Did Prince Harry negotiate a four-book publishing deal or is the Mail lying again?

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Let’s go in somewhat chronological order on this story, meaning let’s talk about the very strange article that dropped on Friday, and then we’ll get into the denial and fact-checking of the article. On Friday, Rebecca English at the Daily Mail dropped a big exclusive: in addition to the memoir Prince Harry is currently working on, he allegedly inked a contract with Penguin Random House for a four-book deal. This is what Becky English’s sources claim now, nevermind the fact that those same sources apparently had no idea what was happening one week ago before the news of the memoir dropped. Some highlights from the DM:

The deal: Prince Harry has clinched a lucrative four-book deal – with the second due out only after the Queen has died, the Mail can reveal today. In news sure to alarm Buckingham Palace, industry insiders said the ‘tell-all’ tome unveiled by Harry earlier this week is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Sources said the Duke of Sussex oversaw the bidding and told publishing houses to begin at £18million, with the final figure possibly reaching £29million. The deal will see a memoir released next year – when it is the Queen’s platinum jubilee – with the second book to be held back until after her death.

Meghan is part of the deal? Harry’s wife Meghan is to pen a ‘wellness’ guide as part of the contract with Penguin Random House. The subject and author of the fourth title is unknown.

Harry led negotiations from Montecito: Two publishers flew out from London to see him and others took part in the ‘auction’ by video call, sources say. ‘He conducted negotiations – he had a very ‘take it or leave it’ attitude,’ said an impeccably-placed source in the publishing industry. ‘His starting price was $25million (£18million) and the final figure was way north of that, possibly as much as $35-40million (£25-29million). Those involved were actually very shocked by his approach, which was to look at them coldly and state his demands – $25million. In Britain, publishing is still a rather ‘gentlemanly’ industry. It’s high stakes, but is still conducted in very genteel terms.’

When Granny Dies: ‘The final contract was actually for a four-book deal, with Harry writing one “when his granny dies”. Meghan will write a wellness-type book and people are unsure what the fourth will be. But what is most shocking, frankly, is Harry’s suggestion that the second book won’t be published until the Queen is no longer here. People [will] start asking ‘what has he got, who is he going to target?’ The very idea of this unexploded bomb, hanging about waiting for the Queen to pass, is just extraordinary and may strike many as being in very bad taste.’

The DM updated with Harry’s denial: After being alerted to the story in detail on Thursday and told that it would be published on Saturday, lawyers acting for Harry replied to the Mail yesterday afternoon saying that they would not be commenting. Five hours later however, and after early editions of the paper had gone to press, they then wrote to the Mail again saying the claims were ‘false and defamatory’. They said there was only one ‘memoir’ planned by Harry, which will be published next year.

[From The Daily Mail]

As the Mail updated, the Sussexes’ spokesperson went to certain outlets with the denial. Per Omid Scobie, “A report claiming Prince Harry is holding back a second book (of a multi-title deal) for after the Queen’s death seems to be wide of the mark. A Sussex rep says there’s NO project coordinated around such an event, adding that it would be factually inaccurate to suggest otherwise.”

I get that the hashtag #RebeccaEnglishIsALiar has been trending all weekend and there are huge chunks of her story which don’t make sense at all, which I will get to in a moment. But… I think it’s very likely that something simple got conflated into this psychodrama. I think there’s probably a good chance that Harry’s contract with Penguin Random House probably *does* include language about a possible second book, if Harry and the publisher agree to it. Publishers operate like Hollywood studios nowadays: they want to lock in their talent to multi-project deals, whether that means multi-film deals or multi-book deals. I think the Sussex spokesperson is being notably careful with how they’re denying the story.

Now, all of that being said, the details of English’s story make zero sense. There is no way the American wing of an international publishing house would agree to a “when granny dies” contractual clause. It also makes zero sense that a publishing house would send representatives FROM London… especially when Harry would likely have a literary agent or manager conducting the negotiations anyway. Also bizarre: the idea that Harry would negotiate his wife’s publishing contract. They would have separate contracts because they’re doing separate things with separate divisions at Penguin Random House. So… yeah, Rebecca English probably heard that Harry’s contract has a clause for a possible second book and she used that as a jumping off point for this ridiculous fiction.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex arrives at the Easter Sunday church service at St.George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Sunday April 21, 2019

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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115 Responses to “Did Prince Harry negotiate a four-book publishing deal or is the Mail lying again?”

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  1. Cate says:

    It seems weird to have a multi-book deal for someone who as of yet has no history of writing. Also, even though Harry as lived a very full life to date, he doesn’t really seem old enough for *multiple* memoir style books so unless he’s got some secret papers about some aspect of the monarchy that have nothing to do with him…I buy this zero percent.

