Meghan Markle was noticeably absent from the spotlight as Prince Harry embarked on a media tour for his latest tell-all.
The Duke of Sussex’s explosive memoir, “Spare,” which was published on Jan. 10, sold 1.43 million copies during its first day on sale in the U.K., U.S. and Canada, making it the fastest-selling nonfiction book of all time.
Despite the book’s overwhelming success, sources recently told The Telegraph that the duchess, 41, “may have raised gentle concerns about whether it was the right move.” The mother of two, who was described as “media-savvy,” was “more wary than the duke about this particular project.”
GB News host Dan Wootton called the Telegraph report “absolutely fascinating” because he felt “it was the first sign of Meghan trying to distance herself from all of the collateral PR damage caused by ‘Spare,'” U.K.’s Express reported.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Royal author Christopher Andersen, who recently wrote a book about King Charles III, told Fox News Digital that he was not surprised the former American actress is nowhere to be seen following the book’s release. He suspected that she is sending a clear message – this was Harry’s work alone.
“Meghan clearly doesn’t want to make it look as if she’s somehow manipulating Harry, or that she’s had a hand in shaping his memoirs,” Andersen explained. “The Sussexes are very sensitive to the fact that their critics believe she has some mesmeric sway over him. The fact is, this is Harry’s story, and for better or worse he has to own it.”
Andersen also believes there’s a good reason why the former “Suits” star may have allegedly been wary about some of the contents in “Spare.”
“What may be most concerning to both Harry and Meghan is the blowback they’ve gotten from people in the military who feel he was ill-advised to write about killing 25 enemy combatants while serving in Afghanistan,” said Andersen. “I can’t imagine if they’d had it to do over, that Meghan in particular would just as soon have had him leave those kinds of statistics out of the book.”
To promote “Spare,” Harry, 38, made solo appearances on ITV, CBS’ “60 Minutes,” “Good Morning America” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
In comparison, when Markle launched her “Archetypes” podcast, Harry made a comical cameo in the episode featuring Serena Williams. Additionally, when she promoted her children’s book “The Bench” at a New York school, her husband was on site to support his spouse. The outlet also pointed out that when Markle spoke to The Cut magazine, Harry “appeared from somewhere in the house” to tell the journalist that his wife “had complained after her photoshoot that she was a mom, not a model.”
“You can be both,” he said.
“The book was always Harry’s thing, in the same way the podcast was always hers,” royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital. “We didn’t see him in podcast promotion. Their PR strategy has never made sense to me, but they are clearly trying to build a Harry and Meghan brand and a Harry brand and a Meghan brand.”
“The question is… What about an Archewell brand?” she asked, referring to the couple’s nonprofit. “The book has definitely hit their brand. In my estimation, they had everything they wanted one month ago after the Netflix documentary. Their story was out and garnered massive sympathy from even the most apathetic American viewers. The memoir undid all that goodwill, and the press tour has been an absolute cringe-fest.”
“Spare” is the latest in a string of public pronouncements by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they quit royal life in 2020. At the time, they cited what they saw as the media’s racist treatment of the duchess and a lack of support from the palace.
Following their exit, the couple sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview that was viewed by 50 million people globally. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke out again in a six-part Netflix documentary released last month.
Following the book’s publication, several royal experts wondered whether “Spare” and its shocking claims would threaten the pair’s chances of becoming a power couple in Hollywood. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in the wealthy, coastal city of Montecito, California.
“Since few would refute the assumption that Meghan is rather smart, perhaps she has witnessed their plummeting popularity in both the U.S. and the U.K.?” Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital. “She can see that the ever popular, and by some claims her rival, Catherine, Princess of Wales is ‘rising above the drama’ [as several outlets reported]. She has been seen ‘keeping calm and carrying on’… She was back visiting a hospital in Liverpool and a nursery in Luton. While she’s ‘onward and upward’ Meghan is sliding downward and dejected perhaps?”
