Prince Harry wanted to find new route after palace 'told him no', author claims

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Harry, pictured in January 2020, had wanted to make changes to dealing with the press, a biographer says. (WireImage)

Prince Harry wanted to form a new way of working within the Royal Family after being told ‘no’ for the first time, according to his biographer.

Omid Scobie, who co-authored Finding Freedom, which was released this week, said he believed a conversation with the palace about the press “planted the seeds” which led to him and his wife Meghan Markle leaving their senior royal roles.

Scobie told Newsweek: “Harry's relationship with the press itself, that's something he will always struggle with.

"There were times within his role as a working member of the royal family he wanted to change that royal rota system.

“He wanted to bring in foreign press, they wanted to be able to work with a more diverse media landscape, and that was really the first time they were told 'no.'

"And on top of that, they were told ‘maybe if you want to do that you have to fund that yourself’ and that was a conversation in summer 2019.”

Harry’s spokesman has previously said the couple did not co-operate with Finding Freedom.

Harry, 35, has previously spoken about the press as problematic, saying the sound of camera clicks reminds him of how his mother Diana died.

He and Meghan set out a plan to work outside the royal rota in early 2020 when they announced their desire to forge a new path that would allow them to make their own money but also continue to represent the Queen.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19:  The Princess Of Wales & Prince Harry  (henry) Attend  Vj  Day Commemorative Events  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Harry has said the camera clicks remind him of his mother's death. Together here in 1995, two years before her death. (Getty Images)

Read more: Nine things we learned about Prince Harry and Meghan as Finding Freedom is released

However that was not allowed by Buckingham Palace, and they left their senior royal duties entirely instead.

In April this year they went further than simply operating outside the royal rota, when they cut ties with four UK tabloids, over what they called “distorted, false or invasive” stories.

The royal rota is the name given to a group of newspapers and broadcasters who cover engagements by the Royal Family and who share news between them. It includes broadcasters such as the BBC and Sky, as well as print publications like the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the news agency Press Association.

On the Sussex Royal website, Harry and Meghan previously explained: “Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives.

“This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting. Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions.”

And Harry said in October 2019: “I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash it takes me straight back so in that respect it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.”