    • BabsORIG says:

      Ooohhhhh, the old and tired tabloid and so called carnival of experts talking point: Harry is too young to write blah, blah, blah🙄🙄. C’mon, how many biographies have been written about Harry inquiring minds want to know⁉️👂🏾👂🏾? Exactly what I thought. Therefore, please quit with that madness, Harry can write as many books as he wants at
      whatever age he wants. One is never too young to do whatever they want; sólo vives una vez.
      Oh and English, Andrews, and Nichols were all born and raised by the same woman, went to the same schools and they all are the biggest liars of all time.

      • Cate says:

        Well, TBH, Harry also strikes me as having a higher standard for quality, etc. than some of these “biographers” so I guess in addition to what the publishers would sign to I don’t see him saying “I have multiple memoirs worth of material”. *If* it’s a multi-book deal I just don’t think it’s three juicy tell-all memoirs plus a wellness book. Maybe one “juicy” and some “lighter” stuff, like Harry’s thoughts on how transformative fatherhood is. I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff he could write that would sell, I just don’t see the angle the Mail is pushing (multiple books where the monarchy is a target).

      • Elle says:

        Babs, I’m curious about how they were all raised by the same woman – can you expand on that, please?

      • BABSORIG says:

        @Elle, its just another way of saying they of the same ilk, or they all cut from the same cloth.

      • BABSORIG says:

        @Elle, its just another way of saying they’re of the same ilk, or they all are cut from the same cloth.

      • Elle says:

        Oh, it’s like a proverb, rather than what my terrified brain was imagining as a type of Hogwarts for RRs LOL
        Thanks for the explanation, Babs!

    • Eurydice says:

      President Obama published his first memoir when he was 34 and he hadn’t done a whole lot up to that point. His second one came out a couple years before he was elected and he was still a junior senator. It can happen.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Obama began his first memoir when he made first black editor of the Harvard Law Review if I recall, but publishers weren’t interested. Then when he was elected to senate it finally got published.

      • Eurydice says:

        I don’t doubt the problems he had with publishing, but Dreams of My Father was published in 1995 – Obama was elected into the Illinois senate in 1997.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Please. Sarah Ferguson got a multi-book deal with her Budgie books. Publishers sign famous people & as Kaiser noted, as they’re in the business to make $$, they’ll want to squeeze at least a second book out of their writers. And you can write a memoir–a successful one, at that–at any age, if you’ve got something interesting to say, e.g., Malala Yousafzai.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @Cate, What is the proper age? Harry doesn’t need to have a ‘history of writing’ to have a multiple book deal if that’s the case. I don’t believe it’s claimed he’s doing the writing-Moehringer is, for the 1st one at least. He has enough life experience to cover a number of books on a variety of subjects that would be interesting to different audiences through the different phases of his life. It’s not hard for Rebecca English to speculate on that. There are many people who have memoirs based on different stages of their life that are not condensed into one book-Frank McCourt, Mary Karr(she was 40 when her 1st came out) and Pat Conroy(he did most of his under the fiction category-love his books). I would love Harry to go the route of the previous mentioned – but he probably won’t.
      https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2013/11/19/pat-conroy-santini
      I still want Rebecca English to explain her co-signing/writing of an article before the Oprah interview about the bullying allegations against Meghan. “Bullying allegations” that supposedly were withdrawn at some point but the withdrawn stuff didn’t come out until after it was noted, on a global scale, that Meghan had receipts. If I’m not mistaken.

  2. TeamAwesome says:

    Lol, even our gauche American publishers can’t hold a candle to the genteel Brits. Sure, Jan.

    • JT says:

      It really kills them that Harry is doing so well in America doesn’t it? They make it sound like his every success here in the states is an affront to the UK. If they wanted him to stay they could’ve, I don’t know, treated him better.

      • Nyro says:

        They really took those comic strips of him and Meghan flipping burgers quite seriously, didn’t they. Lol, it’s like they actually thought they’d be panhandling and living in a tent on Skid Row. What a bunch of idiots.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That part made me laugh, how ‘genteel’ & ‘gentlemanly’ British publishing supposedly is. Just like the newspaper biz, I’m sure.

    • The Recluse says:

      That cracked me up. It has been decades since the publishing industry has had a ‘gentlemanly’ approach to its authors.

  3. Digital Unicorn says:

    I could see him negotiating a multiple book deal but not with the ‘when granny dies’ clause – this is the Fail stirring again. The stench of desperation is over powering.

    • Tessa says:

      DM and other tabs want clickbait. I don’t believe the story

    • Rapunzel says:

      The figures also seem low for a four book deal.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Multi-book deal, of course, but for two different authors? Piffle.

    • Lemons says:

      I honestly think Rebecca English was sent fake documents or a fake tip from a “palace source” and because these journalists have no ethics, she didn’t check her source and ended up writing this crazed blog post (I refuse to call it an article).

    • Becks1 says:

      I can see this as well – especially if the first book is a big success, the publisher (Random House? whoever won the rights) is going to want to maintain the rights to any sort of follow up or other book from him. But yeah, I really doubt that there is a clause about “when granny dies.”

