12 things we learnt from new book about Harry and Meghan

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kept their relationship under wraps for as long as they could.

But a new book, Finding Freedom, written by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, has detailed the early stages of their romance for the first time.

Serialised in The Times, the authors reveal how Harry “knew they were going to be together” after just their second date and that his brother William urged him to “take his time” getting to know “this girl” – a term Harry found snobbish and condescending.

Here are 12 things we’ve learned about the Sussexes from the new book:

Two dates in two nights

Harry and Meghan’s first date was at Soho House’s Dean Street Townhouse in 2016. They got on so well that after just three hours they decided to return for a romantic dinner the next evening.

Harry “knew” after the second date

A friend told the authors: “Harry knew they would be together at that point. She was ticking every box fast.”

He had a secret Instagram account

Soon after their first dates, Meghan began following a blank Instagram account called “SpikeyMau5”. Harry’s online pseudonym comes from one of his favourite DJs – Deadmau5.

She also posted a picture of a love heart with the words “Kiss Me” on her account, with the caption “Lovehearts in #London”.

Meghan used to tip off the paparazzi

An extract from the book reads: “While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince.”

Private plane to Botswana

Harry surprised Meghan with a trip to one of his favourite countries after their two dates in London. He told her to fly to the UK and he would “sort the rest”.

They travelled to Johannesburg together before getting on a two-hour private flight to Maun International Airport. They later became embroiled in controversy for using private planes despite campaigning on climate change.

The couple stayed in a $1,957 (£1,500) a night luxury tent in the Okavango Delta, a 5,800 square mile wetland in Botswana’s safari country.

William described Meghan as “this girl”

Harry’s brother was concerned the couple were moving too fast and cautioned: “Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.”

Friends say Harry took offence to his choice of words, thinking they sounded snobbish and condescending.

Brothers “hardly spoke”

The book claims the siblings “hardly spoke” after they discussed Harry and Meghan’s relationship.

Harry’s visits to William and Kate’s quarters of Kensington Palace to see his nephew and niece George and Charlotte came to a “virtual halt” in the summer of 2017.

The Sussexes announced they would be moving out of Kensington to Windsor in November 2018.

Kate did little to save the “fab four”

William’s wife Kate “did little to bridge the divide”, sources told the book.

The two duchesses were “not the best of friends”, but by the time of their final engagement together this year, Kate barely acknowledged Meghan.

Harry cut off a friend for gossiping about Meghan

In the early stages of their relationship, an old friend of the prince’s made a series of negative comments about Meghan, commenting on her Hollywood background.

As soon as Harry found out, he cut ties with him.

Royal household “didn’t trust” Meghan

One member of the Royal Family told an aide that Meghan “comes with a lot of baggage”, with a high-ranking courtier later telling a colleague: “There’s just something about her I don’t trust.”

Royals were worried couple might dominate media attention

After news of their romance was out, members of the royal “establishment” feared the couple’s popularity “might eclipse that of the royal family itself”, according to Scobie and Durand.

Charles was “disappointed” about Harry’s media statement

When news of his new relationship was leaked to the tabloids, Harry published an angry statement condemning the press.

It came out during his father’s tour of the Middle East, with Charles thought to be “disappointed” at the timing.

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