Finding Freedom: The Epilogue Overview

This past Tuesday, August 31, was the 24th anniversary of the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Coincidentally or not, it was also the day that Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s reissue of Finding Freedom was released.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Finding Freedom is the biography of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex that was written for an American audience and is extremely flattering and favourable to the couple.

The authors of the book have said many times that the book was not authorized by Harry or Meghan in any way and that they did not contribute to the book (wink). Scobie and Durand contend that reporting in the book came out of interviews and quotes from unnamed friends and other sources close to the couple who wanted to set the record straight after months of negative press. (This was later proven to be at least partially false when, during testimony in advance of the trial brought on by Meghan suing The Mail on Sunday, Meghan’s lawyers were forced to admit that Meghan directed some of her close friends to speak to Durand and Scobie for the book. The justice in the case, Lord Justice Warby, also called out Meghan and/or Harry for leaking court documents to Omid Scobie in his capacity as a reporter for Harper’s Bazaar before the documents were to be made public, so Scobie could push publish on his stories about the lawsuit with exclusive details the moment that the documents were made available to the public. Lord Justice Warby chastized Meghan and/or Harry and said that he knew this had been the case.)

The original version of Finding Freedom was released in August 2020 and provided everything from details of what Harry and Meghan drank on their first date to bombshells about Meghan’s pre-wedding spat with the Queen’s jeweler, Angela Kelly, about which tiara she would wear to her wedding. The release of the original book was seen as a direct attack on the British Royal Family, as it was well known that Harry and Meghan in particular had helped with the book in some way or another. So this re-release, which includes an epilogue that provides Harry and Meghan’s thoughts on recent events like the Oprah interview and Meghan’s two post-Archie pregnancies.

On a personal note, I found it very annoying to have to buy a revised edition of a book that I already own, just so I can read a new 27-page epilogue. (Scobie and Durand, I hope you’re happy with the 40 dollars I’ve given you!) However, because of the generosity of my great supporters on Square and Patreon, I was able to buy the revised edition of Finding Freedom so I could live-tweet it for you. See below for my thoughts on the epilogue, the juiciest bits of which have been highlighted for your convenience:

