If there was a slim chance that Prince Harry‘s relationship with his father and brother could be salvaged, his decision to pen a tell-all autobiography about his life in the Royal Family has just torpedoed any remaining hope.
Multiple royal insiders tell me that there is a ‘growing sense of shock and fury’ among the royal palaces and Harry’s own family members about his book plan.
‘This is the no going back moment – the final nail in the coffin of the Royal Family’s relationship with Harry,’ a senior royal source tells me. ‘The emotional turmoil as they wait over a year for publication is going to be torturous.’
Multiple royal insiders tell me that there is a ‘growing sense of shock and fury’ among the royal palaces and Harry’s own family members about his book plan, writes Dan Wootton
What has angered courtiers most is that Harry and Meghan know, whatever they say in the book, Prince Charles and Prince William, as heirs to the throne, will find it almost impossible to fight back.
Insiders close to the Prince of Wales have confirmed he did not know about Harry’s book, even though he has been working on it for the past year.
Another source explains: ‘Prince Charles didn’t know anything about it. This is really painful, it’s going to be difficult for him to take. The assumption is that he will take another kicking from Harry.
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‘The real disappointing thing for Charles is that he used to get on with Harry so well, actually far better than William. He feels so let down by the whole thing.’
Clarence House is also believed to be worried about what Harry might write about his stepmother Camilla.
The source adds: ‘Let’s be honest, Harry has never been close to the Duchess of Cornwall. If he documents their fraught relationship in the book it could be very damaging at a time when Charles is laying the groundwork for her to become Queen.’
While there is still hope that Charles and Harry’s relationship will be able to recover, courtiers do not believe a rapprochement with William is possible.
A royal insider says: ‘This is the end of any close relationship with the Duke of Cambridge. There’s nothing more that can be said on that front. William believes his behaviour is shameful and tasteless.
‘Harry’s been going around to people saying he can’t remember his childhood and his mother that much. Now he’s going to write a book about it. How does that stack up?
‘What’s really telling is even the relatives he remains closest to, like princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, are stunned by what he’s up to.’
As for the damage Harry’s revelations could cause, courtiers are split.
Prince Charles and Prince William arrive at Royal Ascot on June 18, 2019
Prince Harry’s new book could threaten Charles’ plan to make Camilla (pictured today at a school in the Isles of Scilly) his queen
A royal insider explains: ‘This is nothing like Andrew Morton’s biography of Princess Diana or Jonathan Dimbleby’s of Prince Charles – this is coming from the horse’s mouth.
‘Harry will have to take ownership of every word forever more. There’s no room for deniability.
‘So in terms of the monarchy, this is massive. It’s going to have a big impact.
‘But what’s the worst he can say? Will he name the so-called ‘royal racist’? There’s a lot of worry about that.’
MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton
The book’s publication in 2022 has also worried courtiers because it risks overshadowing a trio of significant royal milestones.
The source explains: ‘First and foremost, it’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. That’s what matters most.
‘But it’s also Prince William’s 40th birthday and the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.
‘With that mix, it should have been a really positive year for the Royal Family.
‘But Harry clearly doesn’t care. He’s acting like a child. We need to remember he’s a nearly 37-year-old man, not a 21-year-old. He’s on the cusp of middle age.’
Some royal insiders are also questioning what Harry’s announcement that the proceeds for the book will go to charity really means.
The New York Post reported that the deal with Penguin Random House will see Prince Harry getting at least £14.7million ($20m) upfront for the book, with at least a million of that believed going to the ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer.
However, Harry has not said whether the massive multi million pound advance will also be donated to charity.
Harry – pictured with Meghan – seems to ‘revel’ in the pushback from London
My royal source says: ‘Surely Harry has to make it clear if that advance is going to charity too. Because otherwise the proceeds from the book will be much lower given it has to first cover the costs of such a massive advance.’
Harry isn’t at all concerned about the pushback from London. In fact, he seems to revel in it these days.
Announcing the news yesterday, he said in a statement: ‘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 learnt – 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 learnt 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.’
The Queen stepping out to attend the Royal Windsor Cup Final earlier this month
And even though there’s general outrage within the Royal Family at Harry’s move to become a bestselling author on the back of the institution, some admit he has finally proven beyond any doubt that he can be financially self-sufficient and sees no path back.
One royal source explains: ‘There’s a lot going on among the family at the moment. A shifting of the power bases following the death of Prince Philip, with Prince Charles and Prince William both solidifying their power.
‘But Harry doesn’t give a damn. He’s there to do what’s right for him. He no longer cares about how his actions impact the monarchy.
‘He went to California with the sole goal of showing that he will never need to rely on his family for money again – and he’s proven that beyond any doubt.’