Prince Harry Spare’s memoirs: Release date, likely contents, interviews | What you need to know before it comes out | Explainer

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Prince Harry Spare’s memoirs: Release date, likely contents, interviews | What you need to know before it comes out | Explainer


It’s been 18 months since the world learned Prince Harry was working on a memoir—and now the book is days away from hitting the shelves.

Titled Spare and promising an “intimate and heartfelt” account of the prince’s life experiences, the memoir will be published on January 11 in Australia – roughly a month after The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix docuseries, Harry and Meghanstarted streaming.

The date is also close to the third anniversary of Harry and Meghan announce plan to step down as senior royals in 2020, which came on January 8 of that year.

READ MORE: Harry says he would “like to have his father, his brother back” in a new TV interview

The release of Harry Spare’s memoir comes a month after the royal couple axed their Harry & Meghan documentary series. (Netflix)

If the contents of the couple’s documents can be understood, Spare is set to provide even more previously unheard of food for royal watchers to peruse.

Here’s what we know about him so far.

Who posted Spare and what is the release date?

In July 2021, it was confirmed that the rights to Harry’s memoir had been snapped up by publishing giant Penguin Random House.

An announcement in October 2022 revealed the book’s global release date will be Tuesday, January 10, 2023, which is Wednesday January 11 Australian time. This includes an audio version.

READ MORE: 10 biggest moments from Harry and Meghan’s docu-series as final episodes air

Prince Harry's Memoirs High Definition Backup Cover
Spare will be released on January 11th Australian time. (Penguin Random House)

What interviews does Harry do to promote him?

Harry has lined up interviews with two major TV networks in the US and UK, CBS and ITV, both airing on Sunday evening January 8 – that’s the morning of Monday January 9 AEDT.

In the UK interview, the Duke will be reunited with a journalist Tom Bradbywho interviewed Harry and Meghan during their royal tour of South Africa in 2019 as part of a documentary about the visit.

You may remember that in this program, the duchess admitted to bradby that she was ‘not well’ in the midst of media scrutiny and Harry addressed media reports of a strained relationship between him and brother Prince William for the first time.

For the US interview, Harry sat down with renowned journalist Anderson Cooper for an episode of 60 minutes.

In the snippets of interviews we’ve seen so far, Harry revisits the subject of developing relations with the royal familyand his frustration that the institution refused to “protect” him and Megan.

Speaking to Bradby, Harry says the situation “wasn’t meant to be” and that he wants “a family, not an institution”, adding: “I’d like to have my father back, I’d like to have my brother back.”

Prince Harry continues to speak out about the rift in the British royal family. Prince Harry explained his reason in an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper that will air on CBS "60 minutes" Sunday.
Prince Harry in a clip from his upcoming 60 Minutes interview with American host Anderson Cooper. (CBS)

IN 60 minutes trailer, Cooper asks Harry about the criticism he and Meghan have faced for their decision to step back from royal duties, but have publicly voiced their grievances with the royal institution.

“Every time I tried to do it in private, there were briefings and leaks and planting stories against me and my wife,” he replied.

“You know, the family motto is ‘Never complain, never explain.’ It’s just a motto.”

The 30 Biggest Royal Events of 2022

What did Harry say about the book?

Everything we’ve heard directly from Harry about the memoir so far has come via Penguin Random House.

“I write this not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become,” he said when the book was announced in 2021.

“I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and I hope that by 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.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I have learned in my life so far, and I am excited for people to read a first-hand account of my life that is accurate and completely truthful.”

What is Spare regarding?

Announcing the memoir in 2021, Penguin Random House said:

“Prince Harry will share, for the first time, a definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape him.

“Covering his life in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, military duty that twice took him to the front lines of Afghanistan, and the joy he found in being a husband and father, Prince Harry will offer an honest and compelling personal portrait, one that shows readers that behind everything they think they know lies an inspiring, courageous and uplifting human story.”

The biggest British royal family events of 2023
The British Royal Family’s Biggest Events of 2023 (Graphic: Tara Blancato)

In his latest press release for Sparethe publisher added:

RESERVED immediately brings readers 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 looks on in grief—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 moment on.”

“For Harry, this is finally his story. With his raw, unflinching honesty, RESERVED is a remarkable publication full of insight, revelation, introspection, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.”

Prince William and Prince Harry at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997
The book will revisit one of the key moments in Harry’s life: walking behind his mother Princess Diana’s coffin as a child in 1997. (Getty)

The book is unofficially expected to go into greater detail about Harry’s decision to step down as a senior working member of the royal family and forge his own path abroad, as well as his changing relationship with family members including King Charles, Prince William and other.

What does the title mean Spare Recommend to?

In the context of royal families, “spare” is a disrespectful phrase often applied to the younger sibling of a future monarch – “the heir and the spare”.

In this case, Harry is the “back-up” to heir Prince William, and using the term as the title of his memoir seems to be a way of reclaiming it (and any negative connotations).

Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Harry pictured in 1995.
Princess Diana is said to have been very conscious of making Harry, as the “back-up”, feel as important as his older brother. (Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

As 9Honey’s royal commentator Victoria Arbiter explainedin the past, when disease was widespread and infant mortality rates were high, monarchs usually produced an heir and several spares in an attempt to preserve the royal bloodline.

“As society progressed and advances in modern medicine prevailed, the practice became less necessary, but royal women were still required to provide spares in case tragedy struck the first-born,” Arbiter wrote.

Despite the inherent privilege of being a royal, life as a ‘spare’ comes with certain challenges and pitfalls, which Harry is likely to explore in his book.

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