A bombshell biography of the royal couple has been released today entitled ‘Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Family’ by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durrand. The book has been touted as the account that tells Meghan and Harry’s side of the story, particularly in how they were treated by the Palace and in their feud with Prince William and Kate Middleton. While the royal couple did not announce their intention to step down as senior royals until January this year, it was clear as far back as August 2018 that Harry was prepared to make sacrifices for his wife.
Indeed, one of the first indications of this was his decision not to take part in the annual summer grouse shoot at Balmoral, which Harry reportedly gave up to keep Meghan happy.
The couple were staying at the Queen’s Aberdeenshire estate but did not join the rest of the family in the royal tradition.
The Duke of Sussex had been participating in these hunts from a very young age with his father Prince Charles and brother William.
It usually takes place over the bank holiday weekend and even Prince George took part that year, at the age of five.
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It is believed that Meghan, a keen animal-lover and animal rights campaigner, was not comfortable with her husband taking part in the blood sport.
Harry, who had been taking part in the hunt for 21 years, also surprised gamekeepers at Sandringham when he pulled out of the shooting activity over Christmas in 2017.
Charles and William went without him for their annual ritual on the 20,000-acre estate.
A royal insider told : “The Boxing Day shoot was always going to be a tricky issue.
The Duchess of Sussex has previously expressed her love of animals by refusing to wear leather or fur.
She has also adopted dogs in the past and tries to eat vegan during the weekdays.
A friend of Harry’s said: “If Meghan’s not comfortable with him doing the shoot, he wouldn’t want to upset her.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment at the time.
While Harry dropped out, five-year-old George was the star of the show, who the Queen drove in her Range Rover to witness on his first ever grouse shoot.
Charles joined for lunch, along with his younger brother Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as well as his niece Zara Tindall and her husband Mike.
A source said: “It was a very jolly family lunch. The men and Princess Anne all shoot in the morning, then the wives and children join the party for the shoot lunch on the moor.”
William and Harry first started shooting in the Nineties ‒ William was snapped in 1994 when he killed his first stag with a single shot.
It is believed the young prince was “blooded”: smeared on the forehead with the blood of the animal.
This followed on from Charles’ initiation more than 30 years before.