JAN MOIR: If this is finding freedom, count me in Harry! 

Another exciting week in the crazy lives of the exiled Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Honestly, I hope this fabulous soap opera of entitlement and tatty pomp, rippled with a long raspberry of rudery in the direction of the old country, lasts forever and ever.

First, their Finding Freedom biography was published and what an enjoyable read it is.

Nestled between precise details of every perceived slight and snub suffered over the last terrible four years was the kind of gold-plated information that left no one in any doubt about their credentials as perfect human beings.

I particularly liked wee baby Meghan asking her mother ‘what can we do about the homeless?’ before returning to her plate of rusks.

Not to mention the heart-rending factoid that Harry ‘worries what others think of him’ and that his favourite film is The Lion King.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bought a new nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion

Of course it is! One can see that the prince identifies with Simba the lion cub; another dopey ginger who is initially denied his birthright and gets blamed for stuff he did not do.

Second, we discovered that the Sussexes have bought a new home and have been living in Santa Barbara since June.

I sincerely hope their fugitive flight from oppression is finally over, along with their days of mansion-hopping.

They seem to have landed on their feet, complete with wet and dry saunas, in the ten-star luxury we all know they love.

The mansion has a torrid history, having been previously owned by a Russian oligarch accused of threatening to murder his wife. But who cares about that kind of detail when a couple of mill have been knocked off the asking price?

In sunny Montecito, everything makes sense. Well, a sort of sense. A move to the sun-dappled gorgeousness of the area known as the American Riviera?

That must have been the plan all along — and why not?

Here, amid their sweeping lawns, tiered rose gardens, Italian cypress trees, lavender bushes, 100-year-old olive trees, tennis court, tea house, children’s cottage, swimming pool, guest house and the five-car garage that surround their nine-bed, 16 bathroom villa on their eight-acre estate, let us hope Harry and Meghan have found the simplicity and peace they crave.

Moving here is the equivalent of slipping into a mansion in Portofino or a villa with beach views in St Tropez.

It is divine, with a lovely climate and shops that sell designer Goop-ish leather clogs, oatmeal cashmere hoodies and bottles of special £20 detergents for washing them.

Perusing the new Sussex digs, I did feel a pang of envy for the first time — for who could not love the yellow Spanish-style chimney pots, the windows shaded by striped awnings, the blue pool and the outdoor play area for little Archie?

Who wouldn’t want to slide down that helter skelter of five-ply privilege and endless luxe? Colour me green and count me in.

The couple now have the Santa Ynez Mountains behind them and the Pacific Ocean in front of them, not to mention the dusty drear of the Royal Family behind them and a sparkling future in front of them. Do we dare to dream that they might stop moaning?

The lovely home cost just over £11 million. They bought it with their own money, which is a miracle of loaves and fishes proportions, given that Harry’s only paid job was in the Army and Meghan appears to have bought into a movie star’s lifestyle on a TV actress’s wages.

Their neighbours are Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande and Gwyneth Paltrow —whose individual earning power takes them into a different league from Harry and Meghan.

Apparently the couple ‘feel proud to have struck out on their own’ and are claiming that they bought it with a mortgage and without any help from Prince Charles — which raises more questions than it answers.

How did they get a mortgage? Or manage to prove their earning potential for a start?

The pair purchased the sprawling property, which sits on 5.4 acres of land, for just over $11 million which includes tennis court, swimming pool, guest house and the five-car garage

The pair purchased the sprawling property, which sits on 5.4 acres of land, for just over $11 million which includes tennis court, swimming pool, guest house and the five-car garage

I wish them all the best in this exciting new beginning — but wouldn’t it have been more prudent to pay back the taxpayers’ money they owe for Frogmore Cottage before splashing out on this no-expenses spared crib?

They wasted £2.4 million of our hard-earned on a home we now learn they had little intention of ever living in, long-term.

Before the organic paint in the nursery was dry, it had been abandoned for pastures new — while we picked up the bill.

All those mature trees planted at great expense to ensure their privacy, the air conditioning, the central heating?

Left to rot while they pay it back on the drip — a measly £18,000 a month back over 11 years. It is insulting, to every single one of us.

Paying it back as soon as possible would have earned them so much goodwill. Instead here they are, splashing out on themselves and California dreaming.

