Russian hackers stole ‘hundreds’ of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s personal photos including snaps of the Queen at their wedding in a security breach, according to the bombshell biography Finding Freedom.
The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, say they were not interviewed for the book and did not contribute to the tale by authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which provides a high level of personal detail and a dramatic account of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ departure from royal life.
A source told the authors that the data leak was a ‘wake up call’ for the couple after hackers were able to steal photos taken by wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski in September 2018, after gaining access to an online account set up to hold photos of the couple.
Among those stolen were unseen photos of Harry and Meghan and the Queen taken at their wedding, some of which were leaked online, though they were dismissed as fake.
Russian hackers stole ‘hundreds’ of Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle’s, 39, personal photos, including snaps from their wedding, in a major security breach, according to new biography Finding Freedom
The authors wrote:’ On September 12 2018, a computer programmer based in Russia managed to hack an online cloud storage account that contained over two hundred unseen photos of Harry And Meghan that had been taken by the photographer Alexi Lubomirski.
‘Among the stole images were pictures of the couple sharing personal moments during their engagement photo series as well as others from their wedding day reception( including some of the Queen).
‘The large set also included outtakes with eyes half closed and other unflattering moments meant for the trash can.
‘The hacker leaked a handful of photos to Tumblr ( photo sharing site).
According to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt the security breach was ‘a wake up call’
‘Many fans assumed they were fake, photo shopped images but behind the scenes there was concern at Kensington Palace when they received a tip about the security breach.
‘Harry and Meghan were ‘alarmed to hear that it was so easy to get such personal files of theirs’.
Only a handful of the official wedding photographs were eventually released.
It’s unclear if this was a separate leak to a later security breach reported in June 2019 when hackers reportedly gained access to Alexi’s computer.
Last summer, it was reported that New York based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski’s computer had been hacked.
Photographs stolen by the hackers included personal photographs from the couple’s engagement shoot
The photographer is famed for his portraits of leading ladies added the requisite touches of both Hollywood glamour and royalty to Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos.
The 43-year-old has also snapped the likes of Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson.
It was reported that he was alerted after his images were stolen by hackers, some of which included those of Harry and Meghan on their wedding day.
They are said to include some which show Harry hugging Meghan with his eyes closed.
The revelations were made in the explosive new biography Finding Freedom
She is seen beaming for the camera in the picture.
Mr Lubomirski also took the couple’s engagement photographs in December 2017.
At the time, Mr Lubomirski – who has previously worked with photographer Mario Testino, a favourite of Prince William and Princess Diana – described taking the pictures in Berkshire as ‘an incredible honour’.
And when he was announced as the official wedding photographer, said: ‘I could not be more thrilled or honoured to photograph this historic occasion.
‘Having taken Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s engagement photos, it brings me such joy to be able to witness again, the next chapter in this wonderful love story.’
And speaking after the event, he said: ‘It has been an incredible honour and privilege to document The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s inspiring journey of love, hope and family; from the engagement photos, all the way through to the official wedding and family portraits on Saturday.
‘This has been a beautiful chapter in my career and life, that I will happily never forget’.
It was reported last June that photographer Alexi Lubomirski’s computer had been hacked, with images released on Twitter and Instagram (pictured, at the wedding in Windsor in May 2018)
The photographer has the title His Serene Highness Prince Alexi Lubomirski.
He is descended from an influential Polish family who received the hereditary title of prince of the Holy Roman Empire from Emperor Ferdinand III in the 17th century.
Mr Lubomirski, who was born in England but now lives in New York, was given his first camera aged 11 by his stepfather.
Who is Alexi Lubomirski?
New York based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski who is famed for his portraits of leading ladies added the requisite touches of both Hollywood glamour and royalty to Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos.
The father-of-two, who was born in the UK, was a protégé of Mario Testino who was beloved by Harry’s mother Princess Diana and photographed William and Kate when they got engaged in 2010.
The star photographer is also a prince of the Polish House of Lubomirski, whose royal lineage stretches back 500 years on his father’s side and gives him the title: ‘His Serene Highness’.
He attended the royal wedding with his wife Giada before stepping behind the scenes with Harry and Meghan to capture their official portraits.
Mr Lubomirski was chosen by the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex to photograph their wedding after taking their official engagement portraits after making their big announcement in December.
Alexi is a firm favorite with celebrities, and has shot cover stars such as Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Beyoncé, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez, Selma Hayek, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Emilia Clarke, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.
The photographer was born in England to a Peruvian/English mother and a Polish/French father and at the age of eight, he moved to Botswana with his mother and English stepfather
The photographer had never done an engagement shoot before taking on the prestigious commission from Harry and Meghan.
‘It was one of the easiest, most joyful jobs because they were so deliciously in love,’ he told E! News.
He added that there was no effort needed to capture the couple in a variety of romantic poses, after telling them to just be themselves while he took their pictures.