Breaking: Prince Harry is writing a tell-all

I’m exhausted just typing this, but:

Prince Harry is writing a memoir.

On Monday afternoon, a story appeared in Page Six stating that Prince Harry had signed a deal with Penguin Random House to write an “explosive memoir about his life in the royal family.” Page Six reporters Oli Coleman and Sara Nathan wrote that they had seen documents about the memoir and could confirm that the first draft was almost done. They also reported that ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer had been hired to work on the book.

Within 90 minutes of Page Six breaking the story, it had been confirmed and announced by both Penguin Random House and Harry’s office. We’ll get to the full press release in a second, but this is the quote that Penguin Random House and Harry chose to publicize when the book was announced:

This is an interesting quote to use for publicity. The first and biggest critique of the quote is that being a prince is what makes Harry’s life interesting and worth publishing a memoir about. It is rumoured that Harry got a $20 million advance from Penguin Random House for the book. Do you think Penguin Random House gave Harry $20 million for any reason other than that he’s a prince? The answer is no. I understand what Harry was trying to do with this quote, but again, it just sounds tone-deaf. You can’t make a big song and dance about how you don’t want to be a prince anymore without acknowledging that your new life is being financed by the fact that you are famous for being a prince. And using your style of Prince and title of Duke in the quote about not wanting to focus on being a prince! There’s a disconnect somewhere.

Here is the full press release:

Thoughts on the book announcement:

  • Harry and Meghan have followed the Barack and Michelle Obama post-presidency moneymaking playbook to a tee. The Obamas sign with Netflix and start their own production company, Harry and Meghan sign with Netflix and start their own production company. The Obamas sign with Spotify to produce content, Harry and Meghan sign with Spotify to produce content (which is presumably forthcoming??). The Obamas sign a multi-book deal with Penguin Random House, Harry and Meghan sign a multi-book deal with Penguin Random House (Meghan’s children’s book, The Bench, was published by PRH, and I would bet money on Meghan’s as-yet-unannounced memoir being published by PRH as well). Even the publicity from the publisher is visually similar.

Prince Harry’s memoir blurb from Penguin Random House:

Barack Obama’s memoir blurb from Penguin Random House:

Barack and Michelle to Harry and Meghan:

  • As I said on Twitter, Harry and Penguin Random House are intentionally releasing this book to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne, also known as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year. I understand Penguin Random House’s decision to do this because corporations are not moral. The job of corporations is to make money, and causing a stir by releasing this memoir during the Queen’s 70th year on the throne makes great business sense. But for Harry to agree to this, knowing that the majority of the year is going to be spent leaking stories from the memoir to take attention and goodwill away from Queen Elizabeth and the rest of his family, is a stab in the heart. As UKRoyalTea said on Twitter yesterday, this really feels like Harry is closing the door on any form of reconciliation with his family in the future. It’s very sad.
  • Re: above, I’m gonna hazard a guess and say that Harry and Meghan will not invited to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London next summer.
  • There have been reports that Harry and Meghan are anxious to have baby Lilibet christened in London, presumably in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, Charles, and Will. The reasons they would want to do this: 1) for the photo; 2) for the drama; 3) to solidify Lilibet’s place in the line of succession (keep in mind that she has never been on the soil of the country that she could theoretically rule). This news doesn’t help the chances of a royal christening at Windsor.
  • The press release calls Harry “one of the most fascinating and influential global figures of our time.” Mkay.
  • Harry’s quote about having worn many hats, “literally and figuratively”, is VERY funny. Yes, most people have worn more than one hat, both literally and figuratively. Now I just want it to be a full-colour book of Harry wearing different hats. HAT MONTAGE!
  • The last line of the press release states that “Prince Harry will be donating proceeds to charity.” If you’re casually skimming the press release, you might think “Oh, that’s so nice! Prince Harry is donating all of the profits from this book.” But that’s not what the press release says. It says that Harry will donate proceeds to charity. Not all proceeds. Not all royalties. Not all of the rumoured $20 million advance. Just proceeds. So, some. He will donate some of the money he makes. It also doesn’t state which charity he will donate the money to. Presumably he will donate whatever money from this project that he chooses to donate to Archewell, which is also not a guarantee that 100% of the money will go to good causes. Archewell is part charitable foundation, part corporation. They are two sides of the same coin. So it’s possible that he could “donate” “proceeds” from the book, which could either go to 1) Archewell the charity, a portion of which would go to “administrative fees” (aka paying the co-founders of the foundation, aka Harry and Meghan; or 2) Archewell the company; or 3) Archewell the charity, and let’s be generous and say he’ll flag 100% of his donation for charitable acts. Even if that is the case, he and Meghan will get nice publicity about those charitable acts from their friendly outlets in the US (Harper’s Bazaar, Newsweek, People, Oprah, etc.), which will benefit both Archewell the charity as well as Archewell the corporation, and therefore will benefit Harry and Meghan themselves. Every time Harry and Meghan announce a new project, for better or worse, this is what flashes in my head:

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5 thoughts on “Breaking: Prince Harry is writing a tell-all

  1. I agree with your analysis RA. I am also exhausted at their exploits. I was enjoying the relative quiet coming from them recently, which I should have known wouldn’t stay.

    The book is actually almost finished (or so they say), so it could come out this Fall (I don’t know publication deadlines, etc), but waiting until Fall of 2022 could be for other reasons. Harry Markle blog reported back in January 2021 that Harry was writing a book. Rumors have been flying about Ben Browning (producer they hired for Netflix) and a screenplay he owns rights to that is based on the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death. 2022 is the 25th anniversary of her death. What a coincidence that Harry’s book comes out then! So, think of all the crazy conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death and how the BRF was to “blame” (truth note: they weren’t. She was killed by not wearing a seatbelt in a car driven by a drunk driver driving at high speed). If Harry hired someone who may do a movie about those conspiracy theories, and is writing a book focusing mainly on his reaction to her death, that’s what could have everyone up in arms.

    Because what else could he write about that we already don’t know from Oprah and the Apple show? Random House has to be very careful vetting this book as most of the players are alive. Could the BRF sue? Regardless of what people say about the BRF “never complain, never explain,” they could sue Random House for printing libelous stories. Maybe not The Queen or Prince CHarles, but Prince William sure could. Perhaps that’s why the book will take a year to come out.

    This book will be a bestseller. It will sell at least 5000 copies in its first week alone (media will buy advance copies, his fans, libraries). Will he sell as many as Michelle Obama? Probably not. She has led a fascinating life and, being the first Black First Lady was a huge accomplishment. I’m not sure what is fascinating about Harry’s life outside of being born a Prince. I hope he addresses his racist past and apologizes for that. That would give me some sense about “the man he has become.” I don’t think he can legally talk about specific people or incidents while in the military, and his time in school was not stellar. If he wrote a book highlighting Invictus Games or Sentebale, and the good work people do, that would be interesting. Alas, this is probably going to be another bi&chfest about his family, and we’re all weary with that. If complaining about his family makes him the man he is now, he needs a lot more therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The ‘man’ I’ve become! That’s a laugh as he is not a man in any sense. He’s like a whining, whinging teenager who’s been told he can’t borrow his father’s car! He is a despicable & totally unlikeable git who changes his narrative every week. The lies & contradictions that fall from his mouth has become laughable. Just put up & shut up Harry. You fled Britain for “privacy” stay in your mansion & chat to your chickens, we are all sick of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We all agree that Harry is a petulant, spoiled man-child right? You know what children do when they don’t get their way? They pitch tantrums. Harry has a pattern of publicly exploding when he doesn’t get his way. Just in the past couple months we’ve seen:

    Oprah- Harry agreed to do it 24 hours after the queen told him he would be losing his military titles;
    Dax/Apple TV- family didn’t speak to him at the funeral and obviously his blackmail didn’t work;
    And I would even bet they agreed to work with Omid for Finding Freedom (not sure the timeline so feel free to correct) after either the queen stopped them using SussexRoyal OR after Charles handed them their $3 million and said that they were on their own now.

    All this to say, what has happened that makes Harry feel like he has nothing else to lose? Did they lose something big or is this just another case of him pitching a strop because they *still* won’t give in to his blackmail. Or is the book the blackmail? If so, he should look back on every time he’s tried to back his family into a corner and realize that he always ended up worse off.

    As for the book itself, this is where Lili’s name is coming back to bite her parents. What can Harry really say against his family or the institution whilst his daughter is named for the head of the family and institution? The name has already undermined everything they’ve said about them. We aren’t going to get any major (true) revelations for this reason and because we already know a lot about Harry’s childhood and adolescence.

    This whole thing seems to me like a last-ditch effort to get everyone to like them and hate their family. As you’ve said a thousand times RA, they seem to think that this will happen if they only keep talking. But it won’t. Harry has no credibility left, see the point about Lili above, and he’s attacking his grieving family. People already think he’s horrible for doing the interview whilst Phillip was dying and then attacking his family during such a sensitive time (and one he should understand as he’s lost a parent). This won’t help him. After this book they have nothing to sell. They will have told it all (after all, it’s like their 5th *tell-all*) and then they will be irrelevant.

