Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Acquire Book Rights for Netflix — and They Have Strong Ties to the Story
Carley Fortune, the author of ‘Meet Me at the Lake,’ confirmed “the rumors are true” on Instagram
“I’m so thrilled about working with Netflix and Archewell to bring Meet Me at the Lake to the screen,” she said in a statement. “Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership,” she added, referencing the protagonists whose story shares similarities with Harry, 38, and Meghan, 42.
Fortune celebrated the news on Instagram Monday by posting a smiling selfie with her book, which was published by Penguin Random House in May. Penguin Random House also published Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare,in January, and an imprint, Random House Books for Young Readers, published Meghan’s children’s book, The Bench, in June 2021.
“I never thought I’d be making this announcement, but since I am, it feels fitting that I’m doing it from the cottage where it all began,” the author wrote on Instagram. “I’m thrilled to confirm that I’m teaming up with Netflix and Archewell productions on the adaption of Meet Me at the Lake. Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership. Writing this book was a tremendous personal challenge, and to see it recognized in this way is truly incredible.”
Meet Me at the Lake is Fortune’s second text and debuted at number one on The New York Times bestsellers list for paperback trade fiction. Set in Toronto — where Meghan lived while filming the legal drama Suitsbefore she married Harry in 2018 — the novel 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,” its Amazon page states.
Will and Fern connect in their thirties — the same time when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex met — and “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,” The Independent reported.
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Audio parted ways with Spotify in June after releasing one season of Meghan’s Archetypes podcast, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that the streamer has several projects in the works with Archewell Productions.
“We value our partnership with Archewell Productions,” a Netflix spokesperson told PEOPLE in June following the Spotify news. “Harry & Meghan was Netflix’s biggest documentary debut ever, and we’ll continue to work together on a number of projects, including the upcoming documentary series Heart of Invictus.”
After stepping back from their royal roles and moving to Meghan’s home state of California in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed a multiyear deal with Netflix. In December 2022, their series Harry & Meghanprovided a look at their love story — as well as their lives as members of the British royal family and their decision to leave the U.K. The intimate six-episode series became the biggest documentary debut week in Netflix history.
Heart of Invictus, announced by Netflix in January, will follow the athletes of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games for service personnel as they prepared for the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague, the Netherlands, which was postponed to April 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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In a glimmer of what’s to come, Meghan and Harry were spotted with cameras at the Invictus Games last year.
“This new series from Archewell Productions follows a group of extraordinary competitors from around the globe — all service members who have suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses — on their road to competing at the Invictus Games,” Netflix tweeted in January.
The Meet Me at the Lake update was first reported by The Sunon Saturday — the day after Meghan’s 42nd birthday. In a possible early birthday celebration, she and Harry stepped out for dinner with a friend at Tre Lune in Montecito, California last Wednesday night.
“From what I gathered, they enjoyed their food and had a nice time,” a source tells PEOPLE.
While Prince Harry is often seen at the beach in Montecito and Meghan has been spotted at local markets, the couple mostly keep to themselves.
A friend tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, “They’re not into a big scene. They prefer smaller group hangouts at home, karaoke, that sort of thing.”
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