Prince Harry’s memoir will be released on January 10, it has been revealed, as he battled to water down its content following the Queen’s death.
The memoir had initially been signed off ready for an expected autumn release as part of a multi-million pound, three-title deal with Penguin Random House.
But its release was delayed following the death of the Queen and a number of alterations requested by the Duke of Sussex.
In an earlier statement announcing the global publishing deal, Penguin Random House described the memoir 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 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.
It is understood that the Sussexes were paid an advance of $20 million (£18.4 million) for the book as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8 million.
It comes as Harry and Meghan sensationally quit life as working royals and moved to California nearly three years ago, before launching the Archewell Foundation and signing lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix.
Last month, The Mail on Sunday reported that Harry had launched a last-minute bid to tone down the autobiography amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of the monarch’s death.
His request was seen as a sign that he was ready to take a more conciliatory approach to the rest of the Royal Family, with any attacks or veiled swipes being seen as inappropriate just weeks into his father’s reign.
Harry and Meghan pictured arriving for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 – One Year To Go event last month during a pseudo-royal tour
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, pictured arriving at Westminster Abbey ahead of the Queen’s state funeral last month
Harry and Meghan pictured arriving on the long Walk at Windsor Castle arrive to view flowers and tributes for the Queen last month
A source said: ‘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.’
It comes after 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.
Harry faces a battle between further damaging an already strained relationship with his family and potentially hurting book sales by holding back on any claims.
Literary agent Matt Latimer told the New York Times: ‘Is his goal to enhance his celebrity with a certain sector of the public, or is it to repair the rift with his family?’
‘Those are competing goals to some extent, and it’s hard to do both.’
Meanwhile, the former editor of Tatler and Vanity Fair has warned that there will be ‘no way back’ for Harry if he publishes the tell-all memoir.
Royal biographer Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles and The Palace Papers, does not think the contentious biography will ever ‘see the light of day’, according to The Daily Telegraph .
‘They are now in this bind, where they’ve taken all this money and Harry has made this book deal where he’s supposed to spill everything about his horrible life as a royal, but now he’s actually tortured about it because he understands there is no way back if he does it,’ she said.
‘If the book continues, I don’t think there is any way for Harry to return. So my view has always been that the book won’t see the light of day.’
Lawyers to the Royal Family at the firm Harbottle and Lewis are expected to be on standby to read the book when it comes out.
Prince Harry (pictured with Meghan in Dusseldorf last month) is expected to release his tell-all memoir in January
Meanwhile, the controversial fly-on-the-wall documentary series featuring the couple for Netflix has also been postponed until next year, following the widespread backlash over The Crown.
Harry and Meghan had been working on the series as part of their rumoured $100 million (£88million) deal with the streaming giant.
But with The Crown accused of fabricating a ‘hurtful’ smear against King Charles by depicting him secretly plotting to oust the Queen, Netflix has now pushed it back.
The documentary had been expected in December, following the fifth season of The Crown. A source told Hollywood news website Deadline: ‘They’re rattled at Netflix, and they blinked first and decided to postpone the documentary.’
Amid their strained relationship with the Royal Family, though, Harry and Meghan an extended period of time in the UK following the Queen’s death last month.
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.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s terrible for Diana’s children to have to see’: Princess’s friends blast ‘insensitive’ Netflix as The Crown films moments leading up to her fatal car crash… just 100 yards from Paris tunnel where it happened in 1997
By David Wilkes and Alice Wright for the Daily Mail
Princess Diana’s friends have slammed the ‘insensitivity’ of Netflix after crews from The Crown were spotted filming the moments leading up to her fatal car crash – just 100 yards from the Paris tunnel where she died 25 years ago.
Our exclusive photographs show filming of a Mercedes in Paris near the site of the car crash that claimed her and Dodi Al Fayed’s lives.
Onlookers said Netflix crews were seen filming between 2am and 3am today around 100 yards from the Alma tunnel, where the crash happened in the early hours of August 31, 1997.
The pictures show a black Mercedes like the one the couple were travelling in on that tragic day being filmed in another nearby tunnel on the same road.
Netflix has insisted the ‘exact moment’ of the crash will not feature in the controversial drama, which has recently come under fire for sensationalism and inaccuracy.
A friend of Diana’s said the show’s makers could face accusations of ‘insensitivity’ over the filming in Paris. Debbie Frank, who was Diana’s astrologer, said it would be ‘terrible’ for Princes William and Harry to see a recreation of the moments leading up to their mother’s death.
‘It’s obviously terrible for Diana’s children to have to see that again. It’s insensitive,’ she said.
She added: ‘I feel Diana’s death and the crash was the biggest shock our generation. It had such a huge impact across the national psyche.
‘I guess the makers of The Crown feel they are entitled to show a re-enactment of scenes leading up to her death and that it has dramatic impact. But relatives would think otherwise.’
