The Daily Mail’s gossip guy Sebastian Shakespeare has a “scoop” about the Duchess of Sussex. I tend to enjoy his scoops, even if I don’t always believe them – he’s like a throwback to old gossip-columnists and he really does have some legit connections. Anyway, Sebastian Shakespeare’s sources told him that Duchess Meghan was keeping a diary the entire time she was living in England, basically. And that diary could be used to write her own memoir at some point, or perhaps the diary could be used for an authorized biography (like Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family?)
This summer sees the publication of Finding Freedom, the book hyped as going ‘beyond the headlines’ to reveal ‘unknown details’ of Prince Harry and Meghan’s life together. But will that satisfy Meghan who, famously, chose to include three quills on her personal coat of arms, representing ‘communication and the power of words’?
For I can disclose that, according to one of the Duchess’s friends, Meghan — guest-editor of British Vogue in 2018 — kept a diary during her time in the UK. Such a journal could form the basis of a definitive, first-person chronicle of her extraordinary journey from aspiring American actress to member of Britain’s Royal Family.
The possibility intrigues Andrew Morton, doyen of royal writers — author of Diana: Her True Story, and of Meghan: Hollywood Princess. ‘She is a good writer, with a nice turn of phrase,’ he tells me. ‘Remember she studied English in her first year at Northwestern College.’ He adds that a first-person account, based on her diaries, would also offer Meghan a prize beyond price: ‘She would have total control.’
There would seem little doubt that Meghan would be willing to venture in print where other royals might fear to tread. Two years ago, she memorably inscribed bananas with messages expressing support for sex workers in Bristol, while before her marriage, she wrote a lifestyle blog, The Tig, which she closed shortly before her engagement.
I have a suggestion… perhaps we should refer to Meghan’s alleged writing activities as “journaling”? Because I bet that’s what she calls it. I bet she kept a journal, not a diary. A distinction without a difference, perhaps. But British people love “diaries,” and yet Meghan is American, with American New Age-y sensibilities. I don’t doubt that she did keep a journal – she seems exactly like the kind of person who would. And yes, I bet she *could* look back on journal entries to potentially write a memoir. I doubt she gave a diary or journal over to Omid Scobie though. Speaking of! There’s also a story about how Meghan’s “friend” says Meg wishes Finding Freedom was coming out right now:
Following the revelation that an authorised biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, entitled Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, is set to be released this summer, it has been reported that Meghan is keen to hasten the publication.
Written by British-Iranian journalist Omid Scobie and American journalist Carolyn Durand – reportedly with collaboration from Harry, Meghan and their friends – the biography will be available on Kindle on 11 August and in hard copy from 20 August. A source described as a ‘friend’, however, told the MailOnline: ‘If Meghan had it her way, the book would be released tomorrow instead of three months from now. She said the book will finally set the record straight and show the world why they were left with no other choice than to leave royal life.’
The Duchess reportedly hopes that the book will convey ‘the genuine person that she is’, with the ‘insider’ stating that she ‘desperately wants to shatter this image of being a demanding diva who was rude to royal staffers and others on her quest for fame and power… She said the book will help give her and Harry a clean slate. Meghan seems to think that readers will finally understand the monumental anguish and turmoil she had to endure with a stiff upper lip.’
Elaborating on the Duchess’s motivations, the source continued: ‘Meghan said people need to see her vulnerable side, something the book does in great detail… I think [she] wants people to feel sorry for her, or at least have compassion for her and all she’s been through, which has been anything but a fairy tale.’ Meghan allegedly ‘had plenty to say about what went into the book, much more than the public is being led to believe,’ with the source revealing that ‘The only way Finding Freedom was ever going to be published, was if Meghan had the final say and gave her seal of approval.’
As a gossip blogger with an interest in royalty, I wish Finding Freedom was out right now too. I get why the publication was pushed back, but I also think Omid and Carolyn Durand could have published it this month and it still would have been massively successful – people would have been reading it in quarantine and we would have a sh-t ton of royal gossip for weeks, if not months. As for Meghan’s “friend” going on and on about how Meghan hopes people find her sympathetic… we already do. Let’s also be clear: Meghan hopes this book explains some things to Americans. I suspect she’s largely written off the British royal gatekeepers.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.