Penguin Random House announced Thursday that Prince Harry’s highly-anticipated memoir, Spare, will be released on January 10, 2023, and royal fans are already at odds over the name.
In a press release, the company said Spare “takes readers immediately back to one of the most searing images of the 20th century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—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 point on. For Harry, this is his story at last.”
What Does ‘Spare’ Mean?
The memoir’s title references a well-known phrase, “the heir and the spare,” used when talking about royal siblings in direct line for the throne. The heir—a king and queen’s eldest child—is “destined” to inherit the crown. Meanwhile, spares—the younger siblings—will only rise to power if the heir dies.
Throughout his childhood, Harry was right behind his brother Prince William in the line of succession for the British throne—the “spare” to William’s “heir.” But now that William has three children of his own, Harry is currently fifth-in-line for the crown.
With this in mind, some are criticizing Harry for using the term “spare” as his memoir’s title.
“How embarrassing that someone who stopped being the spare nine years ago has a ‘book’ coming out in January called Spare! Move on with your life already, and stop living in the past,” @lovefamilywales tweeted.
“Harry stopped being the spare when the Wales children were born. That was years ago. Get over it, you will not be king, [and] you will not be your brother’s equal in line. Move on,” @sage1411 said.
But others think the title is “powerful.”
“Oooooooft. That’s a powerful title. Imagine the psychology of living your life knowing that you’re mainly regarded as ‘the spare.’ I guess we’ll find out how Prince Harry felt in January,” @Lorna_TVeditor said.
“Prince Harry’s calling his memoir ‘SPARE’ is iconic. A perfect book title,” @gibsonoma wrote.
@MeghanMood added: “The title alone gives me chills. That word [spare] has weighed on him his whole life. Can’t wait to read Harry’s story. This book will do numbers.”
More About the Memoir
Penguin Random House has called Spare an insightful and moving read. “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.”
The publisher also announced that Harry is donating part of the book’s proceeds to Sentebale, an HIV/AIDS organization founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to honor both their mothers.