On Monday, Prince Harry and Penguin Random House broke the news that the Duke of Sussex will be releasing a memoir in late 2022 that will share, “for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him,” per the project’s press release.
Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to the news, but the Palace made the rare move of declining to comment to People with on-the-record words rather than silence. “Any clarification about the book would be a question for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the Palace said, referring to Meghan and Harry by their titles.
Harry’s memoir will address his time in the royal family, per the release: “Covering his lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father, Prince Harry will offer an honest and captivating personal portrait, one that shows readers that behind everything they think they know lies an inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story.”
A spokesperson for Harry made it clear to People that the royal family wasn’t blindsided by the news. People were told by the rep that Harry spoke privately with the royal family regarding the book’s publication very recently. The spokesperson added that Harry would not be expected to obtain permission from Buckingham Palace for the project.
In a statement, Harry explained the memoir: “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man, I have become. 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. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.”
Harry and Meghan stepped back from their senior royal family roles in January 2020. They made that move permanent earlier this year and now live in Montecito, California, with their two children, two-year-old son Archie and one-month-old daughter Lili. In March, they gave a seismic tell-all interview to Oprah about their experiences as working royal family members.
Among their biggest bombshell claims was that a member of the royal family (not the Queen or Philip) had concerns that their then-unborn son Archie’s skin would be too dark, Meghan revealing that the institution refused to let her seek treatment when she struggled with suicidal ideation, and Harry’s statement that the family has an “invisible contract” with the British tabloids and are scared of them.
The royal family very tersely responded to the interview. Two days after the interview aired, the Palace released a brief statement on behalf of the Queen: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Meghan and Harry. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”