Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was published last week and presents the story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from 2016 to now. It aims to put across their side of the story and the authors spoke to around 100 people in their inner circle including friends and courtiers. However, the tone of the book has been branded “saccharine”, something which tends to go down better in the US than the UK.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror editor Russell Myers.
Discussing the book last week, Ms Gripper said: “I think the other thing I found is that the book is very much written, I feel, for an American audience, the style of it.
“If you love the more gushing, over-the-top tone that Meghan tends to go with, it is very much written in that kind of an atmosphere.
“It was making my teeth hurt, it was so saccharine in places.”
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New Meghan and Harry biography has been branded “saccharine”
Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie
Mr Myers agreed: “You’re totally right.”
He added: “I think it is quite an American concept to really be talking people up like this.
“My mother-in-law is American and I’m always saying she is the eternal optimist, and that doesn’t sit well with Brits a lot of the time.
“But when you’ve got quotes from Meghan’s friends calling her ‘Super Meg’, ‘breathtaking’, ‘grace under fire’, ‘indefatigable’… I mean, come on!
Meghan was called “breathtaking” by a friend
“I wish I had some friends like that maybe who would give me some nicknames like that. ‘Super Russ!’”
Ms Gripper joked: “I was going to say, yeah! Do you not describe people as breathtaking very often?”
Mr Myers even claimed the book had become a hagiography ‒ a biography that treats its subject with undue reverence.
This is based on the original meaning, which was to describe the life of a saint.
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He added that the book is “very one-sided” in that it only puts forward Meghan and Harry’s viewpoint, rather than that of William and Kate, for example, when describing the feud between the couples.
The book also seems to feature plenty of “score-settling”, he argued, whether that be with the Cambridges, with Charles, courtiers or the press.
While both the Sussexes and the authors claim the royal couple did not directly contribute to the book, they evidently allowed many of their friends and advisers to do so.
These people would naturally have a viewpoint that backs Harry and Meghan to the hilt, fair or otherwise.
A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to finding Freedom.
“The book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
However, Mr Scobie and Ms Durand wrote in their authors’ note: “We have spoken with close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organisations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate, the couple themselves.”
They added that they wanted to portray “the real Harry and Meghan” and “present the truth of misrepresented stories”.
Ms Gripper noted that the book took every opportunity to take swipes at the media, despite the authors being a part of the press pack.
She said it even made her quite “cross” to hear Mr Scobie on the radio asking “where was the positive coverage?” when there was overwhelmingly positive coverage of both Meghan and Harry at the time of the wedding and early marriage.
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