The Royal Family’s lawyers are on standby for Prince Harry’s ‘nuclear’ memoir amid fears it is ‘critical of everyone and everything’ and that reports of it being toned down are ‘overblown’.
Billed as a work of ‘raw, unflinching honesty’, the controversial book will be eye-catchingly called Spare – a ‘loaded’ reference to his position as the younger brother of the heir to the throne.
Family members were not informed of the Spare title in advance of the announcement yesterday, while the Spanish language version is even more pointed, having been given the subtitle En La Sombra, or ‘in the shadow’.
An initial release date had been pencilled in for ‘late 2022’ to capitalise on the lucrative Christmas market, but the book will not be on the shelves until January 10 – said to be as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen, and, it is rumoured, due to last-minute alterations requested by the duke.
But reports Harry asked for significant amendments after getting ‘cold feet’ are understood to be ‘overblown’, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Instead, publishers of the delayed memoir have made it clear that Harry will not shy away from sensitive subjects, such as the family’s decision to encourage him and his elder brother Prince William to walk behind their mother Diana’s coffin.
He could also reveal which member of the monarchy he claims made a racist comment about the potential skin colour of his then unborn son Archie, or shine a light on his strained relationship with his father and troubled times with William.
The contents of Harry’s book are likely to be kept top secret and palace aides have revealed that no members of the Royal Family have been offered the chance to see any of it before it becomes public.
When the publishing deal was announced in July last year, only the Queen was given advance warning. The book will contain a short note that detailing that the book was written before the monarch’s death at Balmoral on September 8.
Claims surrounding such a ‘candid’ and ‘personal’ first-hand account of his life will do little to allay fears at Buckingham Palace that the estranged prince is out – once again – to try to settle perceived scores.
A spokesman for the King declined to comment last night. But it is understood that the Royal Household has already been warned that the 416-page, £28 book is ‘critical of everyone and everything’ and they are ‘dreading’ it.
Harry’s relatives could be faced with damaging newspaper headlines if the prince chooses to delve into the most controversial elements of royal life from the past decades.
The Daily Mail has been told that the Duke of Sussex – who has personally recorded the audio book version – did not tell his family about the title of in advance and that it will be seen as both ‘controversial’ and ‘provocative’ in royal circles.
‘That title is loaded and it does not bode well,’ a source said.
Another source told The Daily Mirror: ‘The very title demonstrates yet another confrontational attack on the family after claiming a desire for privacy. Palace lawyers will undoubtedly be on standby in the new year waiting to see what is in it.
‘If Harry’s previous allegations across numerous TV interviews are anything to go by, this will be nuclear. Regardless of the content, which will no doubt be explosive, there will be little chance of this acting as a vehicle to reconciliation for Harry and Meghan.’
Royal insiders have long told how, as an adult, taking ‘second place’ to William rankled Harry.
The duke was reportedly paid a $20million (£18.4million) advance for the book as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8m.
Publisher Penguin Random House confirming the £28 book ‘full of insight, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom’ will be released on January 10. The title page shows Harry staring at the camera in a brown T-shirt and a black string necklace
Spare, which is available to pre-order, will cost £28 hardcover, £13.99 as an eBook, £20 as an audio download and £25 as a CD. It will be released simultaneously in the US, UK and Canada, with 15 foreign language editions, including one in Spanish entitled Spare: En La Sombra (Spare: In The Shadow)
It is understood that Harry, seen with his wife Meghan in New York last year, was paid a $20million (£18.4m) advance for the autobiography as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8million
There are fears that Harry could use his memoir to shine a light on his strained relationship with his father and troubled times with William (pictured)
King Charles attends the morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, last weekend
Prince Harry’s memoir is ALREADY being advertised for half-price at £14 by WHSmith – three months before it hits the shelves
Prince Harry’s new memoir Spare is being advertised at half-price by WHSmith – three months before it is due to be released.
The 416-page autobiography is finally expected to hit the shelves on January 10 following speculation that the initially targeted autumn date had been pushed back as a mark of respect towards the Queen.
The Duke of Sussex is also said to have requested a number of last minute alterations in a bid to tone down the book amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of the monarch’s death.
