In the wake of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are gearing up for the publication of the former’s memoir, which looks set to be far more explosive than Liz Garbus’s docuseries. According to The Guardian, who obtained an advance copy of the much-guarded book, Harry’s account of his years in the royal family is both shockingly candid and detailed, ranging from King Charles’s alleged comment to Diana upon his second son’s birth (“Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare—my work is done”) to a physical argument with the Duke of Cambridge in 2019, in which William allegedly called the Duchess of Sussex “difficult,” “rude,” and “abrasive” before growing violent.
“It all happened so fast,” Harry writes. “So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”
The Duke of Sussex alleges that his brother then left Nottingham Cottage, where the altercation took place, before returning, “looking regretful, and apologized”, before telling Harry: “You don’t need to tell Meg about this.” Harry did later tell Meghan, however, after she noticed “scrapes and bruises” on his back from the dog bowl. The confirmation of the book’s long-suspected no-holds-barred approach comes days ahead of its January 10 release, which Harry will publicize through two equally hot interviews this weekend: one with Anderson Cooper for CBS in the US and another with Tom Bradby for ITV in the UK.
The Duke of Sussex announced the book deal in the summer of 2021, with his publishers describing the work as “a literary memoir” that will trace “his lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father.” Prince Harry, meanwhile, stressed that he would be writing the book “not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become.”
While the decision to publish a royal memoir is controversial, it’s by no means unprecedented. Famously, Princess Diana worked on a pseudo-autobiography with Andrew Morton, Diana: Her True Story, in the early ’90s, and she’s just one of a handful of members of the family to do so—albeit usually following a rift with the Windsors. Most recently, the Duchess of York released Finding Sarah in 1996, while the Duke and Duchess of Windsor published A King’s Story and The Heart Has Its Reasons, respectively, in the ’50s.