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.
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.
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
The deal will see Prince Harruy’s memoir released next year – when it is the Queen’s platinum jubilee – with the second book to be held back until after her death. Harry’s wife Meghan is to pen a ‘wellness’ guide as part of the contract with Penguin Random House
The Mail has been told the prince, 36, ‘led’ negotiations from Montecito in California, where he and Meghan have bought an £11million mansion on the back of lucrative tie-ups, including with streaming services Netflix and Spotify.
Just like the Obamas (as the Mail predicted…)
When the Sussexes moved to California, the Mail revealed the couple were being advised by their close friends Barack and Michelle Obama.
In September last year, Harry and Meghan signed a deal with Netflix worth an estimated $100million – two years after the Obamas struck a similar deal worth $50million.
And on Thursday, Harry and Meghan’s publishers Penguin Random House announced plans to publish a new book written by Mr Obama and Bruce Springsteen.
Both Mr and Mrs Obama have brought out extraordinarily successful autobiographies. Mrs Obama’s autobiography, Becoming, sold 1.4million copies in its first week – one of the biggest-selling of all time.
The cover of Michelle Obama’s autobiography
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 (£18m) and the final figure was way north of that, possibly as much as $35-40million (£25-29m).
‘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.’
The source added: ‘The final contract was actually for a four-book deal, with Harry writing another “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, naturally: 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 Royal Family has been left deeply concerned by Harry’s decision to secretly collaborate with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringer on what his publishers described as ‘the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’.
The two men have been working on the book for up to a year.
It is described by Harry as a ‘wholly truthful first-hand account’ of his life.
But royal aides are worried that it will prove to be a highly one-sided account of the prince’s experiences and reignite tensions with his estranged family.
The Queen and senior royals are still dealing with the fallout from his slew of interviews, most notably with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
The prince has made a string of highly damaging allegations about his closest relatives, including claims of institutional racism.
The Queen and senior royals are still dealing with the fallout from his slew of interviews, most notably with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey
The prince has made a string of highly damaging allegations about his closest relatives, including claims of institutional racism
The news that not only is there a second book planned, but it is one that Harry was said to have stipulated should not come out until after his 95-year-old grandmother passes away, will do little to allay fears about the nature of his ‘revelations’.
It suggests that the Queen would disapprove of what the sixth in line to the throne is doing and anything published might upset her and the rest of the Royal Family, or prove to be reputationally damaging, whether it is true or not.
It also appears to indicate that Harry cares far less about anything his father Prince Charles or brother Prince William, whom he has been most critical of, thinks.
The fact that Harry and Meghan, 39, are set to publish more than one book was not referred to in the official announcement about his memoir earlier this week.
The first draft of the manuscript, currently untitled, is said to be almost completely written and is due to be submitted in October
The proceeds of the deal are likely to be worth millions and, although the exact financial terms were not disclosed, Prince Harry will donate proceeds to charity, according to Random House
Meghan’s Dad: I’ll go to court to see Lilibet
Meghan Markle’s father has threatened a lawsuit so he can see his grandchildren
Meghan Markle’s father is threatening to take her and Prince Harry to court so he can see his grandchildren.
Thomas Markle, pictured, has not spoken to his daughter since he arranged to be ‘covertly’ photographed in the run-up to her 2018 wedding – and has never met Archie, two, and seven-week-old Lilibet.
Now he is poised to apply to a judge to see them whether their parents like it or not.
Speaking to US TV from his home in Mexico, Mr Markle, 77, said he did not want his grandchildren ‘punished’ for Meghan and Harry’s ‘bad behaviour’.
‘Archie and Lili are small children… They’re not pawns. They’re not part of the game,’ he added.
This raises the unedifying prospect of the Windsors being ‘under siege’ from the Sussexes and their ‘truths’ for many years to come.
When details of the Daily Mail’s story were put to lawyers acting for Harry they declined to comment.
He has always been at pains to point out the huge respect he has for his grandmother and her sense of duty and has previously said that he and Meghan wanted to continue her remarkable legacy.
