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Meghan Markle ‘set up photo opportunities with paparazzi when she worked on Suits’

Meghan Markle set up a paparazzi pictures while she was working as an actress and before dating Prince Harry, it was claimed last night.

The Suits star allegedly told photographers where she would be so they could get pictures and ‘let info slip out to the press’, the bombshell biography claims.

Recalling the moment the couple’s relationship became public in October 2016 while they were in Toronto, it claims they were ‘tipped off’ that a tabloid was planning to run the story.

There is no suggestion that Meghan was involved in the pair’s relationship becoming public. The book states: ‘The following day Meghan felt somewhat bittersweet. On the one hand, she was disappointed that their secret was out.

‘It was no longer just the two of them. While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince.

‘She knew keeping things quiet meant they could get to know each other without pressure or further worries that came from reporters covering their romance.’

But it added there was ‘also a part of her that was relieved’. The claims about Meghan’s previous relationship with the media come amid questions over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s involvement with the book. The couple have denied they sat down with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand to be interviewed for the biography – serialised in The Times and Sunday Times – that lays bare their battle with the royals.

But its pages contain intimate anecdotes which would only be known by those closest to them. In one excerpt, the authors tell how the night before her wedding, Meghan was ‘sitting in a bath…FaceTiming with a friend’.

Another section describes the ‘perfect [yoga] pose’ she stretched her body into after discussing marriage with Harry while on holiday in Africa.

It also reveals texts between the couple and the details of the meal eaten by the prince and the Queen when they met at Windsor for a final heart-to-heart.

In another extract, a source close to the couple defends the fast pace of their relationship, saying: ‘Their love was real and their feelings for each other were genuine. Everything else was noise.’ The comment echoes Meghan’s own words from an interview in Vanity Fair in 2017 when she discussed the impact of her relationship with Harry.

‘The people who are close to me anchor me in knowing who I am. The rest is noise,’ she said.

Some commentators have drawn comparisons to Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana, the late Princess of Wales.

The book was criticised on publication but it later emerged that Diana was the source.

The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter told the Mail: ‘I think it has their fingerprints all over it. We had a similar scenario in 1992 when Diana swore blind she hadn’t helped Andrew Morton and yet a year later it came out that she had indirectly helped him so history is repeating itself.

‘There are too many things that we have seen in the serialisation that could only come from the horse’s mouth, like deciding to gatecrash Sandringram when they landed from Canada.

‘Who would know about that? Who would know about sitting down for tea with the Queen? Other than that, it doesn’t really tell us much that we don’t already know.’ As Royal Editor at Large for Harper’s Bazaar, Mr Scobie has spoken about his links to the couple and has made no secret of his admiration for them.

Describing the Sussexes’ ‘farewell tour’ in February and March before they left the UK, he told how he had been ‘struck’ by how ‘knowledgeable’ Prince Harry was on environmental issues.

He was also one of only three journalists invited to cover Meghan’s penultimate royal engagement at Buckingham Palace when he described hugging her. In an interview, Mr Scobie was pressed over whether he did a ‘sit down’ interview with the couple. ‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,’ he said.

Asked if there had been an off-the-record discussion,’ he replied: ‘No, and I think that you can tell from the reporting, my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects.’

The authors say they spoke to more than 100 sources, including ‘close friends and palace staff (past and present)’ and any information has ‘at least two sources’. 

By Faith Ridler For Mailonline 

Intimate details laid out in a bombshell royal biography raise questions as to whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have had more involvement than has been admitted – despite the couple insisting they ‘did not contribute’.   

Particulars of voicemails Meghan sent to her father and tense conversations between Harry and William have been published in Finding Freedom, extracts of which were serialised by the Times and the Sunday Times this weekend.

Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand say they have spoken to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’, with all the information in the book having ‘at least two sources.’ 

The Duke and Duchess deny giving any interviews or contributing to the book directly, but the intimate nature of some details raises questions over who the sources were – and whether Harry and Meghan gave them their blessing before they revealed such closely guarded insights to the couple’s private lives.    

