2020/07/27 · Author: · Comments: 00 · Filed under: News

Over the weekend, the first extracts of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s forthcoming biography – Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family – were published, heightening the climate of anticipation that has been building around the book. Among the revealing insights disclosed in the biography is the whirlwind romance that constituted the early stages of the couple’s relationship, including the fact that Harry was the first of the two to say, ‘I love you.’

The latest extract, published by the Times and covered in the MailOnline, details the genesis of Prince Harry and Meghan’s relationship, with the Times stating that ‘What began with a mystery matchmaker rapidly turned into a secret romance.’ Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand relate that the pair were set up on a blind date at Soho’s Dean Street Townhouse in London, where they instantly felt a ‘palpable attraction’.

Chatting over a beer (Harry) and martini (Meghan), the date went on for three hours, during which Harry talked about his philanthropy, with the pair bonding over a shared desire to want to ‘make change for good’. Sources told Scobie and Durand Harry left in a ‘trance’ while Meghan quickly told her friends that ‘this could have legs’, with the couple said to have been ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other.

The pair were ‘in their own little world’ and quickly made plans to meet again – the very next night, in fact, at the same Soho House outpost. There they shared a discreet dinner, during which staff were said to have ushered them in via a staff entrance usually used for fish deliveries. The second date proved another success, with Harry subsequently telling friends that Meghan was ‘ticking every box’. The couple initially kept the relationship under wraps, with a third date the following night involving Meghan being secretly taken to Kensington Palace. There, Harry sought to impress her with anecdotes about himself, telling friends that he’d been a ‘little mad’.

As the romance continued to blossom, Harry asked Meghan on a trip abroad with him six weeks later. She flew in from Toronto to spend a night with the royal at Kensington Palace, before the pair flew to Johannesburg in South Africa the following morning. They then flew privately to Maun International Airport and travelled on to Okavango Delta, an inland river delta in northern Botswana renowned for its stunning wildlife, where they camped in luxury tents.

The trip was said to be such a success that the couple would have ‘happily spent the entire summer there together’. A friend told the book’s authors that Meghan ‘came back smiling and just completely spellbound’, having said of the trip: ‘I’ve never felt that safe… that close to someone in such a short amount of time.’ It soon became clear, added the friend, that ‘they were each already dancing around the idea that this just may be a forever thing.’ Within just three months of their first meeting, Harry told Meghan that he loved her. She is said to have been quick to reciprocate, replying: ‘I love you, too’.

Although the pair sought to stay out of the spotlight, with Harry making under-the-radar trips to Toronto to visit his girlfriend, rumours began to circulate after royal security staff were spotted in Meghan’s neighbourhood. When a tabloid broke the story of the relationship, Meghan was thrust into the news. The biography relates that in just 24 hours, she was contacted by former acquaintances she hadn’t heard from in months or years, receiving over 100 messages. When a photographer waited for Meghan by her car in the hopes of securing a photo, she called the police, later saying to a friend: ‘This is how it’s always going to be, isn’t it?’

In the wake of the relationship coming to light, Meghan was also subject to racist abuse on social media. Harry soon grew wary of those, even among his own circle, who expressed misgivings about whether Meghan was ‘suitable’ – leading him to wonder if this was motivated by racial or class biases. He soon felt compelled to make his public statement defending Meghan.

It was an episode that was to set the tone for much of the couple’s relationship with the media, with Harry since having spoken out on multiple occasions against the unfair treatment of Meghan in the press and on digital platforms.

Source: Tatler

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