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Prince Harry's book becomes 'fastest-selling non-fiction book ever' with 400,000 recorded sales

  • Prince Harry's book Spare is the 'fastest-selling non-fiction book ever' with over 400,000 hardback, ebook and audio copies sold today

  • The highly-anticipated memoir topped Amazon's bestseller list first thing this morning while some bookshops remained open until midnight last night to meet demand

  • The Duke of Sussex revealed why he penned his autobiography during an ITV interview on Sunday and denied writing anything 'scathing' about the Royal Family

  • Read on for further bombshells from the book including the Harry and William's physical altercation

Prince Harry has given an explosive television interview ahead of the release of his book, which goes on sale on January 10. (Harry: The Interview, ITVX/Penguin Random House)
Prince Harry has given an explosive television interview ahead of the release of his book, which goes on sale on January 10. (Harry: The Interview, ITVX/Penguin Random House)

Prince Harry's book Spare has become the 'fastest-selling non-fiction book ever' with over 400,000 combined recorded sales of the hardback, ebook and audio formats.

Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld Penguin Random House, told Sky News: "We always knew this book would fly but it is exceeding even our most bullish expectations.

"As far as we know, the only books to have sold more in their first day are those starring the other Harry (Potter)."

The book topped Amazon's bestseller list this morning while a number of bookshops stayed open until midnight last night to meet demand.

WHSmith extended the opening hours at approximately 10 of its branches last night, so those eager to get their hands on the memoir could do so at midnight. Shops including Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Euston and Victoria train stations stayed open into the small hours.

The highly-anticipated book was first announced by publisher Penguin Random House in July 2021 and has been a topic of much conversation – in and out of the press – ever since.

The release date, originally scheduled for late 2022, was reportedly delayed out of respect for the royal's late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September.

Despite the expected queues, the many photographers positioned outside Waterstones in Piccadilly, London, were no doubt disappointed by the lack of queue when the shop opened at 8am this morning.

Caroline Lennon, first customer to buy
Caroline Lennon, the first and only customer in the queue to purchase a copy of Spare, the newly released autobiography from the Duke of Sussex, poses with her copy of the book as she leaves Waterstones Piccadilly. (Getty Images)
The back feature image of Prince Harry runs towards a light tank during a visit to the barracks of the Light Dragoons in Hannover, Germany July 29, 1993 as the newly released autobiography from the Duke of Sussex at WHSmith's in Victoria Station, the book became available to purchase at midnight. Picture date: Tuesday January 10, 2023. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
The back of the book jacket is a photo of a young Prince Harry, running towards a light tank during a visit to the barracks of the Light Dragoons in Germany in 1993. (Getty Images)

Why did Prince Harry write his book?

The Duke of Sussex explained why he decided to write his tell-all memoir during an interview with Tom Bradby that aired on ITV1 on Sunday, explaining that he wanted to be able to "own" his story and be able to "tell it for myself".

"Thirty-eight years," he told Bradby. "Thirty-eight years of having my story told by so many different people with intentional spin and distortion felt like a good time to own my story and be able to tell it for myself.

“You know, I don’t, I don’t think that if I was still part of the institution that I would have been given this chance to. So, I’m actually really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to tell my story because it’s my story to tell.”

Harry went on to speak about whether he had criticised any member of his family in his book, telling Bradby: “There’s no part of any of the things that I’ve said [sic] are scathing towards any member of my family, especially not my stepmother.

“There are things that have happened that have been incredibly hurtful – some in the past, some current. No institution is immune to accountability or taking responsibility, so you can’t be immune to criticisms either. I see a lack of scrutiny to my family towards a lot of the things that have happened in the last year.”

Read more: Prince Harry's dating history amid mystery over 'older woman' who took his virginity

The interview was the first of four broadcast appearances this week, with the duke also speaking to Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes on CBS News on Sunday night, Michael Strahan of Good Morning America on Monday and Stephen Colbert on the Late Show on CBS on Wednesday morning UK time.

In other parts of Harry: The Interview the duke described feelings of guilt and telling Bradby he had cried only once after the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

He also admitted feeling “some guilt” when walking among the crowds gathered outside Kensington Palace, saying the only time he cried was at his mother’s burial.

Watch: Prince Harry accuses 'certain' Royal Family members of 'getting in bed with the devil' as TV interviews air

Elsewhere in the interview Harry accuses certain members of the Royal Family of "getting into bed with the devil" to improve image.

He also reflected on the “horrible reaction” he alleges he received from the Royal Family when he was reunited with them after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

What's included in Prince Harry's book?

The reveal comes as a Spanish copy of the Duke of Sussex’s long-awaited “personal and emotional” book, entitled Spare, was reportedly obtained by The Guardian, five days ahead of its official release, after it was published early in Spain.

In a leaked extract, it was claimed that Prince William became physical with Prince Harry during an argument about his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2019.

“It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,” Harry reportedly wrote in the book. “I landed on the dog's bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me.”

“I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out,” he continues.

The excerpts go on to claim that the Prince of Wales called his sister-in-law “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive” in the altercation.

Read more: Prince Harry beardgate: Other royals who have sported facial hair

The cover of Prince Harry's upcoming memoir titled 'Spare' has been released. (Penguin Random House)
The cover of Prince Harry's memoir titled Spare has been released. (Penguin Random House)

£14 £28 at Amazon £14 £28 at WH Smith £14 £28 at Waterstones

The leaked copy of the bombshell memoir is the latest private revelation to hit the Royal Family, following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, and excerpts from Harry’s interview with Bradby were released ahead of its broadcast on Sunday.

“I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back,” Harry explains in the interview clip. “It never needed to be this way,” he tells presenter Tom Bradby, “I want a family, not an institution."

Whilst the interview included details of the Sussexes’ exit as senior members of the Royal Family, Harry's own autobiography explores his life in the public eye and goes back to his childhood.

Prince William and Prince Harry at the committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince William and Prince Harry at the committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for Queen Elizabeth II. (Getty Images)

“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,” explains the memoir's description.

“For Harry, this is that 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.

The autobiographical memoir will be released in 16 languages, with its Spanish title confirmed as Spare: En La Sombra, which translates as "in the shadow". 

Prince William and Prince Harry at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997
The memoir's official description brings back the poignant images of Prince William and Prince Harry at their mother's funeral in 1997. (Getty Images)

Harry also read the unabridged audio edition of the book himself, released on the same date.

The hardback version of Prince Harry’s memoir is available to buy in the UK at Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith where it's currently half price.

It's reduced from £28 to just £14, the proceeds of which will be donated to two charities by the Duke of Sussex.

The first of two charities to receive a donation from the memoir’s profits is Sentebale, the organisation founded by Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in their mothers’ memories to support vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho and Botswana affected by HIV and AIDS.

The second is WellChild, which will receive a £300,000 donation. Harry has been the royal patron of the charity – which makes it possible for children and young people with complex health needs to be cared for at home instead of hospital – for 15 years.

 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
The release of Prince Harry's memoir was reportedly put back after the death of the Queen in September. (Getty Images)

“Penguin Random House is honored [sic] to be publishing Prince Harry’s candid and emotionally powerful story for readers everywhere,” Penguin Random House’s Global CEO Markus Dohle said at the time of the announcement.

“He shares a remarkably moving personal journey from trauma to healing, one that speaks to the power of love and will inspire and encourage millions of people around the world.”

Shop now: Spare by Prince Harry | £14 (Was £28) at Amazon

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