    Time and time again they are their own worst enemy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, I was going to comment before but between the Olympics and other things I didn’t have time. I have also been absorbing this news. From all the reports that have come up during the last days, we can conclude several things. H has no shame, for example. That said, it looks to me that a) this was genuinly leaked and both H and the editorial had to react fast, or b) this was made to look like it was “leaked”, but it was planned all along to look that way when in reality it wasn’t, which would mean that the statements were well thought of before they were published.

    Like you said, the quote from H is very tone-deaf, and it has been widely critized by anyone that is not a H and M die-hard fan or media friendly to them. H and M seem unable to realize the disconnect between critizing and making it seem like they want to distance themselves from the BRF (and what the BRF represent) to be more like the common folk, yet still use the titles granted by the BRF left and right in their public statements and business endevours.

    I can also see what you say about the similarities between H’s quote and the one from Obama, though the Obama quote is better, with more gravitas if you will. Like Lyla said, I do remember that last year there was some mention about H writing a book, but I think many thought it either wouldn’t happen or it would be many years later. Overall it’s somewhat sad the lack of originality in H and M’s business model, it gives the vibe they are just copying more successful people or grabbing every existing opportunity to stay relevant. It’s also odd / curious that though is obvious H and M picked the same publishing house than the Obamas, there have been reports that H conducted a bidding war from Montecito that included UK publishing houses, and apparently the representatives of those houses were surprised by his “take it or leave it” approach, his starting price, and his coldness through the whole deal. So I don’t know if the bidding war was just for show and the winner had been chosen in advance, or if H just wanted to see if he could get better offers than Penguim Random House.

    I think your other obswrvations are on point. I understand it’s totally planned that the book will be released on Autumm 2022, though the first draft should be ready in Autumm 2021 (it was supposed to be ready next month but according to reports the period was extended to allow inclusion of the most recent developmemts this year). Not sure if this proves the deal was genuinly leaked, but what is now certain is that it’s totally planned to exploit the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and like you said it’s not a good look on H, in fact is pretty callous. It’s also another contradiction between what H says (that he respects his grandmother) and what he does (write and publish a book like this one on the year his grandmother will celebrate a major milestone, probably stealing the thunder from her). I do think that H and M will have their invitation to the Jubilee rescinded somehow, and that this deal will also impact their chances of having their daugther christened at Windsor Castle (though to be fair, I think it was also obvious by now and without the book deal in play, that such request was another rather callous move, since all points out H and M want to cash in on this somehow when they are borderline demanding the Queen to be present so they can have the photo op with their baby and the Queen in it).

    Another tone-deafness was calling H one of the most fascinating and influential global figures. I can think of many global public figures far more fascinanting than him, for starters half Hollywood, and certainly many other influential individuals. It’s presumptuos from his and his team to think this way, I could say he hasn’t proved himself yet but to be honest is more like he has proven he and M have no other loyalty beyond their self-serving. It also hammers on what we many here have said time and time again, that H and M worst enemies are themselves and the contradictions between their words and actions, despite them believing and wanting to make other believe their enemies are the UK media (and the BRF in a sort of way). This wording doesn’t do him any favours, is not humble or unbiased. Allowing it to be released to the world shows a bad communications strategy and not knowing how to read the room, just like the “many hats” wording is another not very bright thing to say and that was maybe said in an effort to try to seem empathic and relatable.

    As for donating book proceeds to charity, I don’t particularly believe this will amount to anything. They could easily donate equipment, meals or other things to charitable organizations like they have done in the past, and say that those things were funded by the book proceeds, and nobody would have to know how much were the book proceeds plus advances. I think if H and / or M have to file tax declarations with the IRS in 2 years, maybe that would be a way the media could find out how much they earned with their books? Then again, I’m not sure if this information can be made public. Either way, I really don’t think they will donate all proceeds.

    I wouldn’t disregard yet how much money they can earn with this book. H could pull out of his sleeve more damaging information that whether true or false, could hurt the BRF a lot. The US media is still very friendly to them, to the point that the news about William writing the introduction / forward of a book about the Earthshot Award was characterized by some US media outlets as William writing another book besides the one H is writing. It didn’t matter that what William is writing is just an intro and that the actual chapters have contributions from Shakira and David Attenborough among others. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the US media and a great deal of the US public accepts all that H says in the book as absolute truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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