Publisher Penguin Random House has promised ‘raw, unflinching honesty’ in the ‘intimate and heartfelt memoir’, with Harry reportedly paid a $20million (£18.4million) advance for the book as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8m.
But some retailers have already cut the book to half-price for pre-order copies.
It includes popular book retailer WHSmith, which is now advertising Spare at £14 – half the recommended retail price of £28.
Spare’s title page shows Harry staring sternly at the camera in a brown T-shirt and a black string necklace. An unabridged audiobook will be read by the prince himself.
It comes after a surprise announcement yesterday, following months of speculation, in which Penguin Random House said: ‘SPARE takes readers immediately back to one of the most searing images of the 20th 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 his story at last.’
The princes were aged 12 and 15 at the funeral in 1997 and Harry has since made clear he thought it was something no child ‘should be asked to do’.
Spare is understood to refer to a phrase used jokingly between William and Harry as ‘the heir and the spare’.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, told The Sun: ‘Being the “spare” is still at the forefront of his mind all these years later and he clearly feels belittled by it.
‘It is really a bit pathetic that he hasn’t managed to move on. Diana used to call him the spare. Harry would say “I’m the spare, I don’t have to behave, I can do what I like”.’
Royal insiders believe that, regardless of the validity of the Sussexes’ gripes, the family has been put through enough by the couple in recent years following their exit from royal life, with one saying: ‘At least her late Majesty the Queen has been spared this.’
Harry and Meghan sensationally quit life as working royals and moved to California nearly three years ago, before launching the Archewell Foundation and signing lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix.
The book is set to be published on January 10, just weeks after Harry and Meghan’s equally controversial Netflix documentary is due to be shown.
The Duchess of Sussex recently confirmed that it would be going ahead, and reports have said that it could be streamed as early as December, after the latest run of The Crown.
‘It could not come at a worse time’: Royal authors say delayed book will make King ‘nervous’ as he plans coronation
King Charles will be ‘nervous’ after hearing Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir is slated for release on January 10, royal experts said today – amid speculation the New Year publication date suggests the royal has succeeded in his bid to water down its content.
The memoir had initially been signed off ready for an expected autumn release as part of a multi-million pound, three-title deal with Penguin Random House. But its publication was delayed following the Queen’s death, and Harry is said to have requested a number of alterations to make it less critical of the Royal Family.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams warned the book’s release would be ‘unhelpful’ to King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort. ‘It was never a good idea for Harry, fifth in line to the throne, a Counsellor of State and only 38, to write a memoir which by its nature would be highly controversial,’ he told MailOnline.
‘All of this will almost certainly be unhelpful to King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, in the early months of his reign. It may well widen the rift between the royal family’s and the Sussexes in the pivotal period leading to King Charles’s coronation. ‘
Biographer Tom Bower suggested commercial imperatives would ensure the final manuscript still contains plenty of criticism of the Royal Family.
‘To those who have speculated that Harry wanted to dilute his ghost-written text to remove the most offensive descriptions of Charles, William and Kate, one can only surmise that his book can only be a global commercial success if a healthy dollop of poison remains,’ he said.
Meanwhile, it appears the tone of the book has darkened since it was first announced in July last year.
While the memoir was then-described as an ‘inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story’, today’s promotion calls it a ‘personal journey from trauma to healing’.
Industry insiders said yesterday that delaying such a ‘big hitter’ until January was unheard of without very good reason. There had also been concern in US that it would clash with the publication of Michelle Obama’s new book, which is expected to top the best-seller lists.
‘Holding it back until January may actually be a smart move as it would give Harry’s book a clear run,’ one said.
‘Everything is being geared to the US market which is where they believe the big sales will come. It will be the first time a member of the Royal Family has written so candidly about their life in the first person.
‘They are expecting it to sell in its millions.’
While there was no word from Buckingham Palace yesterday, sources have long made clear the sense of nervousness at the very top of the Royal Household about Harry’s decision to put pen to paper. This is not, they say, because the family feel they have anything to hide.
The late Queen memorably made clear that ‘recollections may vary’ over many of the Sussexes’ claims about their treatment, particularly allegations of racism by Meghan.
Royal author Richard Fitzwilliams suggested the Royal Family would be ‘very concerned’ by how the book was being promoted.
