Omid Scobie on finding Freedom: ‘We didn’t write the book for Harry & Meghan’

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Attend A Commonwealth Day Youth Event At Canada House

Omid Scobie is still hustling for Finding Freedom, although I’ve been surprised by A) how little promotion Carolyn Durand has done and B) how Omid has been impressively spacing out his interviews. He’s also dropping enough “fresh tea” in his interviews so that he’s always making news. I don’t know if he’s just naturally smart about these kinds of promotional teases or if he’s working with a really good team. Omid chatted with Town & Country about the book and about his history on the royal beat. Some highlights:

On the right side of history: “Mouthpiece, cheerleader, unofficial spokesperson, not a journalist, I’ve heard them all. I think the problem is I’m on a side of history that many others don’t want to be a part of, and it’s rubbed people the wrong way, much as the Sussexes have.”

Why the book happened the way it did: “I think this book wouldn’t have happened had many of [our sources] not felt frustrated by the coverage they saw of their friends in sections of the tabloids here. I think there were many people that felt what we were seeing about the couple was far away from who they were, so to have a place where they could actually share another side of the story was very important to them. Had things been very different with the press over here, we probably wouldn’t have been able to put this book together.”

When the story broke about Harry dating Meghan: “When the Sunday Express first editions had dropped [breaking the news of the relationship], a friend of mine texted me the front cover. I was like, ‘Christ. Potentially huge.’ I know a lot of people didn’t believe it at first, but it just… I don’t know. I don’t know why, my sixth sense was like, ‘This is legit.’ It turns out I had a source in Toronto who literally that evening was like, ‘Yeah, it’s true and they’re actually in Toronto at the moment.’ Really, ever since that call I have never stopped covering their story.”

The book was supposed to come out last year: The book they proposed was supposed to come out after Archie’s birth in May 2019. But as they began to wrap up their reporting, their sources started relaying trouble behind the scenes and murmurings that the Sussexes were unhappy with their current role in the royal family. This was, suddenly, a very different book. “Around Archie’s birth…we realized that there was a bigger story happening here. That this was a couple who were incredibly frustrated with some of the situations with their roles and their place within the institution of the monarchy, and not being heard when it came to lots of different things.”

Duncan Larcombe on how the book isn’t all compliments to H&M: “It’s a compliment to the book, but from Harry’s point of view there are far too many slightly awkward bits of dirty laundry being aired in the book.”

Omid on whether H&M have read the book: He says the Sussexes and the palace didn’t receive advance copies of the book, and he hasn’t heard anything yet about their reactions. The smile he has worn through much of our interview turns into a slight grimace. “Part of me is curious. Part of me doesn’t want to know. Listen, I don’t think anybody likes being spoken about. That’s not something you ever get used to… We didn’t write the book for Harry and Meghan.”

[From Town & Country]

By the end of FF, it’s actually pretty clear that he and Durand weren’t writing a completely sugary Sussex-only narrative. There are some big omissions in many key moments, and there are some legitimate criticisms of the Sussexes which, frankly, go unanswered by the pro-Sussex insiders. I have a theory that because so many people inside the palace and in the British media were freaking out nonstop over every little thing about the Sussexes, H&M just learned to tune out everything, even when the criticism or advice was given in good faith.

As for the rumors he heard around Archie’s birth… her whole pregnancy was a nightmare as far as the coverage around the Sussexes. The courtiers and the tabloids were going crazy nonstop, and no one, not Kate, not William, not Charles or the Queen, ever stepped in and said words of support to H&M, or stepped up publicly to stop the harassment and abuse of a pregnant woman. Also, it’s weird that no one ever talks about how the Times’ sources flat-out said William wanted to exile H&M. That was during Meghan’s pregnancy too.

Meghan Markle and Abigail Spencer are seen leaving "Cafe Boulud" on the Upper East Side

Pregnant Meghan Markle greets members of the public while leaving the Association of Commonwealth Universities in London

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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69 Responses to “Omid Scobie on finding Freedom: ‘We didn’t write the book for Harry & Meghan’”

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  1. Ginger says:

    I wondered that as well. No mention of Tim Shipmans article in the book or the flight stunt. William must have gotten his human rights lawyers on Omid and made him take it out. William doesn’t look that bad in this book but Kate certainly does.

    The beginning of the book gives a lot of detail but right when she gets pregnant a lot seems to be taken out. He seems to give more info in his interviews than the book. I have been trying to catch up on them.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that a lot of the bad sh!t went down because of it. I’ve read reports that some within the family felt it happened too soon – which to me read that William wasn’t happy that they had a baby soon after they got married. After all he made Top CEO wait 10 years for the ring and then about 3 before they started their family.