Extraordinary personal details littered throughout Finding Freedom include particulars of the moment the Meghan confessed she wrote her estranged father Thomas Markle one final message while on FaceTime in a bathtub. 

Details which raise these questions include:

The biography provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from royal life earlier this year. 

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan insisted the couple did not contribute to the book, but the royals did not deny the content of The Times’s explosive extracts. 

‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom,’ a statement said. ‘This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.’

In an interview with The Times, author Scobie appeared to choose his words carefully when he was quizzed about the level of access, if any, that was granted to him and Durand. ‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,’ he said.

Asked whether there had been an ‘off-the-record’ discussion, he said: ‘You’ve read the book. There’s no on-the-record interviews with the couple.’ Pressed again on the same question, he replied: ‘No, and I think that you can tell from the reporting, my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects.’

In an extract published today, Scobie and Durand describe how Meghan, sitting on FaceTime to her friend in a bathtub, confessed she sent her father one last text on the night before her wedding in May 2018.

‘I can’t sit up all night just pressing send,’ she said.

Other intensely personal moments include a tense conversation between Prince William and Harry, in which the elder royal told his brother: ‘Don’t feel you need to rush this. Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.’

The authors went on to explain in an except published this weekend how Harry told a source he was ‘p****d off’ by the comments: ‘P****d off that his brother would ask such a thing.’

Harry’s reaction to reading internet comments dubbing himself and Meghan ‘a disgrace to the royal family’ were also detailed by Scobie and Durand, who wrote on Saturday how he told a friend: ‘It’s a sick part of the society we live in today, and no one is doing anything about it.

‘Where’s the positivity? Why is everyone so miserable and angry?’

There are also conversations between Meghan and a friend, in which she lamented how her father was not answering a ‘barrage of voicemails’ she left him. According to the authors, she said: ‘Dad, I still love you. Nothing has changed. We’re going to get you safely to London. I’m sending a car to come and get you.’

‘My God, my phone,’ she then told a friend. ‘I’m assuming he’s getting my messages.’

According to the Times, the biography also includes details of the yoga pose Meghan took after discussing marriage with her husband-to-be in Africa, and the expression the couple’s son Archie made after being born. 

Despite both the authors and Meghan and Harry denying their involvement in the biography, Scobie, 39, has not previously been shy to discuss the access to the couple that he has enjoyed as a royal reporter.

Writing in American magazine Harper’s Bazaar in March, he described covering the Sussexes ‘farewell tour’ in February and March before they left the UK for their new life in North America. He detailed how he ‘joined the Duke of Sussex in Edinburgh’ on February 26 for a summit on sustainable and ethical tourism.

‘Chatting with him one-on-one recently I was struck by how knowledgeable he has become in this field,’ Mr Scobie said. ‘As one of the attendees at the Edinburgh work summit whispered to me after his speech, ‘He’s about to change the game for good.’

Mr Scobie was also one of three journalists invited to cover Meghan’s penultimate Royal engagement on March 9 when she met 22 students who had received scholarships from the Association of Commonwealth Universities at Buckingham Palace. 

The meeting, held in the 1844 Room, took place shortly before Harry and Meghan attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey where the frosty atmosphere between the couple and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was clearly evident.

Mr Scobie described hugging Meghan during emotional scenes at Buckingham Palace before the couple left for the Abbey.

‘Back at Buckingham Palace, the ACU students now en-route to Westminster Abbey and Harry quietly slipping through the door to say hello, the reality – and the emotions – finally set in as I give Meghan a goodbye hug,’ he said.

‘She’s flying back to Canada on the last commercial flight of the day, eager to be back in Vancouver Island by the morning before Archie wakes up.’

It is unclear if any private conversations that Scobie may have shared with the couple are included in Finding Freedom. However, some passages do include quotations from comments that the couple have told ‘friends’.

For example, one section has Harry telling a friend: ‘I don’t need to have that movie moment where we get out of a car and wave to a hundred photographers before going into a building.’ 

