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New book explores why Prince Harry and Meghan walked away from royal family

Excerpts from “Finding Freedom” were published in a British newspaper Saturday.
/ Source: TODAY

A new book about Prince Harry and Meghan is claiming to disclose new revelations about the couple and their decision to step back from royal life.

In "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family," veteran royal reporters and co-authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie describe how the royals felt overshadowed and snubbed in the palace, which ultimately led to their departure from the royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan are the subject of a new book called "Finding Freedom," which explores their exit from the British royal family.
Prince Harry and Meghan are the subject of a new book called "Finding Freedom," which explores their exit from the British royal family.DPPA / Sipa USA via AP

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A spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made it clear that Harry and Meghan had no involvement in the book.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom,’" said the statement. "This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stunned the world, including Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family with their decision to step back from royal life earlier this year. And while their public image portrayed a smiling extended family, the book authors claim a different reality.

Durand and Scobie say that there was intense tension and jealousy between Prince William and his younger brother, leading up to Harry and Meghan's departure. The book says that while the brothers' relationship was already strained, it was made worse by Harry's decision to leave royal life and that William took the news of his younger brother's decision hard.

Prince William reportedly told a friend: “I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that anymore; we’re separate entities.”

Three extracts from the book, which will be released Aug. 11, were published in the British newspaper The Times of London. Some of the more stunning revelations include that Harry felt “unprotected” by his family and disparaged within palace walls for being “too sensitive and outspoken” and that Meghan felt she had given herself over to the royals. “I gave up my entire life for this family,” the Duchess was quoted as saying.

In another excerpt from the book, a member of staff from another royal household described the Sussexes’ team as "the squeaky third wheel" of the palace. Harry and Meghan apparently felt slighted by the queen — their photos were noticeably absent from her desk during her televised Christmas address. And yet the door to royal life may not be completely closed to Harry and Meghan — the queen reportedly told Harry that he can return to royal life whenever he wants.

Regarding the constant tabloid criticism, Durand and Scobie write that Meghan said it felt like “death by a thousand cuts” (the phrase is also the name of a Taylor Swift song). Since stepping back from the royal family, life under the microscope has only seemed to continue for the couple. On Thursday, they filed a lawsuit in California against a member of the paparazzi for unlawfully trying to photograph their son Archie, now 14 months old.