At the end of Prince Harry’s exhausting memoir, there remains one big question: What now?
In “Spare,” the renegade royal digs up all the skeletons from his past — laying bare a fallout with his brother “Willy,” the strained relationship with King Charles (“Pa”), and his true feelings for stepmother Camilla.
But after collecting a $20 million payday from Penguin Random House for a three-book deal, as well as even more millions from Netflix for the “Harry & Meghan” docu-series, where does that leave the prince and his wife, Meghan Markle?
Holed up in their $14.5 million home in Montecito, Calif., the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are as isolated as ever from the royal family and with little path forward for reconciliation. And now even America is not sure what to make of them.
“They are on the edge. They have lost the sympathy vote,” global branding and public relations expert Mark Borkowski told Page Six.
Even the liberal New York Times published a piece asking “Has Prince Harry’s Spare Changed Public Opinion of Him?” And Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis wrote a Times piece admitting that she regretted her own tell-all on her family, saying that she would have urged Harry to take a beating before publishing his book.
On NBC’s “Hoda and Jenna” Monday, co-host and former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager told viewers she could not imagine writing about her twin sister Barbara as Harry does of Prince William, adding: “It’s sad … I can’t even imagine a world without her.” Admitting that she has considered writing a memoir, Bush Hager said, “Sometimes you’re telling your story and your story is also the story of others…I’ve actually asked people ‘Is this fair?’ Everybody has their own truth.”
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to California in March 2020 to embark on their American Dream, they quickly signed big-money deals to tell their “truth” as a way to achieve financial independence.
As Page Six previously reported, the couple had been in talks with Netflix, as well as Oprah Winfrey, as far back as fall 2018 — more than a year before reports surfaced that they wanted to leave their senior royal roles. They were not paid for the bombshell Winfrey interview that aired in March 2021, although it certainly laid the ground for what was to come.
Harry has given four big interviews to promote his book — including three on American TV, with “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “60 Minutes.”
And while he thanks Tyler Perry – who loaned the Sussexes his Los Angeles mansion in 2020 – and Oprah Winfrey in the acknowledgments for his book, neither one has publicized Harry or the memoir on their social media platforms. Nor has neighbor Ellen DeGeneres, another celebrity pal, who has interviewed Markle in the past.
“I suspect the ‘bunker mentality’ has left them threadbare on future messaging,” Borkowski said. “As each interview landed, Harry exposed a deep well of emotional unresolved pain. He should spend time and effort on dealing with the pain instead of turning it into a three-ring Barnum and Bailey circus act.”
And to think, there could have been more: At one point, Harry’s memoir was reported to be a two-parter, but that idea was axed, sources told Page Six
But one Hollywood industry source wondered: “How do Harry and Meghan make money now?”
The Sussexes are next teaming up for a book that has been described as focused on “leadership and philanthropy,” and Page Six has been told that Markle could be writing her own memoir.
The Hollywood source revealed that the Sussexes signed a three-year deal with Spotify, but it is not yet known whether Markle’s podcast, “Archetypes with Meghan,” will be back for a second season.
“With the economics of the entertainment industry being so troubled at the moment, will Netflix also want to extend or renew their deal?” the source questioned.
The source also said that, although the Sussexes had been in talks for various branding deals, nothing has been signed.
With Markle having revealed that she was thinking of relaunching her Instagram account, the insider noted that Markle might want to bring back her lifestyle blog, The Tig: “Surely it’s time for Meghan to re-emerge on Instagram with a Tig 2.0.”
A well-placed royal source sniffed: “Will it be freebies and paid-for sponsorships. Kardashian-style?”
William and Harry received the bulk of their mother Princess Diana’s £13 million ($15.8m) fortune when she died in 1997. Harry also got millions from his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, who passed away in 2002. It’s not yet known whether he was left anything from Queen Elizabeth. His father, King Charles, subsidized the Sussexes up until June 2020.
In a television interview, Harry told Oprah Winfrey that his inheritance funded their US move: “I’ve got what my mum left me. Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”
In March 2021, Harry was appointed “chief impact officer” for BetterUp, a mental health start-up based in California, and still holds this position.
“How do you support your lifestyle with your big house?” the Hollywood source added: “How are you gonna get the money for it?”
Sources said that the Sussexes have been spending up to $2 million a year on security, but that cost may soar now that Harry has drawn ire from Taliban chiefs after confessing that he killed 25 Taliban soldiers during the war in Afghanistan.
The prince has become increasingly concerned for his family’s security since moving to the US and losing the bodyguards provided by the palace. Last year, he took legal action against British authorities after being blocked under UK law from having private armed guards with him in England.
He has said that paying for private armed security is one reason for his quest to sign lucrative deals in the US.
Indeed, while in NYC to record “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, which airs Tuesday, one of Harry’s armed security men was seen carrying a Glock Box, which is used for weapons and ammunition.
The Hollywood source also noted that Harry has exposed so much, anything after this makes him seem less interesting. “Do you see Beyonce sitting posting photos of herself on the toilet, no. As soon as you start talking, start posting, you lose some mystique.”