Netflix crews film just moments before Princess Diana’s car crashed in Paris for The Crown
Netflix crews were spotted filming late at night on Voies Georges Pompidou
Netflix has come under fire for its depiction of senior members of the Royal Family including King Charles III
Traffic was stopped from 11pm at night to allow for filming the moment before Diana’s death
Netflix crews used a replica of the car carrying Diana before she was killed in a car crash in Paris
Netflix crews were spotted filming late at night on Voies Georges Pompidou
Netflix bosses have come under fire for their depiction of senior members of the Royal Family
Traffic was stopped from 11pm at night to allow for filming
Netflix crews filmed the moments leading up to Diana’s death in Paris late at night
Miss Frank, who knew Diana from 1989 until her death, also questioned if this was the right time for a dramatization of Diana’s death so soon after the Queen’s death.
Another viewer wrote on Twitter: Wow, The Crown has gone too far. Prince Harry, this has crossed the line and is disrespectful of your mother the late Princess Diana. Filming 100 yards from where the crash happened, how desperate is Netflix to cash in on the Royal Family.’
A second added: ‘The active retraumatising of two men who lost their mother through this dramatisation is shameful.’
Today a source from the show’s makers said: ‘Netflix have made it clear that The Crown Season 6 features the lead up the to the Paris tunnel crash and the aftermath, but not the event itself.’
The source declined to comment on whether the filming in Paris was insensitive.
The fifth series of The Crown, which will cover the years leading up to Princess Diana’s 1995 Panorama interview, has already sparked anger before its release on November 9.
Elizabeth Debicki wears sunglasses and looks the image of Diana as she sits in the back of a car with Khalid Abdalla, 40, who plays Dodi Fayed, who the princess was travelling with when the car crashed in Paris
Ms Debicki wore a seatbelt in the back of the car as she filmed – which may be a sign the crew were not filming the exact car journey taken by the princess and Dodi in their final moments. It has been found neither wore seatbelts in the 1997 crash
The trailer shows Ms Debicki as Diana screeching to a halt in car chase scene in a red puffer jacket – reminiscent of one the princess wore skiing in Austria in 1994, right
‘I never stood a chance’: The new trailer shows Diana in a skin-baring swimsuit as she floats in the water
Among the most controversial scenes are reenactments of Diana’s funeral and the fire which tore through Windsor Castle in 1992. Pictured: Debicki as the Princess of Wales
The latest season of The Crown ‘would have destroyed the Queen’ because of how ‘vicious’ the dramatised plotlines are, one of her close friends has revealed. Pictured: Imelda Staunton plays Elizabeth II in the fifth series
Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench, who is close to King Charles and Camilla, accused the programme of being ‘crude and hurtful’.
Dame Judi, 87, who has played Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, told The Times the series risked damaging the monarchy. The Oscar-winning actress blamed it for ‘crude sensationalism’ and blurring fact and fiction.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major criticised a scene which shows him having a conversation with then Prince Charles about the possibility of the Queen abdicating as ‘malicious nonsense’.
Amid growing controversy about the way The Crown blurs reality and fiction, Netflix recently updated its description of the series to add a disclaimer to its trailer on YouTube which says it is a ‘fictional dramatisation’.
The previous fourth series of the drama was criticised for not doing enough to tell viewers it was a work of fiction.
A new cast is in place for series five and six of The Crown, with Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki playing Diana and Dominic West as Charles.
The sixth series, currently being filmed, will cover Diana’s death in 1997 and reportedly end with the wedding of Charles and Camilla in 2005.
The Crown has been a huge hit for Netflix. Each episode now costs around £11.5million.
Oh what a night! Evening teenage Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret crept out of Buckingham Palace to join London’s VE Day celebrations is recreated in Hull for series 6 of The Crown
A rare night of freedom for the young Princess Elizabeth has been recreated for The Crown – with actors spotted filming a re-enactment of the night the late monarch and her sister Princess Margaret escaped Buckingham Palace to join VE Day celebrations.
The young princesses’ historic night on the town will be documented in the hit Netflix’s drama last season – which is expected to air in late 2023.
The royal sisters have been recast for the fourth time in the show’s four-year history – with Viola Prettejohn, 18, stepping into the role of the late Queen while Beau Gadsdon, 14, takes on Princess Margaret.
Glimpses from the set in Hull show the sisters – who were just 19 and 14-years-old when WWII ended on May 8, 1945 – immersing themselves in the crowds while celebrating soldiers scale lamp posts and wave Union Jacks.
While The Queen famously wore her junior commander uniform for the evening out with her sister and cousin Margaret Rhodes, Princess Margaret appears in a salmon pink dress and pearl necklace for the heartwarming scenes.
