The British royal family was reportedly shocked by Prince Harry's memoir announcement Monday. Earlier in the day, Penguin Random House announced plans to publish an "intimate and heartfelt memoir" written by the Duke of Sussex in late 2022. Harry and his family have been at odds since he and his wife Meghan Markle fully stepped down from royal duties and moved to California. The Duke has made several shocking allegations about life in Buckingham Palace in interviews this year.
One palace source told Page Six the royal family was "surprised" that Harry was planning to publish a memoir. "No one knew," another royal insider said. "There was chaos when the Page Six story came out." Another royal insider told The Daily Mail the book is "by Harry, as written by Meghan." One source said there was "much eye-rolling" among the royal family, adding that "everyone is just tired of being angry when it comes to these two."
"They have spent the last 18 months doing everything they promised Her Majesty they wouldn't do – making a living off their previous lives and status as members of the Royal Family. It's depressingly predictable, unfortunately," one of the Daily Mail's sources said. The outlet's sources say they think Harry has "never been one to willingly admit" mistakes of his own and blames "Everyone except himself and his wife" for the state of his relationship with his family.
Other sources told Us Weekly the royal family is "shaken up" about the book. Harry's father Prince Charles and older brother Prince William are "particularly concerned about what Harry will reveal" and think some of Harry's public criticism was "bad enough." They have not seen the book yet and "don't know what to expect," which is "making them nervous."
Penguin Random House billed the book as a "definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him." It is expected to cover his childhood, military service, and his relationship with Markle. "I'm writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become," Harry, 36, said in the announcement. "I've worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story — the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned — I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think." Harry later said he was "deeply grateful" for the chance to write about his experiences.
The book is being written with J.R. Moehringer and is reportedly almost finished. No financial terms were revealed, but the publisher said proceeds from the book and audiobook will be donated to charity. Insiders told the Daily Mail Harry may have been paid "at least" $20 million in advance.
Harry and William recently put their differences aside to help unveil a statue in honor of their mother, the late Princess Diana. However, some sources are already speculating that the two will not spend time together during the holidays. "On a human family level, forgetting them being the royal family, there's already quite some frostiness and distance there," royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti recently told Us Weekly. "So I suspect if things can go well, [then] maybe they'll have the occasional meeting, but I don't think it seems very high on anyone's agenda."