In Depth

When is the new Meghan and Harry biography out and what will it reveal?

Couple reportedly helped ‘favoured’ journalists write new book about their decision to quit Royal Family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have cooperated with the authors of an “explosive” new biography that insiders fear could be a “score-settling exercise” as the couple justify their decision to quit the Royal Family, according to reports.  

The Mail on Sunday claims that before moving to North America earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave an interview to two “favoured” journalists for the book, provisionally titled Thoroughly Modern Royals: The Real World Of Harry And Meghan.

The revelation comes just weeks after the couple announced they were cutting off communication with four major UK tabloid titles, including the Daily Mail and its Sunday edition. Markle is currently embroiled in a court case against the weekend newspaper over the publication of a 2018 letter that she wrote to her estranged father.

When will the book be out?

The Mail on Sunday says that the biography “was due to be published by New York-based Dey Street Books in June but was delayed, presumably because of the [coronavirus] pandemic”. The 320-page book is now set to be released in August, with an ebook verson available to pre-order for £7.49.

Princess Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson told the paper: “Collaborating with pliable authors and magazine journalists while shunning those deemed awkward is standard royal practice, but for Harry and Meghan it’s not just about image – for them it’s business: a vital part of the self-branding and marketing process.”

Who is involved?

Sources told the Mail that the Sussexes spoke to two journalists for the book: Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.

British-Iranian writer Scobie is “one of the journalists trusted by the Sussex camp and given early notice of their events and details of their lives”, Newsweek reports.

The royal editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Scobie is “an acknowledged Meghan cheerleader and was one of the favoured journalists given details of the couple’s video call to the Queen last week in which they wished her a happy 94th birthday”, adds The Mail on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Durand has been covering the Royal Family for 15 years for publications including Elle.com and OprahMag.com, the online edition of the magazine founded by Oprah Winfrey.

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What can we expect from the book?

According to the London Evening Standard, the Duke and Duchess chosen Scobie and Durand to write a “glowing account of their blossoming romance and their decision to quit The Firm”.

But “palace courtiers” are understood to “fear” the book, which is expected to contain “excruciatingly detailed first-hand testimony”, adds the newspaper.

However, The Telegraph reports that sources close to the Sussexes “stress that it was not an official biography and the book does not claim to have had an interview with them”.

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told The Times: “There is always concern when there is a book coming out, probably more so on this one if what we read is true: that they have cooperated.

“If they have cooperated then there is concern. It also begs the question, how much have they cooperated?”

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