MEGHAN MARKLE struggled to find her identity as a mixed race child to a white father and black mother, a biography on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has claimed.
The newly-released Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Family, not only delves into the couple’s relationship but explores her early childhood amid race tensions in the US.
Born to a white father from Pennsylvania and a black mother from Los Angeles, whose marriage was unconventional for the era, Meghan spent her early years in a predominantly-white area.
The community was reportedly not always welcoming to her mother Doria who often got mistaken for her nanny due to the colour of her skin.
As a young girl, Meghan was always encouraged to embrace both sides of her heritage, one Christmas receiving a customised doll set featuring a family that resembled the blended races in hers.
The book recalled her delight at the gift, later remarking her parents had “crafted the world around me to make me feel I wasn’t different but special”.
Nevertheless there were instances in which she felt torn between her white heritage and black one, notably being pressured into identifying her ethnicity while at school in Year 8.
The biography alleged Meghan said: “You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other – and one half of myself over the other.”
Instead her father insisted she “draw her own box”.
Once she’d reached university, a place she was sure she’d have the freedom to embrace her identity fully, she encountered more ignorance in the form of a roommate inquiring about her divorced parents.
The book reported the encounter left Meghan feeling as though she not only had to justify her parents’ breakdown of relationship, but her own very existence.
While Meghan learned to fully accept her identity as a mixed race woman, the British tabloids were relentless in their attack on the future royal.
As they caught wind of Harry and Meghan’s relationship, they began dissecting her social media accounts, picking apart her every outfit and scrutinising her every move.
Soon came the racially-charged headlines signalling the beginning of the tabloids’ unhealthy obsession of the former actress, and as an extension, her mother.
What began as subtle bias, escalated into barrage of hate from ordinary members of the public, who took to social media to fire racially charged epithets at Meghan.
While she, ironically, adopted the famed British stiff upper lip, Harry could not, the book claimed.
Having lost his own mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, to the relentless tabloids and crazed paparazzi, he could not sit by and watch his then-partner endure the same chaos.
A source told the biography’s authors Harry would have done anything to protect Meghan, however was “frustrated by the limits of his ability”.
Seeking advice from his older brother Prince William, he allegedly decided to release a press statement directly addressing the blatant racism and sexism towards his partner; a rare move from any royal who usually refrained from commenting on their personal lives.
However, Harry was said to have argued: “I’m not in my 20s anymore. I’m 32, and this is the woman I could marry one day.”
Harry’s father, Prince Charles, learned only of this statement a mere 20 minutes before it was released, although recognised the situation had reached breaking point.
“The past week has seen a line crossed,” the statement, released in 2016, read.
“[Harry’s] girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.
“Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces, and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
The break of silence signalled two things; it was the first official confirmation of Harry and Meghan’s relationship, one which Harry was prepared to fiercely defend until the end.