Even before the book hit the shelves, I’d had enough (Picture: CBS via Getty Images)
So it’s finally here.
The book we’ve all been talking about, hearing about, tweeting about and meming about is out today, and yet I feel like I’ve already read it.
Spare, by Prince Harry, has been the hottest topic of 2023 so far, as details leaked over the past few weeks, but I must confess, I am now completely exhausted by it all.
And I say that as someone sympathetic to Harry, whose book title reflects alleged comments King Charles made about him, that he was the ‘spare’ while William was the heir.
Harry kicked off his promotion for the memoir with a pair of high-profile interviews, clearly planning to boost interest and sell as many copies as possible.
Well, mission accomplished, H. Spare was already a fixture of bestseller lists in several countries based on pre-orders alone.
But, frankly, even before the book hit the shelves, I’d had enough.
Even as someone who fervently defended the prince, I’m starting to feel some serious fatigue.
Harry’s popularity with the Great British public has taken a hit (Picture: Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images)
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve watched the interviews and pored over each and every word that Harry has said, and for the most part I agree with him.
Prince Harry’s new book Spare released today
Get all the latest updates on Metro.co.uk‘s dedicated Prince Harry page.
While his circumstances are unique, I’m sympathetic toward many of his gripes.
But for a man who has such a high-profile distaste for Britain’s media, he can hardly fail to appreciate the irony that those same outlets have gone into overdrive with the contents of his book.
With no fewer than four high-profile television interviews both here and across the pond in America, we could be forgiven for thinking we already know the highlights and lowlights of Harry’s privileged life to date.
Prince Harry interview – top stories
That’s not to pretend that there weren’t some shocking allegations – not least the physical altercation with Prince William, accusing his stepmother Camilla of leaking stories and the fairly blunt manner in which he claimed his father, King Charles, told Harry his mother, Diana, had died.
But there were also some lurid details, which I thought were unnecessary, such as his frostbitten penis, his Taliban kill count and of course the cringeworthy tale of his sexual encounter with that horse-loving older woman.
And I’m not the only one who was turned off – Harry’s popularity with the Great British public has taken a hit, with one poll suggesting that almost two-thirds have a negative view of the Prince.
Worse, many may just be simply losing interest.
I personally couldn’t care less about two brothers having a pretty standard sibling scrap (Picture: AP/Martin Meissne)
This may be most evident in the viewing figures of his blockbuster interview – with an average of 4.2million UK viewers watching his ITV sit down.
Harry: The Interview was indeed the most-watched show on ITV on Sunday night, but more than a million more people chose to watch BBC drama Happy Valley instead.
It’s quite the drop in comparison to the 11.3million Brits who viewed Harry and Meghan’s softball interview with Oprah back in March 2021.
Many believe the public are turned off by the content in his book, but personally I think it’s more about the sheer volume. Quantity, as well as quality.
I personally couldn’t care less about two brothers having a pretty standard sibling scrap, and it’s completely expected that he would have negative feelings towards Camilla, the woman who had an affair with his father.
But for me, it’s the sheer amount of coverage currently dominating TV, social media and newspapers that is making me yawn.
The media aren’t to blame for this phenomenon – we are.
It’s simple supply and demand – articles will continue to be written about Harry so long as there is an audience to read them.
But with signs that demand may be waning, Harry risks doing more harm than good to his cause.
I appreciate Harry’s points.
He clearly wants this strangest of institutions to be more of a family. I see a man who doesn’t want his wife and children to suffer the same way he and his mother and brother did.
The abuse he and Meghan have taken from some corners has been unacceptable and I’m happy for him that he now has had the opportunity to tell his story in his own words, after allegedly being stage-managed by ‘The Firm’ for so long.
But Harry is said to have a multi-book deal, there are rumours Meghan will also be writing her own version of events, and we’ve only just finished digesting that Netflix documentary.
It’s excessive, and even those who have backed him to the hilt are starting to wish Harry would let the furore die down and try to move on with his own life.
He can do so in the knowledge that the Royal Family, and the public, know (in excruciating detail) his side of the story.
We know how he feels and he’s done all he can to tell his truth – any more details and we might start to go spare.
Share your views in the comments below.
I wish Harry would let the furore die down and try to move on with his own life.