  1. The first event depicted in the epilogue is Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah. The book says Oprah had “just a weekend to prepare for the primetime interview.” Why did H&M pull the trigger on the interview so quickly and why did it need to be filmed immediately?
  2. Two theories: Either 1) their cover was blown when Harpo reached out to ITV and spilled the beans about the upcoming interview and they wanted it in the can before BuckPal could stop it; or 2) they knew Philip was sick and there would soon be groundswell of support for the Firm.
  3. Re: point 2, I received the answer from a few super-smart readers. The interview was quickly booked because 1) Meghan had just won her lawsuit filed against The Mail on Sunday; and 2) Harry and Meghan had just been privately informed by the Queen that they would be asked to give back their royal patronages and continue to not be able to use their HRH styles indefinitely, and they wanted to get back at the BRF for it.
  4. The book has quotes from a Harpo source. Is it the same source who accidentally told ITV that the interview was happening? Was that person fired? I need to know!
  5. Book says there was a feeling of “now or never” re: speaking their truth re: the BRF to Oprah. Why? They have their whole lives to speak about their time in RF. Was there a triggering event for agreeing to do the interview? (See point 3.)
  6. Scobie and Durand use the phrase “the shackles were off” regarding H&M’s ability to speak freely to the press after having left the BRF. This phrasing is very evocative and deliberate – compares constraints of monarchy to slavery. This is a dig at the BRF’s treatment of Meghan and handling of the issue of race within the family and in terms of publicly speaking out about racism. This was a real “the gloves are off” moment for me.
  7. Scobie and Durand say H&M were “forced” to move to California from Canada during beginning of pandemic. They were not forced. They chose to move from one mansion with security to another mansion with security. Removal of their agency in decisions is strange.
  8. The book also states that a “careful distance” was kept between Oprah+crew and H&M due to COVID-19. There were “no hugs”. But H&M and Oprah were within touching distance the next day at H&M’s home/chicken coop. (Especially strange when vaccines were not yet available and Meghan was in a high-risk pregnancy owing to her previous miscarriage and age during the pregnancy.)
  9. Harry and Meghan began their lives in California by volunteering, dropping off meals. Scobie and Durand say “People didn’t even know it was them” but say in the same paragraph that paparazzi took photos of them because, even when masked, it was clear it was H&M.
  10. A source close to the couple told Scobie and Durand, “They will never turn their backs on any of their relationships.” The context of this quote was in relation to Meghan and Harry’s royal patronages and service to UK charities, but the general nature of the statement, combined with the fact that Harry and Meghan have a tendency to burn bridges left and right, made me laugh.
  11. Scobie and Durand quote Meghan as saying that the online trolling that she faced as a member of the BRF was “almost survivable.” The actual quote is “almost unsurvivable.” Can someone tell Omid about the typo? He has me blocked on Twitter.
  12. Scobie and Durand say that Montecito was a great choice for H&M because it was “double-gated” but also “close enough to the amenities of civilization when needed.” Next paragraph says they took out a ($9 million) mortgage, “like nearly all average couples.” Relatable!
  13. There is a confirmation that Meghan reached out directly to Omid Scobie in 2020 to check in on him after seeing that he had been attacked by online trolls. A great tidbit for Omid’s career and a not-so-great tidbit for H&M, who are trying to distance themselves from him.
  14. We get confirmation that Harry plans to continue paying tribute to servicepeople in the future, as he did in 2020 at an LA cemetery at which he and Meghan hired a professional photographer to take pictures of them laying a wreath and looking mournful.
  15. The book states that Harry and Meghan know “courtiers inside the institution are still determined to undermine [H&M] by deliberately leaking information to discredit them.” The example used to demonstrate this is the Times’ scoop on Meghan bullying claims in KenPal.
  16. Again, Scobie and Durand seem to contradict themselves by saying that Meghan was worried by these “defamatory” bullying stories, while acknowledging that the HR/employee email re: Meghan’s bullying that was referenced in the story was legitimate.
  17. Side note: Scobie and Durand call the D+D of Cambridge “William and Kate” and their foundation “William and Kate’s Royal Foundation.” I feel like this is a deliberate slight/trying to take the shine off the BRF’s “golden couple” by not using their actual titles or the title of their foundation. But it’s a small point.
  18. Re: the diamond earrings gifted by MBS and worn by Meghan to a State dinner in Fiji, “sources” say they only knew that the earrings were “a gift from the Saudi royal family.” This is the first acknowledgment we have that Meghan knew the earrings were from the Saudi RF. Strictly as a diplomatic matter, knowing they were gifted from the Saudi RF, and that a Washington Post journalist and American resident had recently been murdered, likely on the orders of a member of the Saudi RF, is MORE than enough reason not to wear them.
  19. Finding Freedom attempts to defend Meghan by saying that multiple members of the BRF, including the Queen, have received jewels from members of the Saudi RF. True. But they didn’t wear them three weeks after a resident of their own country was ordered murdered and dismembered.
  20. Scobie+Durand write that all of the Sussexes’ legal actions over the last year have either been “won or settled”. They also say Justice Warby decided in Meghan’s favour in the Mail on Sunday case without adding that Justice Warby called out MM’s leaks to Omid in his ruling lol.
  21. Re: Meghan bullying allegations, the book says multiple times they are false and defamatory but also confirms that the emails around it at KenPal were genuine and a terrible leak by “the Firm”/invasion of privacy.
  22. The book also insinuates that the Times bullying story was only pushed forward after knowledge of the Oprah interview. This is incorrect – the story had been in the works for weeks/months. The Times *asked H&M for comment* 24h after interview news was made public.
  23. The book incorrectly states that H&M wanted title for Archie because they wanted to “provide their son with the level of security that only comes with a title.” For the 100th time: title /= security. Plus the funded security determination is made by the Met, not the BRF.
  24. Harry and Meghan are said to be angry that their racism allegations weren’t formally addressed but Meghan’s bullying claims are being investigated. Claims race claims are “far more damaging than bullying”. 1-bullying claims are HR matter 2-racism claim is private family matter.
  25. The book claims several times that Harry needed to get back to the UK after Philip’s death to take care of/look after/spend time with the Queen. As if 1-she didn’t have anyone to take care of her 2-she was there alone at Windsor Castle 3-Harry wasn’t in quarantine.
  26. One of the last sentences of the epilogue says that Meghan is happy to have her “knight” protecting her and standing beside her. You can just say prince! Prince is the literal, correct term in this situation lol.
  27. The title of the book is no longer “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.” It’s now just “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan.”
  28. Last fun fact: the authors state that Harry liked BetterUp in part because of the work BetterUp did at Chevron. The oil and gas conglomerate Chevron.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting the blog so I can do things like buy a book twice at full price on release day and then give you the scoop on it!