Viola Prettejohn, 18,has been cast as a young Princess Elizabeth in season six of The Crown. The actress – pictured filming in Hull – is best known for playing Fake Ciri in The Witcher
Beau Gadsdon, 14, has been cast as Princess Margaret in the flashback scene in The Crown season six. The actress – pictured filming in Hull – has previously starred in Netflix’s The Crown
The royal sisters famously snuck out of Buckingham Palace on May 8, 1945 to celebrate the end of WWII with the crowds. Pictured: Netflix’s recreation of 1940s London
Princess Elizabeth served as a junior commander in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during WWII. Pictured at the wheel of an army vehicle in 1945
As well as chatting to soldiers, the sisters are seen warming their hands over a bonfire in Netflix’s recreation of central London and singing along to chants from crowds.
On the 70th anniversary of VE Day in 2015, Princess Margaret told Channel 4 that the royal party was granted permission by the King to go and join the celebrations.
Margaret, Elizabeth and their cousin slipped through the Buckingham Palace gates at 9pm along with the future Queen’s lady-in-waiting Jean Woodroffe – who was 22 at the time.
The group also included Lord Porchester, later to become the Queen’s racing manager, and Peter Townsend, the king’s equerry who caused a national crisis a decade later when, as a divorcé, he won the heart of Princess Margaret.
The Queen revealed in 1985 that she tried to cover her face with a hat to avoid being recognised by crowds in London. Viola pictured wearing the uniform of the Auxiliary Territorial Service
Beau Gadsdon seen filming 1940s flashback scenes for the hit Netflix show in Hull, east Yorkshire
A Hitler doll dangles from a lampost in Netflix’s recreation of 1940s London.
Members of the public and soldiers wave Union Jacks as war is declared over in Netflix’s VE Day recreation
Reflecting on their evening out, Margaret said she ‘loved the freedom’ of ‘being an ordinary person’ – if only for a few hours.
In 1985, The Queen – who passed away at the age of 96 on 8 September 2022 – gave a rare interview about her VE Day experience.
Speaking to the BBC on the 40th anniversary of the historic occasion, the Queen said: ‘I think it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.
‘We were terrified of being recognised, so I pulled my uniform cap well down over my eyes.’
However, Her Majesty – who served as a junior commander in the Auxiliary Territorial Service from 1944-1945 – was then called up on the state of her uniform by an unknowing Grenadier officer.
Black-and-white image taken on May 8 1945 shows cheering crowds in Piccadilly Circus celebrating the German surrender on VE Day
Crowds bring traffic to a standstill in Piccadilly Circus on May 8, 1945 with the boarded-up statue of Eros at its heart
Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were given permission by their parents to join the celebrating crowds on VE Day. Pictured on the Buckingham Palace balcony earlier in the day
With the princesses on their outing was the Queen’s cousin, the Hon Margaret Rhodes, 19, daughter of the Queen Mother’s elder sister Mary. She was just under a year older than the Queen, and the pair (pictured) remained friends until Margaret died in 2016, aged 91
She continued: ‘A Grenadier officer among our party of about 16 people said he refused to be seen in the company of another officer improperly dressed, so I had to put my cap on normally.’
At 10pm, the royal party moved down The Mall before heading to Whitehall.
The Queen continued: ‘I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.
‘I also remember when someone exchanged hats with a Dutch sailor; the poor man coming along with us in order to get his hat back.’
By 10:30pm, they had reached Trafalgar Square, which Margaret Rhodes told BBC documentary makers was ‘jammed’.
Describing the scene, she said: ‘It was a scene of joyful whoopee – full of people kissing policemen and other people. It was complete mayhem but rather nice mayhem.’
Netflix has recreated 1940s London in Hull, East Yorkshire. A glimpse of the set shows sandbags lining the streets as war is declared over
The final season of The Crown will revisit Elizabeth and Margaret’s VE celebrations as they went unrecognised by members of the public. Pictured: an extra on the set of The Crown
Princess Elizabeth in her Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform in front of an Army ambulance during the second world war in 1945.
An hour later, the group decided to take their celebrations to The Ritz and stunned ‘stuffy’ guests with their partying.
Margaret Rhodes recalled: ‘For some reason, we decided to go in the front door of the Ritz and do the conga. The Ritz was so stuffy and formal – we rather electrified the stuffy individuals inside.
‘I don’t think people realised who was among the party – I think they thought it was just a group of drunk young people. I remember old ladies looking faintly shocked. As one congaed through, eyebrows were raised.’
However, the young women still managed to keep their promise of making it back to the Palace by midnight – even though they failed to sneak back in unrecognised.
‘We were successful in seeing my parents on the balcony, having cheated slightly by sending a message into the house, to say we were waiting outside,’ The Queen admitted in 1985.
Before being cast as a young Princess Elizabeth, Viola Prettejohn has previously starred in Netlflix’s The Witcher while her co-star Beau Gadsdon is most famous for playing Katherine Ryan’s on-screen daughter in The Duchess.
It has been confirmed that the final season of The Crown will dramatise Princess Diana’s final months and her death in a tragic car crash in Paris in 1997 as well as featuring this Queen Elizabeth flashback scene.