People Magazine, as it turns out, is also doing some excerpts and highlights from Finding Freedom in the current issue. I didn’t know what to expect from their cover preview yesterday, but it looks like People Mag will cover some new stuff from the book, which… thank God. I think the Times did an okay job with their transcripts, but it was obviously parts of the book geared towards what British readers wanted to hear about: brother drama, sister-in-law drama, royal family drama and how romantic Harry is. But People Magazine’s audience is the American gossip reader, which is why they’ve caught on to different parts of the book, like the time then-Meghan Markle, Royal Girlfriend, was bitched out for wearing a necklace. Who dared to bitch her out? One of those pesky courtiers, of course.
Meghan Markle stepped out in a necklace with special meaning in December 2016 — and was caught off guard by what happened next, a new book claims. In the early days of her romance with Prince Harry, Meghan was photographed in a $300 delicate 14-carat gold chain bearing the initials “H” and “M.” In the best-selling new book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by veteran royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors report that the necklace sparked blowback from palace aides.
“She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images — and new headlines,” Scobie and Durand write in the book, which is excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE. During a conversation with one senior Kensington Palace aide, the book reports, Meghan “said little during the call, choosing instead to simply listen to the counsel. But after hanging up, she felt frustrated and emotional. While she knew the aide had good intentions, the surreal experience of having someone from her boyfriend’s office tell her what kind of jewelry to wear or not to smile at a photographer was too much.”
According to the book, a “distraught” Meghan then called a friend, saying, “I can’t win. They make out like I’m to blame for these pictures, that it looks like I’m encouraging them, that me even acknowledging the cameras may not be sending the right message. I don’t know what to say. It was only yesterday that people online were saying I look miserable in pictures, because I was trying to just ignore the [photographer].”
Meghan, write Scobie and Durand, “felt damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.”
I’m going to ask this because it’s honestly what I’m wondering: did… Meghan think that it would get better or worse after that call? That call should have been seen for what it was: a harbinger of shenanigans to come, and a bad omen of palace life. Just the fact that Kensington Palace aides were calling up Meghan and giving her notes about her jewelry and her expression in paparazzi photos…my god. I would have run screaming. But Meghan chose differently. (Also, I think of the truly awful sh-t which was awaiting her and she must have had no idea.)
Also: I was covering all of this in real-time and let me tell you, there really weren’t that many photos of Meghan around that time. We learned about her existence as Harry’s girlfriend in October, and from then until the spring/summer of 2017, there were only a handful of candid photos of Meghan, just the odd shot of her leaving a yoga studio or walking into work. It’s not like she was getting pap’d on a daily or even weekly basis. For example, the photos below – these were basically the only “new” photos we had for months in that time period.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.