Prince Andrew won’t write tell-all book as ‘leverage’ against King Charles, friends say

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Friends of the Duke of York say that claims he is touting for a book deal are categorically false - Reuters/Toby Melville
Friends of the Duke of York say that claims he is touting for a book deal are categorically false - Reuters/Toby Melville

Friends of Prince Andrew have insisted he has no intention of writing an autobiography amid speculation the book threat is being used as leverage with King Charles.

The Duke of York is reportedly in talks to write an “explosive tell-all” memoir that would rival his nephew Prince Harry’s best-selling book Spare, which caused deep embarrassment.

Friends of the Duke said on Sunday that claims he is touting for a book deal are categorically false. “It’s not true,” said a friend.

Reports in both the Mail on Sunday and the Sun on Sunday claimed the Duke of York was keen to publish his memoirs as part of an ongoing attempt to restore his reputation. The Duke’s close association with Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier and convicted paedophile who killed himself in jail while awaiting a fresh trial, led to him being ostracised by the Royal family, stripped of his patronages and removed from public duties.

The Sunday newspapers claimed that the Duke has been in discussions with US publishers and ghostwriters about an autobiography.

‘The original spare’

One source told the Mail on Sunday: “Andrew was the original spare and there’s plenty of material. Writing a book would give him the opportunity to fully explain his association with Jeffrey Epstein and the resulting fall-out.”

The Duke was forced to settle a multi-million-pound legal action after he was sued by Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Epstein’s sex trafficking. She had accused the Duke of sexually abusing and raping her three times after being loaned to him by Epstein. The allegations are vehemently denied by the Duke.

There has been mounting speculation that the Duke could be forced out of his home at Royal Lodge in the Windsor grounds following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The new king is planning to cut his annual allowance and the Duke does not have the funds to pay for the upkeep of the mansion and its estate.

One source suggested any threat of a book deal could be used to leverage more money out of King Charles, allowing the Duke to remain in the Royal Lodge. A source said: “Andrew has told a publisher he is considering writing a book because he is screwed for cash. It is an insight into the desperation of his situation.”

The source added: “I doubt the book will ever get written.”

‘Kite-flying exercise’

A separate source said the proposal for the autobiography was a “kite-flying exercise… to see if anybody offers him a big publishing deal”.

It is unclear what kind of advance the Duke could secure. While Prince Harry has made millions from Spare – and the memoirs have sold far better than expected – major publishing houses may well be reluctant to be associated with the Duke. That would suggest a big-money deal may not be available to him. Any lucrative book deal is also reliant on major sales in the US, where the Duke’s reputation has taken a terrible battering.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.