      • blue36 says:

        When they decide to have a baby is none of their business. WTH.

      • Tessa says:

        That royal family must be in a sorry state when the heir to the heir dictates when his brother and sister in law should start their family. Some nerve.

    • Lauren says:

      What is the flight stunt? People keep mentioning it lately, but I don’t remember it.

      • Lila says:

        When Harry and Meghan were being attacked for taking a private jet (even though they all do the same), Kate and William’s people arranged for them to be photographed taking a budget flight.

      • Becks1 says:

        https://www.celebitchy.com/632162/prince_william_made_sure_to_get_papd_taking_a_budget_flight_to_scotland_lmao/

        if you search “budget plane” on this site, you’ll get links to the whole sordid mess. William and Kate take private planes (and helicopters!) all the time – and we never see pics of them traveling to Balmoral. But when H&M were being criticized every day in the press for taking private planes, the Cambridges made sure they were pap-ed taking a budget plane to travel to Balmoral.

        In order for the “stunt” to work, the airline had to fly some empty planes around (again, search on this site and you’ll see how it all went down.)

        It was a really despicable thing for the Cambridges to do.

      • Tessa says:

        It was pathetic how they dragged the three children into it. It looked like they were channelling the Von Trapps climbing the mountain to escape the Nazis. Poor little Charlotte ran after t hem because William was not holding her hand, just George’s

      • MA says:

        Along with what others have said, it was confirmed by the press that William’s press secretary Simon Case orchestrated the stunt.

  2. Priscila says:

    ” have a theory that because so many people inside the palace and in the British media were freaking out nonstop over every little thing about the Sussexes, H&M just learned to tune out everything, even when the criticism or advice was given in good faith.”

    That is a completely normal reaction and one the Palace should have predicted and avoided if they were really serious about working with the Sussex: if all you hear about yourself is negative, you either believe the hype and die away a little, or you ignore the noise and move forward, doing what you think is best.

    Besides, I have a huge problem with this pressure even pro- Sussex people make on them not to commit honest mistakes and be right all the time. They are going for honesty and warmth, not rehearsed and staged reactions. They tried the Palace´s way, it did not work, and now they are actually doing much better, but I dont think they need to be perfect all the time in order to justify good will.

    • C-Shell says:

      Isn’t *that* the truth! Whereas, the rest of the BRF makes plenty (by an order of magnitude) of “mistakes”, and outright commit crimes, and get nowhere near the coverage, smears, vitriol in the press that Harry & Meghan have received and still receive. The courtiers or whomever hounded them with “advice” and “guidance” might turn their attentions to other members of the BRF … see if that yields the perfection they’re looking for.

    • Aa says:

      The palaces and the media were trying to back then into the corner and force them to submit as most people usually eventually do. That Meghan wasn’t willing to give in and pay off her family should be the first clue they weren’t going to submit. Eventually the options are to submit or risk everything and fight your way out of the corner. So Harry fought his way out to protect his wife and child.

    • Becks1 says:

      You definitely see this with a few celebrities in general – that they can do no wrong – and I think its because they were under such heavy fire for a long time. Here, on CB, you see it with Angelina Jolie and with Meghan. I remember Kaiser saying something like that maybe a year ago – that she felt there was so much criticism surrounding Meghan that it made her feel like she couldn’t say ANYTHING negative, because there was already so much there.

      And I imagine for H&M, in person at the palace, it was even more extreme. When Meghan is being criticized for eating avocados, why should she care if a well-meaning courtier mentions to her that she should wear a hat, or whatever? How can you tell the legitimate suggestions/feedback from the viper pit?

      • lili says:

        Becks, I agree. Angelina (a very complicated person) and Meghan can do no wrong here and you’re attacked by neutral suggestion. It’s a pity because it’d be nice to have pro-sussex community but with a room for discussion. (ok, occasional troll here and there happens everywhere)!

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        People become overly sensitive about M/H, but especially Meghan because the criticism has been hard and fast right out of the gate without ever letting up. She’s done this royal girlfriend turned duchess better than just about anyone ever has, yet, she’s criticized harsher than we’ve ever seen before. It’s understandable that people here are protective of her. This is one of only 2 places I know of that speaks positively about Meghan. It seems sometimes that people who dislike her resents that she has support here and attempts to turn the tide on this site to match the many others that are negative. I think supporters here are on the watch for that and shuts it down immediately and yes, sometimes prematurely.

        I completely get the protectiveness because I see that as soon as a topic even suggests that Meghan didn’t do the exact perfect thing, the discussion quickly descends into too harsher than the offense demands criticism. I noticed this the other day with the information about Meghan accepting congrats at Eugenie’s wedding. Even though no one knows how that exactly went down, it was quickly bash Meghan and only Meghan time with little nuance. This is why supporters are so sensitive, she’s not allowed to be treated humanely for the most human of missteps.