Now in the privacy of his own home — his first — Harry can get up in his Zoom pulpit and lecture the world to his heart’s content. This week his little homily was on racism — and how we can all do more to help, every single one of us.

I would have more respect for ol’ Simba if he admitted to his own silly mistakes in the past — calling an Army colleague the P-word and wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party — but he does not. He can only lecture, not learn.

The couple have certainly moved to the right place — not only has the local council declared racism ‘a public health crisis,’ the local pizzeria sells cauliflower-crust pizza and even the soup kitchen is organic — with lectin-free chicken bone broth being a particular speciality.

Meghan will be down there with her ladle before you can say: is the turmeric freshly grated?

What the new book and this new move have proved is that the Sussexes are bridge-burners extraordinaire. They focus on where they are going, not where they have been.

Despite everything, the sincere wish of many Brits is that it all works out for them — not least because they have torched every route and friendship, every family tie and bond of kinship that leads back to their old life.

Now they may have mountain and ocean views along with hot and cold running luxury, but with a debt of honour still outstanding, the suspicion remains that they still cannot see the wood for the trees.

A luvvie, yes, but he’s the best Bond

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been nearly four months since I last found an excuse to write about my hero Daniel Craig.

Now talk of who is and who is not the best James Bond has brought me back to my pet subject.

Off-screen, Daniel, above, can be a right pain. He is always complaining about playing 007, as if the whole thing were beneath him.

As a survey reveals who is Bond fans' favourite. Jan Moir backs Daniel Craig as the best

As a survey reveals who is Bond fans’ favourite. Jan Moir backs Daniel Craig as the best

Some say he has ruined Bond. They want to see the humour and silly gadgets brought back.

These fools prefer the arched eyebrow of Roger Moore and the hirsute masculinity of Sean Connery. Yet Daniel Craig is the only Bond who looks like he really means it.

His Bond ripples with a kind of darkness and patriotic fervour that are irresistible. Unlike any of the others, I believe he really could always get the girl and beat up the baddie. In addition, his Bond cares about Queen and country, which makes me care about him.

He may be a ghastly thesp in real life but on screen, he is a hero. And if you think he is a bit too right-on for comfort, one can only shudder at the thought of what comes next.

The authors of Finding Freedom do not claim Meghan and Harry didn’t collaborate on the book, only that they were not interviewed.

What does that mean? I suspect every oleaginous word was sanctioned by them.

Take the gratuitous swipes at Meghan’s ex-husband, Trevor Engelson. The film producer has always refused to talk about her.

Yet in the book he is dismissed as ‘brash’; as someone who did not ‘support Meghan enough’ and a husband who ‘liked being the breadwinner’.

What an utter bounder, I don’t think. When he didn’t take Meghan to the Oscars in 2013, they concluded he ‘didn’t want to share the limelight’.

Six months later, they were divorced. All this could be interpreted, by their own standards, as bullying and cruel.

What about Trevor’s feelings and mental health, kids? Or do they only count if it is someone you care about?

Take a jacket for sunbathing, Carrie

Boris Johnson is having a vacay in Scotland this year. Holidaying in Scotland is one of those things — like burying your relatives in the garden — that is only posh when posh people do it.

For everyone else it is hope over experience, a poor plan B and, in the case of Trump Turnberry, quite literally the last resort.

However, here are my tips on how to survive in my homeland during August.

I. The bad news: the Edinburgh Festival usually means the capital’s streets are full of tourists, mime artists, determined buskers, everyone on Mock The Week and comedian Arthur Smith.

In addition, all the restaurants have been booked up for months. The good news: this year all events are taking place digitally, if at all — hurrah!

Boris Johnson's fiancee Carrie Symonds pictured on a yacht while holidaying (file photo)

Boris Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds pictured on a yacht while holidaying (file photo)

Locals searching for an upside to Covid have found a reason to cheer at last. And if Boris wants a table at The Scran & Scallie to eat Orkney scallops or bacon-wrapped grouse, all he has to do is pick up the phone.

II. Midgies, avoidance of. Midgies are small, pesky, annoying creatures, also called ‘Sturgeons’ for obvious reasons.

During the twilight hours from June to mid-August they are impossible to avoid.

Try proper insecticides if you like, but the only thing that really works is wearing a pop sock on your head. Do not venture near any banks while thus attired, or you may cause alarm.

