In July 2021, Prince Harry, 37, revealed he was writing a memoir set to come out in fall 2022. Over a year later, in October 2022, long-awaited details emerged — notably, that the memoir's release date would be pushed to 2023.
“Prince Harry will share, for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him,” Random House said in the press release, teasing the book as an "honest and captivating personal portrait."
The announcement came six months after he and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped by from their duties as senior royals and moved to California, and four months after Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey about her time with the Windsors.
The memoir has been the focus of tabloid reports, with questions about how it may have contributed to tension between him and his brother, William, and how the figures named will handle its revelations.
“Harry’s memoir will resurface a particular agony for Charles,” "Palace Papers" author and royal commentator Tina Brown said in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“The queen was re-stabilized after the death of Diana, whereas Charles has continually battled to end those ghosts," Brown said. The rehabilitation of Camilla’s image has been utterly successful, but she lives in dread of Harry’s book. In some ways, Diana’s ghost still rattles at the gate.”
Indeed, the moment echoes the publication of Diana’s biography “Diana: Her True Story, in Her Own Words,” written by Andrew Morton in 1992. The tell-all contains revelations about Diana and then Prince Charles’ marriage and its associated infidelities; Diana’s experiences with disordered eating; and more.
While she was living, Morton and Diana both denied that she was a source for the book. But after her death in 1997, Morton revealed that she was the primary source, per Frontline.
With the prospective release date of Harry's book approaching, here's what we know.
When is the memoir coming out? We have a release date
The initial press release indicated the book would come out in the fall of 2022. However, following speculation the book will be pushed back to 2023, the release date is Jan. 10, 2023.
What will the book be about?
“Covering his lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father, Prince Harry will offer an honest and captivating personal portrait, one that shows readers that behind everything they think they know lies an inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story,” Random House said.
What is the title of the memoir?
More details emerged in October — including a title, "Spare."
“‘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,” the publisher said in a statement. “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. 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.”
What is the memoir going to say?
Harry promises an 'accurate and wholly truthful' account of his life
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Harry gave insight into his approach: “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become," he said.
“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.”
He promised a "firsthand account of (his life)" that is "accurate and wholly truthful.”
Harry has already gotten candid about palace life
Since stepping back as a senior royal in 2020, Harry has been progressively more candid. Notably, he opened up about his mental health journey in the documentary “The Me You Can’t See," co-hosted with Oprah Winfrey, the grieving process, and life as Harry.
At one point, he gave an insight into growing up near cameras.
“I always wanted to be normal, as opposed to being Prince Harry, just being Harry. It was a puzzling life and, unfortunately, when I think about my mom the first thing that comes to mind is always the same one, over and over again: Strapped in the car, seatbelt across. My brother in the car as well, and my mother driving and being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on,” he said.
He said he suppressed his feelings for his mom after she died.
“I don’t want to think about her, because if I think about her then it’s going to bring up the fact that I can’t bring her back and it’s just going to make me sad. What’s the point in thinking about something sad, what’s the point of thinking about someone that you’ve lost and you’re never going to get back again. And I just decided not to talk about it. No one was talking about it,” he said.
Then, as he got older, he told Winfrey he used substances to "mask" what he was feeling.
“I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling. But I slowly became aware that, okay, I wasn’t drinking Monday to Friday, but I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night. And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something.”
Readers are anticipating this level of candor in his memoir.