‘Ticking every box’: Details of Harry and Meghan’s first date revealed in new book

The latest extracts from Finding Freedom, published in The Times, claim it “was as if Harry was in a trance” after meeting Meghan for the first time.

a group of people standing around a plane: Early days of their relationship saw the pair flying back and forth between Canada and the UK

© Reuters Early days of their relationship saw the pair flying back and forth between Canada and the UK

She is said to have called one of her friends and said: “Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?”

Their first date was at Soho House’s Dean Street Townhouse in central London, according to authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.

Meghan was not long out of a two-year relationship and had joked with friends she would “settle for a nice English gentleman” on a visit to London.

A friend told Scobie and Durand that after the three-hour date: “Harry knew they would be together at that point… she was ticking every box fast.”

The next night they arranged to return to the same place for a romantic dinner, sources told Finding Freedom.

An extract from the book reads: “Despite the palpable attraction between them, there was no goodbye kiss, no expectation, just a hint that something was there and they hoped to see each other again soon.

Meghan Markle in a suit standing in front of a building: The duo announced they were engaged in 2017 - a year after confirming their relationship

© Other The duo announced they were engaged in 2017 – a year after confirming their relationship

“‘Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other,’ a friend said. ‘It was as if Harry was in a trance.'”

Their third date saw Harry surprise Meghan with a trip to Botswana.

The pair stayed in a $1,957 (£1,500) a night tent while in the African country, and three months later they had said “I love you”.

Harry apparently planned the Botswana visit in secret, only telling Meghan to come to London and that he would sort the rest.

The couple flew to Johannesburg together and later got on a two-hour private flight to Maun International Airport.

The duo stayed in the luxury tent in Okavango Delta, a 5,800 square mile wetland in Botswana’s safari country.

a man holding a flower: The couple have been married since 2018

© Reuters The couple have been married since 2018

The book adds: “A friend said: ‘She came back smiling and just completely spellbound.’

“Her phone was full of photos – the nature they had seen, candid snaps of herself, and selfies with Harry.

“According to the friend, if Meghan didn’t have to return to Canada for work and Harry to his life in London, ‘they would have happily spent the entire summer there together’.

“Meghan said that she and Harry talked so much, about things she rarely shared with anyone.

“‘I’ve never felt that safe,’ Meghan told her friend, ‘that close to someone in such a short amount of time.'”

The couple managed to continue their whirlwind romance quietly for six months – flying back and forth secretly between London and Toronto before their relationship was leaked to the tabloids.

“For Meghan, she was all in,” the book says.

“Nothing could get her to slow down, not even a friend who cautioned her about getting involved with Harry. ‘They hate royal wives and girlfriends. They will come after you,’ he said. ‘Look at Diana.'”

The couple confirmed their romance in November 2016 and a year later were engaged.

They then married in 2018 before Meghan, who was given the title of the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to their son Archie in May 2019.

In March this year, the couple announced they were stepping down from royal duties and relocated to Los Angeles.

The book, which a spokesman for the couple said they were not involved in, details the couple’s relationship and the strains they allegedly faced as working royals.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom,” said a spokesman.

Buckingham ­Palace  has declined  to  comment.

Finding Freedom is due to be published in August and is being serialised in The Times and The Sunday Times.

Source: News.sky.com

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