What can we expect from Prince Harry's book?

What can we expect from Prince Harry's book?

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 9:51 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2021 9:51 AM

Prince Harry is making headlines once again. This time, they're around the news that he's working on a memoir, to be published late next year.

And it looks like the Duke of Sussex will keep all subjects on the table, judging by the announcement from publisher Penguin Random House. It said the book will cover Harry's life thus far, taking in his decade with the military as well as his delight at starting a family.

Harry himself acknowledged the ground he wants to cover, saying: "I've worn many hats over the years." His stated goal in opening up once more, -- promising to include "the highs and lows" of being a senior royal -- is unity. His story, he said, will show that "no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think."

British tabloids had a field day with the announcement. Immediately describing the upcoming memoir as "another blow to the Queen" and questioning whether he had sought permission to write it. Ultimately, as he is no longer a working royal, Harry doesn't need to ask the firm. That said, it's always polite to give your grandmother a heads-up -- which he reportedly did.

Officially, the palace is keeping quiet for the time being. But that's par for the course, as it wouldn't normally respond to something it hadn't seen.

News of the book came as a surprise to some royal-watchers, and it prompts the question: Why write it at all?

Critics will point to the fact that the couple previously said they were moving to the US to escape the unbearable pressure of the press, and yet Harry has been fairly accessible this past year. Whether it was sharing his truth alongside Meghan in their sit-down with Oprah, on a banterous bus ride with late-night star James Corden or from an armchair for a popular podcast, Harry has already shared a lot of himself with the public.

But that's the point. The couple always said they wanted to continue working, using their platform to raise awareness to causes dear to them but on their own terms.

Harry's choice to set the record straight in a book is interesting. It shows that, despite everything, he still doesn't feel he's been able to truly share his side of the story. Certainly, the choice of medium is telling. A TV interview can be stage-managed but it happens in a moment. You can prepare for it, but you can't change it afterward. Putting their life into words on a page allows a person more time.

Apart from the statement that it will be a "definitive" and "intimate" account of Harry's life experiences, little else of the book's contents is known at this point.

But it means we now have two royal moments to look forward to in 2022 -- the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and, later in the year, Harry's life story in print. Some may worry that the book's publication will distract from his grandmother's achievement of 70 years on the throne, but that is highly unlikely.

Harry knows when to step out of the spotlight. You only need to look at his recent actions to see that. Remember how he and William made sure to be seen talking together after their grandfather's funeral in April or appeared together at the unveiling of their mother's statue? The family know how to ensure the focus is on the right royal.

Harry is still a "much loved" member of the Queen's family, as the monarch has previously made clear. He is expected to fly home for the jubilee festivities next summer and hopes are high that the duchess and their children will be able to come too. But that's not going to stop the book from being a highly anticipated event. There will always be interest in the royal family and what happens behind palace walls. But Harry will also be aware that it's the Queen's year, and he won't do anything to draw attention away from her special moment.

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?

Bill Clinton turned down tea with the Queen.

When US Presidents fly to the UK, Downing Street traditionally pulls out all the stops to showcase the much-lauded "special relationship" between the two countries, and that often involves the Queen and her family. Most jump at the chance of tea with the monarch but that wasn't the case with Bill Clinton during his 1997 trip. He opted for a spot of sightseeing instead, according to formerly classified documents. Read the full story here.

Charles and Camilla head to Cornwall.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall undertook a short tour of England's southwest this week. The three-day visit to Devon and Cornwall is an annual event in their diaries and saw them visit places such as the historic Exeter Cathedral and the Isles of Scilly. They met with people and organizations aligned with the causes they champion, like sustainability and community development. The trip came a few days after Camilla's 74th birthday last Saturday.

FEATURED PHOTOS

It seems like just yesterday that William and Kate welcomed their first child to the world, and yet Prince George turned 8 on Thursday! As has become traditional on each of their children's birthdays, the proud parents shared a family snap of their eldest for royal fans. George and his siblings are rarely seen by the public, appearing mainly at large royal events, which have been scuppered over the past year by the pandemic.

But by releasing photographs to the public, the hope from the family is that the children will be left alone to grow up in as normal circumstances as possible. However, the third in line to the British throne delighted royal fans with a few appearances cheering the England men's football squad at Euro 2020 matches alongside his football-loving father in recent weeks.

In honor of George's birthday, here's a few fun snaps of the sweet and sometimes cheeky little royal over the years.

Can't get enough? Check out our video of some of George's cutest moments below:

FROM THE ROYAL VAULT

As Tokyo 2020 gets underway, here's a fun one... did you know Princess Anne once competed in an Olympic Games?

Yes, the Princess Royal rode the Queen's horse, Goodwill, during the mixed three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games in Canada. In the intervening years, she has continued to bring her experience as a veteran Olympian to her role as a British member of the International Olympic Committee. She also helped London successfully bid for the 2012 Games as director of the London Organising Committee and brought the Olympic flame from Athens to London for its tour of the country.

Ahead of this year's Games, Anne, who is also president of the British Olympic Association, sent her best-wishes to Team GB and recalled "the anticipation and excitement of stepping onto the Olympic stage" in her own sporting history. The royal also acknowledged that, while Tokyo 2020 will be different as a result of the pandemic, the circumstances shouldn't stop athletes from taking a moment to reflect on their achievements.

"I know that you have all worked incredibly hard for this moment, during the most challenging of times, and I hope you will find the Team GB environment a support and an inspiration for you. This is your Olympics. It will be different, but not in its importance to you. Savor it, and above all, enjoy it," she said. Watch her full video message here.

ROYAL TEA BREAK

The past few days have seen a heatwave engulf the UK, with many hitting the beaches and parks with some ice-cold drinks to cool down. Former royal chef Darren McGrady revealed one of the refreshing beverages he used to serve up for royals in a YouTube video this week.

"We served Pimm's a lot at Buckingham Palace in the summer at garden parties and things," McGrady said. "And it's no secret that the Queen is a lover of gin. It's a gin-based drink and with a splash of lemonade in there ... it really is a super-refreshing drink."

McGrady revealed the royal Pimm's cocktail recipe has seven garnishes: oranges, lemons, cherries, strawberries, cucumber, mint and borage. "It's almost a fruit salad," he added.

The chef said the secret was "one-part Pimm's and two or three parts Sprite or lemonade" and joked that "some members of the royal family measured it the other way round and I'm not saying who." Sounds delish. Are you going to give an authentic Buckingham Palace Pimm's a go?

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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