‘Moaning’ in Prince Harry’s ‘well-written’ memoir ‘should stay in the family’: Readers

Readers have praised Prince Harry’s explosive memoir as ‘raw’ and ‘well written’, but said the ‘naughty’ royal’s ‘moaning’ should have stayed in the Royal Family – as the controversial tell-all finally hits the shelves today.

Bookshops across the UK opened early this morning, but queues were sparse with just one person waiting outside Waterstones’ flagship branch at Piccadilly Circus in central London when it opened at 8am.

But those who have bought copies of the Duke of Sussex’s explosive autobiography Spare, ghostwritten by American author JR Moehringer, have praised its ‘rich detail’ and ‘compelling’ and ‘shocking’ narrative, while others swooned over his ‘Gordon Ramsay-type’ voice on audiobook.

Readers called the book ‘naughty’, ‘moving’, ’emotional’ and even ‘salacious’ in its detail, with one writing on Amazon: The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is beautifully written and richly detailed. How much of this is owed to Prince Harry and how much to his ghostwriter, I have no idea, but it is clear that the prince is a … sensitive human being.’

Copies of Harry’s memoir Spare stacked at Foyles bookshop in London

Prince Harry's explosive memoir has been praised as 'well written' and 'eloquent' by readers as the controversial tell-all finally hit the shelves today

Prince Harry’s explosive memoir has been praised as ‘well written’ and ‘eloquent’ by readers as the controversial tell-all finally hit the shelves today

The 10 things readers are saying about Harry’s memoir…

  • Raw
  • Well written
  • Sensitive
  • Naughty
  • Compelling
  • Moving
  • Moaning
  • Salacious
  • Shocking
  • Emotional

Another said: ‘Harry comes across as very honest, open and humane in his writing; choosing family over institution… putting the well-being of his little family unit over duty to ”it” and yet still wanting to respect and serve that institution, HAD he been allowed to.’

A third posted: ‘I think he needed to tell his story. Found myself quite moved in several sections.’

Shoppers buying Harry’s book Spare in WHSmith in Worcester High Street were broadly supportive of the ‘naughty’ royal but some said his moans should ‘stay in the family’.

Martin Cook, 76, a retired engineer from Worcester said: ‘If my family had treated me the way his family has I would definitely disown them and I’d put it in writing so there would be no mistake.’

George MacDougall, 94, said: ‘I feel sorry for him and his wife and their children, that they had to go to California.’

But Barbara Gill, 66 from Dines Green in Worcester, a sales assistant, said: ‘It’s just normal family issues and should stay in the family. I’ve never seen a perfect family because they don’t exist. Harry is a bit naughty but who isn’t. Life is not a bed of roses.’

At Waterstones in Edinburgh, Charmaine Laurie, 50, a bus driver was buying a copy.

She said: ‘My personal opinion, no, I don’t think he has been [fairly treated]. It will be interesting to read.

‘I think it’s good to get a bit of insight into what actually goes on behind closed doors.’

On Twitter, one user said: ‘The way Prince Harry writes is so warm, descriptive, eloquent & emotional. His every sentences, phrases & words are captivating, powerful & impactful. #Spare is well written’.

Customers even swooned over the Duke of Sussex's voice on audiobook

Customers even swooned over the Duke of Sussex’s voice on audiobook

A bookseller preparing a display for Spare at Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street

A bookseller preparing a display for Spare at Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street

Another tweeted: ‘I will be listening [to] Prince Harry’s Spare religiously today on Audible. So far so good, plus he has a great reading voice’.

A third posted: ‘Prince Harry’s narration voice is perfect for the @calm app bedtime stories’ – while another said: ‘Really recommend it, love listening to Prince Harry’s voice, it’s a completely different experience. Got to bed at 3am and this morning my husband asked ”What time did you come to bed?” ”Hmm 2am?” ”What on earth were you doing?!” ”Reading”’.

Spare, which was sold early by some bookstores in Spain, contains a string of bombshell revelations and private details about Harry’s life and family, and has sparked a furore over his claims that William physically attacked him and that he killed 25 Taliban members in Afghanistan.

