Royal rumours went into overdrive at the weekend, after reports emerged from some corners of the UK press that Prince Harry had inked a $40 million, four-book deal with a US publishing house.
The Daily Mail reported that the prince, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, who recently welcomed their second child, daughter Lilibet, were set to release four books, with the Duke of Sussex's memoir to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations next year. It was also reported that, while Harry would pen three books, including a memoir to be released after the queen's death, Meghan would be putting together a tome on wellness.
The prince shot down the rumours, insisting he was only writing one book, a memoir, which is set for release next year.
“I’m writing this not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become,” the Duke of Sussex said about the book, which will be published by Penguin Random House. “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story – the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned – 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.”
A representative for the couple said: “Contrary to false media reports, there is only one memoir planned by the Duke of Sussex and it’s scheduled to be published in late 2022 as was announced earlier this week by Penguin Random House.” The source said the memoir will cover a “lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day”.
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Meghan Markle was the first of the pair to write a book, releasing children’s tome The Bench in June, based on a Father’s Day poem she had written for her husband in 2019. The book became a bestseller on The New York Times list, reaching number one in the children’s picture books category. It didn't do quite as well in the UK, where it only sold 3,212 copies in its first week.
Between them, Harry and Meghan have signed a series of deals with big-name technology and content companies since they stepped back as senior working members of the royal family in January 2020.
In September, the couple embarked on a deal with Netflix, rumoured to be worth $25 million, to produce documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming for the streaming company.
“Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the pair said.
The couple, who live in Santa Barbara, California, also signed a deal with Swedish audio streaming and media provider Spotify in December, to provide podcasts under the Archewell Audio banner.
Their first podcast, released on December 29, featured Sir Elton John, talk show presenter James Corden, author Matt Haig, producer and actor Tyler Perry and tennis player Naomi Osaka, who each spoke about how the pandemic had affected their lives.
“No matter what life throws at you guys, trust us when we say, love wins,” Meghan told listeners.
The release date for their next podcast is yet to be announced.