      I’ll say though that it kind of makes me laugh, because it shows you what the RRs and the royals are scared of – not what Harry is going to say now, but what Harry is holding back on and might say after QEII dies.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    There’s almost zero chance Harry was conducting the negotiations personally. He has people for that.

    And while I can see a slim possibility of this being a sort of Archewell based deal including Meg, there is almost zero chance they would want her to a wellness book because a memoir would sell better.

    This is speculation probably based on vague contract language that they can get up to 4 books.

    They’re just trying to foment outrage. The whole article is geared to get a “how dare Harry publish after the queen dies and betray her by trashing her” reaction. And a “how dare that gold digging hussy Meghan write a wellness book– see? She’s so Hollywood” reaction.

    I mean…a wellness book? Extremely unlikely. Meghan is not Goop Paltrow.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ Rapunzel : I read The Tig before MM shut it down and it was very good. It had a girl next door, aspirational feel to it. Travel, food, well being. I think “going full Goop” would be a great idea for MM. And a wellness book would be along the same lines. She’s done a lot in the past 4-5 years and that could be reflected in the subject range of a TIG-reborn blog for MM. I’m all for a wellness book from her.

      • Rapunzel says:

        @StillSarah- I’m not saying Meg wouldn’t be good at a lifestyle/wellness book/blog. The Tig shows she can do it. I just don’t think that’s her brand anymore. And honestly, I don’t want her going full Goop because it would feed the haters and I want them to starve.

    • SarahCS says:

      Yeah, there are too many ‘buttons’ in this story for me to believe a word of it even if I didn’t already feel the source has no credibility!

      He’s counting down to the queen dying and then will let rip – he doesn’t respect the monarchy!
      He was arrogant and ‘take it or leave it’ after they flew people from London to pander to him
      Meghan + wellness
      Etc.

      All designed the get the pearl clutchers going

    • Bettyrose says:

      Wouldn’t going full goop mean being a pretentious a-hole who markets pointless yet absurdly priced items with no regard to supporting worthy entrepreneurs?

      • Elle says:

        yes, in addition to making spurrious and possibly dangerous “health” claims

      • Pinellas Pixie says:

        yes it would

      • Susan says:

        Yeah and for what its worth, I think MM is insightful enough to see that kind of “goop wellness” has peaked…and is on the way down. If you follow some of the people that cover instagram influencer news (Taylor Lorenz, Jessica Defino, etc) you will see that there is a backlash against goop type wellness happening and now would not be the time to jump in. what’s next? Who knows, but MM got on the IG/blog bandwagon pretty early so I’d imagine she will do something innovative and new, not tired and problematic.

    • Soupie says:

      I hope Meghan is still paying the fee for her blog and will revive it at some point. Knowing her, she’s been ruminating on that one for quite a while. And it will be successful – of course.

    • Iris says:

      Yes, Rapunzel! I work in the publishing industry and NO authors negotiate their own deals?! They have agents who do that.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Iris, being involved in the publishing industry, do you have access to pre order sales numbers? I could pay to find out. I’m just curious because it was claimed that Lady Colin Campbell’s book about H & M had a million pre order sales (which I’m doubting). It’s claimed to have been a best seller on the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal. *Crickets* on NYT.

  5. Tessa says:

    Charles really did not ‘write’ his own biography, Dimbleby wrote the book using material from Charles interviews, personal papers and access to Charles friends.

  6. MsIam says:

    “Flying in from London” was the key for me. No need for that, when they have an American division. And publishing being very “gentlemanly”? Ha! Business is business, this company has been around a long time, they know how the game is played. And Rebecca English IS a liar, all of those ” royal experts” are.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      She lies as easily as you and I breathe air!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, she is a habitual liar and I don’t believe one bit of this story. Especially the fact that Harry was conducting a Skype online betting battle. 🙄

    • Jay says:

      I think maybe “gentlemanly” is code for using your connections to get a publishing deal, like “Oh, I went shooting with viscount so and so, he was school chums with my father, very decent chap, he thinks I should work with his people to put out a memoir”.

      And the image of Harry personally conducting an online auction, and flatly, coldly(!), stating his price is out of some 80s movie about evil corporations. Laughable.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yeah, Random House is basically “Engulf and Devour.” And how did the story get inflated to $40 million? Last week it was $20 million.

      • Miranda says:

        Little-known fact: Random House is actually headquartered in the Weimar Republic in 1922. “Flying in from London” is just what they’re telling us so no one will know that Germany has figured out time travel, because then they’d have to explain why they’re using it to make book deals with English schweinhunden instead of going back and pushing Hitler’s mom down the stairs or something.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, Miranda, that is good. Twisted, but good.

  7. Snuffles says:

    “Rebecca English probably heard that Harry’s contract has a clause for a possible second book and she used that as a jumping off point for this ridiculous fiction.”

    This. There is probably an option for another book, depending on how the first on sells. Rebecca went into psycho mode upon hearing that. The desperation is strong in this one. All of them really.

    There was a Twitter Spaces discussion yesterday about what these RRs get paid and how much their bottom line has been affected with Harry and Meghan leaving and cutting them off.