III. Weather-wise, look on the bright side. A tourist website for Nordic visitors points out that ‘the wonderful thing about Scotland’s weather is that it also rarely gets too warm in the summer to stop you enjoying all the outdoor activities and sightseeing’. That’s one way of putting it!

IV. Boris and Carrie, pictured left on a previous holiday, would do well to bring a warm sweater or fleece, waterproof jacket and stout walking boots. These are a must for sunbathing anywhere north of Perth.

Pop star Rita Ora visits fashion model Kate Moss's table in Formentera, Spain

Pop star Rita Ora visits fashion model Kate Moss’s table in Formentera, Spain

Every summer, millions of us suffer from the annual malaise called holiday-itis.

Symptoms include furious itching, turning green and red, then segueing back to pure green again before bursting into tears and demanding a strong drink.

Holiday-itis is caused by overexposure to everyone else’s holiday snaps on social media, while personally remaining marooned and working in a hot, sticky city.

Rita Ora (pictured) and Kate Moss on Formentera, the Beckhams tanning their tattoos in Puglia, Cindy Crawford in Miami, J.Lo in the Hamptons… it’s all too much, particularly in a pandemic. However there are one or two exceptions.

These include the cheering sight of Dame Joan Collins and Brigitte Macron in their swimming cossies, both looking marvellous despite having ten grandchildren between them, not to mention a surfeit of decades.

How do they do it? Brigitte eats a mixture of ten fruits and vegetables every day, while Joan drinks one vodka martini with dinner and always wears sun protection. Shall we have what they are having? I think so!

Dog lover James Middleton shares his advice on keeping pets cool in the heat

The Duke of Sussex will credit sport with helping bring people ‘back from the darkest places’ as he appears in a new Netflix documentary.

Prince Harry, 35, who is currently living in a $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, stars in a new Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, which is set to air on the platform on August 26 and shares the history and stories behind the Paralympic Games.

In a trailer for the film, the Duke says: ‘There isn’t anything else in the world that can bring you back from the darkest places like sport.’

Prince Harry follows in  the footsteps of Meghan Markle, 39,  with the move after the Duchess offered a voiceover for a Disney film earlier this year.

Sources revealed in January that Prince Harry and Meghan plan to make a living by providing voiceovers and producing documentaries on ‘worthy’ issues such as mental health and climate change

The Duke of Sussex, 35, credits sport with helping bring people ‘back from the darkest places’ as he appears in a new Netflix documentary

Elsewhere in the trailer, Prince Harry adds: ‘Yes, lives are being changed on the track. But lives are also being changed on the stands.’ 

In the clip, the Duke can be seen wearing a relaxed green shirt and a pair of simple grey jeans and reclines on a green sofa as he speaks from within a studio space. 

The sporting subject of the documentary is a passion of Prince Harry’s, with the royal setting up the Invictus Games in 2014.

The film will premiere in over 190 countries worldwide on the streaming service on August 26.

The royal is following in the footsteps of his wife Meghan Markle, 39, who offered a voiceover to a Disney documentary earlier this year

The royal is following in the footsteps of his wife Meghan Markle, 39, who offered a voiceover to a Disney documentary earlier this year 

Its release was planned to coincide with Tokyo 2020 but it is now hoped it will now form an important part of the celebrations leading up to the Paralympic Games next year. 

In January, Prince Harry and Meghan announced they planned to quit as senior royals, seek financial independence and move to North America. 

The couple, who are breaking away from the monarchy to earn their own money in the US, have had to ditch using Sussex Royal as their brand name.

Meanwhile Prince Harry is following in his wife’s footsteps with the move, with former actress Meghan agreeing to do the narration for a Disney documentary Elephant after a direct request from filmmakers, 

The Duchess signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity (pictured, promoting the documentary)

The Duchess signed a voiceover deal with Disney in return for a donation to an elephant charity (pictured, promoting the documentary) 

The move came after the Duke of Sussex was filmed touting his wife’s voiceover skills to Disney boss Bob Iger at the UK premier of Lion King in July.

Her fee for the project went entirely to the Elephants Without Borders charity – an organisation dedicated to conserving wildlife and helps protect the animals from poaching.

Shortly after the Duke and Duchess announced their intention to step back from royal duty, a senior Netflix executive said the streaming giant would like to work with them. 