        Also, it’s impossible to ignore the racism, or note that some posters carry around unconscious bias that informs the way they discuss her. I’ve seen that and WOC especially black women are sensitive to this, understandably so and respond accordingly. Listening when someone is trying to explain why not picking apart Meghan’s hair, or suggesting she’s wearing extension when it’s an unknown conclusion for example, would go a long way.

        People want to criticize Meghan like they would the girl over there, and that’s understandable, but it’s not the same. When it’s a high profile WOC who has been othered at the highest level and chased out of an institution and country, caution is necessary in the interest of fairness and understanding where we wish to be in the future on these issues.

        I don’t mind the knee jerk defense of Meghan, I think it’s necessary.

      • Becks1 says:

        I understand and agree with all your points – I specifically referenced her being under fire for so long (and it hasn’t stopped.) I don’t mind the knee jerk defense of Meghan here, because there are so few places where she is defended as strongly as she is here – but my point was more, imagine how Harry and Meghan feel – if we are this defensive over them, I can imagine how they would react to any bit of criticism/feedback from the people at the palace, even if it WAS well-intended.

      • Priscila says:

        @BnLurkN4eva @Becks1

        I was not speaking about our overprotectiveness. I think it is entirely justified given the amount of vitriol.

        What I was referring to was something I have been noticing since the reports come out. People that are generally pro sussex feeling it is completely okay to jump in and criticize the smallest of their actions because they want to be ” able to point out their mistakes.” I saw that a lot on that stupid Eugenie story, suddenly many women getting very touched and defensive regarding Eugenie to the point they elected to misread the report and interpret it as though Meghan was screaming on the top of her lungs she was preggers during Eugenie reception…

        People saying like ” I can point out when they do a mistake” and going bonkers over the very silly report are what I call this “pressure to be perfect”. Meghan AND Harry giving private confirmation during a wedding is not stealing the bride´s thunder and should not be treated as a terrible mistake of their part. It is a faux pas at most, mostly caused by Harry, who knows Eugenie, assuming a daughter of Andrew would not mind…

        If we could have an intelligent discussion, I would say the greatest mistake the Sussexes made was to have expected things to be better than it was, Britain is notoriously insular and you dont get to be a country with a Monarchy as old as they have because you are particularly embracing of change. and now, after they left, I completely disagree with the criticism that they are too naive for their own good by making phone calls and speaking to people that might be online trolling. People continue to behave as if they are working members of the RF on vacation, which they are not. The Queen is expected to host dictators and all these shady types because she is a pro, why would Meghan and Harry had to suddenly start vetting the people they have small talk with?

      • Becks1 says:

        @priscila – ah, I see what you’re saying, I think. People worry too much about being seen as “objective” on a site like this. Or, they just aren’t big fans to begin with and sort of hide behind – “I like Meghan, but……”

        I’ve also noticed that it feels like if you open the door to criticism a little bit, people are waiting in the wings to swoop in to join the criticism. I think that’s what happened with the Eugenie/wedding/pregnancy story. At worst it was a faux pas like you said, but we had a LOT of people insisting that Meghan was so gauche and had such bad manners etc etc.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        @Pricila, I got you and agree. I kind of understand the perspective of those who attempt to be even handed. No one wants to be called a sugar when they are coming from a place of seeing unfair treatment and are tired of it. Like the BM some of Meghan’s critics want total annihilation of Meghan and any fairness shown to her is seen as being a sugar. Posters attempting to be even handed just has to keep that in mind. The criticism isn’t coming from a reasonable place, so no argument will change it. Most critics of Meghan reminds me of MAGAs, they are determined in their course and nothing like reason will dissuade them.

        Yeah, I said in the post regarding Meghan receiving blow back for thanking a supporter for her fund raising efforts that she shouldn’t change how she goes about things. She’s not responsible for that fan’s opinions online and she doesn’t answer to any protocol anymore. Besides if the BRF can thank the media who has trashed Meghan all over the place, she can certainly say thank you to whoever she please. Anyway my overly long post was only to say, I completely understand the defense of Meghan by some posters here.

      • Nic919 says:

        Most of the time in the attempt to argue both sides what ends up happening is false equivalencies and that ends up being unfair to the person constantly criticized for sexist and racist reasons. Until there is coverage that is actually fair, there is no point in trying to “look objective”. Especially since these “mistakes” that are lobbed on Meghan tend to relate to minor nonsense things that have been incorrectly reported. The Eugenie story was a perfect example. Mike Tindall had already said that the family knew so the attacks in the post a few days ago were trolls making disingenuous claims. Also telling a pregnant woman to hide her body for the sake of a bride’s ego is pretty fucked up and I will forever defend the pregnant woman for not wearing a muumuu at a formal wedding.