    Do they get paid by the word? By the number of clicks? Are they on salary? They probably subsidize their salary by acting as royal experts on TV locally and internationally. Of course writing dubious “biographies”.

    With Harry and Meghan giving the scoops to US outlets and being able to largely keep their projects and their private daily lives on lockdown, the value of an RR’s “expertise” is diminishing. And when Harry writes his memoir, their claims they know his personal history will hold no value anymore either.

    No photos to sell of the children or other events with Harry and Meghan commissioning their own photographers and keeping the copyright.

    News aggregation/syndication services will probably pay them less and less because they have no more scoops or insider knowledge to sell.

    How desperate will they get trying to profit off of the Sussex’s? Will they lie and risk getting sued? Or will they switch to new targets and start dismantling the rest of the royal family?

    ***Sigh*** It’s gonna be a LONG year.

    • equality says:

      It’s probably jealousy too that none of them can get a book deal in the millions for their speculations so they don’t want to admit Harry could make that much on one book.

      • Snuffles says:

        Probably

      • Lady D says:

        They refuse to believe he has any brains at all. They think they are working with the Harry the DM describes as a partyboy soldier, dim but decent and just cannot comprehend how he got this smart. They don’t realize yet who they are dealing with because the RF thinks they still hold all the cards.
        When I saw the 4-book headline, I laughed. My first thought was how’s that half in, half out working for you Charles?

    • lanne says:

      They get paid by clicks, so it’s in their interest to stir up the masses, but they have to be careful because Meghan and Harry will sue them. The DM still hasn’t published their front page apology to Meghan. By resisting the court order, they demonstrate quantitatively that their main goal is to punish and torment and bully Meghan, not to cover the news. The royals working in tandem with tabloids means that they openly support the tabloid smear campaign. No one over a5 any of the palaces seems to realize that slander is not a winning media strategy for global engagement with their brand. Royal family equals white supremacy. I can’t believe they are fine with that message, but here we are.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @Snuffles..I don’t think that they’ve ever had ‘more scoops or insider knowledge’. It seems more like rubbish to publish.

  8. Edna says:

    Absolutely astounding and pathetic. The BM and Rota Rats are going from zero to 100 quickly. From having no knowledge about anything until it was leaked by an insider to an American gossip site, suddenly the Rats/BM have all these “sources” to write about Harry’s book deal. They are a sad, pathetic lot.

  9. equality says:

    I guess, they have the ghostwriters and editors who are experienced to work on books. With Harry’s name it would get attention. It would be funny if he had a second book that was a children’s book or a photo book of his travels. He could call it “Move Around”.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      I’d like to see a 2nd book titled “Receipts”. And just lay out all the charge, followed by the memos, emails, and letters that back up each and every claim H&M stated. Just the “receipts”. I’d buy that!

      • Babz says:

        I would so buy that book, too! No commentary, just allegations and receipts. That format would speak for itself.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @(TheOg) Jan90067, that would be good. Can’t be done until after the “bullying” report comes out next year for legal reasons. It apparently takes the Firm and the imaginary outside law firm over a year to investigate. I’m of the belief that Meghan’s reciepts have more to do with Will & Kate telling staffers to sabotage Meghan’s efforts to get work done and pulling them off of the work they were doing for her instead of the staffers actually wanting to work-plus other nefarious actions on W & K’s part. Still laughing at the KP/BM giving credit to Kate for the Smart Works collection. Outside of the white shirt, there are not enough buttons included to support any Kate input.

        It won’t happen, but What Harry Knows would be a good title.

  10. Sofia says:

    I agree that there is probably an option for a second book if Harry is interested, there’s something to write about and the first book does well. But I don’t think there’s a set deal of “You’re writing us 4 books Harry”. Parts of the story do read like fanfiction too.

  11. Noor says:

    I love the idea of Prince Harry writing a book on his life. For far too long he has been at the mercy of royal biographers, commentators and tabloids making money from his life story.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ Noor : it would be interesting to see how Harry views his own life as opposed to hearing how other people view it.

  12. Jay says:

    I think most mega book deals are multi-part, but that doesn’t mean that Harry is authoring a four volume “My Life” tome. I expect he will eventually write another memoir, but I could also see him authoring a book around Invictus, veterans, or mental health, for starters. Or a cooking/lifestyle book from Meghan, or her own memoirs. Or a mental health/postpartum workbook of some kind, given her own experience and where their interests lie.

    Ultimately, I think the royals underestimate how much Harry has to offer. They seem to think of him as the dim party animal, and can’t understand why anybody would want to hear from him except to spill palace secrets.

    Also, are they actually mad that Harry might be a good negotiator??? After I had to read countless stories about “Top CEO” and “Top Diplomat”? Reader, I laughed out loud.

    • Amy Bee says:

      It’s more likely that Harry and Meghan have separate book deals.

      • Jay says:

        Yes, that’s true. I seem to remember the Obama’s negotiated a massive deal together, so that’s sort of the template I was thinking of. I am far from a publishing expert!