But many within the royal household believe his actions have been anything but respectful and have piled unbearable pressure on the monarch, still working diligently well into her 90s, as well mourning the loss of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.
The huge sums apparently involved in the deal will also, inevitably, be seen as further exploitation by the Sussexes of their former royal roles and status – something they privately promised the Queen that they would not do.
It also suggests that the monarch and her advisers were extremely prescient in predicting that this could happen and barring her grandson and his wife from using their HRH titles or the word ‘royal’ in any of their business dealings as they pursued financial independence in the US.
Payment for the publishing deal is likely, insiders say, to be delivered in parts over a number of years.
Buckingham Palace also declined to comment on the revelations last night.
Earlier this week Penguin Random House said the ‘proceeds’ from the book would be donated to charity but has not detailed whether this would include both royalties and the advance.
A spokesman for the prince also insisted that he had informed his family – including the Queen – about plans for his book ‘very recently’.
Yet the Mail understands his office made attempts to contact the royal household only hours before the story was broken by a US newspaper.
Charles, who has a rocky relationship with his son, is said to have been particularly surprised.
Prince Charles (pictured at Exeter Cathedral on July 19), who has a rocky relationship with his son, is said to have been particularly surprised
Prince Charles’s biographer Jonathan Dimbleby accuses Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of ‘vicious, cruel and horribly self-serving’ behaviour over their interview with Oprah Winfrey
By Richard Marsden
Prince Charles’s biographer has accused the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of ‘vicious, cruel and horribly self-serving’ behaviour over their infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Jonathan Dimbleby said it was a ‘great shame’ that the couple went ahead with the broadcast earlier this year.
Speaking at the Buxton International Festival in Derbyshire this week, the veteran broadcaster, 76, said: ‘I think that the interview was a very great shame.
‘I think it did great damage of a kind that was undeserved to the royal household and specifically to the Queen and her family.’
Prince Charles’s biographer Jonathan Dimbleby (left at Highgrove House to film the 1994 interview with the Prince of Wales) has accused the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of ‘vicious, cruel and horribly self-serving’ behaviour over their infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey
Mr Dimbleby, whose father Richard became the first journalist to interview a member of the Royal Family in a 1961 Panorama broadcast with Prince Philip, said he had met Harry ‘in the past when he was young’.
He said his recollections of Harry were of a ‘charming, very nice’ man ‘who had served very well in the armed forces’.
But he said he was ‘very disappointed’ with his subsequent behaviour, adding: ‘I felt he was being led by the nose a bit by his wife.’
The Oprah chat, which drew in a worldwide audience of more than 50million, was ‘vicious, cruel and horribly self-serving’, the historian said.
‘Harry’s remarks about his father, I simply fail to understand. I think there are certain things you should say and do in private,’ he added.
‘I believe a lot of the insinuations he made were not consistent with fact.’
Jonathan Dimbleby said it was a ‘great shame’ that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan went ahead with the broadcast earlier this year
Mr Dimbleby conducted the explosive 1994 television interview with the Prince of Wales in which he admitted his affair with Camilla and also wrote Prince of Wales: A Biography in the same year.
In the interview with Charles, which came the year before Princess Diana’s interview with shamed BBC journalist Martin Bashir, the prince was asked if he tried to be ‘faithful and honourable’ to Diana.
He said: ‘Yes, absolutely.’ But, under further questioning, Charles added: ‘Yes… until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.’
Mr Dimbleby, who was launching a new history volume, Barbarossa, about Hitler’s failed invasion of Russia during the Second World War, said he decided to ask Charles about his infidelity in the 1994 interview because of ‘huge speculation’.
He said the ‘whole project’ would have been undermined ‘if I didn’t ask a question about whether he’d been unfaithful’ to Princess Diana.
Mr Dimbleby, whose interview with the Prince of Wales was part of an ITV documentary Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role, said: ‘It was part of a 90-minute documentary about his public life.
‘There was huge speculation about his relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles.’