‘Spare’ by Prince Harry has sold record 1.4m copies

If you think all the stories regarding Prince Harry and Meghan have died. Think again!

Prince Harry new book Spare

Prince Harry is not new to controversies, we presume. His latest autobiography ‘Spare’ sold 1.4 million English-language copies on its first day in the UK, United States and Canada, smashing Penguin Random House’s sales record, the publisher said on Thursday.

The figures come as the first opinion poll since the memoir’s publication showed Harry’s popularity in the UK continues to nosedive. The headline-grabbing book was published on Tuesday, accompanied by four high-profile promotional interviews with the prince.

The sales outstrip Penguin Random House’s previous first-day non-fiction record for Barack Obama’s A Promised Land. That sold 887,000 copies in the United States alone on its first day in 2020.

“‘Spare’ is the story of someone we may have thought we already knew, but now we can truly come to understand Prince Harry through his own words,” Gina Centrello, President and Publisher of the Random House Group, said in a statement.

“Looking at these extraordinary first-day sales, readers clearly agree, ‘Spare’ is a book that demands to be read, and it is a book we are proud to publish.”

In France, the French edition, launched with a print run of 210,000, is being reprinted with an additional 130,000 copies, publisher Fayard said. Demand from booksellers was about 20 per cent higher than for Obama’s presidential memoirs, it added.

Revelations in Harry’s blockbuster book have included claims Prince William physically attacked him in a row in 2019 and that the once-close brothers begged their father not to marry his wife, Queen Consort Camilla.

The 38-year-old former soldier also said he had killed 25 Taliban during his time in Afghanistan, sparking condemnation from military personnel and the Taliban.

Parts of the book were widely leaked but its contents have continued to fill airtime and newspaper and online pages.

Gina Centrello, president and publisher of the Random House Group, said in a statement that Spare was far more than a celebrity memoir. “Vulnerable and heartfelt, brave and intimate, Spare is the story of someone we may have thought we already knew, but now we can truly come to understand Prince Harry through his own words,” she said.

“Looking at these extraordinary first-day sales, readers clearly agree, Spare is a book that demands to be read, and it is a book we are proud to publish,” she added.

The book is one of a number of lucrative contracts struck by Harry and his American wife Meghan cashing in on their royal connections.

New York Times critic Alexandra Jacob called the book, and its author, “all over the map — emotionally as well as physically,” at times “frank and funny” and at other times consumed by Harry’s anger at the British press. In The Washington Post, Louis Bayard found “Spare” to be “good-natured, rancorous, humorous, self-righteous, self-deprecating, long-winded. And every so often, bewildering.”

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Written by Shazia Gulzar

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