    • Bettyrose says:

      No question more books will be written whether part of this deal or not. The best parts of their story are yet to happen.

  13. Amy Bee says:

    The press is attempting to do what the courtiers so far have been unable to do which is to drive a wedge between Harry and the Queen. This latest piece by the Daily Mail is a testament to this and there will be more articles like this in the coming year. The whole mess with Lili’s name was another example. I think they believe that if they can do that the Queen will turn against Harry and then he will be finally punished for marrying Meghan and for leaving the family. It’s clear nothing that the press and Palace have done has worked so far and hopeful that continues.

    • lanne says:

      It’s amazing to me how much palace insiders talk about Harry in terms of punishing him. No wonder he’s gone for good. Their punishment is that they all have to live with each other. I think all the royals should be piled into 1 palace they can never escape, a la No Exit. They can torment each other until the end of time.

      • Liz version 700 says:

        “Their punishment is that they all have to live with each other.” This!!!!!!! At the end of the day the royals (especially incandescent ones) are angry and jealous that Harry has managed to make a successful life without all of the trappings of Royalty that they think are so important. They are miserable so they can have those castles and such and Harry walkers away and bought his own 523 bathroom place on his own terms.

    • Rapunzel says:

      It was always telling that the courtiers blocked Harry from seeing TQ prior to Sussexit. Remember the meeting where Liz was suddenly “busy” at the last minute? No coincidence. They know Harry can charm Grandma into agreeing with him when they meet face to face.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Rapunzel, do you think the Queen would have agreed with him, or do you think she would asked the other heirs to work toward that goal. I think there is a very clear delineation in her mind as to what is Firm decisions as opposed to decisions she makes as a Grandmother. It sounds like Harry already had her ear and probably she had a desire to make it work. It sounds like the decision was left up to the heirs (Walmart).

  14. tamsin says:

    I wonder if these Royal Experts realize how unhinged they sound. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that Meghan and Harry will both publish more than one book in their lifetimes. I wouldn’t speculate as to their content, though. Who would have thought that Harry would be out the gate with a memoir at this point? What the Sussexes do always seems like the “logical next step” but they somehow always manage to surprise!

    • Eurydice says:

      It think “unhinged” is the point. You don’t get clicks from being logical; you have to stir up emotions and outrage. That’s probably why they miss the Sussexes “logical next steps.” And probably why we miss them, too, because most of our information comes from the “royal experts” – we know they’re lying, but we don’t know exactly about what.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Well, Eurydice, I think it’s safe to say that this loopy crap that we are reading right here is complete and utter BS!!

    • JT says:

      Since the day is was announced that they are dating they’ve been surprising folks. Nothing that they do is expected and nobody would’ve guessed they would be where they are now when they first got married. It’s why I imagine that they are so exciting to cover, especially for the rota. The rest of the family are so boringly predictable, that I don’t know how those RRs haven’t snapped out of sheer boredom. I always laugh out how the BM just fumbled that bag with H&M. They all admitted that the time covering the Sussexes were the most interesting and profitable and they just blew it so spectacularly.

      • Eurydice says:

        I think they fell in love with their narrative. But, there’s the other side of the unhealthy equation – the RF. With Will and the courtiers actively briefing against H&M, the “experts” and media would have had to make a choice. Do they follow the boring RF, which will be there forever, no matter what – or do they ease up on the fascinating Harry and Meghan who might be more profitable in the short run, but are on their way out?

      • JT says:

        Had the BM treated H&M with just a smidge of decency and fairness, they would’ve still been there to profit off of. I would of stuck to the Sussexes; the rest of the royals have too much dirt on them to get rid of the rota. Same with the royals. Had they given H&M some space and protected them, than they still would’ve been under the control of the firm. The monarchy also would have still continued to benefit from the Sussexes popularity and influence.

      • EveV says:

        This is a question I’ve been wondering forever (in regards to media being “unhinged,” I guess). How is it that Prince Charles had his business spread all over the newspapers and the RR’s could be super nasty to him, but they do nothing but suck up and cover for William and wife? It absolutely boggles my mind!

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @EveV, It is mind boggling. My guess is that William is more pliable to the narrative the BM wants to sell. Charles, even at his age, is more modern and possibly ‘woke’ thinking than William or grey men want. Charles is a shite of a dad. He has actively shown non performatory interests outside of the monarchy. He has done the Camilla campaign and that goes against the Diana love. I’ve not seen (and have looked) to where he was trying to sell Will & Harry as being close as some have implied). Yea, the tampon thing is gross..unfortunately, at this point in most of our lives we’ve heard worse. A lot of music lyrics today alone are head shaking.

  15. Lizzie says:

    I think the only thing that might be true is the publisher has an option for a second book. It’s also possible this memoir will only cover a certain timeframe, so a second book would make sense. Who knows, definitely not the bm.

  16. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Why would hardy negotiate his wife’s contract when she’s the driven, Hollywood, social climbing witch that put the poor ginger prince under a spell? I thought he was helpless and Meghan was pulling the strings.

