The new book Finding Freedom is shedding more light on Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s experience in the royal spotlight, dropping some bombshells in the process. The book’s authors explained that though the Sussexes “tried to do their best” to provide a workable exit strategy, the monarchy wasn’t able to honor their request.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted a half-in/half-out arrangement
When they announced their decision to take a step back from their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan hinted at an arrangement that would have them splitting their time between the UK and North America.
After Queen Elizabeth met with Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles to discuss the Sussexes’ plan, however, it was decided that the couple would leave their duties behind entirely, as well as any public funding and their HRH titles.
Prince Harry shared in a speech at the time how they were disappointed that they couldn’t split their time. “The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” Prince Harry explained. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”
He also explained that their desire to “continue serving the queen” couldn’t be fulfilled. “I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope it helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life,” he explained.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘tried to do their best’
Prince Harry and Meghan were hopeful that they could strike a balance that would allow them to serve the monarchy while escaping the spotlight, but their plans didn’t come to fruition.
Royal expert Omid Scobie, who co-wrote the book Finding Freedom with Carolyn Durand, told BBC Today (via Express) that the Sussexes tried their best to map out a plan that benefited everyone, but the monarchy wasn’t “built for change.”
“This is a couple that clearly tried to do their best to make it work,” he continued. “They even went as far as presenting a potential roadmap for how they would navigate their roles moving forward.”
“Ultimately, it was the institution that turned back on them and told them what they had presented just wasn’t an option,” Scobie added. “This was a couple that really wanted to make it work but, ultimately, I think the set up of the royal institution just isn’t built for change on that dramatic a level.”
Queen Elizabeth provided a ‘ruthlessly clear’ proposition
In the documentary, The Queen: Duty Before Family?, royal experts dug into why Queen Elizabeth couldn’t honor Prince Harry and Meghan’s original plan.
Royal author Tom Quinn explained how she had to act swiftly, noting, “The queen would have been aware that this was a storm, that if it wasn’t dealt with quickly it could blow up into something really damaging.”
“Her final proposition was ruthlessly clear,” the documentary’s narrator said. “Harry and Meghan could be in or they could be out.”