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8 thoughts on “Finding Freedom: The Epilogue Overview

  1. Not quite forced to leave Canada but the Canadian Government had said they would no longer pay for their security as they had been. The Canadian borders were closing due to Covid so it was a case of get out when they did or stay put.

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  2. Thanks for taking one for the team RA! Great analysis. What I find amusing is Omid’s tweet from July 27: “People triggered because I called out an inaccurate report (which failed to ask for comment) claiming the paperback has “new chapters” that will “reopen royal rifts” (neither claims true). Didn’t think I’d have to explain the obvious but an epilogue does not equal “new chapters”.
    He then posts a definition of epilogue as “a speech or piece of text that is added to the end of a play or a book, often giving a short statement about what happens to the characters after the play or book finishes.”
    So, in his mind 27 pages is a short statement about what happens to the characters? Granted I’ll give him that it’s not chapters plural. Just a chapter.
    And, yes, Lesleyc19, I agree that they were not “forced” to leave Canada. Their free meal ticket was used up and Canadians did not want to pay for security for private citizens. They are not migrants or refugees fleeing war. They are extremely privileged people who made a haphazard choice because they didn’t like a life of service.

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  3. Angela Kelley’s title is Senior Dresser to Queen Elizabeth II since 2002.[1] Her official title is Personal Assistant, Adviser and Curator to Her Majesty The Queen (Jewellery, Insignias and curator.
    Not jeweller.

