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The Queen, Kate Middleton and Prince William wish Meghan Markle happy birthday on Instagram as the Duchess turns 39 in LA days before release of bombshell biography

The Queen, Kate Middleton and Prince William wish Meghan Markle happy birthday on Instagram as the Duchess turns 39 in LA days before release of bombshell biography

The State
  • Duchess of Sussex will celebrate her 39th birthday in Los Angeles today
  • The Queen, the Cambridges, Charles and Camilla all shared public well-wishes
  • Comes as the royal family reels from the release of the Sussexes' biography
  • Finding Freedom claims to lay bare a rift between the Sussexes and the Firm

Meghan Markle birthday

The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent public well-wishes to the Duchess of Sussex on her 39th birthday. 

The official Royal Family Instagram account this morning posted a photograph of the Queen, 94, and Meghan Markle on their first joint royal engagement alongside the warm message: ‘Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday!’ 

It was followed shortly afterwards by posts from Kate and William’s Kensington Palace account and the Clarence House account, run by the household staff of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The messages come as the Royal Family reels from the bombshell claims made in the Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom, released next week, which lays bare a rift between the couple and senior members of The Firm. 

The book, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durant, claims relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges grew so bitter that by March, when Harry and Meghan officially hung up their HRH titles, the couples were barely speaking. It is also said the Queen was ‘blindsided’ by Harry and Meghan’s ‘Megxit’ announcement.

There are also fears the book’s publication could spark a fresh rift within the Firm.

Today’s birthday posts suggest the royals, led by the Queen, are eager to quash the damaging public image of feuding households and present a united front.  

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The official Royal Family Instagram account this morning posted a photograph of the Queen, 94, and Meghan Markle on their first joint royal engagement alongside a warm message

The official Royal Family Instagram account this morning posted a photograph of the Queen, 94, and Meghan Markle on their first joint royal engagement alongside a warm message

It was followed shortly afterwards by a post by Kate and William's Kensington Palace account. The couple chose a solo image of Meghan speaking to a young schoolgirl with the caption: 'Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Sussex today!'

It was followed shortly afterwards by a post by Kate and William’s Kensington Palace account. The couple chose a solo image of Meghan speaking to a young schoolgirl with the caption: ‘Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Sussex today!’

The media spotlight in recent weeks has focused on the sensational claims made in Finding Freedom by authors Omid Scobie and Cathryn Durand. 

Authors Scobie and Durand they have spoken to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’, with all the information in the book having ‘at least two sources.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex deny giving any interviews or contributing to the book directly, but the intimate nature of some details raises questions over who the sources were. 

The explosive biography has claimed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘hurt’ the Queen by unilaterally mapping out their future royal roles without her approval. 

Her Majesty is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the launch of the SussexRoyal website which accompanied their Megxit announcement in January. 

Royal author Andrew Morton revealed yesterday how Kate has been left ‘devastated’ by the feud enveloping the royal family, telling New Idea: ‘There’s no doubt the rift between Harry and William has deeply affected Kate. It upsets her.’ 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall added their own well-wishes with this birthday post, shared shortly after the Cambridges'. The photo shows the Duchess of Sussex smiling on an engagement on her and Prince Harry's royal tour of New Zealand in the autumn of 2018

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall added their own well-wishes with this birthday post, shared shortly after the Cambridges’. The photo shows the Duchess of Sussex smiling on an engagement on her and Prince Harry’s royal tour of New Zealand in the autumn of 2018

Meanwhile Phil Dampier said the bombshell book would do ‘little to heal the relationships’ between the Duke and Prince William, 38, explaining: ‘I’m told that the pair are speaking at the moment, but the conversations are stilted and difficult.’

While Omid and Durand detail how Kate ‘did little to bridge the divide’ with Meghan, Andrew pointed out that the Duchess had ‘definitely sided with her husband.

He said the royal had been acting as a ‘loyal wife’, adding that there had been ‘split blood on both sides’.

Meanwhile he called the divide between Prince Harry and Prince William ‘just a very sad situation’, explaining that the duo have now ‘gone their separate ways.’ 

The messages come as the Royal Family reels from the bombshell claims made in the Sussexes' biography Finding Freedom

 The messages come as the Royal Family reels from the bombshell claims made in the Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom

Phil added that the biography was concerning because it could potentially damage the relationship between the two brothers.    

Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan moved to the US with their 14-month-old son Archie just a few weeks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the globe, and like everyone else have been living under lockdown.

The family are living in a $14 million mansion owned by filmmaker Tyler Perry.  

Birthday celebrations are likely to be low-key as the state of California they now call home reportedly has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the US.  

Despite not being able to make any appearances in person, Harry and Meghan have used their time in lockdown to deliver a number of virtual addresses on causes close to their hearts, including sustainable tourism and race relations in the US.    

The couple have been working behind the scenes to urge top executives across the world to stand in solidarity with groups calling for a Facebook boycott.

The duke and duchess have spoken with a number of organisations leading the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which is calling on businesses to pause advertising on the platform over the social network’s failure to do more to remove hate speech.

