OPINION | So Harry’s book finally has a title – but spare us, dear boy, we can't take much more

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After months of speculation, Prince Harry's controversial new memoir, Spare, will be released on 10 January. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
After months of speculation, Prince Harry's controversial new memoir, Spare, will be released on 10 January. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

He had to, didn’t he. Of all the titles he could've chosen for his highly anticipated memoir he went straight for the jugular. His new book will be called Spare – and oh, what a loaded word that is for Prince Harry.

It's the title bandied about his little red head ever since he was born 38 years ago – the spare heir, a constant reminder of his lesser status on the royal totem pole as younger brother of England’s future king, Prince William.

(PHOTO: Random House)
The cover of Harry's new book. (PHOTO: Random House)

Spare it seems is how Harry has always felt – he was the one who never quite fitted in. And in all likelihood it resulted in him becoming the rebellious party prince in his 20s before he found solace and purpose as a soldier in the British army.

And then along came a certain independent and headstrong American actress who captured his heart (and some would say his mind, but that’s a story for another day) and well, we all know what's happened. Harry is now ensconced in a mansion in California with his wife and their two children, taking on multi million-dollar deals with streaming services and podcast producers.

But that, it seems, is not enough.

For while Harry has what he wanted – a life far, far away from the realities of working royal life and stuffy traditions that probably make him want to throw up in his organic oat-milk latte – he still wants us to know, REALLY KNOW, how difficult it was.

Talking endlessly about how tough he's had it is clearly not enough. In a statement announcing the release of the book, Harry said he was writing it “not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become”. 

It's fine, of course it is, for him to write about his mental-health victories and life as a husband and father. But Harry also apparently delves into his relationships with his family – in particular his father, King Charles, and his stepmother, Camilla, for whom he's never really failed to hide his disdain.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Prince William (seen at the queen's funeral in September) and King Charles are said to be nervous about the release of Harry's memoir and what he will say about them. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Harry's book may well be critical of his stepmother, Camilla, Queen Consort. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“I suspect Camilla will be in his sights and he will reveal her secrets,” says former royal butler Paul Burrell.

Harry is believed to have made some changes to the book in the light of the queen's death and softened some sections. But rumours are abounding that, if Charles doesn't like what he sees, he might ban his younger son from attending his coronation in May next year.

His publishers have trumpeted the book as “his story at last” and Harry's “personal journey from trauma to healing”, but if the past couple of years are anything to go by, there will be plenty of navel-gazing too.

READ MORE | Sussexes' struggle for survival: how Meghan and Harry are frantically trying to save their brand

The cover image doesn't help: Harry looks too grim, too into himself. But then, this is serious stuff – even if some social-media users did wonder if the pic was an ad for hair transplants . . .

Many of us are now fed up with Harry and his constant poor-me mantra. As one critic put it, “Please ‘spare’ me the details of another entitled person complaining”.


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