Harry’s memoir U-TURN: Duke ‘requests 11th-hour rewrite to soften his bombshell £40m autobiography after nation’s outpouring of grief for the Queen’ amid fears the final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of her death

  • Prince Harry has launched a last-minute bid to tone down his bombshell autobiography it has been revealed
  • It comes amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ following the death of Queen Elizabeth II
  • The memoir, signed off for an expected autumn release, is to be published by Penguin Random House 
  • A source said ‘Harry has thrown a spanner in the works keen for refinements in the light of the Queen’s death’
  • Publishers already demanded a rewrite after the first draft was deemed ‘too touchy-feely’ to publish 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

Prince Harry has launched a last-minute bid to tone down his bombshell autobiography amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of the Queen’s death, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The memoirs had been signed off ready for an expected autumn release, but the Duke – who is writing the book as part of a near £40 million three-title deal – has asked to make some significant alterations.

His request may be seen as a sign that he is ready to take a more conciliatory approach to the rest of the Royal Family, but could cause problems for his publishers.

‘Harry has thrown a spanner in the works,’ a source said. ‘He is keen for refinements in the light of the Queen’s death, her funeral and his father Charles taking the throne.

‘There may be things in the book which might not look so good if they come out so soon after these events. He wants sections changed now. It’s not a total rewrite by any means. He desperately wants to make changes. But it might be too late.’

Prince Harry has launched a last-minute bid to tone down his bombshell autobiography amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of the Queen’s death

The memoirs had been signed off ready for an expected autumn release, but the Duke – who is writing the book as part of a near £40million three-title deal – has asked to make some significant alterations

Publishing sources suggested that the Duke might have limited ‘wriggle room’ given he was handed a seven-figure advance

Publishing sources suggested that the Duke might have limited ‘wriggle room’ given he was handed a seven-figure advance.

Publishers Penguin Random House had already demanded a rewrite after the first draft was deemed ‘too touchy-feely’ and placed too much focus on mental health issues, The Mail on Sunday understands.

The development comes as another new book makes a series of explosive claims about Harry and his wife Meghan – although it is not clear whether the Duke now plans to address any of these fresh allegations in his memoirs, which he has billed as an ‘accurate and wholly truthful’ account of his life.

Among the damaging claims in the new book, Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown, Royal author Valentine Low alleges that:

l Meghan moaned about public engagements and walkabouts, saying: ‘I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this’;

l The Duchess bullied staff, reducing some to tears, and commented that ‘it’s not my job to coddle people’;

l Harry and Meghan’s team went on to call themselves the ‘Sussex Survivors’ Club’ and described Meghan as a ‘narcissistic sociopath’, according to sources;

l One former staff member said they believed Meghan wanted to be ‘rejected’ by the Royal Family ‘because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one’;

l Harry sent ‘horrible emails’ to Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, and Clive Alderton, Charles’s private secretary;

l When Harry and Meghan went to Canada in November 2019, their plans were so secret even their nanny didn’t know where they were going until the plane was in the air;

The memoirs had been signed off ready for an expected autumn release, but the Duke – who is writing the book as part of a near £40million three-title deal – has asked to make some significant alterations.

A truce appeared to be in place when William invited his brother and sister-in-law to join him and wife Kate on the walkabout in Windsor as an expression of ‘unity for the Queen’, but, the body language suggested the rift was far from heal

The King, then Prince of Wales, was only told of the memoir minutes before the press release announcing it went out

l Harry feared he would ‘become irrelevant’ when his nephew Prince George – second in line to the throne – turned 18;

l Meghan rang one aide every ten minutes on a Friday night while they were out at dinner, then continued calling the following day;

l The Duchess clashed with courtiers over not being allowed to keep clothes and jewellery given to her for free;

l Six months before her engagement to Harry was announced, Meghan told a palace aide: ‘We both know I’m going to be one of your bosses soon.’

Another new book, The New Royals by Katie Nicholl, serialised today in The Mail on Sunday, reveals that the Queen was surprised divorcee Meghan wore pure white for her wedding.

