Finding Freedom, the new book that promises the inside story on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to quit royal life, lays bare the conflict at the Palace. Linda Stewart asks well-known faces what they make of the claims by royal reporters Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie
The revelations about the relationship between Meghan and Kate just keep coming. This time, a new book by royal reporter Omid Scobie and Elle royal contributor Carolyn Durand is delving into what led to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from their senior royal family roles.
Meanwhile, fascinating insights into Meghan's relationship with her sister-in-law Kate Middleton have also garnered a lot of interest, with the book revealing that the pair never really grew any closer since the days when Meghan was Prince Harry's girlfriend.
While they weren't feuding, the book says Kate made little effort to develop a closer relationship with Meghan.
The authors say that when Meghan began dating Harry, she had hoped Kate would reach out and help her to understand everything an outsider to 'The Firm' would need to know - but it didn't happen.
"Meghan was disappointed that she and Kate hadn't bonded over the position they shared, but she wasn't losing sleep over it," Scobie and Durand wrote.
One source told the authors that Kate felt that they didn't have much in common other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace, and things didn't get any better once Meghan and Harry moved to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor in 2019.
The revelation that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had never visited the new royal couple after they got married and spent parts of their first year at their rented country cottage in Oxfordshire has also sparked online gossip.
Here, some well known figures give their verdict on the book's claims.
Lindy McDowell, columnist
The book's called Finding Freedom. It should have been called Finding Fault.
Whether or not Harry and Meghan contributed to it (they insist not) it does the pair no favours. Whatsoever.
It makes them look sour, full of their own importance and petty, petty, petty. Claims about William's pre-wedding advice to Harry and about how Kate failed to invite Meghan along when she was going shopping smack of those snatches of gossipy tattle you sometimes overhear on the bus.
"And then he turned round and he says that to me... I mean who does he think he is? As for her she wouldn't even offer you a lift into town."
It's not very dignified and it doesn't cast the Sussexes in a particularly flattering light. It's a whingefest.
It's claimed the pair felt they were the stellar act in the House of Windsor and that the palace "vipers" (ie courtiers) were concerned they would eclipse all others. Including, presumably, the Queen.
There are some telling snippets. As an actress, Meghan allegedly used to call on the paparazzi to up her profile.
So much for the woman who claimed she didn't even know what tabloids were.
Generally though there's not a whole lot of the "bombshell" revelations we were promised.
The book is about as explosive as a half empty bottle of Coke lying in the back of the fridge. You open it expecting fizz. But it's just flat. And if Harry and Meghan were hoping for a brand boost from this publication they were sadly mistaken.
It cements their image as a petulant pair. It's their way - or the highway to LA.
The claim that they were stung by the absence of their family photo on the Queen's desk during her Christmas speech is the sort of huffiness you'd expect from adolescents. Not a couple of adults on the cusp of their 40s.
The book had promised to dispel "the many rumours and misconceptions that plague the couple." But there's nothing bombshell about it.
The problem with Finding Freedom is finding anything truly interesting in it.
Heidi McAlpin, writer
There are no winners in the current public airing of royal laundry. As the Queen has always attested, 'never complain, never explain'. Then along came a 30-something American woman with an independent life and successful career under her belt. As such, Meghan had as much of an understanding of the British royal family as any millennial American.
She certainly knew about them, having posed in front of Buckingham Palace when she visited London as a wide-eyed schoolgirl. But she soon discovered being a member of The Firm means putting your old life on ice and adopting a much more 'Stepford Wife-ish' existance. If Meghan believed her marriage to Harry would provide her with a global platform to air her personal views on all sorts of topics, not least politics, then she really didn't do her homework. The royal family famously keeps their political opinions to themselves; something of an anacronism to Ms Markel.
Of course Meghan would want to keep up her activism, a worthy trait which undoubtedly attracted the lovestruck and equally opinionated prince. However, as William had already shown with Kate, the royals aren't paid by the public to tell us what to do.