    • Gingerbee says:

      @Bnlurkn4eva, perfect summary 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. There are almost 400 comments on the post about Eugenie’s wedding, an FCC you know that people could not wait to post their negativity. This is the only positive Meghan site that I know, and I will defend Meghan.

      • SS says:

        I was totally suprised. Growing up in Connecticut weddings were the number one place for everyone to gather to go over all family news, gossip, pregnancies, divorces and you name it.

      • Nic919 says:

        Exactly so. Family members talk to each other at a wedding and that’s the kind of thing that gets discussed. So maybe the Windsor’s are crazy egomaniacs, but I very much doubt that most of the people posting their disgust go to weddings where anything different occurs.

  3. ABritGuest says:

    This book would have been the standard royal romance bio like those books Katie Nicholls& Robert Jobson did about Kate & Will when they first got married. I can buy the authors were working on it for ages (I recognise older interviews in excerpts) and I think the angle just changed, as when the smears started the authors would have known there would be more to this story because the courtiers were the ones leaking to royal reporters!

    I suspect around time of Shipman piece royal insiders& reporters might have been aware that the Sussexes’ position in their current roles could be untenable so the authors were biding their time. And then announced book when they did to cash in on the exit drama & act like it was the Sussexes’ side only as part of the marketing.

    Whereas it seems to just look back at the tabloid stories that formed the smears etc and present the view if Sussexes had been allowed to comment on/refute stories at the time- like normal reporting if there wasn’t a smear campaign at work. I think the rota knew all along that many of the smear stories were BS eg Kate cried at a wedding rehearsal but it wasn’t to do with aggro from Meghan- at one point Camilla Tominey suggested it was because of Rose. The reporters had their orders and went along with it with glee because they wanted to force access. Carolyn and omid knew some of the background drama& just saved it for their book.

    I kept saying this book would be cold on tea as the authors are still on the royal beat and pro monarchy. So not surprised that eg Guardian says it doesn’t explain difference in protection for Andrew and even Valentine Low said they deserve a better account. It seems very generous to the senior royals especially.

    May be some years before we get a more rounded picture of what really happened assuming there’s still interest. Not much hope for Robert Lacey’s upcoming book. Would love some like Kate Williams to write on it as she really seems to get the misogynoir and calls out difference in how Andrew is treated.

  4. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    I really liked the book. I think it did justice to the situation while remaining away from looking like a bunch of exerpts from a gossip magazine.

    The only thing i truly side eye about the book is the title, but I get why it was named that.

    I do also agree with what was said above that with so much criticism coming in that they avoided even some valid ones but I also think that at that point in time it was completely natural for them to do so. They had to block out that negative to push forward and keep going.

    I think the part that makes me legitimately sad is that this is what a gross patriarchal, white, wealthy establishment does to an actual family. Its so toxic.

    The BRF really shot themselves in the foot as they are prone to do. They absolutely showed their asses. I’m still going to continue the tinfoil hat that Charles is going to want the Queen to step down so he can step up.

  5. A Guest says:

    It is interesting that Carolyn Durand has been MIA during the whole book rollout, but maybe that’s on purpose. I read where Omid is leaving the royal beat. If true, I wouldn’t blame him. The usual suspects are crawling his Twitter this morning. (As an aside, Dan Wooten has to got to be the most miserable excuse for a human being ever).

    • Snuffles says:

      I saw Carolyn do one interview and she was TERRIBLE. Dull, dull, dull. Expressionless face. I can see why they pushed Omid forward instead. He has the experience being on TV frequently. And he clearly prepared hard for this promotional cycle.

      And I do hope Omid moves onto bigger and better things. He deserves it and I wouldn’t be surprised if the process of writing this book made him disenchanted towards the royals.

  6. Becks1 says:

    the book definitely left out some key points, and I was surprised. I said yesterday that I really wish they had covered the Cambridge’s budget flight stunt, because I think that was a big turning point for H&M – realizing the extent that William was willing to throw them under the bus. And its really interesting that he doesn’t even mention the article about William wanting to exile them to Africa, but does mention how William and Kate visited the Sussexes on Easter (the article came out on Easter sunday or the night before IIRC.)

    I also wish there were more specifics about “how” the Sussexes rattled the inner circles. There’s a lot of vague comments about Harry and Meghan wanting to do things “differently” but its not clear what that means.