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January that the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan, adding: ‘Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.’ 

The decision to work with Netflix is also a move reminiscent of former US president Barack Obama and his lawyer wife Michelle. 

The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who are currently working with Netflix on several documentaries, sources revealed

The duke and duchess want to follow in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who are currently working with Netflix on several documentaries, sources revealed 

In January, sources confirmed the couple had discussed their plans with the former US president and his wife and wanted to mimic the way they had managed to build a successful, but dignified, life for themselves after the White House.

Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have earned a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix. 

A source said: ‘They have found huge commercial success without actually looking like they are getting their hands dirty, to put it bluntly, and retaining their popularity.

‘In fact it is fair to say that their star has soared since leaving the White House, particularly Michelle’s, and this is something Meghan admires very, very much.’   

After stepping down as senior members of the Firm in March, the couple signed with New York-based Harry Walker Agency in June, which represents the Obamas and the Clintons.   

Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie also claimed the couple have big plans for the next few years, and are basing their working model on the Obamas.

Since leaving the White House the Obamas have begun to earn a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix

Since leaving the White House the Obamas have begun to earn a small fortune by selling rights to their autobiographies and setting up their own production company, which has bagged a lucrative deal with Netflix

He said their plans were ‘not too dissimilar’ from what the former president created after leaving the White House and setting up Higher Ground production company.

He pointed to the Obama’s multiyear production deal with Netflix to produce films and documentaries covering topics like race, class and civil rights.  

The trailer’s release comes after it emerged Prince Harry and Meghan have secretly bought a private family home in Santa Barbara, ditching Tyler Perry’s 12-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion for ‘considerable privacy.’

The couple bought the sprawling nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion in upscale Montecito for $14.65million on June 18, making them neighbors with celebs Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres

The news that Prince Harry will appear in the documentary comes after it emerged the Duke and Duchess have snapped up a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara, California (seen above)

The news that Prince Harry will appear in the documentary comes after it emerged the Duke and Duchess have snapped up a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara, California (seen above) 

Harry and Meghan bought the luxury property after securing a $9.5million mortgage, it is believed, implying that they made a down-payment of more than $5million.  

Reports said yesterday that Harry and Meghan purchased the home with help from Prince Charles, but a source told DailyMail.com that the couple ‘feel proud to have struck out on their own and they are saying they bought it without any help from his family.

‘They do have a mortgage, but they see this as their own place, free from relying on anyone else – a proper family home,’ the source said. 

At their peak Harry and Meghan’s combined wealth had been estimated to be around $43million.  

Meghan Markle planned to ‘go out with a bang’ for her Farewell Tour, according to Finding Freedom

Meghan Markle planned to ‘go out with a bang’ with showstopping outfits for her farewell tour of final royal events, according to Finding Freedom. 

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, wowed in breathing outfits and dazzling colours on her final round of engagements in March – wearing £26,400 worth of new clothing for the brief five day visit. 

At the time Vanity Fair described it as a ‘masterclass in revenge dressing’ and compared the looks to the little black dress worn by Princess Diana to the Serpentine Gallery on the same night Prince Charles gave his infamous interview about Camilla.

And now the authors of Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan’s new explosive biography have explained how the bold collection of looks were meticulously planned.

According to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, Meghan’s trusted make-up artist Daniel Martin had joked she should ‘go out with a bang!’ when planning her looks for the week.

Meghan Markle, 39, planned to ‘go out with a bang’ with showstopping outfits for her farewell tour of final royal events in March, according to Finding Freedom

Of the Endeavour Fund Awards, which saw Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at Mansion House in dramatic fashion on a rainy night, the authors write: ‘[they served as a showstopping reminder of their ability to command the world’s attention.’

‘Earlier in the day Daniel Martin (who, when planning all her looks for the week, had joked, “Go out with a bang!”) had done her makeup and George Northwood her hair.’

The authors continue: ‘The pictures of the couple beaming under their umbrella as they arrived at the event went viral around the world.

‘The sparkling rain in the frame was pure coincidence, but the confident walk into Mansion House venue and Meghan’s blue midi dress by Victoria Beckham, were carefully planned.’ 