In another passage, Meghan is reported as ‘tearfully’ telling a ‘friend’ in March: ‘I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.’        

It comes as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last night hit back at claims in the biography that they actively spurned Meghan.

The authors of Finding Freedom claim relations between the Sussexes and Cambridges became so bitter that Kate humiliatingly snubbed her sister-in-law at Meghan’s farewell appearance as a senior Royal. 

But close friends of William and Kate issued a fierce defence, insisting the couple had ‘rolled out the red carpet’ for Meghan and ‘done all they possibly could’ to welcome the US actress into the Royal Family. 

According to the friends, the Cambridges ‘welcomed Meghan with open arms’ by inviting her to Anmer Hall, their family home in Norfolk, where Kate personally cooked vegan meals for her brother-in-law’s then fiance. 

William and Kate also invited Meghan’s friends, bridesmaids and page boys to a party before her wedding to Harry in May 2018, and keen tennis fan Kate asked Meghan to join her in the Royal Box at Wimbledon for two successive years. 

‘It’s just completely wrong to suggest they didn’t talk and plain wrong to say the Cambridges weren’t welcoming,’ a friend told The Mail on Sunday. 

‘How can you say they weren’t warm or welcoming when they hosted Meghan for Christmas, invited her into their totally private inner sanctum at Anmer Hall and did everything they could to make her feel at home? They personally cooked her favourite vegan food, they couldn’t have been more welcoming.’   

As revelations in the book threatened to plunge the Royal family back into the darkest days of the bitter ‘Megxit’ saga earlier this year, it was claimed last night that Harry was upset when his older brother referred to his then girlfriend Meghan as ‘that girl’ and was warned ‘not to rush this’. 

According to the book, one senior Royal referred to Meghan as ‘Harry’s showgirl’ and another observed that she ‘comes with a lot of baggage’. 

Scobie and Durand also allege that a high-ranking courtier was overheard telling a colleague: ‘There’s just something about her I don’t trust.’ 

In other revelations, the book claims that William and Harry barely spoke for several months after the alleged ‘that girl’ comment, and that Kate did little to bridge the gap with Meghan because they were ‘not the best of friends’. 

It also suggests that Meghan felt her treatment by some Palace staff was ‘sexist and prejudiced’ and that as a ‘successful woman of colour’ she was labelled ‘demanding’. 

According to the book, Meghan was ‘disappointed that she and Kate hadn’t bonded over the unique position they shared’ and was infuriated by persistent media reports – confirmed by Palace aides – that a bust-up during a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte had left Kate in tears. 

In an indication of the mistrust that developed between the two women, a friend of the Cambridges acknowledged that Kate had ‘snubbed’ Meghan at the Commonwealth Service in March which marked her last appearance as a working Royal. 

The friend said her actions were born ‘out of sheer frustration’ at Harry and Meghan’s behaviour over their withdrawal from Royal life, announced on Instagram, and the launch of the Sussex Royal website. 

The source acknowledged that Kate snubbed Meghan at the West Door of Westminster Abbey, but added: ‘That was after the Sussexes had issued that incendiary statement and website.’ 

But friends of the Cambridges dismissed claims in Finding Freedom that Kate and Meghan ‘barely exchanged a word’ at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day last year. 

In what was intended as a public show of solidarity, Harry was cheered on the polo field by Meghan and baby Archie, and William by Kate and their three children, George, seven, Charlotte, five and Louis, two. 

‘Everyone saw Kate and Meghan chatting. She [Meghan] had the baby and it was really sweet,’ one pal insisted. ‘George went up to Archie and gently stroked his head. Louis was larking around and making Meghan laugh – it was really positive and happy.’ 

However, allies of the Cambridges accept that the once close relationship between the brothers is now ‘strained’ and best described as ‘on and off’. 

They said William had been left ‘sad’ and ‘disappointed’ by the claims in Finding Freedom. 

‘William had hoped that everyone had moved on, but clearly that’s not the case,’ said a friend. ‘He’s a little sad and disappointed that it’s being raked up all over again. 

