Totally out of touch: Finding Freedom
Totally out of touch: Finding Freedom Credit: PA

If Finding Freedom was designed as a piece of PR 三级成人视频for the Duchess of Sussex, then her team needs sacking. Because once again, the people trying to make Meghan “likeable” have done a woeful job. Her characterisation in the book is painfully earnest, and eager, and completely – sorry, friends across the Pond – American. 

Finding Freedom doubles down on this characterisation, using anecdotes and descriptions that I would never dare use in fiction for fear of the red-pen treatment my editor would give me. Case in point: “Theirs was a love story that took hold in Africa – where now Meghan, on the last day of an incredible three-week stay, stretched her body into the perfect warrior pose.

“She quietly took in her surroundings from the grounds of their final home away from home on this trip, a modern villa in Livingstone, Zambia, just under ten miles upstream from Victoria Falls. The rising sun washed over her makeshift yoga garden, while an exotic flock of birds that looked as if they had just had their tails dipped in pots of colourful paints serenaded her.”

Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have been working the royal beat for years, but without wanting to question their expertise, I’ve got some thoughts on how they could have done it.

Let’s take a line about Meghan’s childhood. Finding Freedom reads: “Meghan’s willingness to help others and her drive to excel meant she often was deemed ‘fake’ by classmates at school who felt it was impossible for anyone to be that ‘perfect.’”

A more Brit-friendly line would have been something like: “Meghan’s willingness to skive lessons and share her stolen Marlboro behind the PE block, or use her older sister’s ID to buy bottles of White Strike, meant that she was deemed a ‘total legend’ by classmates at school.”

Can't we hear the real stuff? Meghan Markle, as she once was Credit: Mark Large

三级成人视频Finding Freedom tells us: “A good friend of Meghan’s called her Grace Under Fire, because despite whatever pressure she was under, she didn’t fall apart.”

Her work ethic is described thus: “From the time she was a student, juggling school and jobs, through her years grinding out auditions for bit parts, to her becoming a successful TV star who continued to push the boundaries of her career by launching a popular lifestyle website, Meghan always had a plan.”

三级成人视频In my Meghan propaganda, it’s slightly tweaked to read: “From the time she was a student, she knew how to do the absolute bare minimum and get away with it. She’d turn up to work half an hour late for work, carrying an industrial coffee and swallow down a fistful of paracetamol. But she always knew which bars would have creepy old dudes who’d ply you with free drinks – Meghan always had a plan.”

The line that many Brits will find hardest to read without squirming is when the book dips into issues ecumenical: ‘‘Part of what helped Meghan get through this difficult time was her faith. Her relationship with God and with the church is extremely important to her,” a close friend said. “That’s something most people do not know about her.”

A proposed rewrite on the topic of spirituality would go something like: “She probably believes there’s something up there – I mean it’s a nice thought isn’t it? Anyway, how have you been? Terribly hot recently isn’t it? More tea?”

三级成人视频It’s not Meghan’s fault that we’re a nation of horrible cynics who only really like watching other people fail, and it’s not the book’s authors’ fault either. But the woman presented in Finding Freedom, however accurate a portrayal it may or may not be, is not the kind of woman the British public were ever going to be able to hold to their chest.

We don’t like people who do yoga and look at sunsets on holiday. We like people who drink three double gin-and-tonics before dinner and then try to speak Spanish by doing English with a slightly offensive accent.

A royal affair: the newlyweds leave Windsor Castle in May 2018 Credit: PA

三级成人视频We don’t like people who pack their suitcases using dryer sheets (a story recounted in the book). We do like people who shove two outfits into a duffle bag and turn their pants inside out if needs be. The only part of the book that seems to do the Duchess any real favours is the bit where they claim she was very happy to urinate in the bushes on a camping trip with Prince Harry. 

Because the Sussexes have become earnest LA types, they’ve become more and more like characters in the kind of soap opera that the middle classes who consider Hollyoaks beneath them can permit themselves to enjoy: entertainment puppets, who are useful given that The Archers is currently unrecognisable, but not an ideal outcome for a couple who seem to crave the affection of the world. 

If they’re reading any news at all, they can’t be unaware that the tide of public opinion is often against them, which must be a miserable thing to live with. Despite the fact that both the couple and the authors have been clear that no interviews were given for the book, it seems plausible that they hoped Finding Freedom might help their popularity.

三级成人视频It is, on the face of it, a very sympathetic portrayal of a beautiful young couple in love, striving to find their place in the world. But then, perhaps the misplaced belief that the characters in this book are likeable to your average Brit is born of the same thinking which caused some of the Sussex Royal problems in the first place. 

Read more:

Finding Freedom drags the royal biography – and the Royal family – into the show business gutter