There is so much in the three Finding Freedom excerpts published by the Times, and again, we’re trying to just highlight the most notable storylines and the most interesting clap-backs. FF definitely emphasizes that the main breakdown was between Prince Harry and Prince William, but there’s definitely some shady stuff about the Duchess of Cambridge and how she behaved towards Meghan. But Kate didn’t leave her fingerprints on some of the biggest hatchet jobs, which has left some of the stories rather vague, like all of the f–king drama of “Meghan made Kate cry.” We’ve heard at least ten different versions of that and we’ve never heard any context which made it make sense. I’ve pointed out that it was never about the context – the point of the stories was just to reinforce the “mean Meghan versus poor white crying Kate.” So here are some more highlights:
The leaks: It could hardly have come as a surprise that leaks were happening. One courtier privately bragged to friends about their ability to place a story, positive or negative, in any publication with a click of their fingers, and another told a respected newspaper editor that he could “handle anything after putting up with one of Meghan’s temper tantrums”. Staff described the atmosphere inside the three households as “competitive”, “miserable” and “full-on”.
The Cambridges refused to put any effort into it: Among all the friends and family Harry and Meghan hosted at their house in Oxfordshire between May 2018 and March 2019, the Cambridges failed to visit. “The invite was there,” a source said.
Sending flowers wasn’t enough: Meghan would agree with the assessment that the duchesses were not the best of friends. Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend. Although Meghan might have understood Kate’s wariness to strike up a meaningful friendship, they were still no closer by the time she was a fellow senior working member of the royal family and the wife of William’s brother. Flowers for her birthday were nice, but Meghan would far rather have had Kate check in on her during the most difficult times with the press.
The story about Meghan yelling at a member of Kate’s staff: One story had a “furious” Kate intervening after Meghan “bollocked” a member of her staff. The Kensington Palace staff member was rumoured to be the deputy communications secretary, Katrina McKeever, who had left the palace after five years to explore new opportunities. Even Kensington Palace didn’t understand the bizarre story. McKeever left on a good note with the Sussexes, who sent her a handwritten letter and huge floral arrangement when she left.
Tears at a bridesmaids fitting: There were reports that, before the wedding, Meghan had left Kate in tears following a bridesmaid fitting for Princess Charlotte. “Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,” a source said. There were reports that claimed Meghan’s “strict demands” caused Kate to cry. A source, who was at the mid-May wedding fitting and has never discussed before what really happened, said stories about tears have been “puzzling” to those who were present. “Some of the children weren’t co-operating, and there was a lot going on. Everyone tried to help where they could, but it’s never easy with kids at fittings. There were no tears from anyone. And in the end, the fitting was fine. Kate and Meghan were both a little stressed but professionals in the room, and there were other people there.”
Why weren’t false stories shut down: Those close to Meghan questioned whether someone from the palace or a former employee could have been behind the story, and wondered aloud why aides refused to set the record straight there and then. “There are people, whether they work with the family or are members of the family, that know that a lot of this stuff isn’t true, and aren’t allowed to say anything, like that ridiculous story about Meg and Catherine and the bridesmaids’ dresses,” a trusted confidant said. “That story was ridiculous and so false.” Several aides across the royal households now confirm that there was no fitting that left the Duchess of Cambridge in tears.
Yeah, again – the point of those stories was never that something actually happened and we have to get to the truth of who said what and when. The point was to create a narrative of an aggressive, gauche, black American woman who “broke protocol” and made a white woman cry.
Finding Freedom also corrects the record about that asinine story regarding Meghan wanting air fresheners for the musty air in St. George’s Chapel on her wedding day – apparently, she got “discreet Baies scented air diffusers for the chapel provided by Diptyque” and it was approved of by everyone at the palace. Just as Kate asked for scented candles at Westminster Abbey.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid, Avalon Red.