Prince Harry and Meghan Markle followed each other on Instagram after their first secretive date with the royal using a pseudonym inspired by his love of house music and the nickname given to him by his Met Police bodyguards, it was revealed today.
Harry used the username SpikeyMau5, inspired by Canadian DJ Deadmau5, before freezing the account after his relationship with the former Suits star emerged in October 2016.
The private Instagram profile had a mouse-shaped helmet for a picture – but piqued attention from Meghan’s legions of fans when she became just one of two people following it four years ago just after the couple had a blind date at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho.
The ‘Spikey’ element of its name came from the code word used by Scotland Yard officers guarding the Duke of Sussex 24/7, according to the new Finding Freedom book.
Harry’s Facebook page was under the alias Spike Wells and said he was from Maun, Botswana, a part of the world loved by the prince. Harry used a profile picture of King Julien, the lemur from the animated movie Madagascar.
The revelation came in the couple’s new biography Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which says: ‘Although she [Meghan] shared much of her London visit on social media, Meghan knew she had to keep her dates a secret. But the clues were there. Around the time of their first encounter, she began to follow a mysterious-looking Instagram account by the name of @SpikeyMau5’.
Harry used the pseudonyms SpikeyMau5 and Spike Wells on social media while courting Meghan Markle (pictured together while announcing their engagement)
Harry’s love of Canadian DJ Deadmau5 (pictured) inspired the name and profile picture of his secret Instagram account followed by Meghan Markle after their first date
Harry’s private account was completely anonymous – and only had two followers, one of whom became his wife
Harry and Meghan’s love affair emerged in late October 2016 – but in fact many of the clues were there for all to see on Ms Markle’s hugely popular social media accounts.
Their romance appears to have began around six months earlier – around the time Harry went to Toronto to promote his Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and met the divorcee actress, who had a home in the city while filming hit TV show Suits there.
Meghan enjoyed near-monthly visits to London after that and had even posted a picture of Buckingham Palace on Instagram in the July.
The same month she posted several pictures of recent trips to London, including a view that appears to be of Kensington, where Harry lived until they emigrated in January.
In the August she was back in London sightseeing near Tower Bridge and in September she also posted a picture of herself at the luxury Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire with friend Millie Mackintosh.
By then she was wearing a distinctive beaded friendship bracelet with blue, white and black beads – Harry had been wearing an identical one.
And just a week before their romance became global news, the actress posted a photograph of herself in a Sainsbury’s supermarket, again with the bracelet on show, close to Kensington Palace.
Prince Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’ in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other, according to the latest extract of a bombshell biography.
The couple felt a ‘palpable attraction’ after their first date at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, London, with Harry reportedly left in a ‘trance’ and Meghan telling friends ‘this could have legs’.
Harry had a beer, while Meghan drank a martini as they discussed their work, so engrossed with each other that their nibbles lay neglected.
On that first date, which lasted three hours, Harry talked about his charity work and many trips to Africa, finding a joint passion for wanting to ‘make change for good’ with Meghan, helping to form a bond between them. It came after Meghan’s divorce and the break-up of her first serious relationship after that. She told a friend before her trip to London she’d be happy for ‘a nice English gentleman to flirt with’.
Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, London, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met for the first time and went on their first two dates
They didn’t kiss on that first night, though sources said they were ‘in their own little world’ and made plans to meet again soon.
That meeting was the very next night, at the same venue, according to the biography Finding Freedom, written by authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
The writers say they have spoken to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’, with all the information in the book having ‘at least two sources.’
In the latest extract, they delved deep into the story of how Harry and Meghan became a couple, their first dates, her first visit to Kensington Palace and how Harry said ‘I love you’ just three months into their relationship, to which Meghan quickly responded with ‘I love you, too’.
The couple connected almost instantly, friends said, with their second date, also at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, taking place the day after their first.
They enjoyed a romantic dinner, with staff taking great pains to ensure their privacy, whisking them in through a staff entrance usually used to bring in fish discreetly.
They chatted throughout the night, with Harry returning to Kensington Palace alone, though he admitted to friends afterwards that Meghan was ‘ticking every box’.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are seen at the Closing Ceremony on day 8 of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 at the Air Canada Centre on September 30
They tried to hide their romance, though Meghan took to Instagram to share a post containing a photo of a Love Hearts candy with the inscription ‘Kiss Me’ and the caption ‘Lovehearts in #London’. She also followed Prince Harry’s private account.
Just one night after date number two, Meghan was taken to Kensington Palace in a shroud of secrecy, where Harry tried to impress her with tales about his work and life, which he admitted was a ‘little mad’.
Just six weeks later, Harry told her that he wanted to take her on a trip, asking Meghan to fly to London.
She flew in from Toronto, spent a night with Harry at Kensington Palace, before the couple flew to Johannesburg the next morning.
From there, they flew on a private airplane to Maun International Airport before heading to Okavango Delta — a stunning 5,800 square mile wetland in Botswana’s safari country.
They stayed for most of the trip in one of the £1,529-a-night deluxe tents.
