Finding Freedom

2020 biography

9780063046108

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Royal Family is a biography by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, revolving around the married lives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.[1] The book was written with the Duchess's contribution through a third-party source.[2] It was published on 11 August 2020 by HarperCollins.[3]

Summary

The biography describes the lives of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex over the course of their courtship, marriage, and eventual departure from the British royal family.[4] The book goes into detail about their relationship, royal household, and personal lives.[5][6][4]

Background and writing

In May 2020, two months after Megxit, HarperCollins announced the forthcoming publication of Finding Freedom, a biography of the Duke and Duchess authored by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.[1] Durand is a producer and writer with two decades of experience with the Royal Rota. She has previously interviewed multiple members of the royal family and contributes regularly to print outlets. Scobie is the royal editor for Harper's Bazaar, and regularly contributes to Good Morning America and ABC News. He reportedly "maintains strong access to the Sussexes' working world."[7]

The book was reported to detail the events leading up to Megxit and reveal "unknown details about the couple's life together" with "participation of those closest to the couple".[1] The information in the book was stated to have been drawn from "more than one hundred sources".[8] Media outlets reported that the Sussexes had contributed to Finding Freedom, which representatives for the couple initially denied.[9][6] In November 2020, Meghan's legal team admitted that she had permitted a close friend to communicate with Scobie and Durand, "so the true position... could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misrepresentation", confirming the Duchess's participation in the book.[2]

In July 2021, it was announced that an updated version of the book containing a new epilogue would go on sale on 31 August.[10] The new epilogue included information about the couple's thoughts on Prince Philip's death, their interview with Oprah Winfrey and their philanthropic and business endeavours through Archewell.[11]

Release and reception

Extracts of the book were serialised in The Times and The Sunday Times in the weeks prior to its release.[12] Finding Freedom was released on 11 August 2020.[13] The book subsequently topped bestseller lists in the United Kingdom and the United States and sold more than 31 000 hardback copies after five days of being on sale.[14][15]

Finding Freedom received mixed reviews from critics.[16] [13][17][18] The New York Times wrote that while the book made "it easier to understand why the couple felt the need to exit the Firm" by laying out the media policy and competitive bureaucracy of the British royal family, "too much space" was dedicated to an effort to provide details for "record-correcting context".[18] The book was noted for specifying intimate details such as "the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's text messages", a description of the Queen's private sitting room at Buckingham Palace, and providing conflicting details of the private relationship between the couple and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. [19][20] Finding Freedom was also criticized for the timing of its release, with The Guardian stating that it wasn't the couple's fault that "their book has come out in the middle of a global pandemic, but it does underscore their occasional tone deafness in the latter half of the book."[16]

Legal issues

In October 2019, it was reported that Meghan's team had begun legal proceedings against The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline for privacy violations and copyright infringement regarding a letter to her father published by Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL).[21][22][23] The letter was mentioned in a section of Finding Freedom that detailed the Duchess's relationship with her father.[20] In September 2020, ANL successfully applied to use the book in their defense, arguing that the Duke and Duchess had "co-operated with the authors of the recently published book Finding Freedom to put out their version of certain events".[24][25]

In November 2021, the couple's former communications secretary Jason Knauf gave a statement to the court following ANL's appeal against a judge's ruling that accused them of breaching Meghan's privacy. Knauf mentioned the Duchess of Sussex gave him briefing points to share with the biography's authors and added that the Duke of Sussex had welcomed the suggestion that they should conceal their involvement with the process of writing the book. Meghan subsequently apologized to the court for not remembering the emails earlier and stated she "had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the defendant or the court", adding that the "extent of the information" Knauf shared with the book's authors was "unknown" to her.[26]

References

  1. ^ a b c "A Definitive Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Biography Is Coming Out this Summer". Oprah Magazine. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b Nicholl, Katie (18 November 2020). "Meghan Markle Admits She Really Did Help with Finding Freedom". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  3. ^ Nicolaou, Elena (4 May 2020). "A New Book About Harry and Meghan Markle Is Coming Out this Summer". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie (11 August 2020). Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Royal Family. HarperCollins. p. 368. ISBN 9780063046108. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  5. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin (27 July 2020). "Finding Freedom: 10 things we learned from Harry and Meghan's book". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b "5 revelations about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a new biography". Los Angeles Times. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  7. ^ Scobie, Omid; Durand, Carolyn (3 August 2021). About the author. ISBN 9780063046115. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  8. ^ Omid Scobie, Carolyn Durand (11 August 2020). Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Royal Family. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780063046108. Retrieved 11 December 2020. The events described in these pages draw on hundreds of hours of conversations and interviews with more than one hundred sources..
  9. ^ "Harry And Meghan Talk Of 'Finding Freedom' By Cooperating With Authors Of New Tell-All Biography". Deadline. 3 May 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's explanation for new version of Finding Freedom criticised". geo.tv. 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  11. ^ Hines, Ree (31 August 2021). "Details about Harry and William at Philip's funeral revealed in new version of biography". Today. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Everything we now know about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's biography". tatler.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  13. ^ a b Puente, Maria (11 August 2020). "'Finding Freedom' tells Harry and Meghan's reasons for flight: 'Blindsided' by racism, tabloid coverage". USA Today. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Meghan, Harry's two-word royal takedown". NewsComAu. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  15. ^ Coke, Hope. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's biography tops UK bestseller list". Tatler. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  16. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (10 August 2020). "Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand – Harry and Meghan and the making of a modern royal family". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  17. ^ Low, Valentine (10 August 2020). "Finding Freedom review — the truth behind Megxit?". The Times. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  18. ^ a b Mzezewa, Tariro (11 August 2020). "Happily Ever After? Harry and Meghan Will Settle for Normal". New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Meghan book Finding Freedom puts target on Kate". NZ Herald. 12 August 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Finding Freedom Opens Up Old Wounds Between Harry, Meghan, and the Royal Family. Is It Worth It?". Vanity Fair. 11 August 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Meghan and Harry's tour ends as Mail on Sunday vows to defend itself in court". BBC. 2 October 2019. Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  22. ^ Furness, Hannah (October 2019). "Prince Harry condemns 'ruthless campaign' against Meghan, saying he lost his mother to 'powerful forces' and fears history repeating". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Meghan Markle's Privacy Case Hits Another Snag". Town&Country. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Meghan Markle Loses Latest Round in Court Battle With Associated Newspapers". Variety. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Meghan Markle to hand over emails, WhatsApp messages in Daily Mail case". news.com.au. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Duchess of Sussex apologises to court for biography exchanges". BBC. 10 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  • v
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(1984-09-15) 15 September 1984 (age 38)
TitlesFamilyEvents and charitiesPopular culture
Interviews and
productions
Film and
television
  • Concert for Diana (2007)
  • Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work (2007)
  • The Taking of Prince Harry (2010)
  • I Wanna Marry "Harry" (2014)
  • The Windsors (TV series, 2016–2020; play, 2021)
  • Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018)
  • Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal (2019)
  • Spitting Image (2020–)
  • Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace (2021)
  • The Prince (2021)
Books
  • Finding Freedom
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(1981-08-04) 4 August 1981 (age 41)
Titles
Family
Life events and
charities
Popular culture
Interviews
Film and
television
  • The Windsors (TV series, 2017–2020; play, 2021)
  • Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018)
  • Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal (2019)
  • Spitting Image (2020–)
  • Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace (2021)
  • The Prince (2021)
Books
  • Finding Freedom
  • The Bench
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  • "(Almost) Straight Outta Compton"
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