The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Palace’s ‘very real fears’ that Harry’s book deal will harm Charles’s reign
THE Royal Family are reeling from ‘very real fears’ that Prince Harry’s four-book deal could destabilise the Monarchy by undermining the reputation of his father when he ascends the throne.
There is concern that the release of one of the books is reportedly due to come after the death of the Queen, which could hamper the ‘transition’ – a process that began several years ago to prepare the country slowly for the succession.
Harry’s lawyers have said the claim that he is waiting for his grandmother to pass away before releasing one of the books is ‘false and defamatory’.
The Prince will next year release the first book – described as a ‘definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’ – to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of his mother Princess Diana.
But it also coincides with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and there is concern that it could
‘Anger and disappointment that Queen faces anxiety’
overshadow celebrations to mark her 70 years as Monarch.
A source said there was also ‘anger and disappointment’ among courtiers that the Queen faces anxiety over the content of the book just months after the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Senior Palace officials have decided not to respond publicly to the announcement for fear of ‘fanning the flames’ of an already strained relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The revelation of the four-book deal – which will reportedly also include a wellness-type book by Meghan – came as the Queen began her annual summer holiday at Balmoral, for the first time without Prince Philip.
Palace aides are not confident that the Sussexes will provide senior Royals with an advance draft of the manuscript or even tell them about the content.
Lawyers acting for Meghan and Harry yesterday said reports of a four-book deal with one to be released after the death of the Queen were ‘false and defamatory’. Penguin Random House, the publishing house that has agreed a deal reportedly worth at least £18million, declined to comment.
A spokesman for Harry last week said ‘proceeds’ from the first book would go to charity, but they have so far failed to clarify whether that will extend to any advance paid before publication or to earnings from the other three books.
While Harry’s rift with his father Prince Charles and brother Prince
William is clear, The Mail on Sunday understands that his cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, are far more sympathetic to him.
‘They believe Harry’s outspoken remarks may have been triggered because previously his voice and opinions were rarely heard within the Royal Family,’ said a friend, adding that Harry was seen as the family’s ‘resident joker’ and that ‘eyes would roll’ whenever he ventured an opinion on serious matters.
They believe that a string of recent interviews, including the bombshell TV special with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, meant he feels he ‘is finally being listened to’.
To underline the closeness of the Sussexes and the Yorks, Harry and Meghan have allowed Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank to live in Frogmore Cottage at Windsor.
In an interview this weekend, the Duchess of York said: ‘I wouldn’t presume to give advice to Harry and Meghan, except to say to be happy. I think it’s wonderful that Meghan has written a children’s book; having done that myself, I know the effort it takes.’