Meghan Markle was allegedly still living with her then-boyfriend Cory Vitiello when she met Prince Harry on a blind date in 2016, a new royal biography has claimed.
British writer and investigative journalist Tom Bower claimed in his newly released book, “Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors,” that Markle allegedly persuaded Violet von Westenholz to set her up on a blind date with her childhood friend Prince Harry back in 2016, Page Six reported. International Business Times could not independently verify Bower’s claims.
Markle reportedly met von Westenholz after the then-“Suits” star was hired to wear Ralph Lauren’s clothing during the Wimbledon tennis tournament in the summer of 2016, according to the book. Von Westenholz was working as a publicist for the designer at the time.
Markle allegedly asked von Westenholz to set her up with Prince Harry while chatting with her at Wimbledon, Bower claimed.
Von Westenholz sent Prince Harry photos of Markle before she agreed to help with the blind date, according to the book.
“Her problems were familiar to all unknown, unmarried actors in their mid-thirties — fear of loneliness and personal and financial insecurity,” Bower wrote of Markle, according to Page Six. “Unsurprisingly, Meghan was preoccupied by her own financial security — and finding a husband.”
Von Westenholz’s father, Piers, is an interior decorator and antique dealer and a friend of Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla. Prince Harry and his older brother Prince William played with von Westenholz as children during weekend visits to her family’s Hertfordshire country estate and during joint family holidays.
Markle’s two-year romance with Vitiello was heading south when she met Prince Harry, but they still shared a home together at the time, Bower claimed.
The book claimed that two weeks after their first date on July 1, 2016, Prince Harry secretly flew to Toronto, Canada, and stayed there for about one week in the house of Markle’s friend, whom Bower suggested could be Jessica Mulroney.
“With Cory still sharing [Meghan’s] home, the situation for Meghan was tricky but manageable,” Bower claimed in his book.
“At the end of the week, after he returned to London, Meghan was convinced that her spell was cast and the relationship with Harry would be sealed. She told Cory that their affair was over,” the author alleged.
The Toronto-based chef was allegedly “relieved” over the split, according to the book, because his and Markle’s final months together “had been unpleasant,” according to the book.
Bower was a reporter on BBC’s “Panorama” and an award-winning producer of over 200 television documentaries. He is known for his unauthorized biographies of the royals and notable figures in the business and media world, including Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Conrad Black and Richard Branson.
Markle and Prince Harry previously opened up about their first date during their first joint interview back in 2017.
“It was definitely a set-up,” said Markle, who was then engaged to the Duke of Sussex, according to Harper’s Bazaar. “It was a blind date.”
The pair met for a drink but immediately hit it off. “I think very quickly into that, we said, ‘Well, what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again,'” she added.
Prince Harry revealed that they “met once, then twice, back-to-back—two dates in London, in the beginning of [July 2016].”
The couple confirmed that the person who introduced them was a female mutual friend but did not disclose her identity at the time to protect her privacy.
Markle and Prince Harry went on to tie the knot in May 2018 and welcome two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. They settled down in the former actress’ home state of California in 2020 after stepping back from their roles as working royals.
“Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors” is out now in the U.K.