    Really. Every story claiming Meg is writing a “wellness book” is false. I maintain she’s evolved her way of helping people beyond a self help section book.

    • Tom says:

      Prince Harry negotiating his contract is the frosting on the cupcake.

      We know how it really went down and in the movie his agents (plural) will be played by Rob Lowe and Joe Pesci. The head of the agency is Kris Jenner. Get that money.

      We USAians are so proud of the Sussex family.

  17. Over it says:

    Even if Harry had a book deal for 10 books a year writing about sheep. It would still be none of the British media or royal family business. Remember petty and the British media said that Harry and Meghan couldn’t have it both ways. They were not allowed to make commercial deals and represent the monarchy. So the queen denied Harry wreath because she said he didn’t understand what stepping away meant. The media kept attacking Harry and Meghan saying they wanted it both ways. Well guess what, the palaces took back everything in March. So now Harry and Meghan are free to make any deals they damm well want to and it would be their business and their right as private citizens who don’t take a dime from the royal purse or the public purse. So Becky and her gang of so-call royal experts which really are dummies in disguise can go suck it.

  18. Merricat says:

    ” In Britain, publishing is still a rather ‘gentlemanly’ industry…”
    Ahahahahahahahahaha!
    Toxic patriarch at work.

  19. Premadonna says:

    Publishing in the UK is “genteel” and “gentlemanly”?????? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Maybe it is if youre a white aristocratic monarchist Tory or a (white) royal.
    I mean, how DARE Harry not pander to them???!! I guess they were hoping that pigs would grow wings and Harry would temporarily forget that he’s holding all the cards and can pretty much demand whatever price he wants…….i actually think maybe this scenario w/ Harry and the publishers DID happen, after all theres no love lost b/t Harry and British publishing/media, and ever since the first story about his memoir dropped, im sure the Fail has reached deep into their pockets to try to buy little nuggets of info

    • Lizzie says:

      As if the bm would recognize genteel or gentlemanly if they were hit in the face with either.

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      Probably is yet another industry dominated by mediocre ‘upper class’ dimwits who get the jobs because nepotism and because they went to the right schools. Which is what they mean by ‘gentlemanly’. UK establishment really needs to move on from this kind of deference and forelock-tugging.

  20. Nic919 says:

    It’s amazing that people would get outraged over a private company paying money to someone for publishing books that will have an audience. $20 million from random house is irrelevant when that same amount and likely more is being provided annually by the Uk taxpayers to the Windsors who do little in exchange for it.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Only because it’s Harry will they be so outraged. Someday another will fill the role of scapegoat for William and the press will move on. Also, Harry will become too respected and beloved internationally to criticize.

  21. aquarius64 says:

    These RRs may get paid by the clicks but it’s obviously not enough. They can’t get multi million dollar book deals because they rely on “palace sources” that can’t stand up to scrutiny leveled in a defamation suit. The rota rats can’t get on US television except maybe Fox because on a whole they are still seen as journalism school rejects. They want respect and prestige and not been as glorified Gossip Girls; but that’s the price you pay for being a willing minion for the Crown.

  22. Layla says:

    “Those involved were actually very shocked by his approach, which was to look at them coldly and state his demands” she’s confused William with Harry.

    Throughout the entirety of this article, you can sense English’s desperation. The rat rota are running manic now and it’s brilliant! Whatever the leak’s intentions were, it’s backfired on the palace again. They keep showing their hand. The fact that Charles’ camp are worried about what will come out about Camilla, why would you be worried if you have nothing to hide?

  23. Sunday says:

    Kaiser is spot on (as usual) that this story conflated a bunch of things to get this bizarre, twisted narrative. The Bench was published by Random House Children’s Books, which is an imprint of Penguin Random House – in other words, Meghan’s children’s book was published by a subsidiary of the publishing house that Harry signed the deal with. So, it’s very possible that Meghan signed *her* deal, independently bc that’s how these deals work, with Random House Children’s Books, with either the possibility of a second children’s book or an option for a lifestyle book a la The Tig. Then, Harry signed *his* deal, which includes the memoir and a 2nd book option (with zero clause based on someone’s impending death). They are completely separate deals because their respective books come under different imprints of the same parent company.

    The negotiation part of the story reads exactly like Becky’s source is someone who heard the broad strokes of the contract (or speculated as I have above) and then ran to her, bitter and complaining, about Harry’s deal. No, H obviously didn’t “preside over the negotiations” like some weird daytime tv judge and “start a live auction” like a craven auctioneer – but those passages smack of someone seething with jealousy (or incandescent rage) retelling the story in a hyperbolic, sarcastic manner, that Becky then published as straight fact. Just more manipulation and massaging of the truth from one of the most prolific liars in the RR bunch. My guess is her ‘sources’ include one eggheaded other brother and one British publisher or perhaps royal biographer who is furious at not getting to participate in the ‘bidding’ and totally fumbling the Harry-shaped bag.

