A big part of the conversation (according to the British press) about Finding Freedom is whether or not Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan participated in it or authorized it in any way. What’s funny about that conversation is that Finding Freedom has landed like a bomb within the royal family and those other royals now feel the need to authorize some of their own leaks in response to the first wave of Finding Freedom excerpts. So instead of having a conversation about how Harry and Meghan are uncouth for (lowkey) authorizing a biography, we are now talking about Daily Mail stories authorized by Kensington Palace to tell the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s side of things.
Clearly, the Cambridges knew that it would get bad when Finding Freedom came out. They know they did H&M dirty. That was part of the reason why Kate was trying to get ahead of FF with that Tatler cover story and the Top-CEO narrative. The early excerpts have Kate willfully snubbing Harry & Meghan on Commonwealth Day, refusing to offer advice or friendship to Meghan when H&M began dating, refusing to give Meghan a ride when they were both going shopping on the same street, and tons more. But Finding Freedom also says that whatever was going on with Kate and Meghan was child’s play compared to the Shakespearean tragedy unfolding between Harry and William. So, what does Team Cambridge have to say about all of this?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last night hit back at claims in a bombshell new biography that they actively spurned Meghan Markle. Close friends of William and Kate issued a fierce defence, insisting the couple had ‘rolled out the red carpet’ for Meghan and ‘done all they possibly could’ to welcome the US actress into the Royal Family. According to the friends, the Cambridges ‘welcomed Meghan with open arms’ by inviting her to Anmer Hall, their family home in Norfolk, where Kate personally cooked vegan meals for her brother-in-law’s then fiance. William and Kate also invited Meghan’s friends, bridesmaids and page boys to a party before her wedding to Harry in May 2018, and keen tennis fan Kate asked Meghan to join her in the Royal Box at Wimbledon for two successive years.
‘It’s just completely wrong to suggest they didn’t talk and plain wrong to say the Cambridges weren’t welcoming,’ a friend told The Mail on Sunday. ‘How can you say they weren’t warm or welcoming when they hosted Meghan for Christmas, invited her into their totally private inner sanctum at Anmer Hall and did everything they could to make her feel at home? They personally cooked her favourite vegan food, they couldn’t have been more welcoming.’
According to the book, Meghan was ‘disappointed that she and Kate hadn’t bonded over the unique position they shared’ and was infuriated by persistent media reports – confirmed by Palace aides – that a bust-up during a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte had left Kate in tears.
In an indication of the mistrust that developed between the two women, a friend of the Cambridges acknowledged that Kate had ‘snubbed’ Meghan at the Commonwealth Service in March which marked her last appearance as a working Royal. The friend said her actions were born ‘out of sheer frustration’ at Harry and Meghan’s behaviour over their withdrawal from Royal life, announced on Instagram, and the launch of the Sussex Royal website. The source acknowledged that Kate snubbed Meghan at the West Door of Westminster Abbey, but added: ‘That was after the Sussexes had issued that incendiary statement and website.’
However, allies of the Cambridges accept that the once close relationship between the brothers is now ‘strained’ and best described as ‘on and off’. They said William had been left ‘sad’ and ‘disappointed’ by the claims in Finding Freedom. ‘William had hoped that everyone had moved on, but clearly that’s not the case,’ said a friend. ‘He’s a little sad and disappointed that it’s being raked up all over again. He was extremely upset and hurt at the time [in January when Harry stood down from his duties] and his relationship with his brother is still quite distant. It’s best described as on-off and more off at the moment. He has no plans to see his brother this year, but of course Covid makes that much more difficult [anyway].’
The couple, according to Finding Freedom, became increasingly frustrated at the palace communications operation. However, one former staff member told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It was a very challenging working environment. It was high pressure and extremely stressful… Nothing was ever good enough, they always saw the negative in everything. Nothing is ever their fault, always someone else’s. They are professional victims.’
Yes, I’m sure Kate was toiling away in the kitchen making specialty vegan food ALL THE TIME for Meghan, especially given that Meghan is not vegan, and I’m pretty sure Meghan and Harry only stayed at Anmer Hall one time? And yes, Kate snubbed Meghan on purpose on Commonwealth Day but KATE HAD REASONS, of course. How dare Meghan and Harry want to get away after the Cambridges smeared them constantly and tried to exile them? How dare they! And “rolling out the red carpet” – that reminds me of what those pathetic courtiers said about how “welcoming” the Queen was to H&M – the thing that was always said was “well, the Queen let them have the wedding they wanted.” The royals’ version of “accepting” someone new is “well, we let her plan her own wedding” and “we invited her to our home once.”
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.