    But when I look at those things together, I think what IS clear is that the book is about getting the Sussex side out there, yes, but its also about protecting the Crown (i.e. the Queen, Charles and William.) I feel like Omid dances around William and Kate a lot, especially at the end, and while Kate comes off looking like a cold bitch, William comes off looking….out of touch, patronizing, but that’s kind of it. I don’t know if legal made him take stuff out, or if the book just wasn’t going to be that kind of book.

    • Amy Bee says:

      We will get the full story of what happened only if Harry and Meghan write their own books. I think legally, Omid was unable to write some stories so they were left out. I agree that Omid protected the crown, this is why the courtiers except Angela Kelly, are relieved that some really damaging things were left out. I really hope that one day they, especially Harry, write their autobiographies but I think that will only happen after the Queen dies.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I still think that the person who took that budget flight photo was Carole – she was on the flight with them and was the only one of the party who was NOT in the shot and normally she is front and centre mugging for all she is worth. The other passengers were quickly gagged as a few of them spoke to the media at the time.

      • Lady D says:

        Can you explain how they would get gagged? If I was on a flight with them and them pull some ignorant stunt, I would mention it. I’d talk to reporters, I’d go online, I might even start a FB account to talk about it. How are they going to stop me? Same with taking a picture of one of them. They’re public figures, how does someone have the right to stop me taking her picture? I’ve never understood that.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I think they probably told the press not to speak to them/report on what was said and they likely shrieked ‘privacy’ to the SM companies to stop SM posts etc.. William has done it before.

        I have a vague recollection that there was tweets from passengers. I think that was how we found out Carole was on the flight.

      • Nic919 says:

        I don’t think it was a tweet but the DM article claiming to interview a passenger on the flight who noted that Carole was sitting a few rows ahead.

        Since Carole is tight with editors at the DM (see nazi marshmallow story having comments shut down and the story buried within a day) it is very likely that she dictated most of this article to them.

        In any case, the video of the kids confirmed that William approved it because he has shut down stories involving the kids in the past.

    • Rebecca says:

      I’m of the mindset that “do things differently” means “they wanted to actually work”.

      There’s a reason those 5AM emails from Meghan, full of her ideas, were such a turn off to those lazy @ss courtiers.

  7. aquarius64 says:

    How much were the Markles slammed in this book? I bet they are sick despite their hit pieces and colluding with the tabloids the Sussexes can afford a California mansion with their own money and they scrape by with the chump change the tabloids paid them for trashing Meghan and Harry.

    • Becks1 says:

      I was sort of surprised at their coverage in the book. Samantha takes the hits more than her father does. I mean her father is talked about a lot, and its clear how hurt Meghan is/was over his actions, but its also clear how the british tabloids stalked him and kept offering him money and wore him down. I think Samantha comes off looking like a crazy stalker, but Thomas comes off looking like a father who made some really bad decisions and couldn’t seem to stop once he started.

      • Ginger says:

        I thought the book seemed sympathetic towards Thomas. If Omid is talking to Meghan’s friends and this is how Meghan feels than that makes sense I guess.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I get that Thomas was pushed into things by the tabloids but he was offered every protection from Harry and the palace, and refused at every single turn. As a veteran of HW he would know how they work, but got into bed with them anyways. At some point he started to believe his own lies about Meghan – now he’s just a bitter old fool who knows that relationship can never be repaired. Thats a bridge that Thomas well and truly burned.

        Am just surprised we haven’t seen any pap shots of him wandering around LA looking forlorn, whining about not seeing his grandson.

        Plus we all know that letter made him look really bad – he even said so. I recall him saying he wouldn’t release all of it as some parts were hurtful to and about him.

  8. Alexandria says:

    I still dislike the title and even if he wanted to be nice to the BRF he did not have to be nice to the RR and just present facts about the BRF to refute. E.g. the baby presentation hoohaa, wearing black, doing a Vogue editorial, her clothing cost. I had to learn from Celebitches that Meghan did NOT go against tradition and other royals were already doing it. I wish the indifferent folks at least could have learnt that, so that they know how dumb the RR is.

    But anyway even though this book tries to play nice, I appreciate all the reporting done by Omid and wish him all the very best.

    • Becks1 says:

      That is something else I wish the book had emphasized more. It would say something like “Meghan was criticized for doing X, even though other royals have done it” but I wish there was a lot more in-depth comparisons of that. Like when she was criticized for guest-editing Vogue, even though Kate appeared on the cover once, and other royals have guest-edited magazines before.

      • Mumbles says:

        Lol remember when Kate “guest-edited” the Huffington Post one morning and it was just a photo op where she wore “professional women’s outfit” and did nothing? It was like a Romy and Michelle scene where they wore “businesswoman’s clothes.”

        I still think the title is a bit much when there are people being held against their will, wrongfully imprisoned, victims of human trafficking. “On their Own” or something like that would have been better.

