Prince Harry Gave Nephew Prince Louis a $10,000 Copy of a Beloved Children’s Book Inspired by Princess Diana

A royal expert predicts that Louis hasn’t read it yet—for a valid reason.

Prince Harry and Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lifetime ago, Prince Harry gifted his youngest nephew, Prince Louis, a first-edition copy of Winnie the Pooh worth £8,000 (so just over $10,000) for his 2018 christening, The Sun reports, but it’s “unlikely he’ll have read it yet,” the outlet reports.

And no, it’s not because of the brother-on-brother feud that has reached fever pitch in the six years since—it’s because Louis’ parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, are afraid that Louis might damage it somehow (hey, he is five, after all). 

The royal family at Prince Louis' christening

The royal family at Prince Louis' christening in 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“One of Harry’s happiest childhood memories was being read a bedtime story by his mother,” a friend said. “She loved all the old classics and Harry had the brilliant idea of starting a little library of first editions for Louis, [Princess] Charlotte, and [Prince] George to enjoy as they get older. He originally wanted to get Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, which was on sale for £24,000, but decided Winnie the Pooh would be more suitable for a first tome.”

Harry is understood to have bought the 1926 book written by A.A. Milne—of which 30,000 were printed in the first run—from Peter Harrington in London. “Robinson Crusoe was William’s favorite book, but Harry loved all things A.A. Milne,” they said.

Royal expert Phil Dampier said it’s unlikely that Louis would be left to his own devices with the classic fiction book. “It was lovely of Harry to give this precious book to Louis but I expect he has also got a cheaper version so he can read it properly,” he said. “William and Kate wouldn’t want him thumbing his way through the expensive copy and ruining it by damaging some pages. It will only increase in value, so they would want to keep it in good condition as a family heirloom.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Prince Louis' christening in 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Prince Louis' christening in 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dampier added that Harry has a close bond with his niece and nephews and will “regret” not being close to them growing up geographically: “It just highlights how tragic it is that the royal cousins are on different sides of the Atlantic and not having a relationship,” he said. “And that [Prince] Archie and [Princess] Lilibet are not being seen by the royal family, and Harry and Meghan aren’t seeing Louis, George, and Charlotte. I’m sure that is a matter of deep regret for Harry, and he would like to have a relationship with them, whatever his problems with the grownups. He has always loved kids and he must feel he is missing out on family occasions big time.”

And Louis isn’t the only one getting top notch gifts like this from Uncle Harry, Dampier said. “I’m told he has also given some lovely presents over the years to George and Charlotte, but I’m not sure what they are,” he said. “He keeps in contact with all the children, and they will miss not having him as an uncle.” (Well, he’ll always be their uncle, but maybe a close in proximity uncle is more like it.)

The year after Louis’ christening, Harry and Meghan welcomed Archie in 2019, followed by Lilibet in 2021—who, we’d venture to guess, also likely have a fantastic book collection of their own.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.