Caroline Lennon was the only one waiting to buy a copy at Waterstones in Piccadilly – Europe’s largest bookstore – after she walked two miles from Bethnal Green in the East End to arrive at 6am.

The 59-year-old said: ‘I don’t care what anybody says. People will criticize me and say ‘What an idiot for liking Harry. What an idiot for queuing up’, but I don’t care what anyone says.

My personal feeling with Harry and William is that they should connect. There is no love between them, there is no love with that family. He and William need to get their heads together and make up, for God’s sake. Life is too short.’

Ms Lennon recalled queuing to buy Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1992, saying: ‘It was mad. Everyone was grabbing the books. But today I am the only one!’

She posed for photographers as she left the shop with her copy, saying: ‘I’m looking forward to listening to the audiobook straight away.’

Staff had piled hardback copies of the memoir on a circular display table in the middle of the shop, having taken delivery of them last Thursday. Promotional posters dubbed the autobiography, which was being sold at half-price – £14 – ‘the memoir everybody is talking about’. But only two other customers bought the book in the first hour of the shop’s opening.

James Bradley, 61, from Hammersmith in west London, picked up a copy on his way to work to read when he goes on holiday with friends tomorrow.

He said: ‘He is obviously very controversial and this book has done, I think, a lot of damage to Harry. I thought it would be a great holiday gift as everyone can discuss the book.’

Mr Bradley said the Royal Family will not be damaged by the book’s revelations, adding: ‘We’ve had decades of this.’

It’s fine. It’s just more of the same,’ he said. They just have to shrug it off and carry on being the royal family.

‘After the Queen’s death, the royal family’s stock has never been higher in my lifetime and this will just bounce off. In six months’ time we won’t be talking about this. It’s a good distraction from strikes and all the problems we’re having in this horrible winter. It’s a bit of light entertainment.’

Mr. Bradley added that he does not think Harry should have included his claims about killing 25 Taliban members during his two tours with the British Army in Afghanistan.

‘No soldier should ever talk about what he does in wars, particularly killing other human beings and calling them chess pieces,’ he said.

‘The Armed Forces are going to have to distance themselves from him and I think he will be hurt by that.’

Copies of the new book by Prince Harry displayed in a London bookstore

Copies of the new book by Prince Harry displayed in a London bookstore

Caroline Lennon, the first customer to buy a copy of Spare, leaving Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus this morning

Caroline Lennon, the first customer to buy a copy of Spare, leaving Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus this morning

Fiona Leviny, a 61-year-old farmer from Queensland, Australia, who was visiting London on holiday, said she bought Spare to ‘hear Harry’s story’.

Harry and Meghan’s personal life has been put out there without their permission and I think now it is his time to tell his story. Everyone else has been writing about him, except for him,’ she said. I find it extraordinary that so much is written about Harry and Meghan, and I want to know the truth, so that’s why I bought it and why I’m going to read it. I love the drama. I have to read it. I have to know the truth.’

Mrs. Leviny added that the Prince of Wales should not comment on anything in the book for the sake of the monarchy.

‘William is heir to the throne and I believe, whether it is old-fashioned or not, that, given we have a monarch, he has done the right thing by staying quiet,’ she said.

At WH Smith in Victoria station, staff opened the doors at midnight to a swarm of reporters and customers who gathered around stacks of books, which were sitting on a table wrapped in sealed black packaging.

The first customers were handed copies as photographers captured the moment before staff started putting half-price stickers onto copies and stacking them on specially-designed shelving units near the front of the shop.

Waiting outside the shop, bartender Sasha Pursell, 27, who has moved to London from Melbourne, Australia, said: ‘I’m just intrigued. I’ve heard so much press about the book and it’s also just a bit exciting – I’ve never been to a midnight release.’

Asked about the criticism surrounding the book, she said: ‘Yes, it can be seen as a betrayal to the royal family, but, at the same time, I feel like a lot of lies have been spewed about him.

It can go both ways. I don’t think either party is in the right or the wrong.’

Sarah Nakana, 46, a surveyor from Dulwich, south-east London, said she had already downloaded the audiobook as she picked up a copy, saying she wanted to try to ‘get ahead of the British press and their narratives’.


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