Boldness of Prince Harry’s ‘provocative’ decision to call his memoir ‘Spare’ sets out he is ‘anything but’ second to William – and royal wants ‘unpolished’ cover to show he’s ‘been through a lot’, expert claims
- Prince Harry’s memoir title of Spare and book cover have been announced today
- Eye-catching title is a reference to the label of Harry as the ‘spare’ prince
- Appears memoir’s tone has darkened since it was announced as ‘inspiring’
- Now being described as a ‘personal journey from trauma to healing’
- Brand experts said the choice of title showed he is ‘on a mission to tell his truth’
The boldness of Prince Harry’s ‘provocative’ decision to call his memoir ‘Spare’ sets out he is ‘anything but’ second to Prince William – and the royal wants his ‘unpolished’ cover to show he’s ‘been through a lot’, a brand expert has claimed.
The Duke’s controversial title was sensationally revealed today, as the publisher announced it will go on sale on January 10 for £28.
The eye-catching title is a nod to Harry’s nickname as a ‘spare’ prince – in contrast to his brother Prince William – the ‘heir’. The Spanish language version is even more pointed, having been given the subtitle En La Sombra, or ‘in the shade’.
It is understood that Harry was paid a $20million (£18.4m) advance for the book as part of a three-title deal worth £36.8m. Today, publisher Penguin Random House said the duke had donated $1.5m (£1.3m) to children’s charity Sentebale and £300,000 to WellChild, a charity for disabled children which he serves as patron.
Culture and brand expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL: ‘The choice of the title ‘Spare’ is not only provocative but also lends into Harry’s sense of humour too.
Prince Harry’s decision to call his memoir ‘Spare’ is ‘provocative’ and sets out he is ‘anything but’ second to William – while his ‘unpolished’ cover shows he is ‘on a mission to tell the truth’, an expert claimed today
Culture and brand expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL the choice of a close-up headshot showed he is ‘on a mission to tell his truth’
‘Although it is a bold choice, it’s a brave one and it sets out immediately that this book will be anything but showing that Prince Harry is a spare.’
He added: ‘The use of the singular title is one of empowerment and strength.
‘A singular word for a book title is empowering and using spare is a way of reclaiming it and making it a powerful empowering tool for himself and for the reader.’
Meanwhile he suggested the cover photograph, taken by Ramona Rosales, showed the royal in a low-key light.
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)
Nick explained: ‘The cover image is not one of him looking dapper and polished but one of him looking, relaxed, stripped back and quietly confident.
‘It doesn’t rest on a stylised imaged but one that is him looking honestly into the camera ready to bear his vulnerabilities and story to the media.’
He said: ‘The detailed close up image of Harry shows him as a strong handsome man with an ernest face looking point blank at the camera is on a mission to tell his truth.
‘He is not suited and booted or too polished, with his tee and now familiar leather necklace on show.
‘It’s a strong commanding image of a man who’s been through a lot and who’s here to tell that story of grief and love in equal measure.’
The 416-page autobiography had initially been signed off ready for an expected autumn release, but its publication was delayed following the Queen’s death.
While Harry was said to have requested a number of alterations to make it less critical of his relatives, it appears the tone of the book has darkened since it was first announced in July 2021. While then the memoir was described as an ‘inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story’, today’s promotion calls it a ‘personal journey from trauma to healing’.
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.
The 416-page autobiography had initially been signed off ready for an expected autumn release, but its publication was delayed following the Queen ‘s death (pictured, Harry and Meghan in Windsor after the Queen’s death)
‘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.
The publication date was announced in a press release today. Referring to Harry as a ‘husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate and environmentalist’, it suggested he would begin in the immediate aftermath of his mother Princess Diana’s death.
‘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.’
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 available in English in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Canada, while the book will also be published in translation in 15 additional languages, including Spanish, Italian, German and Chinese. Today a spokesman for the King declined to comment.
Random House CEO Markus Dohle today said: ‘Penguin Random House is 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.’
Mark Borkowski, an author and publicity expert, said there would have been 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.’
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