Harry memoir 'hasn't been much revised at all' says Richard Palmer
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The Duke of Sussex will snub an invitation, once again extended by his father King Charles, to enjoy time with his relatives in the lead-up to the global release of his book on January 10.
The memoir is titled Spare – a reference to the phrase “the heir and the spare” used to describe Harry’s position, growing up in the shadow of his older brother Prince William.
It has already sent shockwaves through the Royal Family who are reportedly bracing themselves ahead of its full disclosures.
Buckingham Palace insiders have told how it had been “widely hoped” that there would be a “thawing of relations” between warring royals in the aftermath of the death of Elizabeth II on September 8.
Harry, 38, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex spent a week mostly hidden away at their Windsor home as senior royals, including the King and the Prince and Princess of Wales, toured the country to thank thousands of well-wishers.
But according to sources close to the Sussexes’ camp, the couple have “no plans” to return to Britain to celebrate the festive period and join the Royal Family for the first Christmas without their beloved matriarch at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
One well-placed insider said the royals were “completely caught by surprise” by the title of Harry’s book and by reports of “raw, unflinching honesty” across its 416 pages.
A royal source said: “Of course the King would once again welcome his son and his family over Christmas.
“It is and has always been an open invitation should they wish to accept.”
The source continued: “But it’s fair to say relations are near rock bottom.
“A lot of effort was made on at least one side after [Harry and Meghan’s] previous interviews on American television.
“But the fact Harry has chosen such a provoking title for his book is hard to ignore.”
They warned: “This book could spell the end for any relationship Harry wants to have with his family; it’s all desperately sad. Everyone is bracing themselves for yet another fraught and frantic period at the mercy of the Sussexes.”
Harry is expected to delve into the most controversial elements of royal life from recent decades.
In an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey last year, Harry and Meghan claimed that a senior royal had made a racist comment about the potential skin colour of his then unborn son Archie.
He went on to talk about the “genetic pain” of his childhood and the troubled relationships with his father and brother.
Two key moments of the Duke’s life were the break-up of his parents’ marriage, and the death of his mother Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997 when he was just 12 years old.
This was highlighted in promotional material for the book that its publisher Penguin Random House issued this week.
It read: “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 his story at last.”
It is understood that there has been little contact between Harry and his family since he travelled back with Meghan, 41, to their California home.
The Duke – who is said to be being paid in excess of £36million for a three-book deal and who secured a £20million advance – did not tell his family about the memoir’s title in advance.
That move has been interpreted as both “controversial” and “provocative” within royal circles.
Harry’s only recent conversation of note with his 73-year-old father is understood to have been in the days shortly after the Queen’s death, to discuss the possibility of the provision of the titles of Prince and Princess for his children Archie, three, and one-year-old Lilibet.
The private office for the Duke of Sussex did not respond to requests for comment on the claims.
Buckingham Palace officials also did not comment on the situation.
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