      • Nic919 says:

        I also remember when Kate was seen shopping within hours of that photo op. The fakery was pretty hilarious.

      • Lizzie says:

        The rabid anti-Meghan trolls are still dining out on the story that Meghan was never preganant. Archie is either a suragate or just some sort of stand in. This is one tabloid created lie that the palace should have stopped when it started. I wish the source and truth had both been brought out in Finding Freedom.

      • Ginger says:

        @Mumbles I think she stayed for an hour at most. It’s was so sad.

      • MA says:

        Not just Kate, but Anne and Diana have been on Vogue covers multiple times.

  9. Amy Bee says:

    When you see Royal reporters talking about Harry and Meghan refused to take advice, the advice was to talk to the media. After all the media did to Meghan, Harry was never going to agree to that and the palace should have anticipated that. Also, the palace never prepared for Meghan’s arrival, for example no diversity training for staff and they refused to accept that Meghan was coming in as a fully formed person. They just believed that Meghan would compile to their dictates like Kate did.

    • ABritGuest says:

      I agree most advice that they would have been given and ignored (aside from private jets before Travalyst launch which was a massive own goal) would have been around relationship with press.

      Bet palace staff wanted them to do reception with press, hospital photo call (seems to be good for tourism) & to have photogs at the christening. I think I read that William wasn’t happy about the christening restrictions too and I can buy that. They managed to get a pap pic of William and Kate that day& I think that Harry’s (understandably) adversarial approach to the media puts pressure on the Cambridges to deliver photo opps.

      Whilst William has a better relationship with the press now as Rebecca English boasted, I bet he still hates them as much as Harry and is probably pissed that Harry could opt out of that relationship whereas there’s more pressure for his family because of his own doing (allegedly) and also as an heir

      • AMM says:

        That Arthur guys meltdown pretty much confirms that a lot of the blowback was because of Harry’s refusal to work with the press. And I do think they were consistently encouraged to change their stance and never did. I can see the frustration that Harry would have. He goes to the palace because his wife is being attacked constantly and their answer is to be nice to the press so they stop? No thanks. And I know William hates the press as well. Always has. And I think a lot of the jealousy/resentment does come from Harry’s steadfast decision to refuse to engage with them.

      • VS says:

        @AMM — I saw that meltdown; apparently the royal rats reached out to the palace because they wanted to have tea with Meghan!!!! My goodness, I am sure H especially said HELL NO.
        This is terrorism; you dragged me in your trash and you expect me to have tea with you for good press?

        I don’t understand why the RF works with those sewer rats! yes, someone said they know where the bodies are buried; but if the entire family say enough, let’s them publish their crap, who will believe them?
        The people who read tabloids and most importantly believe them are not very different from Fox news viewers!

        Unless the work of the rf is useless, I am sure more serious newspapers can cover it! Charles’ work is worth talking about; the rest, probably not

    • Lizzie says:

      I think both things are true. When H&M felt courtier advice was not in their best interest they started questioning everythng. However they did come across as thinking they were smarter than everyone else.

      • VS says:

        Meghan IS……..she is smarter than all of them combined (except Charles) and there is nothing wrong with that!
        It is as if being smart is somehow wrong; when you are surrounded by idiots, of course you will come across as looking smarter than the rest

      • Lila says:

        Considering KP’s strategies (running to Kay to deny the rural rivals story, the budget flight that made it obvious they were being petty, getting in bed with Wootton who’s already turning on them) and BP (they thought Andrew’s interview went great and only realized it was bad after the public’s negative reaction), I think they are smarter than the rest.

      • L4frimaire says:

        @Lizzie,I don’t think they thought they were smarter then everyone else. I think a lot of it was self protection after being shut down and constantly attacked in media and ignored by the family. Omid addresses certain things, such as Meghan wanted etiquette lessons in Royal protocol, but that request was ignored. Remember Camilla Tominey saying that a lot of courtiers had the attitude that it was beneath them to work for some little cable tv actress when they signed up to serve the Crown, so they were deliberately unhelpful.I also think they tried to heed some advise,but at a certain point, it made little difference. For example, Meghan decided to make a lot of her charity visits in private, toned down her wardrobe for the South Africa trip, did less public appearances. They were still attacked. I think they were right to do the birth and christening privately as outlined in the book, and that was specifically due to the nastiness of the Rota and attacks during her pregnancy. I personally think the whole private jet summer was a mess, because it ended up sabotaging his own Travalyst launch. However,Will’s budget flight stunt is a major factor in that too. I think sometimes Harry thinks his royal privilege would shield him and he seemed genuinely taken aback that a different standard was applied to him and Meghan. Will and Charles can take private jets and helicopters each and every time they travel from now to eternity, and they will never be criticized for it. I personally felt they should have done Christmas in UK because it became this international incident, and it really caused other drama. However, we tend to forget in all the back and forth that this experience took a real mental toll on them. We see the outside drama, or how well they performed in public, but as Meghan said, there was a lot going on behind the scenes. If an organization is just a toxic environment that is trying to beat you down while using you to their benefit, one or two pieces of good advice will make very little difference.

