In one excerpt, the authors write that Meghan “felt that women of colour like her were labelled demanding or aggressive” and the criticism went beyond any sort of “culture clash” from her being American.
“If a man got up before dawn to work, he was applauded for his work ethic. If a woman did it, she was deemed difficult or ‘a bitch,’” the book says, seemingly referencing a story from the Daily Mail in November 2018 where Meghan was criticised for (gasp!) sending out text messages to aides, waking up every day before 5am and having a “formidable work ethic.”
An anonymous friend quoted in the book said that it “was open season on Meghan” in the tabloids as people looked for “anything and everything to criticise.”
“She’s the easiest person in the world to work with,” the source added. “Certain people just don’t like the fact she stands out.”
The book also explores the difference between what racism looks like in the US versus the UK and points to examples of coded, subtle racism Americans might not pick up on.
A major theme of racism in the UK centres on the question of who is authentically “British”. It can come through in subtle acts of bias, micro-aggressions such as the palace staffer who told the biracial co-author of these words, “I never expected you to speak the way you do”, or the newspaper headline “Memo to Meghan: we Brits prefer true royalty to fashion royalty”. While the columnist was criticising Meghan for her Vogue editorials, there was another way to read it, which is that to be British meant to be born and bred in the UK — and be white.
A Sussex spokesperson said in a statement to HuffPost that the couple did not participate in the book.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom,‘” the statement said. “This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
Kensington Palace had no comment when reached by HuffPost Monday.
Harry has repeatedly condemned the “ruthless campaign” British tabloids launched against his wife.
“The reports that I saw were very, very, very difficult reports of how she was treated,” the son of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. said.
“I’m not surprised,” he continued, “because these institutions have been here forever. And the institutions have been structured in a certain way.”
King added that “there was going to be pushback” when the Duke of Sussex fell in love “with someone who is not in the traditional set of circumstances,” and added that “we have to still continue to work through to rid our society of racism.”