'Look at Diana': Meghan Markle was warned not to date Prince Harry, new book says
A bombshell new book detailing Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle's relationship from their first date to their exit from the royal family claims the actress was warned about dating the prince.
"Look at Diana," a friend told the actress, according to the new book, "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family."
"They hate royal wives and girlfriends. They will come after you," the unnamed friend added.
A third and final excerpt of the new book by veteran royal reporter Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie was published by the Times of London on Sunday and paints a picture of the early days of the couple's courtship, including new details about their dates and how their coupling went undetected by the press for six months.
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."
On their first date, the actress and the prince, who were set up by a mutual friend, met for drinks at the members only Soho House Dean Street Townhouse in London. Harry had a beer, while Meghan sipped a martini as they chatted for nearly three hours, according to the book, which adds there wasn't a goodnight kiss. But there was instant chemistry.
"Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other," a friend said, according to the excerpt. "It was as if Harry was in a trance." Meghan was equally smitten and reportedly called a friend to ask, "Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?"
Looking back, there were signs about Meghan's secret romance during the trip to London when she met Harry. She shared photos from her trip on social media, but never anything of the prince, and followed a new Instagram: @SpikeyMau5, which happened to be Harry's secret account.
The couple saw each other again the next two nights before Meghan went back to Toronto, where she was filming "Suits." Six weeks later, the couple went camping in Botswana on what was technically their third date. After that, they were inseparable.
Prince Harry told the actress "I love you," after three months, which she reciprocated, according to the book. The couple took turns taking transatlantic flights to spend time together. Harry would take commercial flights to Toronto and travel with only one protection officer to help him stay under the radar.
The prince's presence in the neighborhood became an open secret, but never traveled beyond a community Facebook page, according to the book, until one day Harry received a call from the palace that a tabloid was going to run with news of his relationship in 24 hours. While he was advised to return home due to his minimal security, Harry refused, according to the book.
"The following day Meghan felt somewhat bittersweet about the situation," the book says. "On the one hand, she was disappointed that their secret was out. It was no longer just the two of them...She knew that keeping things quiet meant that they could get to know each other without pressure or further worries that came from reporters covering and commenting on their burgeoning romance."