Before Prince Harry met Meghan Markle, the British royal was eager to find a new purpose for himself.
The claim is being made in the upcoming bombshell book, “Finding Freedom,” written by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. Numerous palace insiders came forward to the two journalists and detailed what led to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure as senior members of the British royal family.
The couple currently resides in Markle’s native Los Angeles with their son Archie.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl, who has read excerpts of the book, recently told ETOnline that the 35-year-old was apparently unhappy for a long time and it was the former American actress who encouraged him to finally break away from the royal family.
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“One of the themes that seem to be recurrent in ‘Finding Freedom’ is that Harry felt very much like a spare wheel,” she told the outlet. “While the media loved this idea of a royal threesome (his older brother Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton, as well as Harry), he very much felt like a spare wheel. At points [in time], I even heard him complaining that he felt like the gooseberry, the third one along at a date. He never quite fitted in.”
“I think that while Kate and William went out of their way to make sure Harry felt like a part of this team, this trio, Harry always wanted to be his own person,” she continued. “I think Meghan has very much been the catalyst in giving him that confidence to break free from William and Kate and to break free from that trio dynamic, which was at times cozy and convenient, but actually wasn’t really what he wanted.”
Many British tabloids blamed Markle, 38, for separating Harry from William, 38, and Middleton, 38. However, Nicholl pointed out that Harry also played a crucial move in the couple’s move to Los Angeles.
“It’s my understanding, and this is also explored in ‘Finding Freedom’ that it wasn’t just Meghan’s decision,” said Nicholl. “I think Harry was very much a driving force. People don’t perhaps give her enough credit. Harry is a pretty opinionated and strong-willed man, and I’ve been told by several very well-placed sources that it wasn’t just Meghan dragging Harry.”
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“She gave him a new confidence, but I think the truth is that, for a long while, Prince Harry has wanted out,” Nicholl shared. “This was a prince who’d spoken quite vocally about the restrictions of being a royal, the weight of the burden, a boy who said he wished he hadn’t at times been born a prince. I think that says a lot about Prince Harry.”
While the book aims to shed new light on the couple’s struggles navigating royal life, Nicholl said it will also impact the royal family in the U.K.
“… For the royal family, this book has been damaging because it has opened up old wounds,” she said. “I think what’s very clear is that Meghan and Harry have wanted to get their side of the story across. This is clearly a couple who feels quite aggrieved by the fact that they’ve never been able to answer their critics. They have never been able to address incorrect reporting.”
“… They feel – Meghan particularly – that she has been muted for most of her royal life, as short as it was,” Nicholl pointed out. “She didn’t have the opportunity to speak out to address her critics to get her side of events out.”
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While it was initially reported that Harry and Markle cooperated with the authors, reps for the couple confirmed to Fox News on Saturday that they played no part in the upcoming tell-all.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom,’” said the statement. “This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and heir own independent reporting.”
According to the book’s description, “Finding Freedom” aims to set the record straight about the royal couple.
“For the very first time, ‘Finding Freedom’ goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan’s life together, dispelling the many rumors and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond,” read the book’s description. “As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple’s lives as few outsiders can.”
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In a statement sent to Fox News, the book publisher revealed Scobie is a London-based writer, royal editor for Harper’s Bazaar, an ABC News contributor, “Good Morning America” regular and host of ABC’s popular royal podcast, “The Heir Pod.” Durand is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer who has spent nearly two decades working in London covering Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and other major international events. During that time, she produced multiple interviews with members of the royal family including Harry. She contributes to O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle magazine and other American and British news outlets.
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“Finding Freedom” is set to be released by Dey Street Books on August 11.