Meghan Markle has a bevy of pals in political circles including New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the Obamas and Canadian First Lady Sophie Trudeau, according to their bombshell new biography Finding Freedom.
The controversial book written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was released yesterday and raised eyebrows for its gushing praise and intimate knowledge of the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39 – who have secretly bought a private family home in Santa Barbara after ditching Tyler Perry’s 12-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion.
It claimed Meghan reportedly befriended Sophie, after being introduced to her by Jessica Mulroney in the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry, to glean how she went from a TV star to ‘beloved First Lady’.
The biography also states the Duchess is in regular email contact with Jacinda Ardern, who sent flowers to Frogmore Cottage following the birth of Archie, now 15 months.
The revelations add fuel to the reports that the Duchess is considering carving out a career in politics since quitting the Royal Family in March.
Both Meghan and Harry have become increasingly outspoken in recent months, particularly since the harrowing death of George Floyd and other African-Americans at the hands of police officers, which sparked national conversations about racism.
Meghan delivered an address to graduating students at her old school, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, declaring ‘black lives matter’.
In June, a close friend of the Duchess told DailyMail.com that Meghan wants to use her voice for change and hasn’t ruled out a career in politics. They added that her instinct to leave the United Kingdom and move to California ‘all makes sense to her now’ because she believes she was ‘destined’ to help fight systemic racism in the United States.
Finding Freedom revealed Meghan dreamed of becoming the president of the United States as child – something she reportedly shared with Piers Morgan over a drink in London prior to meeting Prince Harry.
She also spoke of her love of politics in an interview with Marie Claire while starring in legal drama Suits.
The Duchess told the publication she’d always wanted to perform but didn’t want to be a ‘cliche girl from LA who decides to be an actress’.
‘I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my [university] major completely, and double-majoring in theatre and international relations,’ she said.
According to Finding Freedom, when she began dating Harry in 2016, Meghan was urged to take advice from Sophie Trudeau by her friend Jessica Mulroney, who deemed the two women ‘now had a lot in common’.
Meghan had previously met her husband Justin Trudeau at the One Young World summit in Ottawa that year, with the pair pictured deep in conversation.
‘Sophie had given up a career in television, where she had been working as a correspondent on CTV’s eTalk, to take on a more formal role alongside her husband as he hit the campaign trail,’ the authors claim.
‘The pair became fast email friends, Meghan was interested to hear how Sophie had successfully made the move from an entertainment news correspondent to much-beloved First Lady, all while skillfully dodging controversy.’
A close friend of Trudeau and a former cabinet member told Scobie and Durand: ‘Sophie would have made it clear that every single aspect of Meghan’s past would be dug up, so the most important thing was to be honest with Harry—tell him everything.
‘Sophie’s a smart woman and the perfect brain for Meghan to pick. She knows how difficult something like this is. Few people can relate or truly sympathise. For those of us that knew about their friendship, it was amazing to see the change in Meghan that followed.’
Earlier that year Meghan and Sophie were pictured in a series of photobooth images with Jessica taken at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) at Soho House in Toronto – where Meghan lived while filming Suits.
Meghan and Jessica are understood to have grown apart in recent months after TV presenter Jessica became embroiled in a social media row with black influencer Sasha Exeter in June.
Back in January there was speculation that Justin Trudeau may have given a cryptic Twitter clue about Meghan and Harry’s departure from the Royal Family.
When news emerged that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had turned their back on Royal tradition and flown to Canada for Christmas, he was one of the first to welcome them on social media, writing: ‘You’re among friends, and always welcome here.’
Diplomatic sources claimed Mr Trudeau and his wife Sophie were consulted about the decision late last year, before members of the Royal Family and even the Queen.
Prince Harry and Mr Trudeau have always looked to enjoy each other’s company at events such as Commonwealth commemorations. The two have also encountered each other on multiple occasions through Harry’s Invictus Games for disabled servicemen.
Meghan also hit it off with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during her and Harry’s autumn tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in October 2018, according to the book.
The PM was reportedly impressed by the then four months pregnant duchess showing no signs of faltering during the trip.
‘Pregnancy is an often-tiring time,’ said Ardern, who spent three days with the duke and duchess during the tour.
‘But the way she gave everything her all was incredible. She’s an amazing woman and I’m so glad to have gotten to know her.’
According to the authors, the couple have ‘stayed in regular contact ever since, exchanging emails and even meeting up again at Kensington Palace on January 21, 2019’.
They added that Meghan ‘regularly wears the earrings Ardern gifted her in New Zealand’ – a pair of simple gold studs with a feather engraving on each by the kiwi musician and jewellery designer Boh Runga.
The book also states that after Archie’s birth, gifts ‘poured into Frogmore’ – including a flower arrangement from the New Zealand PM.
Meghan has also found an ally in Hillary Clinton, who has been a staunch advocate of the duchess since day one, with both women reportedly having ‘a lot of admiration for each other’ according to a source.
The duchess even invited the former US Secretary of State to Frogmore Cottage in November while on a six-week sabbatical from royal duties. According to sources, the two women hugged during what was described as something of a ‘fan girl’ meeting.
Prince Harry and six-month-old Archie were there and Mrs Clinton, 72, even got to have a cuddle of the royal baby and told Meghan about Chelsea’s new baby son, Jasper, her third grand-child.
At the age of 11, Meghan wrote to then-First Lady Hillary, when her husband Bill was in the White House, to demand a ‘sexist’ dishwashing liquid advert which claimed a woman’s place is in the kitchen should be taken off air, after being encouraged to do so by her father.
It is not clear whether she ever got a reply but the budding activist did successfully manage to get the voice over that ‘women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ replaced with the more palatable ‘people’.
Apparently the letter was discussed between Meghan and Hillary when they met for the first time in Windsor.
Their meeting was also shortly after Harry and Meghan’s ITV documentary which followed their visit to Africa in September aired. In response to Meghan opening up about finding it difficult joining the Royal Family, Mrs Clinton told the BBC: ‘Oh my God, I want to hug her. I feel as a mother I just want to put my arms around her.’
Early last year the Sussexes also hired Sara Latham, a PR guru and ex-Clinton administration official who worked on her 2016 bid for the presidency and as chief of staff to the campaign’s chairman John Podesta.
Sara also had experience in British government, having worked as special advisor to Tony Blair’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport between 2005 and 2006.