Behind the scenes

Finding Freedom: who wrote book on Duke and Duchess of Sussex?

New edition reveals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle considered revealing ‘racist royal’

A new edition of a controversial biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will reportedly be released on the 24th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. 

Finding Freedom was first published last August and details how Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, sought to leave royal life behind.

According to the Daily Mail, the “updated edition” is set to be released on 31 August, a date that marks 24 years since the death of Prince Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. The paper, which has seen a leaked epilogue, said the new edition makes “a string of fresh claims” that “are likely to trigger debate about the state of their relationship with the Royal Family”.

Lawyers for the couple have distanced Harry and Meghan from the book, claiming the authors do “not speak for our clients and seem to rely on unnamed sources”, while the book’s authors have said that Finding Freedom is “independent and unauthorised”.

The authors, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, claim they had neither “on the record” nor “off the record” interviews with the couple, although some journalists and publications suspect otherwise due to the extensive detail the book provides on the couple’s private lives and habits. 

The new edition includes claims that the couple considered publicly naming the Royal Family member who made a racist comment about their son, Archie, as well as revelations that some members of the firm were “quietly pleased” the Duchess of Sussex missed Prince Philip’s funeral.

According to Tatler, the updated edition also alleges that media reporting that the couple did not want their son to be a prince “was not the full story, and that the pair would have liked to have had this option”. 

Who are the authors?

Carolyn Durand

Both authors have extensive experience reporting on the Royal Family and know each other from their time in the royal press corps. According to The Times, Durand approached her co-author Omid Scobie about writing a book at the time of the couple’s wedding in 2018. 

The Times described her as “a far sterner royalist than her British co-author”, adding that she been working on the royal press circuit in the UK for almost 20 years, although is originally from the US. 

She has reported on the royals for several American and UK outlets, including ELLE and Oprah Magazine, according to her publisher HarperCollins. She has also produced multiple interviews with members of the Royal Family, including Prince Harry. 

Omid Scobie

Scobie has covered the Royal Family for Harper’s Bazaar for the last eight years and is currently the magazine’s royal editor, according to his Twitter profile. He has travelled around the world reporting on royal events and has extensively covered the younger members of the Royal Family, “particularly Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle”, according to the Daily Mirror

He hosts his own podcast, The Heir Pod, and is a contributor for ABC News on the popular breakfast television show, Good Morning America

As Elite Daily notes, he has a significant following on Twitter, boasting 71,000 followers – “so he’s definitely solidified himself as a go-to source with royal fans”, the celebrity news website said. 

Scobie was caught in a brief media storm himself last year, after claims he lied about his age during the interview in The Times with journalist Andrew Billen. 

According to The Sun, Scobie told Billen he was 33, but he later denied he had mentioned his age, revealing to Tatler that he was in fact five years older. 

Scobie said Billen was “trying to insinuate” that he was the same age as author Andrew Morton when he wrote his controversial biography of Princess Diana, titled Diana: Her True Story. But Billen claims transcripts from the interview show that Scobie had given his age as 33, not 38. 

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