The Duchess of Sussex wore a series of showstopping outfits during her final royal engagements, with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand revealing the looks were meticulously planned (pictured, The Duchess stepped out in a floor-length red gown by Safiyaa ‘Kalika’ dress worth £1,295 and a Manolo Blahnik ‘Capri’ Red Satin Clutch costing £1,260 for the Mountbatten Festival of Music)

The Duchess of Sussex wore a series of showstopping outfits during her final royal engagements, with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand revealing the looks were meticulously planned (pictured, The Duchess stepped out in a floor-length red gown by Safiyaa ‘Kalika’ dress worth £1,295 and a Manolo Blahnik ‘Capri’ Red Satin Clutch costing £1,260 for the Mountbatten Festival of Music) 

During her time in the royal family Meghan was renowned for her love of glamorous designer clothes and expensive jewellery, with the royal rarely seen in the same outfit twice.

Her farewell tour was little different, with the Duchess ticking off some of her go-to designer labels, including Givenchy and Victoria Beckham.  

During the five day visit, Meghan delivered a masterclass on diplomatic dressing – championing eight British labels during her and Harry’s last engagements as working royals. 

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, the duchess has also ensured her wardrobe was dominated by female designers, wearing innovative pieces by Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney, to name but a few.

Meghan's makeup artist Daniel Martin joked that she should 'go out with a bang' during her final week of royal events, according to Omid and Carolyn

Meghan’s makeup artist Daniel Martin joked that she should ‘go out with a bang’ during her final week of royal events, according to Omid and Carolyn 

At the time Vanity Fair described it as a 'masterclass in revenge dressing' and compared the looks to the little black dress worn by Princess Diana to the Serpentine Gallery on the same night Prince Charles gave his infamous interview about Camilla, pictured

At the time Vanity Fair described it as a ‘masterclass in revenge dressing’ and compared the looks to the little black dress worn by Princess Diana to the Serpentine Gallery on the same night Prince Charles gave his infamous interview about Camilla, pictured 

For her first public appearance since announcing her plans to step back from royal duty, the royal wore a stunning Victoria Beckham gown with a new Stella McCartney handbag for the Endeavour Awards.

Meanwhile she wowed in a floor-length red gown by Safiyaa ‘Kalika’ dress worth £1,295 and a Manolo Blahnik ‘Capri’ Red Satin Clutch costing £1,260 for the Mountbatten Festival of Music.

Through her carefully selected outfit choices, Meghan also paid a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.  

The mother-of-one opted for a caped emerald green dress by Emilia Wickstead and matching hat with a netted fascinator by William Chambers as she attended her last official engagement in London before stepping down from royal duties alongside Prince Harry and returning to Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's explosive new biography Finding Freedom became a bestseller within 24 hours of release

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive new biography Finding Freedom became a bestseller within 24 hours of release

And, perhaps in a nod to her late mother-in-law, the look closely resembled that worn by Diana when she was pregnant with Prince William in 1982, aged 22, wearing a green coat dress and similarly netted fascinator.     

The book offers new insights into Harry’s falling out with William and how the couple felt ‘thrown under the bus’, after the disagreements started started when the Prince’s older brother referred to Meghan as ‘this girl’ and voiced concerns that he might be rushing the romance.

The authors say Harry ‘felt people working with his brother had put things out there to make William look good, even if it meant throwing Harry under the bus’. 

Sources close to the couple also claim in the book that royal aides feared Meghan and Harry’s popularity was eclipsing that of the Royal Family itself – and says the couple were jealous of William and Kate getting the best roles and ‘didn’t feel supported’ by the royals.

The author’s note appears to acknowledge that the writers worked with the couple on the biography, reading: ‘We have spoken with 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.’

Among the fresh revelations in the book are:

  • Meghan Markle formed such a close bond with Prince Charles that she considers him her ‘second father’;
  • Meghan was often ‘seen carrying binders full of research on Royal protocol’ so she didn’t put a foot wrong;
  • The Queen gave Meghan a royal masterclass in protocol and described Meghan as ‘very clever and good’;
  • Harry felt he was ‘thrown under the bus’ by aides working for his brother Prince William;
  • Royal courtiers feared the brother’s falling out ‘could spell the end of the monarchy’;
  • Meghan left the UK ’emotionally bruised and exhausted’ after her last frosty event with William and Kate;
  • Russian hackers stole hundreds of their personal photos in 2018 after gaining access to an online account.