A friend said: ‘She came back smiling and just completely spellbound.’
They enjoyed the trip so much that they would have ‘happily spent the entire summer there together’, if not for there obligations back home.
Meghan also opened up about the closeness she felt with Harry.
‘I’ve never felt that safe,’ Meghan told her friend, ‘that close to someone in such a short amount of time.’
After that, they regularly enjoyed clandestine meet-ups, Harry taking commercial flights to Toronto to see her.
Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, described as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘cheerleaders’
The Botswana trip, technically only their third date, served as a ‘speed-up’ for their relationship, friends claimed.
‘By then,’ a friend said, ‘they were each already dancing around the idea that this just may be a for ever thing.’
Meghan was all in, heedless of warnings from confidants about the scrutiny that comes with being a royal spouse.
It took just three months for Harry to say ‘I love you’, though Meghan was swift to reply.
The couple kept a low profile in the early months, striving to keep their relationship out of the press.
However, Harry was soon noticed in Meghan’s neighbourhood, the biography claims, his visits becoming an open secret with royal minders sitting in black SUVs eating burritos.
In October, while enjoying a trip to Toronto, Harry was informed by one of his aides that a tabloid was set to reveal his relationship with Meghan.
The aide, and several others from the palace, urged Harry to come home, citing his minimal security and the fact that he would soon be besieged by photographers.
But Harry refused to budge.
The news came out the following day, with Meghan disappointed, according to the biography, though she was relieved not to have to keep lying to friends about her trips to London.
Harry had warned Meghan that their relationship coming out was ‘inevitable’ and said he wanted to ‘make the most of the time they had’, though Meghan still admitted to being surprised by the instant attention.
Within 24 hours, Meghan received 100 messages from people she hadn’t spoken to in months or even years, all asking about the news.
A short time later, a photographer from an LA-based photo agency waited for Meghan by her car, hoping to get a picture before she headed out to run errands.
Meghan called the police. ‘This is how it’s always going to be, isn’t it?’ she said to a friend.
Some people took to social media, some posting racist messages branding her a ‘n*****’ or a ‘mutt’. The messages were said to have angered Harry.
In fact, friends believe Meghan’s experience with race and the biases Harry realised she had to deal with, led him to fallouts with his own circle of friends.
In an extract published yesterday, Scobie and Durand described how Meghan, sitting on FaceTime to her friend in a bathtub, confessed she sent her father one last text on the night before her wedding in May 2018
When questioned his new relationship, and whether she was ‘suitable’, it left him wondering if race or class played a part.
He immediately cut ties with an old friend who disparaged Meghan and her Hollywood background.
This pushed Harry into protecting her and he decided to make an official statement.
However, the statement clashed with his father Prince Charles’ tour in the Middle East, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall having just arrived in Bahrain to meet the country’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
It was a critical moment that had been in the works for months and a statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry’s new girlfriend would all but eliminate coverage of Prince Charles’s tour.
Despite this, the palace decided to go ahead with the statement, much of it drafted by Harry himself.
His father only learnt of the statement 20 minutes before it was released and, unsurprisingly, it soon dominated the news cycle.
Prince Charles and his team were left crushed and disappointed, though Charles also understood the intervention was a necessary one.
However, the episode only served to prove that Harry felt the need to prioritise the woman he loved over duty to the royal family.
Details of voicemails Meghan (pictured with Prince Harry) sent to her father and tense conversations between Harry and William have been unveiled in Finding Freedom, extracts of which were serialised by the Times and the Sunday Times this weekend
The latest revelations from the bombshell biography come amid questions as to whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have had more involvement than has been admitted – despite the couple insisting they ‘did not contribute’.
Particulars of voicemails Meghan sent to her father and tense conversations between Harry and William have been published in Finding Freedom, extracts of which were serialised by the Times and the Sunday Times this weekend.
The Duke and Duchess deny giving any interviews or contributing to the book directly, but the intimate nature of some details raises questions over who the sources were – and whether Harry and Megan gave them their blessing before they revealed such closely guarded insights to the couple’s private lives.
Extraordinary personal details littered throughout Finding Freedom include particulars of the moment the Meghan confessed she wrote her estranged father Thomas Markle one final message while on FaceTime in a bathtub.
The biography provides an intimately detailed and personalised version of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from royal life earlier this year.
A spokesman for Harry and Meghan insisted the couple did not contribute to the book, but the royals did not deny the content of The Times’s explosive extracts.
‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom,’ a statement said. ‘This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.’
In an interview with The Times, author Scobie appeared to choose his words carefully when he was quizzed about the level of access, if any, that was granted to him and Durand. ‘The book doesn’t claim to have any interviews with Harry and Meghan. And nor do we,’ he said.
Asked whether there had been an ‘off-the-record’ discussion, he said: ‘You’ve read the book. There’s no on-the-record interviews with the couple.’ Pressed again on the same question, he replied: ‘No, and I think that you can tell from the reporting, my time around the couple is enough for me to know my subjects.’