Critic Explains Why Princess Diana’s Biography Evoked More Sympathy Than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Finding Freedom’
Royals typically do not speak to the press about their personal lives. However, there have been instances when fans got an extremely close look at the world behind the palace. Most famously, Princess Diana collaborated on a biography about her in 1992 to share details about her life as a royal. Recently, a book was released about Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with, allegedly, the help of people close to them.
Despite the fact that Diana and the Sussexes both had books detailing their inner worlds, the public became much more “sympathetic” toward Diana following the release of her biography. Yet, it does not seem like public opinion about Harry and Meghan has changed much after their book came out. A critic explains why this difference exists.
Princess Diana’s biography shed light on her struggles as a royal
In 1992, author Andrew Morton released the book Diana: Her True Story. Initially, Diana and her team denied any involvement in the book, which detailed her personal life and struggles as a royal. However, after her death in 1997, Morton revealed that he had, in fact, conducted interviews with Diana herself for the book.
In any case, Diana’s biography shed light on what was going on behind closed doors. The public had spent many years believing Diana’s life was a fairy tale, but the princess revealed she had many private battles in her homes, such as her bulimia and her husband’s affair. She also talked about how the royal family allegedly brushed her sufferings aside and did not help her.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Finding Freedom’ was released as a response to the negative press the couple faces
Harry and Meghan’s recent biography, Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, was not released under the same circumstance as Diana’s book. Rather, according to its sypnosis on Amazon, Finding Freedom aims to tell Harry and Meghan’s side of the story after three years of the couple receiving constant negative press.
The authors claim to have spoken to people close to Harry and Meghan in order to paint a portrait of them that would dispel the myths reportedly created by the media. It goes into details about Meghan’s childhood, Harry and Meghan’s courtship, Meghan’s various struggles in the royal family, and addressed many rumors about the couple in the press.
Why a critic thinks the public was more ‘sympathetic’ towards Diana’s biography than they are to Harry and Meghan’s
Perhaps it is too soon to tell what Finding Freedom will do to help Harry and Meghan’s image with the public. However, judging by the amount of 1-star reviews the book has received on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, it does not seem like many readers walked away sympathizing with the Sussexes.
According to critic Maureen Callahan, there is a reason why the public seemed more “sympathetic” towards Diana and less so towards Harry and Meghan. And it comes down to how they are depicted.
“The biggest drama in [Finding Freedom] is Meghan selecting her wedding tiara. This takes up six-and-a-half pages. Not to mention the depiction of Harry and Meghan as — no exaggeration — the most wonderful, flawless, kind, well-intentioned people ever,” Callahan wrote for the New York Post. “Diana made sure her book was full of her own shortcomings, insecurities and vulnerabilities. In bringing herself down to earth, she won even more esteem.”
Callahan made a comparison in how each side reportedly told about their meeting with Queen Elizabeth. Finding Freedom talks about how “the conversation flowed naturally” for Meghan and Her Majesty, with the queen even staying to talk to Meghan for ten minutes after her allotted time. However, Diana summed up her experience with the phrase “sh**ting bricks.”
Callahan wrote, “Nearly everyone suspected Diana was lying about involvement with her book but no one cared, because what she revealed was raw and humiliating and so human. Harry and Meghan, on the other hand, have reached peak entitlement… their delusional book depicting them as two perfect beings who can’t understand why everyone else a) won’t worship them and b) leave them alone.”