Prince Harry may travel to the UK to promote his controversial new memoir, Spare, which could see retaliation from the palace including stripping him and Meghan of their Sussex titles, royal experts say.
Last night reports claimed Harry may fly to Britain in the New Year to explain his ‘intent’ in writing the book – which is set to cast a shadow over the Royal Family‘s Christmas.
Senior royals are said to be bracing themselves’ for the publication of the 416-page title on January 10.
Biographer Tom Bower has warned the memoir’s reception will be a make or break moment for the Sussexes.
Prince Harry may travel to the UK to promote his controversial new memoir, Spare
Royal commentators said the release of Prince Harry’s book would be ‘unhelpful’ to King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort
Announcing the global publishing deal this year, Penguin Random House described the memoir as ‘intimate and heartfelt’
Prince William ‘has barely spoken’ to Harry since news broke of memoir title
Prince William ‘has barely spoken’ to Prince Harry since news broke of his brother’s memoir Spare, royal experts have said.
The Royal Family are also apparently on ‘tenterhooks’ to read the memoir, which is to be released on January 10, and have lawyers ready.
Prince William, 40, has barely spoken a word to his brother Harry, 38, since the news of the book broke.
Billed as a work of ‘raw, unflinching honesty’, the controversial book will be called Spare – a ‘loaded’ reference to his position as the younger brother of the heir to the throne.
Royal author Angela Levin said she thought the palace were on ‘tenterhooks’ for the book’s release.
‘They have lawyers ready to read it but they won’t see it until it’s out. If it’s too bland it won’t be worth the millions they’ve already paid him,’ she told The Sun Online.
Details of the bombshell book were revealed and publisher Penguin Random House’s description read: ‘With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
‘Spare takes readers immediately back to one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror.
‘As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling – and how their lives would play out from that point on.’
Family members were not informed of the title of the book before the announcement yesterday, while the Spanish language version is even more pointed, having been given the subtitle En La Sombra, or ‘in the shadow’.
The publishers of the delayed memoir have made it clear that Harry will not shy away from sensitive subjects, such as the family’s decision to encourage him and his elder brother Prince William to walk behind their mother Diana’s coffin.
He could also reveal which member of the monarchy he claims made a racist comment about the potential skin colour of his then unborn son Archie, or shine a light on his strained relationship with his father and troubled times with William.
The brothers have had a troubled relationship since Harry moved to the US with his wife Meghan Markle.
‘Put it this way, it’s not going to make for a relaxing family Christmas,’ a source told the Mail on Sunday.
Publishers Penguin Random House say the book is written with ‘raw unflinching honesty’ and is expected to contain explosive new material addressing Harry’s childhood and his rift with ‘The Firm’ after meeting Meghan.
A source added: ‘The book is much worse than people think.’
Bower told The Sun: ‘This book is really make or break. I imagine that King Charles has been warned that any retaliation won’t be pretty.
‘All that King Charles can really do is to withhold the titles for his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet. Ultimately, I suppose, he could take away Harry and Meghan’s titles as well, but that’s pretty drastic.
‘I don’t know what else he can do. If it is as bad as I think it is, then Harry and Meghan have gone fully rogue.’
He added that the best thing the royal family could do in this scenario would be to ‘break ties’ with the pair.
The title is presumed to refer to Harry being the ‘spare’ to Prince William’s ‘heir’ but has been translated to sound more ominous in other languages.
In Spain it will be called In The Shadow, in Sweden The Other, and in Denmark, The Reservist.
Harry will narrate the audio version himself, but voice artist Emily Woo Zeller warned: ‘To take words off a page and make them sound like dialogue is a skill. I don’t know if Harry has that skill.’
Another source close to Prince Harry told the Telegraph last night that the Duke of Sussex wrote his controversial memoir for himself, rather than being a ‘takedown of his family’.
It was described by those familiar with the manuscript as a “beautiful read”, that readers from all walks of life will identify with.
The experience of addressing his past struggles is said to have been cathartic for Prince Harry.
The source said: ‘You can’t always live your life trying to make your family or your siblings happy.
‘You have to choose your own happiness.’
It comes after it was reported on Friday night that Prince Harry will not return to the UK to spend the first Christmas since Queen Elizabeth II died with his family amid the controversy.
Sources close to the couple told The Mirror relations between Harry and wife Meghan and the rest of the royal family are ‘near rock bottom’ and they could decline an invitation to spend the festive period with Harry’s family.
It had been hoped that relations would thaw somewhat after the Queen’s death, but sources told The Mirror that the couple have ‘no plans’ to travel to the UK for Christmas.
The rest of the royal family were reportedly surprised at the memoir’s title.
Another source told The Mirror the book could spell ‘the end’ for any reconciliation efforts between the Sussexes and the royals: ‘This book could spell the end for any relationship Harry wants to have with his family, it’s desperately sad.’
An initial release date had been pencilled in for ‘late 2022’ to capitalise on the lucrative Christmas market, but the book will not be on the shelves until January 10 – said to be as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen, and, it is rumoured, due to last-minute alterations requested by the duke.
A spokesman for the King declined to comment on the book. But it is understood that the Royal Household has already been warned that the 416-page, £28 book is ‘critical of everyone and everything’ and they are ‘dreading’ it.
The memoir has already topped Amazon charts in the UK and US, as well as reaching the second spot in Canada, despite publication still being several months away.