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Meghan Markle, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, have been thrust back into the spotlight by a new book which contains explosive claims about the circumstances which led the couple to leave royal life behind. Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand has been serialised in the Times and Sunday Times this weekend and claims contained in the first extract, published yesterday, have been shot down by one royal commentator.
The first extract of the unofficial biography details Meghan and Harry’s alleged struggle to feel heard by Buckingham Palace aides, who a friend of the couple is said to have referred to as “vipers.”
The authors also report Meghan and Harry’s paranoia that other royal households were leaking stories about them to the press.
In the first extract, a frustrated Meghan is reported to have told a friend: “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.”
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A royal expert has reacted to claim and deemed it “hardly true” given that Meghan’s time as a senior royal “lasted less than two years!”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “The picture painted by the first instalment is of a frustrated and unhappy couple who believed they were intensely disliked by courtiers and reviled by the press.
“They badly wanted their own press office and obviously wanted to do things their way and not in the traditional way and consequently became emotionally exhausted.
“They certainly did not share the concept of duty as most royals understand it and have been accused of selfishness.”
Mr Fitzwilliams added: “Meghan is quoted as saying ‘I gave up my entire life for this family’.
“This is hardly true, their roles as senior working royals lasted less than two years!”
Mr Fitzwilliams also shot down the book’s assertion that Meghan and Harry were “held back by the Palace” because of their popularity.
Mr Scobie and Ms Durand write: “The senior courtiers whom Diana used to refer to as ‘men in grey suits’ were concerned that the global interest in and popularity of the Sussexes needed to be reined in.
“In the short time since their fairytale wedding, Harry and Meghan were already propelling the monarchy to new heights around the world.
“As their popularity had grown, so did Harry and Meghan’s difficulty in understanding why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests.”
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Mr Fitzwilliams responded by saying: “To be sure, the portrait it paints is that of a monarchy staffed by courtiers who are compared to ‘vipers’.
“Meghan and Harry are shocked by online attacks on them and deeply resent press intrusion into their lives which, regrettably, the royal goldfish bowl involves.
“Their marriage gave the monarchy an enormous boost, the idea that their popularity was so great they were feared and were subsequently held back so as not to eclipse other royals seems to me absolutely extraordinary, if true.
“The relations between the various royal press offices have often been fractious.
“It seems obvious that there have been serious problems there.”
Finding Freedom also touches on Harry’s deep sadness at having to relinquish his ceremonial military titles.
According to Mr Fitzwilliams, there is still a small chance Harry could return to the roles in a year.
The royal expert said: “It is totally understandable that the removal of Harry’s military links would have caused him much grief especially since he is a veteran of two tours in Afghanistan.
“These have been left open and it is to be hoped that he might in the future assume them again.”
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