Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – Harry and Meghan and the making of a modern royal familyAugust 11, 2020
The scampish prince and his duchess definitely have a story to tell, but it is not the story in this book
Prince Harry – HRH as was – has long had to endure cruel snarks about, among other things, his paternity, yet in Finding Freedom, he confirms one thing beyond a doubt: he is 100% his mother’s son. Just as 1992’s Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words, by Andrew Morton, gave readers an intimate look at the royal family from the perspective of a disgruntled member of the firm, so this book repeats the trick with Diana’s younger son and his wife, Meghan Markle. What this semi-sequel lacks in novelty, it makes up for in cattiness (aimed largely – and this is the only real surprise of the book – at the woman born Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. We’ll return to that in a tick.)
Writers Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie insist Harry and Meghan were not involved in the book. Given the deluge of personal minutiae – from Harry’s emoji habit to Meghan’s favourite hair highlight shades – as well as their litigiousness when it comes to undesired invasions of privacy (they are currently engaged in legal battles with the Mail on Sunday and an American paparazzo), this seems about as credible as Diana’s similar protestations of innocence, all of which Morton scotched about 10 seconds after she died. But whereas Diana chose a tabloid hack as her Boswell, who knew a good story when he saw it, Harry and Meghan opted for two royal journalists. This means the reader is subjected to the Sylvie Krin style of writing that is de rigeur in the genre (I could just about stomach Harry and his “famed ginger locks”, but details of his and Meghan’s glamping trip to Botswana, on which “their days were spent getting closer to nature and their evenings, closer to each other” made me briefly furious that the book hadn’t come with a health warning). Less forgivable than the predictable fluff is how the authors fluff the tale. Because Harry and Meghan definitely have a story to tell, but it is not the story in this book.