Harry and Meghan partner with bestselling author to bring beloved romance novel to screen: ‘I’m so thrilled’

Exclusive: Toronto-based author called the collaboration a ‘perfect partnership’

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 08 August 2023 16:34 BST
Harry and Meghan surprise student recipients of Youth Power Fund in Archewell video

Author Carley Fortune has confirmed that her bestselling romance novel Meet Me at the Lake will be adapted for Netflix by Harry and Meghan’s production company.

News that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Productions had acquired rights to Fortune’s book broke over the weekend, weeks after their exclusive, multi-million pound deal with Spotify was terminated.

In a statement to The Independent, Fortune said: “I’m so thrilled about working with Netflix and Archewell to bring Meet Me at the Lake to the screen.

“Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership.”

A former journalist, Fortune’s second book Meet Me at the Lake was released in the US on 2 May, and debuted at No 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

It is published by Penguin Random House, who also published Prince Harry’s memoir Spare.

The book follows Will and Fern, “two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects”.

The plot bears some likeness to Harry and Meghan’s whirlwind romance, as one of the protagonists in Fortune’s story lost a parent in a car crash and struggled with alcohol and drug use.

Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997, when the prince was 12.

Fortune has previously described the book as a “love letter to Toronto”, where Meghan lived before she started dating Harry.

Author Elena Armas praised Fortune’s the novel as “breathtaking tale of star-crossed lovers” in a testimonial for the Canadian author’s book.

In June, Spotify terminated its £15m podcasting deal with Archewell Audio, after just one season of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes.

Less than a year after it was released, the audio streaming company and Archewell Audio announced they had “mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together”.

News of the planned Netflix adaptation comes days after Meghan celebrated her 42nd birthday on Friday 4 August, amid a pointed silence from the Royal Family.

The official Twitter accounts for King Charles and Queen Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, did not feature birthday messages for Meghan – as they have in previous years.

None of the royals wished Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lillibet on the occasion of her second birthday in June, either.

Harry and Meghan were spotted leaving Italian restaurant Tre Lune earlier this week, in photos obtained by the Daily Mail, as they celebrated the duchess’s birthday together.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in