Journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who have reported on the royals for years and covered countless trips and appearances, conducted 100 interviews for the book with sources close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry told HuffPost that they “were not interviewed and did not contribute” to the book.
The book gives valuable insight into the rift between Harry and his older brother, Prince William, the status of the relationship between William’s wife, Kate Middleton, and Meghan, and the tabloids’ “open season” on Meghan. But it also includes a lot of lighthearted details and sweet moments that say a lot about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their relationship (though they prefer to keep one part of their love story a “mystery.”)
We learn that the Sussexes reportedly love to watch Disney movies and “Game of Thrones” (relatable), that Harry was the first to say “I love you,” and that the two were planning their wedding even before they were engaged.
Below are a few more of those sweet highlights:
1. Meghan finds Harry’s very unique emoji etiquette ‘adorable.’
The Duke of Sussex’s “messages were often short and full of emojis, in particular the ghost emoji, which he often used instead of a smiley face.”
Though the authors insist that “nobody knows” why he prefers the 👻 emoji, the only thing that matters is that “Meghan found his texting etiquette funny and adorable, just like the prince.”
2. Harry and Meghan once followed each other on Instagram.
While Harry’s alias ― Spike Wells ― and a former Facebook account from the prince has been reported before, “Finding Freedom” reveals the existence of the Duke’s secret Instagram account: @SpikeyMau5.
“Around the time of their first encounter, [Meghan] began to follow a mysterious-looking Instagram account by the name of @SpikeyMau5,” the authors say. “With no face visible in the profile photo, just a mouse-shaped helmet, it would have meant nothing to most people. But it was in fact Harry’s private account.”
Scobie and Durand write that the name was reportedly inspired by one of the prince’s favorite DJs, DeadMau5, as the duke is “a big house music fan,” while “Spike” was a previous nickname used for him by Scotland Yard officers.
3. Meghan impressed Harry with her “down-to-earth attitude.”
When the couple dashed off to Botswana early in their courtship, Meghan was more than prepared to rough it in the wild alongside Harry. The book says that Harry was “delightfully surprised by Meghan’s down-to-earth attitude,” on the trip.
“While camping, she cleaned her face with baby wipes and happily wandered into the woodlands if she needed a bathroom break,” Scobie and Durand write, adding that the duchess was already thinking about their mutual needs.
“Meghan made sure to pack sunscreen for both (especially handy for Harry, who burned easily and often forgot to use SPF protection),” the book says. So cute!
4. Harry got Meghan the sweetest first anniversary gift.
In “Finding Freedom,” we learn that the Duke of Sussex purchased a gift to commemorate their first anniversary as a couple just two months after they began dating. He gave her part of the gift two months in and saved the rest for their big milestone.
“Just two months after they had started dating in the summer of 2016, Harry had given Meghan one half of a Van Donna diptych, which depicted a young boyfriend and girlfriend holding hands,” the authors write.
“He had picked up the $4,500 artwork during a private visit to the Walton Fine Arts gallery in Chelsea, London, and kept the second piece, which simply featured the title of the work, Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, for what would be their first anniversary,” Scobie and Durand report. “It seemed he had always known that they would go the distance.”
5. The couple enjoys hit shows and self-help books.
Royals, they’re just like us! Scobie and Durand write that the duke and duchess are indeed mere mortals who enjoy watching TV and movies like the rest of us, including “Games of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” and Disney flicks like “Moana” and “The Lion King.”
The self-motivated twosome also like to dive into self-help books, with Harry going for “Eight Steps To Happiness” and Meghan reading “The Motivation Manifesto.”
6. Meghan introduced Harry to meditation.
The book details Meghan’s faith and spirituality, showing that she led the cast of “Suits” in daily prayer every day before the filming of that TV show. Meghan also “expanded Harry’s spiritual world, introducing him to yoga through her own practice and buying him a book on mindfulness that, like all her gifts, came with a handwritten note,” the authors say, adding that “Harry began, at Meghan’s encouragement, a daily meditation practice.”
7. Meghan and Harry talked to the palace about their wedding before getting engaged.
Not only did the duke and duchess experience what clearly seems like love at first sight, they also began planning their wedding prior to getting engaged, according to Scobie and Durand.
“By June 2017, she and Harry weren’t talking about their wedding as a possibility so much as an absolute,” the royal insiders write. “They even went so far as to bring the Palace into the conversation, consulting with the prince’s aides about the best time for a ceremony.”
They were also able to keep their eventual engagement secret for three months before announcing it in November 2017.
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