‘He was extremely upset and hurt at the time [in January when Harry stood down from his duties] and his relationship with his brother is still quite distant. 

‘It’s best described as on-off and more off at the moment. He has no plans to see his brother this year, but of course Covid makes that much more difficult [anyway].’ 

While the Sussexes and the authors of Finding Freedom insist that the couple gave no interviews for the book, it paints an extremely flattering portrayal of them. 

In extracts that emerged yesterday, it was claimed that Harry and Meghan became so frustrated at what they perceived as an unwillingness to discuss their future that they considered arriving unannounced to confront the Queen. They eventually decided against what would have been an extraordinary breach of royal protocol. 

The book also suggests that the couple were upset when the Queen did not include a photograph of them and Archie on her desk when she filmed her Christmas speech last year. 

Meghan is said by the authors to have considered the decision to strip Harry of his military patronages as part of the so-called Megxit deal, painfully thrashed out after a summit at Sandringham on 13 January as ‘unnecessary’.

By then, the couple felt deeply suspicious of rival royal camps and, according to the authors, described some senior officials as ‘the vipers’. 

The book suggests the three royal households of Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House are in competition, each trying to outdo – and even occasionally sabotage – the other. 

The couple, according to Finding Freedom, became increasingly frustrated at the palace communications operation. However, one former staff member told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It was a very challenging working environment. It was high pressure and extremely stressful… Nothing was ever good enough, they always saw the negative in everything. 

‘Nothing is ever their fault, always someone else’s. They are professional victims.’  

A spokesman said that the couple ‘were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom’, adding: ‘The book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.’

In an interview with The Times, Mr Scobie appeared to choose his words carefully when he was quizzed about the level of access, if any, that was granted to him and Ms Durand. ‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,’ he said.

Asked whether there had been an ‘off-the-record’ discussion, he said: ‘You’ve read the book. There’s no on-the-record interviews with the couple.’ Pressed again on the same question, he replied: ‘No, and I think that you can tell from the reporting, my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects.’ 

A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. 

‘This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.’ 

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends – while the Duchess of Sussex was ‘disappointed’ she never reached out to her or visited, according to an explosive new biography.

The Duchesses ‘struggled to move past distance politeness’ and had ‘nothing in common other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace’, according to the authors of Finding Freedom.

In one particularly awkward encounter when Meghan was dating Harry, Kate went alone in her Range Rover on a shopping trip – despite the fact she was also going to the same street.

The lack of any friendship between the pair was confirmed in 2018 when the Sussexes announced they wanted to base their family at Windsor.

Despite this frostiness, Meghan felt hurt at newspaper stories of the ‘duelling duchesses’ and was angry at the failure of the palace press office to correct them.  

According to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, Meghan expected Kate to reach out to her and give her a helping hand as she became a member of the Firm. 

Instead, the pair had nothing in common ‘other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace’. By the time Meghan had become a senior royal, the pair were still no closer than before the 2018. According to one source, Meghan was disappointed that they hadn’t bonded, but was not losing sleep over it.    

The book also details one awkward moment at Kensington Palace in 2017 when Kate went alone in her Range Rover while shopping – despite  the fact Meghan was also going to the same street. 

Though some aides claimed the sisters-in-law ‘talked and texted regularly’, they had barely spent any time together by the time of Meghan and Harry’s wedding.  

The book also reveals how Meghan regarded some commentary and tabloid stories as ‘sexist’ and ‘prejudiced’, with ambitious women of colour like her labelled ‘demanding and aggressive’.  

A close friend of Meghan’s told the authors: ‘Duchess Different. That’s what people have a problem with. She’s the easiest person in the world to work with. Certain people just don’t like the fact she stands out.’ 

The biography is written by journalists Scobie and Durand, who are fans of the couple and have set out to ‘correct the record’ and shift the spotlight on to their charitable ventures.The Sussexes say they did not contribute to the book, but Scobie and Durand’s account is based on extensive insight from friends of the couple.  

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