  10. AMM says:

    I think reading the book, you can clearly tell it was meant to be their love story that was last minute changed to an exit book. The details regarding their romance and backgrounds are very specific and lengthy, and then that detail goes out the window when it comes to the dramatic parts that made them leave. They definitely had way more time and sources regarding their romance. I wish it had been two books. Sell a sweet love story with no royal drama to sweeten people up and make the RRs let their guards down, and then drop the sequel with all the tea.

  11. L4frimaire says:

    I never thought this book was going to be some bombshell tell all. It does leave out a lot of critical things as well. However, it does expose how much power the courtiers and tabloids have to shape narratives and who it decides to protect and tear down. They really thought they could feed off this couple until they got them to break. It definitely reads as two different books, because of the change in events and them stepping back. Side note, I hate how that whole thing went down on all sides, from the leak by Wooten (fire that man) to Harry’s statement drop and the website, to that summit. The fact that to this day no one of any significance has lost their job says how much the Royals would rather cover up and bury things, and how dysfunctional and lacking in directional leadership the organization is. Major fail. However, with the hype surrounding it, the royal insiders exposed a lot more tea than the book itself.
    Also, what exactly was wanted from them in the roles. They were front and center, brought fresh eyes and massive coverage to the monarchy, but we were constantly reminded how insignificant the 6th in line was and they were resented and denigrated. The U.K. press still can’t wrap their head around the fact that they have really left, and seem to have gotten more angry about it. It was good for them to step back and put themselves outside the royal bubble. A lot still unresolved but they are moving on and rebuilding, so genuinely want them to thrive and prosper.

    • ABritGuest says:

      I agree the fear of what the book could expose meant the palace ended up dropping more interesting tea to get ahead of the book& helped to expose two of the main smear stories as BS as well as AK47 as a source.

      If true and I have my doubts, an article in the Fail before the book was published also suggested that William did more than simply caution Harry and was getting relatives and friends to persuade Harry against marriage. These pre emptive reveals and the palace’s relief at the contents of FF showed there is so much more to the saga.

      And I agree expecting fairness was naive as sad as that is.

      • L4frimaire says:

        That’s right, it was grimy Wooten who revealed that Will and Angela Kelley were behind banning Meghan from wearing any royal jewelry. Why do something so petty? Was it the the Fail that said they even roped in Charles Spencer and other relatives to dissuade Harry from getting more serious? And it was Tatler that spilled on how the staff talked about her behind her back and how bitter Kate is about the increased workload and Will saying the Sussexes threw their 3 kids under a bus. None of that was in the book and is far worse than anything Scobie wrote.

    • Nic919 says:

      While I don’t expect Wootton to be fired because his stories get the paper clicks, you know who still isn’t fired? Christian Jones, whose significant other leaked private information from his employer. That normally gets anyone fired. But he’s still working at KP and his presence confirms so clearly how William is behind the leaks. He is notoriously private and even tested Kate’s loyalty with fake stories so we know he would have fired Jones by now if he actually was bothered by those leaks.

      • windyriver says:

        And, as it happens, one of the very few times Meghan was photographed when out and about privately in London, happened to be when meeting Christian Jones for lunch shortly after he started working for KP. Wonder what she and Harry thought when they saw those pictures.

  12. laura-j says:

    First off I’m a huge fan of M&H and hope that they are totally happy outside of the BRF. I’m 1/2 way through listening to the book on audible. It just strikes me that every single thing they do is labeled as perfect. Perfect, gifts, perfect dinner, perfect look, etc. I feel like that is a crazy lot to have to live up to. No one, not even M&H are perfect.

    And like I said haven’t listened to the whole thing, but there have been some serious eyerolls about all the perfection. I love Meghan, but I assume she has bad days and gets mad sometimes… like you know we all do.

  13. L4frimaire says:

    Just have to say that I love Meghan’s pregnancy looks. So elegant. Also, agree, Omid has been so good and unflinching in these interviews. The book isn’t perfect or a comprehensive record, but it has had an impact and overall, helps with correcting the record and giving more perspective and balance. I don’t think we’ll be seeing anymore crying over tights and tiara stories again, and also injure ted a bit of skepticism into the tabloid coverage and the courtiers spiteful rumor. It took out a lot of the hysteria and vitriol surrounds the couple.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I have some typos…injected a bit of skepticism…😏. Anyway, I like that they are out of that fishbowl. I don’t understand how the courtiers or some of the family thought constantly attacking and disrespecting them both publicly and privately was a long term benefit to the monarchy. How can anyone with even a shred of intelligence think that. This move seems so much better for them, they are working on some interesting things and exploring new horizons and opportunities, have moved into this amazing estate, with no one leaking every time they do anything.

