Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were “quite afraid of the consequences” of their royal exit but son Archie has helped them “stand up for what was right,” a biographer says.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not take the decision to quit royal duties lightly, according to Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom.
He made his comments to People as the re-released paperback edition caused a storm in Britain due to quotes suggesting the royals were not taking “ownership” after Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview.
Scobie said: “They were quite afraid of the consequences of stepping away and challenging the system.”
However, Scobie told the magazine son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor gave them the “energy to stand up for what was right for them, regardless of what the consequences were.”
Analysis of historic polling data by Newsweek suggested Meghan and Harry’s positive approval rating in Britain survived negative publicity but began to crash after they announced they were stepping back in January 2020.
Prince Harry fell by 50 points from 81 percent at the point they got engaged in November 2017 to 31 percent in the most recent data from YouGov in Spring.
A new epilogue to Finding Freedom quoted a friend of Meghan’s suggesting little accountability had been shown by the Monarchy.
The coverage focussed on Queen Elizabeth II’s official response to the Oprah Winfrey interview, which appeared to dispute Harry and Meghan’s version of events by stating “some recollections may vary.”
The extract published by People read: “Those three words, ‘recollections may vary,’ did not go unnoticed by the couple, who a close source said were ‘not surprised’ that full ownership was not taken.”
The book added: “A pal of Meghan’s added: ‘Months later and little accountability has been taken. How can you move forward without that?’”
Quoted by The Daily Mail, Scobie said: “There are people within the family who [The Sussexes] are much closer to today than they were a year ago. But in terms of Harry’s relationship with his father and brother, that progress has been very little.
“I think he [Harry] is quite willing to own his part in everything but I have been told that he is also waiting to see some of that from the other side. As of now, there hasn’t been that.”
On Twitter, Scobie was quick to stress the frustration was with the royal institution not the queen herself.
Meghan accused an unnamed royal of expressing concern her unborn child’s skin might be too dark.
She said she was driven to experience suicidal thoughts by negative press coverage but was told she could not go to a mental hospital as it would make the institution look bad.
The queen’s official response to the Oprah interview was issued around 36 hours after the CBS prime time special.
Buckingham Palace said on behalf of the queen: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
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