Prince Harry is set to drop his own memoir, but has The Palace Papers beaten him to the punch? This is what you need to know.
As if we hadn’t already had our fill of royal exposé’s, another one has landed.
Enter renowned journalist, editor, and royal insider Tina Brown and 500-pages of royal secrets and strife: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor – the Truth and the Turmoil.
The book promises “powerful revelations” of the trouble the Crown has weathered in “one of the most tumultuous periods” in recent royal family history, from Princess Diana’s death to now.
But with enough royal biographies to fill The Vatican – and Prince Harry expected to release his own memoir by this year’s end – how much more juice can we squeeze from this lemon?
Plenty, according to royal reporter Daniela Elser who spoke to news.com.au about The Palace Papers and what readers can expect, the most jaw-dropping revelations, and what stones it leaves for Harry to fling back at the Palace in his?
What can we expect from The Palace Papers?
The Palace Papers is an account of the last 25 years of Windsor’s lives, relationships and careers.
It rummages through everyone’s laundry and finds all kinds of revelations – from the serious (how badly the Duchess of Cambridge was bullied in school), to the more frivolous (Prince Philip was once so frustrated by the ads on his Kindle he threw it into the bathtub).
“It gets into how Camilla basically got Charles to make an honest woman out of her,” Elser told news.com.au. “And also about Harry and William and dealing with Diana’s death, then becoming adults.”
And, of course, there’s plenty about Meghan’s entry to and Megxit from the palace.
Who is Tina Brown and how credible is ‘The Palace Papers’?
“This is the most credible biography we’ve got, and the least partisan biography that we’ve got,” Elser said.
The Palace Papers is neither “sycophantic or a brutal take-down”, but a nuanced look at the last few decades of the royals, and taking a more sympathetic look to the most maligned royals: Camilla and Meghan.
It’s a balance expected from the woman who delivered the best-selling The Diana Chronicles in 2007. The woman who was the former editor of Vanity Fair, Tatlerand The New Yorker and is renowned for her royal coverage and connections to the UK’s upper class.
Brown reportedly sought intel from more than 100 sources – courtiers, former staff, an assortment of high society – who spilt the beans on the Windsors, making it “one of the best, most meticulously researched books”.
What is the most jaw-dropping revelation?
There is one revelation, Elser says, that’ll cut to the bone of Australian royal fans.
Remember the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 2018 royal tour? The “Megmania”? When the couple announced they were expecting their first child? The one with rain in Dubbo and the ear-to-ear grins?
According to one of Brown’s Palace sources, Meghan “hated every second of it”. In fact, she thought the whole thing was “pointless”.
Is this book another excuse to take a stab at Meghan?
Although she paints Meghan as an ambitious self-aware career woman, Elser said that Brown takes a pretty “sympathetic” view to her, particularly the public criticism she faced.
“But she’s also pretty limited in that sympathy, too,” Elser said.
“When she met Harry she was in her mid-30s, she hadn’t made it as a star in Hollywood… and her window was closing. Meanwhile, she was trying to establish herself as a humanitarian figure… and then gets set-up on a blind date with Harry and everything changes. ”
“[Brown] seems critical of Meghan for trying to stroll into the institution and bend it to her will. And she didn’t prepare herself or try to understand it. “
What about Harry’s book? Is there anything left for him to say?
In short: yes. The cup of royal memoir and scandal truly doth runneth over.
While The Palace Papers reveals plenty, Prince Harry is certain to have even more to share in his own upcoming memoir.
“I don’t think it’s going to do too much damage to Harry’s reputation or the success of his book,” Elser said.
Brown looks at the royal family via flies on the wall, but hasn’t taken aim at the family in the way Harry’s is expected to.
“All the big revelations could be in Harry’s book,” Elser said. “[The Palace Papers] certainly hasn’t stolen Harry’s thunder. “