  14. Ames says:

    I remember thinking at the time that the “exile” narrative was just so deliberately and inexcusably cruel.

    (Not to mention racist. “William is planning to send Harry and Meghan to live in AFRICA, since Harry likes AFRICA so much, he and his ‘almost straight outta Compton’ wife can go settle in AFRICA.”)

    This was different than the usual rag mag tactic of throwing BS at a story until something sticks. These were people purporting to speak on behalf of the office of the future king in specific and credible ways. And since it ended up backfiring – again – by making William look equal parts stupid/douchey – AGAIN – it had the traditional sticky little fingerprints of those clueless “courtiers” all over it. Because of course it did.

    Not a single person associated with William, Charles, or the queen said a single word in H&M’s defense.

  15. Mariane says:

    Carolyn has done a runner!! She has left omid to face the onslaught of attacks from press+promote the book. The fact that only he is correcting tabloids articles is clue that he wrote the majority of this book. I hope he’s earning the most. I wonder if omid is leaving royal reporting. He clearly has other interests and I wont be suprised if he crosses over to work for NYtimes lifestyle or vogue.

    I was surprised to see how much the book leaves out ex;budget flight stunt, the Christmas future kings event, how hypocritical the coverage has been ex,baby bump, nail polish, ..etc

  16. blunt talker says:

    please list the sites that are proPrince Andrew-this will show how the British aristocracy feels about molesting and raping minor children-Harry and Meghan’s actions or nonactions got nothing on Prince Pedo Andy.

  17. A says:

    Speaking for myself, I really wanted to book to have some bombshell revelations against the RF, and particularly against some elements of the RF who didn’t make things nice for Meghan and Harry. I was angry on H&M’s behalf, given everything that went down, and seeing what happened was just so sad. We were all rooting for them to do well, to thrive, for this to be a good success story for the RF. But then everything happened the way it did. I wanted the book to be a vindication of what M&H went through, and a searing indictment of how the royal family treated them like shit.

    Well, it wasn’t that. But that was what I wanted. It would have been nice, but it’s also just my personal desire for vengeance. Meghan and Harry didn’t share that, which, lol, is like yeah, no shit. It would have been nice, but I don’t doubt that we’ll get that version of the story too, some day.

  18. Penguin says:

    I believe that things took a proper turning point when the conversations started about what Harry and Meghan’s role was going to be once their family was established. It’s been very clear that they felt they didn’t get the projects they wanted and didn’t like the direction they were shown to. I’m probably in a significant minority here, but at the time of the Times article I thought that the idea of launching them in a foreign service role was a valid one. Ever since Brexit was near certain the British government and the Royals have been doing everything to galvanize their Commonwealth alliances to place the UK in a better geo-political and trade position after Brexit. William and Kate, as more senior royals, were to take on establishing good relations with the EU countries, and Harry and Meghan to get involved with the Commonwealth leaving Charles to focus on his transition from PoW to king. Now I can only assume that when this proposal was outlined Harry and Meghan didnt agree with what they were told to do and coupled with the strained relations with the staff and the family decided to cut loose and figure out their own way. Which is also valid.

  19. ABritGuest says:

    I wonder what project Sussexes might have looked at but didn’t get funding for whilst in the RH? Maybe we will know if they launch something now they are independent.

    To me the issue over hierarchy seemed to be it being pulled only in relation to the Sussexes eg Harry having to delay travalyst day because Charles and William were doing something in the same time frame. Whereas Kate could launch survey on same day as Charles’ Davos speech and nobody says zip. But sussex royal posts an Instagram of a Meghan event same day as Camilla’s domestic violence speech and press claim the palace is upset. Seems they were being punished for press attention they got, most of which was the Firm’s fault anyway. Ironically press attention would likely have died down naturally after the wedding if the Firm had used their contacts to shut down Markle Snr interviews and hadn’t launched their smear campaign.

    I agree there was no reason why the ‘fab 4’ couldn’t have worked & if they had been allowed to use their unique appeal to different sections to support the Queen. But the Times article suggested the move to ‘somewhere in Africa’ was to get particularly Meghan away from William so wasn’t a positive move. If I knew a relocation was being mooted because of difficult relationships with co workers and I’m having a hard time at work with no support from my boss, I’d think of just quitting instead too.