A shady start? Prince Harry‘s highly anticipated memoir is already raising eyebrows — just from its title.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, announced in July 2021 that he was working on a “wholly truthful” book published by Penguin Random House. “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become,” he noted in a statement at the time. “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.”
More than a year later, the title and release date were confirmed. Spare will hit shelves in January 2023 — and the name has a powerful meaning.
Seemingly a reference to the phrase “the heir and the spare,” the title appears to comment on Harry’s position in the royal line of succession. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September, the former military pilot is currently fifth in line for the British throne. His father, King Charles III, assumed the monarchy in the wake of the queen’s death. Harry’s older brother, Prince William, is the immediate heir, followed by his three children with Princess Kate: Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
The memoir’s title alone is poignant — and its content will be even more revealing. “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,” Penguin Random House teased in a press release on Thursday, October 27. “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.”
According to the publisher, the tell-all is “a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.”
Over the years, Harry has been candid about how losing his mother in 1997 impacted his mental health. After leaving his senior royal duties behind in 2020 and moving to California with wife Meghan Markle, the Archewell cofounder asserted that his biggest fear was “history repeating itself.” During the couple’s March 2021 CBS sit-down, the prince recalled feeling “completely helpless” when it came to combatting the nonstop coverage of Meghan, 41, in the U.K. press.
“I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect,” he claimed at the time, adding that he felt “trapped” and “controlled” by the palace.
Harry went on to imply that his dad, 73, and William, 40, are both “trapped” within the royal family but haven’t recognized it yet. Amid the drama, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that “there’s no way” Charles and the newly named Prince of Wales will “ever trust [Harry] after” the interview.
Tensions have been high between the royal family members since Harry and Meghan’s exit, but olive branches appear to have been extended after Elizabeth’s passing. Earlier this month, an insider told Us the Sussexes “agreed” to soften their revelations about Charles in their upcoming Netflix series and in Harry’s memoir, hoping to be “interesting without crossing a line.”