Princess Kate should have received nicer birthday gifts. Her brother-in-law Prince Harry's autobiography is scheduled to be published on January 10, 2023 - one day after Prince William's wife's 41st birthday, the mood in the royal family could drop to a new low.
"This book is a lot worse than people think," the British newspaper The Sun quoted a source as saying. Because if what the media has been suspecting for a long time is true, Harry's (38) work should protect the palace and, above all, his father, King Charles III. massively target.
At least that's what the title suggests. "Spare" is the name of the book in the original, presumably an allusion to the phrase "The heir and the spare". This is blatantly aimed at Harry as the younger brother of heir apparent William, who could only come into play if the older one died. The titles of the translated editions also make the role clear, as Harry apparently sees himself: In Germany the book is called "Reserve", in Spain "Im Schatten" and in Sweden "Der Andere", as the "Sun" reports.
Family ties have long been considered broken
The relationships between Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan, on the one hand, and Charles, but also brother William, on the other, have long been considered broken. The main trigger was the sensational interview of the couple, who emigrated to California years ago, with US presenter Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. In it, Meghan and Harry accused the palace of racism and a lack of support.
Since then, British media have repeatedly discovered signs of a thaw. Charles, for example, made a point of emphasizing his love for his son and daughter-in-law in his first address to the nation as king. But enough points of contention remain. Charles, of all people, took over the honorary title of Captain General of the Royal Marines, which Harry had last held - without even saying a word about the role of his son and predecessor.
Book meets tense situation
The book that Harry and the ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer is said to have written. Actually, it was supposed to be released in the fall, but after the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, Harry apparently pushed for a revision, as they say in London. But as a result, the publisher Penguin Random House missed out on the lucrative business before the US holiday of Thanksgiving and Christmas. After all, the Queen's grandson is said to have received an advance of 20 million euros. Harry was asked several times to present individual parts in more detail or even to add anecdotes, the "Sun" reported. That also fuels fears in the palace of revelations.
With the announcement of the meaningful title, the relationships within the family are already close to the low point, wrote the newspaper "Mirror". Harry also declined an invitation to the joint Christmas party, the newspaper claims to have learned. The "Daily Mail" reported that instead he was considering flying to his home country at the beginning of the year and explaining his book. William is said to have barely spoken a word to his younger brother since the announcement. Royals expert Angela Levin told the newspaper that the palace was sitting on red-hot coals.
"This book is really 'all or nothing'," Royals biographer Tom Bower told The Sun. But how will the palace react? "I can well imagine that King Charles has been warned that any form of retaliation will be ugly." The expert suggests the monarch could deny Harry's children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, the titles of prince and princess. They actually have a right to that since their grandfather became king. "Ultimately, he could also take the titles away from Harry and Meghan," Bower said. "But that would be pretty drastic." The family quarrel in the palace is far from over.