Friends who saw the gathering as an opportunity for Harry, who moved to California in 2020, to start healing the rift with his family felt disappointed. Harry’s relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, will likely become even more strained when Harry’s highly anticipated memoir is released later this year.
The no-holds-barred tome, for which Harry, 37, was paid upwards of $20 million, will candidly discuss how the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and his discomfort within royal circles led to struggles with depression and anxiety.
“Charles is portrayed as the villain,” confides a royals insider, who describes the future king, 73, as an “emotionally unavailable” father to his youngest son.
“Harry got into verbal fights with Charles, and they wouldn’t talk for weeks.” Harry’s story will probably take aim at his brother William, 39, too.
“Harry felt mixed emotions of sadness and fury when they drifted apart,” explains the insider. He still hasn’t forgiven William for opposing his marriage to Meghan Markle, but there were other fractures in their brotherhood, too.
“Harry went through periods of loneliness in the royal family, and there was favoritism. The other royals often took William’s side over Harry,” explains the insider.
Despite the troubles with his family, Harry insists that writing this book is not an act of revenge against them. He hopes that sharing his story will help people all over the world realize that it’s possible to overcome grief, disappointment and anxiety and lead a happier, more productive life.
“It’s very easy for people to say that Harry was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and call him ungrateful, but, as the saying goes, ‘The grass is always greener,’” notes the insider. “Playing the royal role is something Harry has struggled with his entire life, and it has impacted his mental health. He didn’t overcome his issues overnight, and he’s still learning, but he wants to get the word out to never give up.”
Harry calls quitting the royal family and moving to California with Meghan, 40, the best thing he’s ever done. “He claims that he wouldn’t return to life as a full-time royal for any amount of money,” says the insider, who adds that Harry cherishes his new life with Meghan and their children, Archie, 2, and Lilibet, 9 months. “He does miss the queen, some of his old friends and going to the local pub, but Harry is happy in California.”
At his home in Montecito, he continues to work on his final draft and weigh the impact his words might have on his family. He remains devoted to his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, 95, and doesn’t want to hurt her.
“I understand he generally avoids criticizing the queen and portrays her in a positive light,” says the insider, who adds that Harry still plans to attend at least some of the events in London celebrating the queen’s Platinum Jubilee this summer.
It’s also possible this new memoir could help the royal family — including Harry — begin to talk more honestly about the mistakes of the past and start building a bridge toward a kinder future. “It all depends on what’s in the final copy,” says the insider. “It could bring them together or be the nail that finally drives them apart forever.”