Prince Harry’s departure, and apparent feud, with the royal family has made headlines ever since he and his wife, Meghan, renounced their royal titles in early 2021. Since then, there has been much speculation over the sort of relationship Harry has with various members of his family, especially his father, King Charles III and his brother, Prince William. With the upcoming release of Harry’s memoir, entitled Spare, right around the corner, those interested in the royals, as well as many media outlets, are keen to know what secrets Harry might reveal. While the book isn’t officially released until the 10th January, leaked copies circulated in Spain, and the contents of the book has given the papers plenty of headlines to work with.
It has been reported that Spare doesn’t shy away from revealing some pretty personal details about its author and his family, with those who’ve read it stating it details how the Prince lost his virginity behind a pub, that he asked his father not to remarry, that he killed 25 enemy combatants whilst in the armed forces, that his brother physically assaulted him during an argument, as well as the details of his final visit to Queen Elizabeth II. Safe to say, for a family that values its privacy, a lot of dirty laundry is currently being aired.
The Spanish editions of the book were quickly translated for English-speaking readers, and thus the press has had a field day reporting its contents. As The Guardian reports, editor of the industry publication the Bookseller, Philip Jones stated that, though publishers are against leaks in general, they understand they can also increase public interest in a title.
“Lots of books come out with lots of pre-publication coverage and serialisations and it doesn’t seem to do any damage to sales. There’s always more in a book than the media can reproduce. If you’re a Harry fan or a Harry watcher you’re still going to want to read it in his own words,” he said.
It’s certainly true that there is a great deal of public interest in the upcoming book, though it’s not all positive. There are many who are critical of Prince Harry and his wife, and feel that their original claim of wanting privacy is undercut by their frequent TV interviews and the memoir itself, while others argue they have the right to tell their side of the story. Given that Harry is currently in the midst of legal battles with a number of parent companies of high profile newspapers such as the Daily Mail and The Sun, it’s hardly surprising headlines from those papers have hardly been sympathetic, with the Daily Mail describing Spare as “excruciating,” and its author as a “grudge-toting manbaby.” Some will agree, others will point out the obvious bias of such headlines.
Some papers chose to take a more tactful approach to the title, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that the Taliban have demanded Harry stand before an international court following the news that he reports to have killed 25 people while serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, proving even the less gossip-related parts of Spare are causing a stir.
No doubt we will see plenty more headlines and plenty more stories unfold once the book is officially released on Tuesday, and no doubt everyone will have their own opinions on the topic. Regardless of the reaction towards Harry’s book, there’s no doubt it will be one of the bestselling and most talked about books of 2023.