Royal sources have indicated there is concern at the palace that the full scale of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s involvement in a sympathetic biography written about them may yet be revealed in court.
“A lot more” could emerge on “what was briefed for the book” if the case she has brought against Associated Newspapers over publication of material from a letter written to her father proceeds, a source told the U.K. Sunday Times.
This week, Meghan apologized for “misleading” a British court, saying she had forgotten that she had briefed her then-press secretary Jason Knauf on material to be passed to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, authors of Finding Freedom.
A royal source also told the Times: “There is frustration all the way to the top, because a lot of people told them that it was unwise to proceed with the case. Now you have been found out. They [the royal family] will think they should never have taken it to court.”
“Before Harry and Meghan pulled the trigger, we wanted to walk them through what it would look like if it went all the way and face up to that,” the source said. Instead the couple employed the services of Schillings, “a firm known for its aggressive tactics on behalf of celebrity clients,” as the Times put it.
Until this week, Meghan and Harry had always denied collaborating with the authors. But Knauf said in a statement to the Court of Appeal that he attended a two-hour meeting with Scobie and Durand for which Meghan provided “briefing points she wanted me to share with the authors,” which included, “detail on how the tiara for her wedding had been selected and that it had been misrepresented by media.”
Prince Harry also sent detailed communication to Knauf, outlining what he would like the authors to focus on.
In further text messages revealed Friday, Meghan said she wrote the letter to her father to stop Harry from being “constantly berated” by members of the royal family, including his father Charles, who were suggesting Meghan visit her father to ask him to stop talking to the media.
Sources described as close to Charles appeared to deny this, telling the Times that he was “sympathetic to the issue, but not didactic about the solution.”
In a statement issued this week Meghan said: “In the light of the information and documents that Mr Knauf has provided, I accept that Mr Knauf did provide some information to the authors for the Book and that he did so with my knowledge, for a meeting that he planned for with the authors in his capacity as Communications Secretary. The extent of the information he shared is unknown to me.”
Meghan added: “I apologize to the Court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the Defendant or the Court.”
As The Daily Beast has previously reported, Meghan sued Associated Newspapers after the Mail on Sunday published excerpts of a letter she had written to her father, which she said violated her privacy and copyright. Meghan won that case with a summary judgment. Associated Newspapers is appealing that decision, and as part of its appeal produced the new evidence from Knauf.