Harry tipped to ‘take the risk’ to make anticipated memoir ‘better’

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The Duke of Sussex has been tipped to “take the risk” when it comes to possible controversial claims in his much-anticipated book that could land him in a legal nightmare, a memoir writing expert has claimed. Rutger Bruining, founder and CEO of International biography-writing service StoryTerrace, explained there is always a “trade off” when writing memoirs and believes Prince Harry will have been supported by his publisher Penguin Random House’s legal team to make decisions which would safeguard him without making the book less interesting.

Asked if the Duke could face legal issues by putting on the page memories that could involve other people, Mr Bruining told Express.co.uk: “Certainly that’s possible. But his publisher is one of the most experienced in the world, so they will have a very large legal department which will be very much making decisions around risks, potentially changing the wording, naming or not naming someone.

“So there are a lot of ways around it but sometimes there is still a tradeoff, and sometimes the tradeoff will be for such a big book to take the risk because it makes the book better. But yes, he is in good hands.”

He added: “If you take out everything that could potentially slightly upset someone then it’s hard to write a book that is interesting.

“And then, obviously, not everything you write about someone negatively is open to litigation either, so in that sense it can be a trade off.”

Penguin Random House shared more details in October of Harry’s memoir, first announced in July 2021.

Alongside the title and the release date of the 416-page book, the publisher also provided a brief synopsis, saying it will describe Harry’s life with “raw, unflinching honesty”.

Grief will be a major part of the memoir, Penguin Random House suggested, as it brought back to memory as part of its promotional launch the image of the Duke of Sussex and his brother Prince William walking behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana at her funeral in 1997.

The description read: “It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror.

“As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.”

Mr Bruining believes Harry made a “very conscious choice” when he decided to write a memoir.

He said: “[The fact Harry is writing a book] is not unique because other prominent members of the Royal Family have done this before, but it’s still a huge step, it does tell you that he feels he hasn’t been able to tell his whole story in the way he would like to.

“Of course he has done some big interviews we are all aware of, but I think a book allows you to explain things in even greater details and with more nuances and so that must have been a very conscious choice.”

As noted by the expert, other royals before Harry have put pen to paper to speak candidly about their lives and experiences.

In the 1950s, former King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, sent shockwaves through the Royal Family as he published A King’s Story.

A few years later, the Duchess of Windsor, for whom the Duke had abdicated in December 1936, also published a memoir, titled The Heart has its Reasons.

Sarah Ferguson released two memoir following her divorce from Prince Andrew – the first published in 1996 and the second in 2012.

Most recently, the late Queen’s cousin the Duke of Kent also opened up on his life in a biography co-authored with historian Hugo Vickers, titled A Royal Life.

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