  24. Coco says:

    It’s actually a four hundred book deal, and they’re all about Critical Race Theory, and Prince Harry is personally going to prop open the eyes of every British child, like in ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ to force them to read them.

  25. HeyJude says:

    Here’s the thing about all these hysterical claims these books being such a threat to the country.

    England has FBI/CIA equivalents. We know MI6 does work on safeguarding the queen & crown.

    They likely have the capabilities to tap any conversations Harry & Meghan have electronically (and Harry would know this too from being on the inside before!). So if any of this was true, they were plotting to “bring down the crown” with this book series and all that BS, and that was actually happening MI6 would be giving a full-court press. Threatening to investigate them perhaps publicly, pressuring their media partners & publisher’s not to print the book or else, all the ruthless things security services do.

    That’s not happening. AT ALL. The Oprah interview happened without incident, the mental health special, Meghan’s book etc.

    In fact the Queen seems to have a direct line to Harry and stayed clued in to whatever he does.

    So this all lies. Common sense wise none of this holds up.

  26. T says:

    A book auction typically works with the publishers submitting bids to the agent/person representing the writer after an editor has individually pitched the author on the phone. It’s probably a little fancier when negotiating with celebrities/people of note, but it’s not dramatic and being a tough negotiator is 100% in your favor, no matter who the writer is. Before I got into the business, I totally pictured auctions as an Art-House style auction with gavels and a bunch of editors in a room, with the agent presiding as auctioneer, but alas, it’s not dramatic or fun like that. A typical book auction is just a bunch of emails back and forth as you navigate the offers and counter-offers.

    Most book contracts come with a no-compete clause and an option clause. Both can get negotiated/narrowed down by “normal” authors, so Harry would have a lot more power with those. But they’re boilerplate clauses. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a multi-book deal or something. PRH is the biggest game nowadays.

    Also lol’ing at UK publishing being “genteel”

    • Annabel says:

      Thank you! I’ve published six books, including one that sold at auction, and laughed out loud at the description of that auction.

      Auctions aren’t dramatic video calls where the author glares coldly at various publishing executives and demands $25 million or whatever. Auctions are email. Auctions are your agent typing “I’ve set a deadline of 2pm Eastern tomorrow for best offers.”

  27. Shawna says:

    I’ve published four books, with another under contract, and each time, the contract has a clause that gets bandied about: “right of first refusal.” Sometimes the publisher makes you promise to give them the first chance at offering a contract for your next book. You can always decline their offer on whatever pretext (for me, it’s the details about royalties!), but if you let the clause stand, you are indeed supposed to give them the first shot at your next book. So it would make sense that someone near Rebecca English saw the contract or heard about details but had no idea what that meant, or decided deliberately to misconstrue it.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Shawna, thank you for explaining. And congratulations on your books!!!! I’ve learned quite a lot from T and you. Somehow I doubt that anyone is leaking specifically about Harry’s contract. I suspect that knowledgeable people are giving this information. The problem is that since they don’t really know, they’re assuming a heck of a lot. Or, conversely, I wonder if this is Harry (or the publishing house) who told someone something incorrect to see if it would get published.

  28. L4frimaire says:

    Once again these people just lie for sport and spite. They had no idea Harry nor Meghan were publishing books until it was announced. I absolutely believe both Harry and Meghan have other books that will come out, but I also think they would I’ll be publishing content based on their broad interests and Archewell. Not everything they do or will do will have anything to do with the Royal family. On a much more interesting note, BetterUp, the mental health startup Harry is CIO of is expanding to both a London and Munich office, and hiring.

    • JT says:

      I saw that news as well and the CEO said that Harry provided insight into their uk expansion. Harry is about to get pretty busy in the coming months ahead.

  29. Izzy says:

    I am really enjoying the way the Sussex reps kept quiet until AFTER the rumor was published so they could go after the Fail with a statement about false and defamatory claims. If it is a contract with an option for a second book, they could have simply clarified that. Well played.

  30. Lady Digby says:

    Yesterday’s Mail had a revealing 2 page essay by Patrick Jephson on Harry’s book and acknowledged “weapons used by courtiers against unauthorised writers- hostile briefings and personal intimidation” WTF? He even criticised Prince Charles a plans for a slimmed down monarchy and asks who is going to carry out small Royal engagements in the future?
    He concludes that the RF didn’t learn from Diana “and if this book reveals culpable inhumanity or mismanagement in M & H treatment, then it will confirm key lessons were ignored!”
    This is quite a startling admission in the text and really something to be printed in the Mail that the palace can be ruthless and sometimes get it wrong?

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Lady Digby, I wonder if Patrick Jephson has written or was going to write an unauthorized book or article about the royals/Firm and they came after him personally. This may be his response to them. It’s much harder to intimidate him if the world knows that’s what they do. Very interesting, indeed.

