Following a string of high-profile interviews about his mental health, his wife Meghan Markle, his family, and what it was like living as a royal — as well as a revealing Netflix docuseries — Prince Harry isn’t done divulging details about his personal life. In Jul. 2021, the Duke of Sussex announced that he was releasing an “intimate and heartfelt” memoir to be published under Penguin Random House, and in Oct. 2022, the hotly-anticipated memoir was revealed to be titled Spare. Now, with the royal tell-all officially on the shelves, readers are likely glued to some of the book’s most shocking revelations. Find everything you need to know about Prince Harry’s Spare, below.
Announcing the project back in 2021, the Duke stated that he penned the book “not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become.” He added: “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story — the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned — I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.”
Prince Harry’s Spare Release Date
The 410-page memoir was released on Jan. 10, 2023. An audio version of the book, narrated by Prince Harry himself, is also now available to purchase. Waterstone’s previously declared Spare one of its “biggest pre-order titles for a decade,” and the memoir topped Amazon UK’s best-seller list upon its release.
Spare Reviews & Reactions
As expected, the release of Spare has ignited a strong reaction from both critics and the wider public. In one positive review of the tell-all, the Independent praises the book as a “chaotic but stylish memoir that sets fire to the royal family.” However, another review from the Guardian describes Spare as a “flawed attempt” at reclaiming the narrative, while the Telegraph says the otherwise “poignant” memoir is undermined by “petty point-scoring.”
Although Buckingham Palace is yet to make an official statement regarding the book’s release, sources have claimed to Vanity Fair that Harry’s step-mother and Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, is “astounded by the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Entertainment Tonight, another insider also claimed that the royal family is “appalled” that Harry has decided to reveal “such private and lurid details which are completely inappropriate.”
Prior to and following the release of Spare, a string of revelations about Prince Harry’s personal life and the British monarchy caught the attention of royal spectators globally.
In one emotional chapter of the book, the Duke of Sussex recounts the death of his mother, Princess Diana, revealing that he initially refused to accept that she had passed away. Harry also reveals that years later, he asked his driver to take him through the Parisian tunnel in which his late mother died — giving him the “closure” he so greatly desired. “She’s dead, I thought. My God, she’s really gone for good,” Harry writes.
In the memoir, the Duke also recounts some of his “deeply unhappy” teenage years, admitting that he previously experimented with drugs, including weed and cocaine. “It wasn't much fun, and it didn't make me particularly happy, as it seemed to make everyone around me, but it did make me feel different, and that was the main goal,” Harry recalls.
The Duke’s turbulent relationship with the Prince of Wales is also addressed in the recently-published memoir, including an alleged physical altercation between himself and his older brother “Willy.” Recounting the confrontation that is said to have occurred at Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace back in 2019, the Duke of Sussex claims that Prince William described his wife Meghan as “difficult,” “rude,” and “abrasive,” before things quickly escalated.
“He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out,” Harry writes.
The Duke also claims his and William’s “sibling rivalry” has been ongoing for many years, and writes that he was not the Prince of Wales’ best man at his 2011 wedding. “The public expected me to be best man, and thus the Palace saw no choice but to say that I was. In truth, Willy didn't want me giving a best-man speech,” Harry claims.
In another segment, Harry makes claims about the origins of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s alleged feud. In the extract, the Duke claims the pair initially fell out while on a phone call relating to Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding rehearsals, during which Meghan is said to have remarked that Middleton — who had recently given birth to Prince Louis – must have “baby brain.”
Harry claims that Meghan later apologised to Middleton, and alleges that Prince William “pointed a finger at Meg” before telling her: “It's rude, Meghan. These things are not done here.” Meghan then allegedly responded: "If you don't mind, keep your finger out of my face.”
In another extract originally obtained by Page Six, Prince Harry addresses his infamous Nazi uniform scandal that occurred back in 2005, after The Sun newspaper published a front-page photograph of him wearing a swastika armband at a “Native and Colonial” themed costume party.
In the book extract, the Duke claims he phoned “Willy and Kate” to ask “what they thought” about wearing a Nazi uniform. “They both howled,” Harry writes. “Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit. Way more ridiculous. Which, again, was the point.”
In the book, Harry also shares that he made the “mistake” of watching some of Meghan Markle’s love scenes on the hit legal drama Suits, in which she played lawyer Rachel Zane between 2011 and 2018. “I’d witnessed her and a castmate mauling each other in some sort of office or conference room,” the Duke writes. “I didn’t need to see such things live.”
Bustle has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment.
Prince Harry’s Book Synopsis & Cover
An official synopsis describes the release as a “landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.”
The synopsis continues: “It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow — and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.”
On Oct. 27, the official cover for Prince Harry’s Spare was also unveiled. The sleeve features a close-up portrait of the Duke of Sussex, along with the book’s title and author.
What Else Is There To Know About Prince Harry’s Spare?
Some of the proceeds from Prince Harry’s memoir will be donated to British charities, including the non-profit organization WellChild, which the Duke has been a royal patron of for fifteen years. Ahead of the book’s release, Harry has also already donated $1,500,000 (£1,300,000) to Sentebale, a charity he co-founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to support young people in Lesotho and Botswana affected by HIV/AIDS.
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