What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s First Secret New Year’s Trip Was Really Like

Culture

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were able to keep their dating secret for months when they first began seeing each other in the summer of 2016. And while news broke of their being together in October 2016, they were still able to keep details about the luxurious New Year’s vacation they took in January 2017 private for years after.

Royal reporters and co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand revealed in their book Finding Freedom that Harry arranged for the two to take a trip to Norway after Christmas, in part to help Meghan, who had been struggling with the media intrusion and tabloid attacks on her now that their relationship was public. At the time, People did run a report about the couple taking a romantic New Year’s holiday in Norway. But media didn’t have details on who arranged the trip or what the couple did while there.

prince harry and meghan markle in december 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in December 2017

OLI SCARFFGetty Images

Scobie and Durand got that intel, writing in Finding Freedom, “Harry planned a New Year’s trip where they could really get away from it all. He rung up his pal Inge Solheim, a Norwegian adventure guide Harry had befriended during a Walking with the Wounded charity trek back in 2011. Inge had gone all out for Harry when he was with [ex-girlfriend] Cressida [Bonas], arranging a top secret 2014 ski trip to Kazakhstan.”

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family

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Solheim said that “it’s always my pleasure to help a friend like Harry,” and according to Durand and Scobie, Solheim “arranged for Harry and Meghan to spend a week in a cabin in Tromsö at the very tip of Norway in the Arctic Circle, where there was absolutely no chance of being bothered by photographers. There, Harry and Meghan enjoyed seven days of dog sledding, whale watching, dining on local delicacies, and snuggling to watch as the aurora borealis lit up the skies.”

When the couple returned to London, Meghan would go on to meet Kate for the first time, according to Scobie and Durand. A year later, Meghan would spend her first Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham as Harry’s fiancée.

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