‘It is a sensational title and implies that the writer was not valued or certainly that he did not feel at the centre of events,’ he told MailOnline.
‘When the blurb speaks of ”raw, unflinching honesty” the Palace will be very concerned, especially since these are the early months of King Charles’s reign.
‘There will undoubtedly be interviews, serialisation and endless speculation about this memoir, which in my view should have waited many years.
‘Even Edward VIII, by then the Duke of Windsor, waited until 1951 before A King’s Story was published. The consequences of this will be far-reaching and may be highly destructive.’
The Royal Family has not been given a chance to see the manuscript before publication, so will be unable to respond to any of its claims through their lawyers.
Yesterday’s press release announcing the publication date referred to Harry as a ‘husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate and environmentalist’ who ‘resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his family and three dogs’.
Royal commentators said the release of Harry’s book would be ‘unhelpful’ to King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort
William and Kate visit Sandringham to look at tributes and flowers laid for the late Queen last month
Prince Harry will give £1.6m from sales of memoir ‘Spare’ to two UK children’s charities
Prince Harry has donated £1.6milion of proceeds from his upcoming autobiography to charities, including one founded in honour of Princess Diana’s memory.
The Duke’s tell-all tome – which comes out on January 10 – will benefit both Sentebale and WellChild.
Harry’s book, which carries the title Spare, costs £28 so will need to shift at least 57,000 copies to make up the sum. At the moment retailers Waterstones and WH Smith are selling it for half price at £14.
The Duke of Sussex co-founded Sentebale in 2006 to help vulnerable children in Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi, including those who are affected by extreme poverty and the HIV/Aids epidemic.
Harry first visited Lesotho in 2004, while shadowed by broadcaster Tom Bradby. He and Prince Seeiso have since appeared at numerous events together, including a concert held at Kensington Palace in 2016 on behalf of Sentebale.
In January 2020, the duke made an emotional speech during a formal private dinner at the Ivy in Chelsea for Sentebale about his decision to walk away from his royal duties with Meghan Markle.
The prince spoke of his ‘great sadness’ at leaving the Royal Family and said he and Meghan had ‘no other option’ than to quit senior duties – but vowed the couple are ‘not just walking away’.
Two weeks ago Harry spoke to winners of the 2022 WellChild Awards and their families from the US, and apologised for missing the ceremony and not being able to meet them in person.
At one point, Harry appeared visibly moved when told that his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales would have been so proud of him.
He also described how the UK was ‘going through a lot right now’, with the general population wanting to help each other out – but said there were ‘certain other fractions that make that tricky for people’. Harry did not make clear to what he was referring.
During the video chat, Harry spoke to each of the winners in turn, including Tony Hudgell, who raised £1.7m for the hospital that treated the injuries he sustained following vile abuse at the hands of his birth parents.
‘Spare takes readers immediately back to 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,’ the release said.
‘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 his story at last.
‘With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.’
The memoir, which is available to pre-order, will cost £28 hardcover, £13.99 as an eBook, £20 as an audio download and £25 as a CD. It will be available in English in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Canada, while the book will also be published in 15 additional languages, including Spanish, Italian, German and Chinese. Representatives for the King and Kensington Palace have declined to comment.
Random House CEO Markus Dohle said today: ‘We are honoured to be publishing Prince Harry’s candid and emotionally powerful story for readers everywhere.
‘He shares a remarkably moving personal journey from trauma to healing, one that speaks to the power of love and will inspire and encourage millions of people around the world.’
The description appears to be more negative than Harry’s description of the book in July last year. Then, he said: ‘I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become.
‘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.’
Mark Borkowski, an author and publicity expert, said there was plenty of time to significantly edit the book between the Queen’s death in early September and the January 10 publication date.
‘An advance is paid on a certain premise – the publishers would have seen the manuscript and got excited by it,’ he told MailOnline.
‘So there’s always going to be a battle over the content. But could they have made substantial edits in time for January?
‘Yes, in the modern world it’s very easy to get things changed and printed.
‘The key period for selling books is Christmas. So they’ll be missing a lot of sales. January doesn’t strike me as an optimum time for a release, so that is significant – it would suggest there’s been a bit of a dispute over the content and Harry may have got his way.’