Publishers Penguin Random House had already demanded a rewrite after the first draft was deemed ‘too touchy-feely’ and placed too much focus on mental health issues, The Mail on Sunday understands

Harry and Meghan have also spent more time with the Royal Family since the Queen’s death than at any time since Megxit more than two and half years ago

The Duke revealed last year that he was working on a book of his own, saying he would be writing ‘not as the Prince I was born, but as the man I have become’.

No date has officially been announced for its release but American sources have suggested that publishers will want it in shops in time for Thanksgiving on November 24, ready for the lucrative Christmas market.

In a statement announcing the global publishing deal, Penguin Random House described it as ‘an intimate and heartfelt memoir’, promising that ‘Prince Harry will offer an honest and captivating personal portrait’.

The publishers added that the book would cover Harry’s ‘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 front lines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father’.

The New Royals by Katie Nicholl, serialised today in The Mail on Sunday, reveals that the Queen was surprised divorcee Meghan wore pure white for her wedding

The Mail on Sunday has established that the publishers paid an advance of $20 million (£18.4 million) for the book as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8 million

A source said: ‘The publishers paid $20 million up front because they knew whatever was written would be huge for sales and exposure all around the world. But the first draft they received was apparently viewed as a bit too touchy-feely and focused far more on mental health issues than they wanted. Eventually, the final draft has been finished and signed off and a lot of money and energy has been spent to make sure it comes out this year.’

However, Harry’s requests for late changes might have an impact on the timetable.

It is unclear what edits he wants to make, but it is thought his decision has been influenced by the events of the past weeks, as he witnessed first-hand the public’s huge outpouring of support for the monarchy.

Harry and Meghan have also spent more time with the Royal Family since the Queen’s death than at any time since Megxit more than two and half years ago. They were in the UK for non-Royal charity events when Her Majesty died on the day before they were due to fly back home to Montecito, California. And in the aftermath of his grandmother’s death, Harry struck a fragile truce with his brother William – appearing together for a walkabout among well-wishers in Windsor following the funeral.

During the Sussexes’ notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, they accused the Royal Family of racism and Harry claimed Charles had ‘literally cut me off financially’

It has been ghost-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author JR Moehringer, who previously worked on the memoirs of retired tennis star Andre Agassi

The contents of Harry’s book are likely to be kept top secret and palace aides have revealed that no members of the Royal Family have been offered the chance to see any of it before it becomes public. When the publishing deal was announced in July 2021, only the Queen was given advance warning.

The King, then Prince of Wales, was only told of the memoir minutes before the press release announcing it went out. In that statement, the Duke said: ‘I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.

‘I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a first-hand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.’

One palace insider said: ‘The first announcement was something of a shock. We have now spent a long time waiting to see what is in it and, frankly, we just want to get it out of the way so everyone can move on.’

However aides are braced for the worst, particularly after Harry’s outspoken criticisms of his family and the monarchy. During the Sussexes’ notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, they accused the Royal Family of racism and Harry claimed Charles had ‘literally cut me off financially’.

Harry, 38, was said to have been further upset at some of the events surrounding the Queen’s death.

He was dismayed after being told that Meghan, 41, was not invited to join him in flying up to Balmoral to be by his dying grandmother’s bedside. Later, he reportedly failed to accept an invitation to join his father for supper at Birkhall, his private home nearby.

A truce appeared to be in place when William invited his brother and sister-in-law to join him and wife Kate on the walkabout in Windsor as an expression of ‘unity for the Queen’, but, the body language suggested the rift was far from healed.

Penguin Random House – which also released Meghan’s children’s book The Bench – initially said that Harry’s memoirs were due out in ‘late 2022’. But the book was not included in a recent list of titles set to be released in the coming months, sparking speculation that it may be delayed until next year.

It has been ghost-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author JR Moehringer, who previously worked on the memoirs of retired tennis star Andre Agassi.

Neither Penguin Random House nor the Duke’s representatives responded to a request for comment last night.

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