8 bombshells Harry could drop in new book – racism, rifts and Lilibet’s name
Prince Harry has promised that his new memoir will be a first-hand account of his life that’s “accurate and wholly truthful”.
It was announced yesterday that Duke of Sussex, 36, is releasing the book that will share his “adventures, losses, and life lessons”.
And if Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey is anything to go by, the memoir, which he’s reportedly been working on for a year, is also likely to contain several bombshells.
Since quitting the royal family last year, the Sussexes have used the TV interview, along with the Duke’s chat with James Corden, to discuss their time in the Firm and fallouts behind palace walls.
Announcing the new book yesterday, Harry said: “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.”
It’s unclear exactly what will be included in the book, which is set to be released next year, but it may well shed new light on why he and wife Meghan Markle quit the Firm to move to the US.
A source told the Mirror the thought of Harry’s book has sparked a “tsunami of fear” in royal circles.
But what unanswered questions about Harry and Meghan could be addressed in the book? Here we take a look…
The ‘royal racist’
One of the most shocking lines from Harry and Meghan’s bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March was a claim that Harry had “conversations” within the royal household about how dark son Archie’s skin might have been before he was born.
During the interview, Meghan refused to say who the conversations had been with, saying it would be “very damaging to them”.
Later in the chat, Harry also said he would never reveal the details of the conversations – although it was later reported the comments were not made by the Queen or the late Duke of Edinburgh.
After the interview aired, a statement was issued by the Queen, which read: “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst 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.”
Meanwhile, Prince William hit back at the claims and insisted they were “very much not a racist family” when asked by a reporter.
But will Harry reveal more details about this in his new book?
How did the royals react to the tell-all Oprah interview?
It wasn’t just the race claim that made headlines from Harry and Meghan’s Oprah chat.
Other bombshells made by the couple included Meghan revealing she had suicidal thoughts, and Harry saying he felt “let down” by his father Prince Charles and was cut off financially.
At the time of the interview, it was reported that the Queen did not watch the programme live but got a detailed briefing from her staff at breakfast.
But what did she and other royal family members make of the interview? Will Harry reveal all in his book?
What really happened at the Sandringham Summit?
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan made the shock announcement that they would be stepping down as senior royals and would become financially independent.
This prompted the Queen to host crisis talks with her grandson at Sandringham in a bid to find a solution to Meghan and Harry’s future roles.
They were joined by Prince Charles and Prince William in what was dubbed the Sandringham Summit.
After the two-hour meeting, the Queen released a rare statement, where she said they had “constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family”.
It added: “My family and I are entirely supportive of their desire to create a new life.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life while remaining a valued part of my family.”
In Robert Lacey’s book, Battle of the Brothers, there are claims that Prince William felt betrayed and refused to eat lunch with his brother.
Will Harry tell all about what happened at the summit?
What happened with Meghan’s dad?
Ever since she married Harry in May 2018, Meghan has been estranged from her dad Thomas, who lives in Mexico.
In fact, Prince Harry has never actually met his father-in-law and it is believed Thomas has not met his grandchildren Archie and Lili either.
Thomas was infamously absent from the couple’s wedding after suffering from a heart attack triggered by “emotional stress”.
He was also caught up in a media storm before the wedding as he was caught staging photos for the press.
He gave several TV interviews, including chats on Good Morning Britain, during which he called Harry “rude” and accused him of failing to protect his daughter.
After the Oprah interview, Thomas appealed to his daughter and son-in-law for a reconciliation saying he was keen to be in contact with them.
So will the book reveal if they have made contact?
There has been much speculation about the growing rift between Harry and his older brother William.
It was reportedly sparked by William’s concerns over Harry’s fast-developing relationship with Meghan and the tense row quickly boiled over.
The younger prince then claimed in the Oprah interview that his brother was “trapped” within the royal system.
According to friends, William was “very upset” and “reeling” over the claims, with his head “all over the place”.
Since the interview, the brothers have met twice – at Prince Philip’s funeral in April and at the unveiling of a statue of their late mother Princess Diana in July.
Will Harry’s book go into more detail about what caused the feud and if it’s still bubbling?
Did he tell the Queen about the naming of Lilibet?
Last month, Harry and Meghan welcomed their second child – a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten Windsor.
In a statement, they said: “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.
“Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.”
The Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April, used the name Lilibet as a pet name for the monarch, although it was originally given to her by her grandfather, King George V, because of the way she pronounced her own name.
But there have been varying reports as to whether the couple asked for permission from the Queen to use her family nickname.
The couple’s spokesman told the New York Post Harry had spoken to his grandmother first and revealed his hope to name his first daughter in her honour.
They added that if The Queen had not approved Harry would not have used the name.
But a senior Palace source told the BBC the conversation was “a telling, not an asking”.
The BBC account prompted a legal letter from Harry and Meghan’s lawyers, which branded the story “defamatory”.
Will this be addressed in the book?
What really happened before the wedding that made Kate and Meghan cry?
There were numerous reports that Meghan made the Duchess of Cambridge cry during a bridesmaid dress fitting in the lead up to her wedding to Harry.
But during her one-on-one with Oprah, Meghan claimed it was actually Kate that made her cry.
Meghan said she has now forgiven Kate, adding that she’s a “good person” and that Kate sent her flowers to apologise for the incident.
Meghan says that the incident was a “turning point” in terms of her time in the royal family.
It’s something that has fascinated fans, so people will be keen to see if Harry sheds any more light on it.
Who denied Meghan help for her mental health issues?
During the Oprah interview, Meghan opened up about her mental health struggles and admitted she had suicidal thoughts during her time in the royal family.
She explained how she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” and when asked directly if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan replied “yes”.
Meghan says that Harry “cradled her” when she told him, and he later admitted it sent him to a “dark place”.
When she asked the palace to seek professional help, Meghan said she was told she couldn’t get any.
Will Harry’s book reveal who exactly told Meghan this?