The royal households were outraged last night as Prince Harry’s tell-all book threatened to detract from the Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee.
The duke’s decision to publish a memoir in the same year his grandmother celebrates her milestone was dubbed “deeply disrespectful.”
There was an increasing sense of anger and frustration inside Buckingham Palace and the other royal households, according to royal sources, not just because he chose to write such a book, but also because of the ‘clearly deliberate’ timing of its publication next autumn.
Insiders say it could be ‘the final straw’ for Harry and his family, whose ties are already frayed.
After a year of writing, the prince plans to submit a manuscript by the end of the year, which he promises will be a ‘first-hand account of my life that is accurate and wholly truthful.’ It is scheduled to be released in 2022.
The Royal Family is completely focused on making this year a joyous occasion, as the Queen will become the first British monarch to reach 70 years on the throne, but they are now worried that Harry, and any bombshell revelations, will overshadow it.
Last night, some insiders speculated that the Queen’s invitation for Harry, Meghan, and their children to join the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday next June might be revoked.
‘Her Majesty has gone to great lengths to keep her relationship with her grandson and his family separate from the professional decisions she must make,’ one source said. And the invitation to join her the following year was genuine.
‘Despite the fact that things had been extremely difficult, there was a glimmer of hope that enough time would have passed for things to heal.’ But I have a sneaking suspicion that this book will be the final straw.
‘It’s been revealed that Harry has been working on it in secret for some time, and he’s stated that he and his ghostwriter (journalist and novelist J R Moehringer) will leave no stone unturned.’
‘The idea that he might be seen with his family again in the future is becoming increasingly improbable.’ Many people believe we’ve reached the end of the road.’
After the Sussexes’ explosive Oprah interview was filmed and broadcast while Prince Philip was ill in hospital earlier this year, the timing of the book is being seen as yet another snub to the royals.
‘Bringing out the book in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is seen as deeply disrespectful,’ according to another source. There will be celebrations for a whole year… but it will now be marked by a steady stream of revelations, serialisations, and, eventually, publication.
‘It doesn’t matter how many assurances he gives his family about what’s going to be in it. ‘As the Oprah interview demonstrated, those words can be hollow.’
The Sussexes have signed multimillion-dollar commercial deals with Netflix and Spotify since moving to California last year, and Harry has taken on several roles with private companies.
The book’s announcement was accompanied by a promise that all ‘proceeds’ would be donated to charity. However, when asked if his reported £15 million advance would also be given away, his publisher remained silent last night.
‘Netflix, Spotify… they were all thought to be a little too predictable.’ However, many quietly acknowledged that the Sussexes had kept their word to become financially independent of the Royal Family,’ according to a source.
‘But all the interviews, especially with Oprah, the personal attacks disguised as cod-psychology, and now this.’ Everything in the world has changed. Harry has made it clear that he no longer cares what his family thinks of him. Patience is wearing thin at an alarming rate.’
According to a spokesman for the Sussexes, Harry recently informed his family – including the Queen – of his plans to publish his memoirs.
Charles would be deeply hurt by further criticism from his youngest son, according to royal expert Ingrid Seward, whose biography of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip Revealed, was serialised in the Daily Mail.
‘It’s also very thoughtless that this should occur during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year,’ she added. Regrettably, it appears that Harry hasn’t considered the implications for his family.’