“Perhaps Meghan, in addition to reading the polls, has heard of the great greeting Catherine received with huge cheers from the awaiting crowd when she arrived in Liverpool?” Fordwich shared. “So, while Harry is whining and complaining, Catherine is focusing on others, working hard doing her duty and raising her family.”
“Catherine has not been complaining and perhaps Meghan has seen how well this has served both her and the Queen Consort, Camilla,” Fordwich continued. “Being a dedicated mother, wife, daughter-in-law, public speaker and community worker – in other words, doing one’s duty – are greatly admired on both sides of the Atlantic, as polls have shown. Meghan might be watching?”
“Spare” exposes deeply personal details about Harry and the British royal family. The prince made damning allegations of a toxic relationship between the monarchy and the press, describing how family members would leak unflattering information about other members in exchange for positive coverage of themselves. He specifically singled out his stepmother Camilla, accusing the Queen Consort of feeding private conversations to the media as she sought to rehabilitate her image after her longtime affair with his father.
Harry’s story is dominated by his rivalry with his elder brother Prince William, who is heir to the British throne, and the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. Harry, who was 12 at the time, described how then-Prince Charles broke the news of his mother’s accident but did not hug his son. Harry added that he and William both “begged” their father not to marry Camilla, worried she would become a “wicked stepmother.”
The many claims in Harry’s book sparked nonstop headlines. Harry alleged that during an argument in 2019, William, 40, called Markle “difficult” and “rude,” then grabbed him by the collar and knocked him down. Harry said he suffered cuts and bruises from landing on a dog bowl. Harry also alleged that William and his now-wife Kate Middleton “howled with laughter” when he notoriously wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party.
Buckingham Palace officials have declined to comment on any of the allegations made in Harry’s book. A spokesperson for the king did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Kensington Palace, which represents the Prince and Princess of Wales, told Fox News Digital it doesn’t have a comment. Allies of the royal family have pushed back on Harry’s claims, largely anonymously.
The Telegraph noted that despite the book’s popularity, approval ratings have fallen on both sides of the pond for the couple. Palace sources insisted that with Markle backing her husband’s attempts in seeking peace with his family, she may not attend the king’s coronation on May 6.
Harry told ITV that he wants his father and older brother back, adding that he wants “a family, not an institution.”
During his press tour, Harry also defended his decision to write a memoir that lay bare rifts inside Britain’s royal family, saying it was an attempt to “own my story” after 38 years of “spin and distortion” by others.
Kinsey Schofield, a royal expert and host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, told Fox News Digital she believes there are elements of “Spare” “that have Meghan’s fingerprints all over it.”
“The most obvious would be providing Harry with private correspondences she received from Catherine, the Princess of Wales,” she explained about the excerpts that detailed alleged tense texts between the royal wives. Schofield insisted “Harry and Meghan both knew that this book would ruffle some feathers.”
“Not wanting Meghan to be seen as the instigator, she might have been advised to stay in the shadows for this brief period of time,” she added.
Sources have told The Telegraph that it was Harry alone who made up his mind to share his story, spending two years working with ghostwriter J. R. Moehringer. They claimed the duchess stood back and instead, “offered her full support. They noted she “is immensely proud of his achievements.”
“Is this the way she would have approached things? Possibly not,” a source told the outlet. “But she will always back him and would never have got involved in promoting such a personal project. This was about his own life, his journey and his perspective.”
Schofield believes it won’t be the last tell-all for the Sussexes. According to Schofield, she would not be surprised if Markle released her own book in time as part of her brand. She noted that “correcting the narrative seems to be Harry and Meghan’s top priority – to an exhausting degree.”
“Did they anticipate becoming such a punchline in the states over ‘Spare?’ I don’t think so,” said Schofield. “But I think Meghan calls the shots and probably signed off on the book… I doubt Harry buys a stick of gum without his wife’s approval at this point. Or a new dog bowl.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.