However, biographer Tom Bower suggested commercial imperatives would ensure the final manuscript still contains plenty of criticism of the Royal Family.
‘Profits demanded that the book be published as soon as possible after the Queen’s death. And the publishers were helped by the reality that neither Harry nor Meghan are prepared to terminate their campaign against the Royal Family,’ he told MailOnline.
Announcing the global publishing deal this year, Penguin Random House described the memoir as ‘intimate and heartfelt’
‘To those who have speculated that Harry wanted to dilute his ghost-written text to remove the most offensive descriptions of Charles, William and Kate, one can only surmise that his book can only be a global commercial success if a healthy dollop of poison remains.
‘The damage to the Royal family will be great. Charles’s retaliation could include not giving their children their prince and princess titles, and even withdrawing their own titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
‘Certainly, Harry was warned that the Sussexes’ revenge would be answered in kind, so there is certain to be a nervous Christmas among the Royal family in Sandringham as they anticipate the worst. For the new King, still planning his coronation, this could not have come at a worse time.’
Bower suggested the Sussexes’ Netflix series, which has been postponed until next year, would be helpful publicity for Harry’s book. ‘Viewers and readers can expect scathing comments about their treatment by Harry’s family. Wallowing in self-pity, the Sussexes will portray themselves as victims of uncaring charlatans,’ he said.
In a previous statement announcing the deal, Penguin said the book it would cover Harry’s ‘lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father’.
The contents of Harry’s book are likely to be kept top secret and palace aides have revealed that no members of the Royal Family have been offered the chance to see any of it before it becomes public. When the publishing deal was announced in July 2021, only the Queen was given advance warning.
Last month, The Mail on Sunday reported that Harry had launched a last-minute bid to tone down the autobiography amid fears his final draft ‘might not go down too well’ in the wake of the monarch’s death.
His request was seen as a sign that he was ready to take a more conciliatory approach to the rest of the Royal Family, with any attacks or veiled swipes being seen as inappropriate just weeks into his father’s reign.
‘Harry has thrown a spanner in the works,’ a source said. ‘He is keen for refinements in the light of the Queen’s death, her funeral and his father Charles taking the throne.
‘There may be things in the book which might not look so good if they come out so soon after these events. He wants sections changed now. It’s not a total rewrite by any means. He desperately wants to make changes. But it might be too late.’
Penguin Random House had already reportedly demanded a rewrite after the first draft was deemed ‘too touchy-feely’ and placed too much focus on mental health issues.
Prince Harry makes his early morning pre-flight checks at the British controlled flight-line at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in January 2013. The contents of his book are for now likely to be kept top secret
Commenting on Harry’s book yesterday, literary agent Matt Latimer told the New York Times: ‘Is his goal to enhance his celebrity with a certain sector of the public, or is it to repair the rift with his family?’
‘Those are competing goals to some extent, and it’s hard to do both.’
The King, then the Prince of Wales, was only told of the memoir minutes before the press release announcing the release of the book last year.
One palace insider said: ‘The first announcement was something of a shock. We have now spent a long time waiting to see what is in it and, frankly, we just want to get it out of the way so everyone can move on.’However aides are braced for the worst, particularly after Harry’s outspoken criticisms of his family and the monarchy.
During the Sussexes’ notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, they accused the Royal Family of racism and Harry claimed Charles had ‘literally cut me off financially’.
Harry is said to have been further upset at some of the events surrounding the Queen’s death.
He was dismayed after being told that Meghan, 41, was not invited to join him in flying up to Balmoral to be by his dying grandmother’s bedside. Later, he reportedly failed to accept an invitation to join his father for supper at Birkhall, his private home nearby.
Harry and Meghan sensationally quit life as working royals and moved to California nearly three years ago, before launching the Archewell Foundation and signing lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix
Amid their strained relationship with the Royal Family, though, Harry and Meghan spent an extended period of time in the UK following the Queen’s death last month. They were in the UK for non-Royal charity events when Her Majesty died on the day before they were due to fly back home to Montecito, California.
And in the aftermath of his grandmother’s death, Harry struck a fragile truce with his brother William – appearing together for a walkabout among well-wishers in Windsor following the funeral.