Queen Victoria did, as did a couple of her granddaughters. And his great-grandson, the Duke of Windsor, did so 15 years after his abdication.
Thus, the Duke of Sussex follows a well-trodden royal road with the news that he is writing his memoirs “accurate and totally truthful”, writing “not as the prince I was born into, but as the man I have become. “.
While chills undoubtedly convulse Buckingham Palace, the book has an expected publication date of fall 2022, perfectly timed for the Christmas market, but perhaps not the ending the queen would have hoped for her celebrations of platinum jubilee.
Past royal memories are tame compared to what Prince Harry could unleash on his family, if his on-screen interviews with Oprah Winfrey are a yardstick.
Her efforts are unlikely to compare with Queen Victoria’s published diaries, which were by no means scandalous, though they did dissuade her from writing a book on John Brown, the Scottish ghillie and personal assistant to whom she became close in widowhood.
Victoria’s granddaughters, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and Princess Maria Louise, as well as Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, widow of the queen’s cousin, Prince Henry, produced “terribly interesting” stories from real life, He said royal historian Hugo Vickers, although not controversial.
Harry’s reflections are best compared to those of the exiled Duke of Windsor; A King’s Story, published in 1951, and an international bestseller still available on Amazon. His wife, Wallis Simpson, also took up the pen.
“The Duke of Windsor wasn’t terribly revealing or outrageous,” Vickers said, adding that it was beautifully written by ghosts. “I don’t think he or the duchess caused any more trouble than you imagine they would.”
Simpson consulted her ex-husband when writing his memoirs, although he never wrote his own. “He said, ‘As far as I’m concerned, the truth is at the bottom of the well and anyone who wants to go find it is welcome.’ So he didn’t write anything at all, nor did he tell his story, ”Vickers said.
Although not especially revealing, the Duke of Windsor’s account was frowned upon given that his mother, Queen Mary, and his brother, George VI, were still alive. “By today’s standards, it could be considered quite tame,” said Joe Little, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine. “But 70 years ago, everything was seen as quite shocking, disrespectful and treacherous. I think he saw it as his chance to settle the score and he did. ”
With Harry working with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringer and the deadline for a first draft rumored to be in October, its content is the subject of much speculation, although experts believe it will be under pressure to up the ante.
“The pressure must be on him to come up with something even more sensational than what we learned in the Oprah interview,” Little said. “It’s hard not to think that Harry would want to restore the balance, as far as he is concerned, in print, although it has been done on screen.
“You would think that hearts will continue to sink at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace. I guess in an ideal world they would have liked to draw a line after Oprah’s revelations. But clearly that’s not the way Harry does things. So this may not have been great news for Harry’s family. ”
You could review the accusations of racism that you have leveled against the royal house. “Then there is Meghan coming into the limelight, becoming a girlfriend, then fiancee, then girlfriend. And of course, he still has many demons about his childhood and the treatment his mother received from both the establishment and the media. Also, having to leave the military much earlier than you would have liked could also manifest itself. “
Little added: “You’d think it’s going to be a pretty troublesome read in a way. Hopefully in the end there will be light at the end of the tunnel. He’s been in North America for 15 months or so, so he clearly feels like he’s turned the corner. ”
Sarah, Duchess of York, was heavily criticized when she wrote My Story, detailing her experience at the hands of the press and the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Andrew. She was accused of profiting from her royal connections. Harry’s publisher, Penguin Random House, has said the proceeds will go to charity.
For the Duke of Windsor, his memories brought him back to the limelight after years of relative obscurity. And, as with any autobiography, there are different versions of the story.
So while Buckingham Palace awaits Harry’s book, he will no doubt remember the Queen’s diplomatic words after Oprah’s revelations, when she said, “Some memories may vary.”