Prince Harry’s Spare will not be serialized in any newspaper or media outlet ahead of the memoir’s release on January 10th. I took that to mean that Penguin Random House was also keeping a close-hold on advance copies too – we know (for sure) that Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace requested advance copies of the book and the palaces were turned down. I wonder if book critics will get copies and when they receive those copies. I bring this up because the Times of London’s “media editor” Rosamund Urwin had a piece in the Sunday Times in which “sources with knowledge of the book” were spilling some details. Who are these sources? Sources at Penguin Random House? Sources who have actually seen Spare? Or just… random royal commentators talking amongst themselves? You decide! Some highlights from this Times piece:
‘Spare’ isn’t an attack on King Charles: The Duke of Sussex’s memoir is expected to let the King off lightly — and focus more on his frosty relationship with the Prince of Wales. A source with knowledge of the book, which will be published on January 10, told The Sunday Times they did not see how the brothers’ relationship could ever recover. “Generally, I think the book [will be] worse for them than the royal family is expecting,” they said. “Everything is laid bare. Charles comes out of it better than I had expected, but it’s tough on William, in particular, and even Kate gets a bit of a broadside. There are these minute details, and a description of the fight between the brothers. I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this.”
‘Spare’ focuses a lot on Princess Diana: The source added that the book explores in depth Harry’s grief about his mother’s death: “The overall impression is that this is a man who has never recovered from the trauma of his mother dying so young, and then along comes Meghan and he projects on to her a parallel with Diana.”
A royal commentator has thoughts: Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and a royal biographer, said she thought the publisher, Penguin Random House (PRH), would be pleased with its focus on Diana. “He’s got a very good ghost who will write well about feelings, and I think it’s totally fair that Harry should talk about his mother, because everybody else in the world has and they’ve sort of taken her over,” said Seward. “The publisher will know that Diana sells. And you don’t have to say too much — because whatever he says is coming from him.”
Future projects: This book is not even close to being the end of the “H and M” show, either. Alongside further projects for Netflix, the $20 million deal the Sussexes struck with PRH is understood to be for four books in total. The others are currently thought to be a wellness-focused tome by the duchess, a book about leadership and philanthropy, and potentially a Meghan memoir too.
Harry’s interviews: The duke will give one major television interview to broadcasters on each side of the Atlantic. In the UK, Tom Bradby, who presents the ITV News at Ten and has known Harry for more than two decades, has landed the scoop. Bradby, 55, became close to both brothers while he was a royal correspondent in the 1990s, and his documentary revealed Meghan’s mental health turmoil. The interview is understood to have been recorded in California, and while its broadcast date is not yet confirmed, it is pencilled in for next Sunday, two days before the book hits the shelves. ITV is tipped to trail the interview from Monday. ITV will have had to negotiate over the timings with the broadcasting giant CBS, which won the US exclusive and will take precedence.
Harry might be interviewed by the New York Times? The book will not have a newspaper serialisation in the UK, with a source at PRH saying it felt unnecessary given “the book would sell without one”. Publishing sources say they expect him to give at least one newspaper interview; the New York Times, in which his wife wrote about her miscarriage in 2020, could be a potential home for it in the US.
I think I’m more excited about Harry’s promotion for Spare than reading the actual memoir? I don’t know – I’ve been trying to tamp down my expectations for Spare because we don’t know if Harry was in burn-it-all-down mode. He spent so much time writing it, I feel like it will be more contemplative and therapeutic more than a dishy tell-all. But I feel like his promotional interviews could get really, really good. Like, some fascinating gossip, especially if Tom Bradby and Anderson Cooper ask Harry about his treatment around his grandmother’s death and her funeral, and whether he’s asked specifically about the racism within the family. Now, I am curious about whether the Times’s “source” is correct about some “broadsides” on William and Kate. Fingers crossed!
Here’s the teaser for Harry’s 60 Minutes interview!!
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Instar, ‘Spare’ cover.