The Duchess of Sussex was advised not to wear a necklace with her and Prince Harry’s initials on because it would “encourage new headlines”, a book has claimed.
Meghan, 39, wore the £230 14-carat gold “M and H” chain during a trip to her local florist in the early days of the couple’s relationship, according to the new biography Finding Freedom.
But after she was seen wearing it, she got a telephone call from a senior Kensington Palace aide, which left her feeling “frustrated and emotional”, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write.
The book claims: “Two days after Meghan was photographed buying flowers at her usual florist, wearing her new initial necklace, she received a phone call from a senior Kensington Palace aide.
“She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images – and new headlines.”
Meghan knew the aide had good intentions, but she found the experience “surreal”, Scobie and Durand claim.
Finding Freedom, which chronicles the beginning of the Sussexes’ relationship through to their decision to start a new life in Los Angeles, also tells of how the duchess was given SAS training after announcing her engagement.
The two-day security course at the regiment’s headquarters in Hereford taught her how to prepare for high-risk scenarios such as a kidnapping, hostage situation or terrorist attack, the book says.
Meghan was “bundled into the back of a car” by someone pretending to be a terrorist and driven to a safe location before being saved by officers.
The duchess was also given etiquette training similar to that which the Duchess of Cambridge had after she got engaged to Prince William.
The book claims: “Set to undergo the same informal training Kate had embarked upon following her engagement to William – a series of instructions that covered everything from how to most gracefully exit your chauffeured sedan while wearing a pencil skirt to when to courtesy to members of the family several rungs up the hierarchy from you – Meghan was connected to a team of experts.”
Finding Freedom, which is published today, also alleges that Prince Charles’s official 70th birthday family photograph was an “absolute nightmare” to plan.
Scobie and Durand claim his sons Harry, 35, and William, 39, blew “hot and cold” when the photo was being organised.
A source said: “Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available.”
But the book also claims Harry and his father grew closer when he contracted coronavirus in March.
Despite the fact “Charles is extremely focused on his public image” and this has made for a “complex” relationships with his sons, Harry immediately rang his father on hearing the news, the authors write.
The book says: “The doctors described the Prince of Wales as in ‘good spirits’ and his symptoms as mild, it was still enough to fill Harry with worry.
“He immediately called Charles at Birkhall, his Scottish home where he was now quarantined.
“Harry regularly checked in on his father until he was out of quarantine and recovered – as well as Camilla, who isolated herself as precaution.”
A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom.
“This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
Clarence House and Kensington Palace declined to comment.