They are there to represent their country at home and overseas as a 'soft power' in a hard world. Kate got the memo; being born here giving her an instinctive understanding of public perception and expectations. Meghan, however, was thrown in at the deep end and partnered with a husband seemingly eager to cut his ties with the ultimate establishment set-up.
So to take sides with one duchess or another is missing the subtext. And, even more damaging, it is pitting female against female in a way that feeds paparazzi and fuels tabloid clickbait. Kate has done nothing wrong. Meghan, with Harry's unflinching support, seems to have made ill-judged moves from the start, and continues to do so.
Her behaviour towards her father was lamentable, the footage where she and Harry appear to be trying to woo a Disney exec during a film premiere looked embarrassing and the couple's continuous drip-feeding of 'their side' of the story, whether through press releases, paparazzi lawsuits or the release of this unauthorised biography (with a little help from their friends, allegedly) sees them digging an ever-deeper abyss.
The damage has been done. Harry and Meghan are forging a new life in a rented uber mansion, accompanied by her mum, surrounded by their newfound A-list friends and embedded in a lifestyle as alien to him as it is a dream fulfilled to her.
And it may well have worked had Covid-19 not reared its ugly head.
While Kate and the royals keep up their charitable Zoom calls and occasional socially distanced charity visits, Finding Freedom is being released to a world more concerned with their personal financial future and wellbeing than this.
As the Covid-19 fallout continues, the lives and laments of current and ex-royals seem less and less relevant. Meghan and Harry seemed to want to have their cake and eat it but, as Marie Antoinette learnt to her cost, the people will decide what's best.
Kim Kelly, Local Women magazine editor
In Meghan's last public appearance, her clothes, her poise - she really nailed it.
I really like Kate, I think she's a wonderful role model in the world of the Kardashians. She's everything I think young people should aspire to - she's so ladylike and flying the flag for dignified, beautifully dressed nice girls.
I'm a bit on the fence about Meghan, although it's hard not to get dragged into the Meghan bashing.
But in her last appearance she came out wearing that turquoise dress and then wearing the green dress, and I thought 'Say what you like, you won the race'.
Meghan certainly is a naturally good dresser and is able to act like a princess - and now is the time to leave her alone.
The royal family have, over the years, been through so many ups and downs and this is small fry compared to some of the stuff they've endured.
As a Kate fan I don't think we should be criticising Meghan. We should do as Kate would do - Kate would say nothing, but just smile and nod.
Chris Love, PR consultant
It's one of those things where there's something every day about it on Twitter - you can't get away from it. Everyone is talking about it.
Kate and William had the fairytale romance. They went to university together and Kate was a commoner marrying into the royal family.
We thought she was one of us. There was that hope for young girls that one day they might marry a prince.
During lockdown Kate and William were really relatable - they did video conferencing and they were very much talking to us, like they were talking to friends.
I remember a day or two after her wedding Kate was spotted pushing a trolley around the supermarket car park. She was just like one of us.
I think with Meghan, she was a Hollywood actress and we all knew her from her role in Suits. She was very different to Kate because she had an established role already and it was harder to relate to her. I think all this alleged sibling rivalry and arguing is damaging the image of the royal family.
Orlaith McAllister, reality TV star
We are women and mothers at the end of the day and we all have our own personal struggle.
I like that both Kate and Meghan have come from semi-normal backgrounds and I like Meghan's confidence.
From what I've seen in the Press, she seems quite confident in terms of being able to take on the royal family.Both Kate and Meghan come across well and I admire them both for the struggles they've had to face and the differences they've had to make in their lives.
They're had to deal with a lot of pressure, the publicity and the social media.I have had to deal with it myself and it isn't easy to take criticism.
Donna Stewart, singer and Dolly Parton impersonator
I don't mind Meghan, but I like Kate better. She's diplomatic and good at her job and she is always very professional and is made for the role.While I understand fully why Meghan and Harry moved away, I think Meghan should have been coached more by the royal family at first and been made to understand more what she was in for. Kate and Meghan could have been really good buddies, they knew what the other was going through.
Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family by Carolyn Durrand and Omid Scobie will be published by Harper Collins on August 11