  31. Keri says:

    Wow, that is interesting coming from the Mail, Lady Digby. They are slowly dipping their toes in the water. I’m guessing the all out hate fest against the Sussexes is starting to get old. The tide is turning. It’s only a matter of time before they turn on the monarchy. Their bottom line is being compromised and they are losing money to the American media. They’ll have to think about courting an American audience who seem to be overwhelmingly pro Sussex. It just takes one reporter to start an avalanche. Maybe this is why the Cambridges have gone into hiding. I can’t believe they haven’t realize yet that they could make so much money by turning on the Monarchy. Their is a huge market for royal scandal. The money they would make from Sussex Squad alone would support their papers if they turned on the Royals. But their classism, racism, and xenophobia have made them stupid. Their loss is the American media’s gain.

    • Jan says:

      The BM could write hymns of praise, I would not pay one cent to read their tabloids.

      • Keri says:

        Who said anything about praising the Sussexes? No one would buy the sudden praise. It’s about the tabloids spilling their guts on what they’ve been forced to hide on behalf of the Royals due to the invisible contract. We all know they are dying to report what they know about Willnot, Andrew, and Chuckles. There would be a huge audience if they decided to report on what they know. Both the Royalists and pro Sussex people would be all over it, which would translate into clicks/money. But as stated earlier, their racism, classism, and xenophobia takes precedence and they’re losing money because they’re too stubborn and stupid to admit that they bet on the wrong horse.

  32. Tessa says:

    I hope he appears at conventions (publishers, libraries) to promote the book.

  33. Theothermia says:

    Ooh, thanks for giving us some Sunday content, Kaiser! 😄 lol @ this DM article – carnival of experts indeed.

  34. Mia says:

    I work in US publishing and often work with Penguin Random House US and Penguin Random House UK — fact-checking how things work. Multiple book deals are very common with high profile personalities, just as Kaiser says.

    However, it is not unheard of, especially at Penguin Random House (PRH), for very famous spouses to bundle their deals. The Obamas did this. It’s also not uncommon to do multi-book deals *across* PRH, with different books appearing under different imprints—the imprints and divisions work together all the time. (In the US, Prince Harry’s memoir is going to be published at Random House or “Little Random” as we call it, which is an upmarket, general interest, prestige imprint. If Meghan *were* to do a wellness book, it wouldn’t necessarily be the best fit for Little Random, which doesn’t really do wellness or prescriptive titles, but PRH could very well have acquired multiple properties from Harry, Meghan, or both.)

    This was announced as an international deal, which means it *wasn’t* negotiated within the somewhat insular and relatively small-potatoes world of UK publishing. (They announced the US, Canadian and UK imprints within PRH that will be publishing this.) Given the size of the deal and that PRH acquired, at the very least, World English rights, this was negotiated at the highest levels of PRH. Harry’s representatives wouldn’t be dealing directly with UK editors but their bosses’ bosses. And of course in those dealings, Harry’s reps demanded top dollar! The idea that the “gentlemanly” editors of the UK would be negotiating a mega-international deal of this size and importance isn’t the way this would work and is frankly such a typically Anglocentric view of this.

    https://www.thebookseller.com/news/prince-harry-publish-memoir-penguin-random-house-1272434

  35. Athena says:

    The second book could be about Invictus.

  36. Well Wisher says:

    This is all an assumption on my part based on my misgivings about the leak. Page 6 editor moved recently to the US from the Sun newspaper based in England. Most of his contacts until recently would have been from there.
    Penguin Random House is German owned, with the xenophobia and anti EU sentiment on display recently, could it not been an effort to smoke out the leaker, to secure the publishing house by deliberately creating a false narrative that is then published?
    It will kill 2 birds with one stone , get rid of errand insider and let the Fail especially its RR to look unprofessional by indulging falsehoods due to improper fact checking. The careful language used is for legal purposes.
    Remember I state this as an hypothetical occurrence and may have to stand corrected in due course.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Well Wisher, I said something similar in an above post. I think it would be a great way to smoke out a leaker. And, hilarious to boot since the tabloid BM ran with it. I hope this is the case.

  37. Isabella says:

    The memoir has unhinged the Times of London. I can’t see behind the paywall, but the Daily Beast regurgitated swaths of it. It’s basically worry, worry and then fling every bit of dirt at Harry that you can.

    “The Sunday Times ‘ponders what Harry will write about the Asian army colleague he called “Ah, our little P*** friend Ahmed,” while at Sandhurst military academy in 2006.

    ‘When the story was first reported in 2009, Harry apologized. “Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offense his words might cause,” a spokesperson said. “However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon. There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.”

    “Or there was the time Harry infamously wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005, for which he again apologized. “He’ll be smart enough to know that to gloss over those incidents would undermine the book,” a royal source who knows Harry told the Sunday Times.”

    The Beast also quotes this insanity from Mail on Sunday:
    “Friends of William and Harry say William “despairs” of Harry, “but the shock factor is wearing off,” the paper says. “Palace aides are not confident that the Sussexes will provide senior Royals with an advance draft of the manuscript or even tell them about the content,” the Mail on Sunday says.