Before Prince Harry, Edward VIII wrote his own tell-all after marrying American divorcée Wallis Simpson – Fox News
Prince Harry isn’t the first royal to step back from duties and later write a tell-all.
His great-great-uncle, Edward, Duke of Windsor, produced a ghost-written biography titled “A King’s Story: The Memoirs of the Duke of Windsor” in 1951.
Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, famously abdicated the throne in 1936 so he could marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father, George VI, went on to become king until his death in 1952. Elizabeth was crowned queen in 1953.
On Tuesday, People magazine reported that Edward’s memoir recalled his own upbringing, leading up to falling in love with the socialite and ultimately giving up the position of monarch.
“Given my character, my roving curiosity and independence, my life appeared to form a disconnected pattern – duty without decision, service without responsibility, pomp without power,” Edward wrote, as quoted in an excerpt obtained by the outlet.
“Meanwhile, something had happened that, although I did not realize it at the time, was destined to change the whole course of my life,” Edward wrote. “I met Wallis Warfield Simpson.”
The outlet noted that Edward and Simpson struggled financially after the abdication. As a result of being cut off from the monarchy, the couple had no source of income. Consequently, royalties from Edward’s booked helped fun them as they lived in France.
Simpson published her own memoir, titled “The Heart Has Its Reasons,” in 1956.
“In addition to relating that she had thought she might become Queen, she wrote that when that dream was shattered, both she and the Duke thought that they would at least be able to live in Britain permanently and that she would be given royal rank,” The New York Times reported.
Edward passed away in 1972 at age 77. Simpson died in 1986 at age 89.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex confirmed to Fox News that the 36-year-old is writing what his publisher is calling an “intimate and heartfelt memoir.”
Random House expects to release the book, currently untitled, late in 2022. While financial terms were not disclosed, Harry will donate proceeds to charity, the publisher noted.
In response to the book’s announcement, a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace told Fox News “this is not something we would comment on.”
In his announcement, Harry said his book aims to tell “my story.”
“I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become,” Harry said in a statement. “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story – the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned – I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.”
“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful,” Harry added.
According to Random House, Harry’s book will serve as “the definitive account.”
“Prince Harry will share, for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape him,” Random House announced.
“Covering his lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father, Prince Harry will offer an honest and captivating personal portrait, one that shows readers that behind everything they think they know lies an inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story,” their statement shared.
The Duchess of Sussex spoke of feeling lonely and nearly suicidal before they left England last year. Harry also acknowledged tension with his father Charles over his decision to step back from royal duties and his marriage to the biracial American actress.
“There is a lot to work through there,” said Harry about his relationship with his father Prince Charles. “I feel really let down. He’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And [my son] Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened.”
Harry also told Winfrey, 67, that he felt trapped by royal life and that his family cut him off financially, taking away his security. He also acknowledged that his relationship with his older brother Prince William is strained.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” said Harry. “My father and my brother, they are trapped.”
During the interview, the couple described painful comments someone made about how dark their son Archie’s skin might be before his birth in 2019. Harry later confirmed that the royal in question who made the heartbreaking statement about his son wasn’t the queen or Prince Philip, his grandparents.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately. William, 39, also assured reporters that “we are very much not a racist family.”
Last month, Markle published the picture book “The Bench” through Random House Books for Young Readers.
Markle, a former American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star, 39. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, 95, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother Princess Diana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.