Behind the scenes, Prince Harry is carefully following the secret celebrity playbook.

At this moment in time, some of the places and objects you're conflating in your mind might be making you feel uncomfortable. 

For example, the North Pole no longer makes you think of Santa Claus and reindeer, but rather Prince Harry wiggling uncomfortably at his brother's wedding thanks to his frostbitten 'todger'.

Or perhaps the imagery of your favourite pub has been replaced with the thought of Prince Harry "mounting" a mystery older woman (who hopefully has her own tell-all in the works) behind just such an establishment.

Watch the trailer for Netflix's Harry & Meghan. Post continues below.

Video via Netflix.

These unfortunate conflations are not your fault, just the fallout of Prince Harry's all-encompassing media tour in support of the projects he has released since formally stepping down as a working royal alongside his wife Meghan Markle. 

A press tour off the back of the couple's six-part documentary series Harry & Meghan and more newsworthy, his newly released memoir Sparewhich was launched alongside a series of headline-making interviews.

Alongside the frostbitten penis jokes, there have of course been a number of allegations made throughout the projects, namely the indisputable racism leveled at Meghan Markle via the British press.


Yet as the headlines from Spare and Harry's interviews continue to swirl, encompassing everything from feuds over lip gloss to stories of physical assault, one question is still being hotly debated.


Why has Prince Harry chosen to make so many of his famous family's most uncomfortable moments public? To sever all those ties so completely (even though he denies that was his intention, the fallout speaks for itself) but even more so, to lay bare so many of his own secrets within those pages.

Money, yes, would be the obvious answer, seeing as he was paid millions for the book, but it doesn't appear this was the solo driving force behind his choice of which stories to share. 

There's also the revenge factor, or more accurately, the thirst of someone who feels they have been so maligned in the press, at the hands of their own family as they say, to have their own side of the story put into the public sphere on such a spectacular scale.

Prince Harry on his press tour. Image: Getty.


Both these explanations account more so for the details he has shared about the press and his own family. 

The story of William pushing him to the floor during an altercation. Meghan left in tears after a text message exchange with Kate in the lead-up to the wedding. His family leaving him behind on the day of the Queen's death, leading him to miss the chance to say goodbye.

All details that paint him in the more flattering light, shared with the expectation that they will solidify his public standing in a positive way. Especially on the international stage as he and Meghan move into more public roles that will serve as their primary income streams. 

So why, people are asking, did some of his more eyebrow-raising admissions make it into the book, when the promised drama with his family would have ensured the pre-sale numbers were already high? 

Admissions such as tripping on mushrooms at Courteney Cox's home, rubbing Elizabeth Arden cream onto his frozen nether regions, or on a more serious note, naming the number of people he killed during his tours of duty in Afghanistan, his private panic attacks and mental health, and highlighting the many times he was labelled by the press as a racist. 


What the Prince has done could be seen as a series of over shares, but in reality, he has very much taken a page out of the secret celebrity playbook when it comes to managing past indiscretions and life in the public eye.

In a comment on Instagram, activist and actress Jameela Jamil said it best when she wrote, "Is it unhinged? Or is it a genius way to get all of your skeletons out of the closet so that nobody has anything to threaten/embarrass you with because you owned it and got paid 40 million dollars for it? After six years of smear campaigns, maybe it's more empowering to share on your own terms." 

With his book, Prince Harry has chosen a PR play that dives directly into celebrity culture rather than royal protocol.

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast The Spill. Post continues below.

Once reserved for glossy magazine covers and tell-all TV interviews, celebrities now favour reality shows, documentaries, and memoirs as a way to control their public personas, respond to controversies, and ensure a large chunk of the cash from sharing their stories remains in their pocket.

It's why members of the successful Kardashian family/machine rarely comment on controversies in real time, opting instead to film delayed and carefully curated reactions for their own docuseries.

It's why celebrities such as Will Smith, Demi Lovato, Drew Barrymore, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Simpson, Demi Moore, Busy Phillips and Matthew Perry (just to name a few) have all chosen to pen headline-making memoirs that put their own spin on scandals, rumours and headline making moments attached to their names. A way to carefully release secrets hanging over their heads.


It's why megastars such as Taylor Swift choose to address difficult subjects via their own documentaries. Or why a household name like Naomi Campbell will share with the world that she's become a mother, but not divulge her baby's name. 

You'll only find that information in her upcoming book, she says.    

The Royal Family's motto might be 'never complain, never explain' but in Hollywood, the rule of thumb is to curate and control your admission while ensuring you're the one getting paid.

It's a PR strategy that may sound sinister or greedy, but at least in the case of Harry and the slew of celebrities that came before him, he is putting his name to all the stories he has shared, putting himself directly in the firing line.

Rather than someone else sell his secrets and thoughts down the line, he's released them on his own terms, with his own spin, and has effectively invoiced the public for consuming them.

After all, that's showbiz. 

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Feature Image: Getty.

Can’t live without your phone or the internet? Take our survey now and you go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher!