Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have faced the ire of the world together and come out of that storm intact.
Most of us look for a partner who can understand us and walk beside us during the highest of highs and lowest of lows. They understand our goals and encourage us and we are able to do the same for them. For many people, finding a partner with similar goals in life seems perfect because you find a partner in crime. You can build a life together easily without compromising who you are.
For Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was that person. In early July 2016, the British royal and American actress were set up on a blind date. They met at the Dean Street Townhouse in London and the royal was smitten from the beginning. "I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her," he admitted. "I was like, Okay, well, I’m really gonna have to up my game!" he said, as per Vogue. Meghan had one doubt and she texted her friend, who set them up, asking, "Is he nice?"
"If he wasn’t kind, it didn’t seem like it would make sense," she later recalled. He turned out to be kind and they did have fun on their date. For their third date, he asked her to come to Botswana with him. "We camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said. "It was absolutely fantastic," he added.
After being able to enjoy each other's company in privacy for months, the cat was out of the bag on October 31, 2016. From then on, the couple was at the receiving end of horrible media coverage. Now, a new book by royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand will be talking about the couple's extraordinary journey.
Prince Harry, who will never be king and has struggled with his position in the royal family, was yearning for change long before he stepped away from royal duty, claims Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. Meghan was the person with whom he could share his goals and dreams. Together, they have been trying to make it a reality.
"What has struck me is Harry's commitment to put his royal birthright aside and use his voice to make a difference," said Durand to People magazine. "In Meghan he found a partner in that."
The authors addressed how the British media got it all wrong about the couple. "While the British media often blamed royal wives, in Harry's case, he was very much on board with distancing himself from the public eye," write the authors. "It's why he gravitated to the military, avoided the pomp as much as he could, and didn't give his child a title," they said.
Scobie added, "Meghan emboldened Harry. He needed someone by his side that is strong enough to weather the same storms, but also someone who wasn't afraid of breaking the rules and going against the norm. What we see now is a couple doing things their own way."
Their friends have spoken candidly about the royal couple. A source told the authors that Harry "feels that there were so many occasions when the institution and his family could have helped them, stood up for them, backed them up, and never did," as per another People magazine story.
Meghan's friends have previously spoken in favor of her and tried to speak against the harsh bullying she faced at the hands of some media houses in the UK. Her closest friends wanted to "stand up against the global bullying we are seeing and speak the truth about our friend," said a former costar to People magazine. "Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths," a co-star said of Meghan when she was pregnant.
"We worry about what this is doing to her and the baby," added the costar. "It’s wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they’re pregnant," they had said previously.
The pressure had indeed been great and was pivotal in the couple's decision to live a quieter life away from the royal family. They chose to settle down in Los Angeles where they continue to do their charity work and set up their social enterprises.
While the book portrays the royal couple's side of the story, Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, previously said in a statement, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."