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Prince Harry 'named autobiography Spare himself' and has not made any changes to tell-all memoir since the Queen died
4 November 2022, 17:41 | Updated: 4 November 2022, 17:42
Prince Harry chose the name 'Spare' for his autobiography himself and did not make any changes after the death of the Queen, a friend has said.
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The Duke of Sussex's memoir, announced last month, is due to come out on January 10 - and the "punchy" title has sparked speculation that the book is "all Meghan's doing", Omid Scobie has claimed.
But the choice of name - a reference to his status below the heir, his older brother Prince William - was "made by Prince Harry early on in the process", according to Mr Scobie, known as a firm ally of the couple.
Writing for Yahoo, Mr Scobie said of Prince Harry: "Being the spare was one of the most defining aspects of his royal existence.
"Leaning on the derogatory moniker for a title is Harry finally owning the term after a lifetime of being called it.
"For the family business, Harry’s position as the heir’s spare saw him take on the compulsory role of royal support act at an early age.
"With no real defined job, The Firm mostly needed one thing from him: to support his more important older brother, Prince William. It’s a bizarre and somewhat cruel existence — the outcome of a system built on hereditary privilege.
"And in many cases it’s also a curse. Princess Margaret’s life as the Queen’s spare was riddled with drug abuse and alcoholism, and Prince Andrew’s life… well, the less said about that, the better."
The manuscript, which is being ghost-written by novelist J.R. Moehringer, was reportedly finished in April this year - some five months before the death of the Queen.
There have been no rewrites after she died, although Harry does acknowledge his grandmother's death at the start of the book, according to Mr Scobie. Mr Scobie's comments contradict a report in the New York Times that he "watered down" passages of the book after the monarch died in September.
He added that senior members of the Royal family feel "genuine fear" that Spare "will cause irrevocable damage to reputations and relations."
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Mr Scobie added: "But, for Harry, Spare’s larger intention appears to make that risk worth taking."
The Duke said himself: “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."
The Duke of Sussex will support British charities with donations from the sale of his book.
Publisher Penguin Random House 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."
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Penguin adds: “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.”
Spare will include details about "his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the front lines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father", according to the publisher.
Harry and Meghan have been vocal about their experience of being in the royal family since they quit the institution and moved to California nearly three years ago.
In a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey a year after their move, they accused members of the family of racism and emotional abandonment, among other things.
Since the move the couple have launched the Archewell Foundation and signed lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix.
Meghan has discussed labels including 'diva' and 'bimbo' as well as the 'angry black woman' trope, on her new Archetypes podcast.
The new series of the popular Netflix show about the royal family is set to dramatise the final moments of Princess Diana before her death in 1997, sparking furious criticism.
On October 18 it was reported executives at the streaming giant were "rattled", and so postponed Harry and Meghan's 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary out of fear of further backlash.
A spokesman for the King declined to comment.