Despite feeling "trapped" by the Royal Family and besieged by the paparazzi, Harry and Meghan managed to find freedom on a series of luxury holidays, undetected by the press.
According to the biography "Finding Freedom", by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, they enjoyed secret trips to destinations such as Botswana, Norway and Turkey, with private jets and accommodation sometimes laid on by friends.
The royal couple holidayed together for the first time at Botswana's exclusive Meno A Kwena resort in August 2016 and returned to the £1,500 a night safari park, on the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, for Meghan's 36th birthday a year later.
Harry is thought to have "unofficially" proposed at the haven in the Okavango Delta, where each deluxe "tent" boasts a king-sized teak bed and fully equipped ensuite bathroom featuring "solar-powered hot water on tap, pressurised showers and Egyptian cotton towels".
Earlier that summer, the couple enjoyed a five-night stay, "completely undetected", at a private villa overlooking the Yalikavak Bay in Muğla province on the Aegean coast of Turkey, according to the book.
On another occasion, Harry's multimillionaire writer and director friend Arthur Landon loaned them his LA home – described as a "bohemian-style West Hollywood spread with a pool" – for the week.
Harry is understood to have met his mother-in-law Doria there for the first time in late summer 2016.
A 2017 New Year trip to the Arctic Circle was organised by another pal, Inge Solheim, a Norwegian adventure guide whom Harry befriended during the Walk with the Wounded trek in 2011.
Inge arranged a cabin for the couple in Tromso, 190 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where they "enjoyed seven days of dog sledding, whale watching, dining on local delicacies and snuggling to watch as the aurora borealis lit up the skies".
Celebrity friends George and Amal Clooney, who were invited to the Sussexes' wedding in May 2018, also helped them out with a free holiday to their villa in Lake Como three months later. The biography claims the Hollywood star and his human rights lawyer wife loaned the couple their private jet to fly to Villa Oleandra in August 2018.
The Clooneys also flew Meghan back from her New York baby-shower on the private plane the following February after her friend Serena Williams, the tennis star, had reserved the penthouse at Manhattan's exclusive Mark hotel for the star-studded party.
After Sir Elton John performed for free at their wedding reception at their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, the couple reportedly flew to their honeymoon on "a private jet loaned by a friend". Sir Elton then defended the couple in the face of criticism for reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days in the summer of 2019, revealing he had paid for their flight to his holiday home in Nice.
Harry and Meghan travelled there after spending time in "an upscale gated complex" on Ibiza with their son Archie, which came after Harry had been flown to an "exclusive Sicilian seaside resort" for a three-day Google camp – all paid for by the tech giant.
When the couple decided to take a sabbatical to Canada last November, they stayed at a £14 million Vancouver Island estate that was secured for them at "far below market value".
They are currently living "rent free" in US media mogul Tyler Perry’s £14 million Beverly Hills mansion, an eight-bedroom, 12-bathroom Tuscan-style villa that sits on 22 acres.
"Finding Freedom" suggests Meghan also received VIP treatment in London. Despite being offered a "heavily discounted stay at the five-star Dorchester Hotel" when she visited the capital and first met Harry in the spring of 2016, she instead opted for a "luxurious room" sourced by Soho House consultant Markus Anderson.
Dubbed "Meghan's fixer", the Canadian arranged for Harry and Meghan's first meeting at the Soho House Dean Street Townhouse property where "a private dining area was cordoned off behind floor to ceiling velvet drapes".
The couple returned for a romantic dinner the following night that was also "organised by Markus", with just one waiter serving them to preserve their privacy.