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  4. Hi, I’m going to try to avoid making this too long and go straight to the point. I just want to say I appreciate your effort in buying and analyzing this book to provide comment on the 27-page so-called “epilogue” (I’m pretty sure that’s not the length epilogues are supposed to have). At this point in time nothing surprises me from H and M and the Finding Freedom authors, is clear to everybody from the public to Justice Warby that they’re all in cahoots but these people want to believe they can take us all for fools.
    1) I don’t know if I believe Oprah had only “one week” to prepare for that interview. It has been reported she was courting M since 2018 mainly to get an interview out of her and in fact palace courtiers adviced M against giving the type of one-on-one interview M and Oprah wanted (both clearly aiming for USA audiences for their own personal agendas). On the other hand, this short preparation time would explain Oprah’s dismal performance in that interview (I was so unimpressed by her lack of push back to many of the things H and M claimed there); or maybe, Scobie and Durand wrote this to try to justify Oprah’s subpar performance in that interview (surely by now they know that many of us believe Oprah went easy on H and M and didn’t interview them like a proper journalist would have).
    2 & 3) I definitely think they wanted to get back to the BRF for the removal of the military honors and patronages and the public use of the HRH. I also think the possibility of the BRF having a wave of sympathy due to whatever would happen to Prince Phillip’s health weighted on H and M’s decision to do the interview.
    4) No idea, I don’t think is the same person but then again, who knows?
    5) Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what drives H and M’s decision-making, because it seems to be on impulse more often than not, after all H is known to act more impulsively so there is that. I agree that this so called urgency they apparently felt wasn’t justified, unless the reason was how it would impact their own agenda and plans, which seems was the case.
    6) I agree with point 6. I do wander if the BRF or at least their aides catch all these digs and subliminal attacks, or if the attacks all going over their heads.
    7) When I first read about this portion of the “epilogue” it really did bug me. I understand the prior comentator’s point about the Canadian goverment not longer willing to give them goverment security or pay for it, but the truth is there were probably less security concerns in Canada than the ones they have and will have in the USA. For me the real reason for their rush, almost desperation to move from one country to another, was to be in USA soil and closer to both L.A. and M’s mother before borders were closed for who knew how long. They didn’t want to be stuck in Canada without making bank, business / celebrity connections, without cashing in on their celebrity and without at least one close relative.
    8) This just goes to show the contradictions H and M along with Scobie and Duran constantly have in what they say and write. Why write this when there is video evidence that at least during one portion of the interview these protocols weren’t followed? It’s just dumb.
    9) Same as point 8. Scobie and Durand write lines like these to try to make us sympathize with H and M but then add details that create a dissonance with what they just wrote. Might as well not address the subject at all. Or address it properly (like write: “they were almost able to go incognito because of the mask mandate but couldn’t because the paparazzis trailing them tipped off everybody that these 2 volunteers were celebrities and made it easier for everybody to recognize them”).
    10) Totally agree with this. Maybe the “close source”, or Scobie and Durand for that matter, should have been more specific that H and M meant UK charities when writing these lines. And even so, right now I don’t see great closeness between those 2 and the UK patronages and charities they lost or even the private ones they still have (that may or may not change in the last months of this year, we’ll see).
    11) Lol.
    12) I’m going to repeat here what I told you privately before: Yes, couples do take mortgages to buy a house, but they don’t buy 9 bedroom mansions. Trying to make H and M relatable to regular people’s actions is borderline offensive. (Also, “the amenities of civilization”? What even?)
    13) This should be a smoking gun proving how much in cahoots H and M are with Scobie (or at least how much M is) however their cult fans and the US media pretty much ignored this.
    14) No other comment than to say, can’t he give it a rest? We get it, he was in the military.
    15 & 16) I don’t know if H and M are really this paranoid or is just that they and their entourage don’t know how to address the bullying accusations. They have no choice but to acknowledge the complaints were real, but at the same time they’re determined to push the narrative that it was all part of a greater plan to undermine M (basically, that is to say that since the moment she married H, the aides wanted to discredit her, I guess their point is that it was done for racist reasons but if they really think so, why not give names and specific examples on their own?)
    17) The William and Kate thing might get a pass because even the UK press falls in the trap of calling them like that, but not using the proper name for the Royal Foundation does feel like a slight. Someone at H and M team is trying to push the narrative that relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges have improved but this sort of little things combined with other reports show otherwise.
    18 & 19) Totally agree with what you said. The US media willfully choose to ignore this story to this day.
    20) Lol indeed. It’s clear by now how biased these authors are, they ignore everything that doesn’t suit their narrative or leaves them in a bad place.
    21 & 22) Again, the authors ignore what doesn’t suit the narrative they and the Sussexes are trying to promote. They’re determined to convince people the bullying claims are a pushback / punishment for the Oprah interview and part of a greater plan to discredit / sink M, but are unable to see their argument about the bullying claims being a punishment for the Oprah interview doesn’t hold water, and their conspirancy argument needs more proof than just H and M words.
    23) 100% agree.
    24) Great point.
    25) More attempts to push a certain narrative, this time the one that presents H and M as heroes or saints. Apparently nothing works or can be done without them.
    26) Another narrative in which H and M are everyday people, that’s why in some instances they don’t want to use H princely title, yet H and M own statements are signed using their titles. Time and time again they and their entourage show astounding blindness to their contradictions / inconcistencies.
    27) I guess they were afraid the BRF would retaliate this time if the word “royal” appeared once again in a book title associated with H and M.
    28) This is the part where H shows an incredible inability to see the contradiction between the message he wants to promote and what he actually does. He’s giving signs that he suffers from the same blindness than his uncle Andrew. I don’t know if this is arrogance or some kind of second son syndrome that is proper to the BRF. Whatever it is, now he doesn’t have the BRF cloud to protect him, so he will continue to be called out for this sort of thing.

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    1. Carolina Re Point 7 I did say “The Canadian borders were closing due to Covid so it was a case of get out when they did or stay put.”

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  5. lesleyc19, the borders weren’t like east and west germany. As a U.S. citizen, MM could not, at any time, be denied entry from Canada.

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      1. This isn’t true. You can (and always could) still enter the country if you were married to a US citizen. You will get pulled aside by Homeland Security and have to provide your spouse’s passport, your passport, and your marriage license/certificate, but you can come into the US with your spouse who is a citizen.

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