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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are enjoying a new surge of popularity in the US, with the Duchess of Sussex drawing praise for her televised interview with comedian and veteran chat show host Ellen DeGeneres.
But in staunchly republican France, the couple have seen scathing headlines.
Paris Match, considered to be one of France's most successful and influential magazines, weighed in on the controversy of the Duchess’s recent court case with the Mail on Sunday.
The front page headline accused Meghan of lying, carrying the front page headline: “Why Meghan lied.”
Inside the magazine, another headline on the story reads “The Mask Slips”.
Peter Allen, a Paris-based British journalist wrote the magazine’s criticism of the couple is particularly significant because “the French media has been quite respectful towards them in the past”.
He added that these headlines would be “devastating… for Project Sussex”.
The Duchess of Sussex was forced to apologise in court over claims about Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s “unofficial” biography of the couple, Finding Freedom.
Meghan and Harry had distanced themselves from the book, which made several unflattering claims about the Royal Family – including claims about a royal rift over a tiara and an anecdote about Princess Michael of Kent’s “racist” brooch.
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Former press secretary Jason Knauf told a court Meghan had not only known about his meeting with the authors of the biography but had even sent him briefing notes.
He said that the royal couple “authorised specific cooperation in writing” in December 2018.
Scobie and Durand say they did not interview the couple personally but instead spoke to "more than 100 sources, with access to the couple’s inner circle.”
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However, tucked away in an "author's note" at the back of the book is the revelation that the couple had been approached “where appropriate”.
The note reads: "We have spoken to close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organisations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate, the couple themselves."
As part of legal action over a Mail on Sunday article, Meghan had initially denied having anything to do with the Finding Freedom authors.
However she later said that she had not “remembered” emails in which she was told about a two-hour meeting between the authors and Knauf, who was her press secretary at the time.
In a statement, she said: “I apologise 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."
- Meghan Markle
- Prince Harry
- Royal Family
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