The new royal biography, Finding Freedom, is being serialised in The Sunday Times, with a plethora of a new details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s relationship being revealed. Co-authored by BAZAAR‘s Royal Editor at Large, Omid Scobie, and fellow royal correspondent, Carolyn Durand, the latest book excerpt reveals what really happened during Meghan and Harry’s very first meetings.
According to the book, Meghan was “newly single” following a two-year relationship. She joked to a friend that she hoped to find “a nice English gentleman to flirt with” during a trip to London. And it would seem that her dream quickly became a reality.
The Sussexes were set up on a blind date at Soho House’s Dean Street Townhouse. As Finding Freedom revealed, during their first meeting, Harry drank beer, Meghan a Martini, with a source describing the pair as being “in their own little world.” Apparently that first meeting lasted around three hours. Scobie and Durand explained, “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 and Harry decided to meet again the next night. A “friend” told the co-authors, “Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other… It was as if Harry was in a trance.” Meanwhile, Meghan is said to have “called one of her girlfriends,” and asked, “Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?”
According to the book, the second meeting was officially a date, as the pair met again at Dean Street Townhouse, this time for a “romantic dinner.” Meghan and Harry entered the venue via a private entrance, so as not to be spotted together. While a friend told the Finding Freedom writers that the Sussexes “chatted a lot,” the evening “ended chastely with Harry returning to the palace. Still, their chemistry had been electric throughout the meal as they both flirted. A touch of an arm here, direct eye contact there.”
It would seem that the couple experienced love at first sight, as a “friend” explained, “Harry knew they would be together at that point… She was ticking every box fast.”
The couple’s burgeoning connection escalated from there. For their third meeting, Meghan took a taxi to Kensington Palace. The excerpt detailed, “When Harry opened the door, the prince towered in the small hallway with lots of coats hung on hooks and his boots by the door, just like any regular home.”
Six weeks later, Harry whisked Meghan away to Botswana, for their now famous romantic vacation. The book explained, “They stayed for most of the trip in one of the $1,957 a night deluxe tents,” and according to a source, “[Meghan] 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,” the authors revealed, as a source confirmed, “they would have happily spent the entire summer there together.”
The connection between the couple was already obvious during their trip, and “Meghan said that she and Harry talked so much, about things she rarely shared with anyone.” According to a friend, the duchess revealed, “I’ve never felt that safe… that close to someone in such a short amount of time.”
Of the Botswana trip, a friend revealed to the co-authors, “Technically the getaway was just their third date… but by then, they were each already dancing around the idea that this just may be a forever thing.” Prince Harry began covertly visiting Meghan in Toronto, where she was filming Suits, and the rest is well-documented history.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar US.