Prince Harry 'blindsided' Royal Family with huge book deal secret, 'bound to cause mayhem'

Prince Harry "blindsided" senior members of the Royal Family on Tuesday with revelations he's secretly been writing a memoir lifting the lid on his life, including the scandalous Megxit move of 2020.

Publisher Penguin House announced on Tuesday that in 2022 it would be releasing a memoir from the Duke of Sussex, described as "intimate and heartbreaking", that will cover the events of his entire lifetime.

"I'm writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become," he said in a statement.

"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."

Harry claims the book will be "accurate and wholly truthful". 

The royal stepped down from his senior role with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020 for privacy and independence in the United States, though the pair have since done several high-profile interviews and making entertainment content focused on his life.

It's now been revealed in British media that the Duke never consulted with his family about the book, which the Daily Mail reports he has been working on for nearly a year in collaboration with author JR Moehringer.

It says Prince Charles was "surprised" at the news. One insider reportedly said it was a book "by Harry, as written by Meghan", while another said the announcement led to a lot of "eye-rolling". 

"They have spent the last 18 months doing everything they promised Her Majesty they wouldn't do – making a living off their previous lives and status as members of the Royal Family. It's depressingly predictable, unfortunately."

The Sun also says Harry "blindsided" relatives. A spokesperson said the Duke told his family - including the Queen - about the book "very recently". But a source said Harry "scrambled" to tell relatives of the book "just moments before it became public". 

The announcement also came on the first day since the pandemic began that Prince Charles and Camilla were officially on a public engagement.

"The Prince of Wales’s visit has been scheduled for 18 months," a source said. "The Sussexes would have known that. It may not have been deliberate but it is another example of poor communication."

Robert Jobson, a royal biographer, told the Mail that this memoir was always going to happen. 

"This is bound to cause mayhem amongst the House of Windsor. If Harry, which seems inevitable, goes into detail about mental health issues involving his wife and alleged racism at the heart of the royal family, it will be hugely damaging to the House of Windsor and the Monarchy as an institution."

Critic Piers Morgan also took issue with the irony of Prince Harry wanting privacy, but seeking the spotlight. 

"Ready to tell his story? Prince Privacy hasn’t stopped yapping, whining and trashing his family all bloody year," Morgan tweeted.

The Mail Online says the book deal is said to be worth about NZ$29 million, with proceeds going to charity. 

It's not the first time the royal renegade has left his family - including the Queen, his 95-year-old grandmother - out of key decisions. Tuesday's announcement echoes his and Meghan Markle's January 2020 revelation that the pair would step down from their senior royal roles, something they hadn't properly discussed with the family beforehand

Prince Harry and his father's relationship has been strained this year by comments the Duke made to Oprah Winfrey in their sit-down interview in March. He accused Charles of letting him and Meghan down while they were living in the UK and ignoring their calls around the time they decided to step down from their senior royal roles. 

In an Apple documentary released in May, Prince Harry lashed out, saying that in the aftermath of his mother's death, his father said he needed to get used to media attention. 

"That doesn't make sense. Just because you suffered, it doesn't mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that any negative experiences you had, you can make it right for your kids."