Meghan Markle 'Emboldened' Prince Harry: She Is 'Strong Enough to Weather the Same Storms'

"What we see now is a couple doing things their own way," says Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom

Prince Harry had been yearning for change long before his dramatic exit from royal duty, claims a best-selling new book — and in Meghan Markle, he found someone who shared his dreams.

In Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, veteran royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand detail the couple's extraordinary journey. The book, which features exclusive interviews with the couple's friends, is excerpted in this week's PEOPLE cover story.

"What has struck me is Harry's commitment to put his royal birthright aside and use his voice to make a difference," says Durand. "In Meghan he found a partner in that."

A spokesperson for Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, previously said in a statement, "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."

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The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit Ireland
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Gareth Fuller-Pool/Getty

The book sheds new light on Meghan and Harry's stunning decision to step down as working royals. "While the British media often blamed royal wives, in Harry's case, he was very much on board with distancing himself from the public eye," write the authors. "It's why he gravitated to the military, avoided the pomp as much as he could, and didn't give his child a title."

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Phil Noble/Getty

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Adds Scobie: "Meghan emboldened Harry. He needed someone by his side that is strong enough to weather the same storms, but also someone who wasn't afraid of breaking the rules and going against the norm. What we see now is a couple doing things their own way."

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