A source has said: ‘As we’ve been developing Archewell, one of the areas the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been keen to address is online hate speech, and we’ve been working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it.’

From March 31, Harry and Meghan stopped using their HRH styles and ceased to be senior working royals. 

The couple’s new life in Los Angeles comes at a cost but it is not known how they will pay for their lifestyle although there has been speculation about book deals and lecture circuit contracts the couple may have signed.

The Duchess of Sussex is celebrating her 39th birthday after a whirlwind 12 months that has seen her life transformed. Pictured, Harry and Meghan speaking from their Los Angeles home

The Duchess of Sussex is celebrating her 39th birthday after a whirlwind 12 months that has seen her life transformed. Pictured, Harry and Meghan speaking from their Los Angeles home

Finding Freedom: The bombshell revelations from Harry and Meghan’s biography 

Harry and William fell out, when Duke of Sussex branded older brother a ‘snob’

Prince Harry took offence when his ‘snobby’ brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. 

Harry took offence when William told him: ‘Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.’

Harry is said to have considered the choice of the words ‘this girl’ to be condescending.

‘In those last two words, ‘this girl’, Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world,’ claims the book. ‘During his ten-year career in the military, outside the Royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession.’

Prince Harry took offence when his 'snobby' brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. Pictured: The brothers with Meghan Markle and Kate Middle at Westminster Abbey in 2018

Prince Harry took offence when his ‘snobby’ brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. Pictured: The brothers with Meghan Markle and Kate Middle at Westminster Abbey in 2018

Meghan was disappointed Kate never reached out

 Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends – while the Duchess of Sussex was ‘disappointed’ she never reached out to her or visited.

 The Duchesses ‘struggled to move past distance politeness’ and had ‘nothing in common other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace’, according to the authors of Finding Freedom.

In one particularly awkward encounter when Meghan was dating Harry, Kate went alone in her Range Rover on a shopping trip – despite the fact Meghan was also going to the same street.

The lack of any friendship between the pair was confirmed in 2018 when the Sussexes announced they wanted to base their family at Windsor.

Despite this frostiness, Meghan felt hurt at newspaper stories of the ‘duelling duchesses’ and was angry at the failure of the palace press office to correct them.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends - while the Duchess of Sussex was 'disappointed' she never reached out to her or visited. The pair are pictured at Wimbledon together in 2018

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends – while the Duchess of Sussex was ‘disappointed’ she never reached out to her or visited. The pair are pictured at Wimbledon together in 2018

Courtiers branded Meghan Markle a ‘showgirl with lots of baggage’ and said ‘there’s something about her I don’t trust’ 

A courtier in the Royal Household has said ‘there is something I don’t trust’ about Meghan Markle, the book claims.

The book, Finding Freedom, claims as soon as Meghan was introduced to members of the Royal Household, tensions emerged.

One source claimed: ‘She comes with a lot of baggage.’ Another suggested: There’s just something about her I don’t trust.’

Another described Meghan as ‘Harry’s showgirl

Harry was convinced he was going to marry Meghan after the second date

The biography describes in detail the couple’s first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: ‘Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?’.

Before arriving in the capital she had also told a confidant that she’d be happy for ‘a nice English gentleman to flirt with’ while promoting Suits in Britain.

During that first date at London’s Dean Street Townhouse the couple spent three hours in conversation, Harry drinking beer and Meghan sipping martinis. Harry was said to be ‘in a trance’ and had told himself: ‘I’ve got to up my game here’ when trying to impress the LA-born actress.

The book says: ‘Meghan had enough dating experience to know a charmer when she saw one, and Harry was obviously not at all that’ – adding the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other and bonded over their joint ‘passions for wanting to make change for good’.

The biography describes in detail the couple's first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: 'Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?'. The couple are pictured in March

The biography describes in detail the couple’s first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: ‘Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?’. The couple are pictured in March

According to one friend quoted in the book, Harry and Meghan ‘chatted a lot’ but the evening, like the night before, ended chastely, with Harry returning to Kensington Palace despite their ‘electric chemistry’.

Describing how they flirted throughout, the authors said: ‘A touch of an arm here, direct eye contact there.’

The pair had now met just twice but Harry already knew ‘they would be together at that point’, a friend said, adding of Meghan: ‘She was ticking every box fast.’ Meghan, who was in London visiting, documented much of her trip on social media.

The night out was so successful the second date the following night at the same venue where they are said to have sneaked in via a side door, hidden from view by a delivery truck bringing in produce and fresh fish from Billingsgate Market.

Prince Harry was the first to say 'I love you' in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were 'immediately obsessed' with each other. They are pictured in March this year

Prince Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’ in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other. They are pictured in March this year

One trusted waiter was asked to serve them the entire evening to keep it private.

According to one friend quoted in the book, Harry and Meghan ‘chatted a lot’ but the evening, like the night before, ended chastely, with Harry returning to Kensington Palace despite their ‘electric chemistry’.

Describing how they flirted throughout, the authors said: ‘A touch of an arm here, direct eye contact there.’

The pair had now met just twice but Harry already knew ‘they would be together at that point’, a friend said, adding of Meghan: ‘She was ticking every box fast.’ Meghan, who was in London visiting, documented much of her trip on social media.

Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’   

Prince Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’ in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other.

Meghan’s necklace controversy

Meghan Markle was left ‘frustrated and emotional’ after a palace aide ‘scolded’ her for wearing a necklace with the initials H and M before she and Prince Harry were engaged, according to Finding Freedom. 

The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised £184 14 karat gold chain by Los Angeles-based designer Maya Brenner – believed to have been a gift from the prince – while out shopping in Toronto in December 2016.

The bold move was seen as an early indication of the seriousness of their relationship – a month after the news of their love affair emerged. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex later announced their engagement in November 2017. 

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The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised chain - believed to have been a gift from the prince - while out shopping in Toronto

The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised chain – believed to have been a gift from the prince – while out shopping in Toronto

According to a source close to the couple, following the publication of the images Meghan received a dressing down from a palace aide.

‘She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images — and new headlines,’ they said.

Prince Harry was REFUSED Queen’s offer of a trial period’ that would have allowed him and Meghan Markle to return to the fold 12 months after Megxit 

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit, 

The review was insisted upon by courtiers and other royals, with the Queen keen to let Harry know he could return to the fold if he changed his mind. 

However, the Duke of Sussex was keen to make a ‘clean break’ and had to be persuaded to agree to the trial period.  A source said: ‘He was adamantly opposed to the review process.’

 Harry is thought to have been against the idea because it came from ‘the institution’ and he feared that a review would lessen the impact of their departure, allowing the media to write they could return.

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit. Meghan is pictured with the Queen in June 2018

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit. Meghan is pictured with the Queen in June 2018

Harry believed the ‘old guard’ at Buckingham Palace disliked Meghan and wanted to make her life difficult. 

That belief is thought to have fuelled his desire to not include a review option in Megxit.   

Harry ‘ditched an old friend for criticising Meghan’ 

The Duke of Sussex was so ‘incandescent’ with rage at the racist abuse Meghan Markle received after their relationship went public that he ditched an old friend for gossiping about her.

Harry was shocked at the reception given to his new girlfriend by his social circle and the wider public, according to Finding Freedom.

He was especially concerned about ‘the ugliness of racism…both unconscious and intentional’.

Charles didn’t know about Harry’s press statement 

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry’s new girlfriend.

But it’s release coincided with Prince Charles’ tour in the Middle East, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall having arrived in Bahrain to meet the country’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

The palace decided to go ahead with the statement, much of it drafted by Harry himself.

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry's new girlfriend, upsetting Charles who didn't know about the statement until 20 minutes before. Pictured: Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind Charles, and the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Also pictured: Duchesses of Cornwall (front), Cambridge (middle) and Sussex (back)

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry’s new girlfriend, upsetting Charles who didn’t know about the statement until 20 minutes before. Pictured: Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind Charles, and the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Also pictured: Duchesses of Cornwall (front), Cambridge (middle) and Sussex (back)

His father only learnt of the statement 20 minutes before it was released and, unsurprisingly, it soon dominated the news cycle.

Prince Charles and his team were left crushed and disappointed, though Charles also understood the intervention was a necessary one.

However, the episode only served to prove that Harry felt the need to prioritise the woman he loved over duty to the royal family. 

Harry had a  secret Instagram account

Harry used the username SpikeyMau5, inspired by Canadian DJ Deadmau5, before freezing the account after his relationship with the former Suits star emerged in October 2016.

The private Instagram profile had a mouse-shaped helmet for a picture – but piqued attention from Meghan’s legions of fans when she became just one of two people following it four years ago just after the couple had a blind date at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho.

 The ‘Spikey’ element of its name came from the code word used by Scotland Yard officers guarding the Duke of Sussex 24/7.

Harry and Meghan’s £1500 a night camping trip 

Six weeks after their first date, Harry took Meghan to Botswana where the pair stayed in £1,500-a-night tents.

A friend is quoted as saying: ‘She came back smiling and just completely spellbound.’ Meghan’s phone was also said to be full of photos, including selfies of her and Harry.

‘I’ve never felt that safe that close to someone in such a short amount of time,’ she reportedly told a friend.

They continued their relationship in secret with Harry flying out to Canada to spend time with her.

But the authors said that ever since the couple’s trip to Africa, ‘their romance had been on a fast track’.

‘Technically the getaway was just their third date but by then, they were each already dancing around the idea that this just may be a for ever thing,’ a friend said. 

The biography also claims: – 

  • Meghan used to tip off the paparazzi when working as an actress in Canada, despite her later going on to claim she didn’t understand the ‘tabloid culture’.
  • Meghan’s friends claimed she endured prejudice from the royal household, with a senior staff member overheard telling a colleague: ‘There’s just something about her I just don’t trust.’   
  • Harry felt ‘unprotected’ by his family and disparaged within palace walls for being ‘too sensitive and outspoken’.
  • Senior courtiers in other households felt that the global popularity of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘needed to be reined in’,
  • A tearful Meghan told friends about their decision to quit royal duties: ‘I gave up my entire life for this family.’
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