishlist:
-the tension behind the scenes of Harry and Meghan’s wedding: supposedly Meghan made Kate cry. Is that really how it went down according to “those closest to the couple”? Or might there be a twist?
-that whole skirmish over Meghan’s wedding tiara: we’ve been hearing that Harry and Meghan basically pointed at the tiara and said “mine!” That’s the anti-Sussex version of the story. What does the pro-Sussex version of the story sound like and if we actually get it in the book…who comes out the villain?
-the drama over how Archie’s birth would be announced and all the complaints about their decision to not have a photo shoot outside the hospital
-the private plane scandal from last summer and how the situation was being managed behind the scenes
-the separation of household discussions between William and Harry and how those negotiations unfolded
All of those have been marquee gossip headlines in the time of Harry and Meghan. And if the way these stories are covered in the book, if they’re covered in the book, are different from the way they’ve been covered in the media so far, how will the media respond?