Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ sinks royal’s popularity; expert says ‘Timing is ghastly’

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir “Spare” hit bookshelves on Tuesday, but several royal experts believe that the damage has already been done.

Ahead of the book’s release, the Duke of Sussex gave several interviews that were broadcast in both the US and the UK. It has garnered incendiary headlines with its details of bitter family resentments. In the ghostwritten memoir, the 38-year-old describes his acrimonious split from the royal family alongside his wife, Meghan Markle, after their request for a part-time role was rejected.

“Friends of the Prince of Wales are commenting that he is ‘anxious’ and ‘sad’ about what Harry has said in his book but is focusing on his family,” Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital about Harry’s older brother, Prince William, the heir to the British throne. “One friend is known to have said that ‘he’s handling it so well on the outside — inside he’s burning.'”

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir, ‘Spare,’ became widely available on Jan. 10.

“As for the king, he is said to be ‘extremely pained, very frustrated and anxious’ to reach a resolution with his son,” Fordwich noted about King Charles III, 74. “Regarding remaining silent, as long as they continue to be supported by the British in sentiment via the polls, the royal family is expected to stick to what works, what Queen Elizabeth II lived by, and what is respected as the ‘high road’ by the British public — never complain and never explain.”

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Buckingham Palace officials have declined to comment on any of the allegations made by Harry. A spokesperson for the king did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Kensington Palace, which represents the Prince and Princess of Wales, told Fox News Digital they do not have a comment. Allies of the royal family have pushed back on Harry’s claims, largely anonymously.

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“Spare” is the latest in a string of public pronouncements by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they quit royal life in 2020. At the time, they cited what they saw as the media’s racist treatment of the duchess and a lack of support from the palace.

Meghan Markle cries on a couch and puts her hands to her eyes as Prince Harry looks at her with worry

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior members of the British royal family in 2020. They spoke out to Oprah Winfrey in 2021 and then participated in a six-part docuseries for Netflix in December 2022.

Following their exit, the couple sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview that was viewed by 50 million people globally. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke out again in a six-part Netflix documentary released last month.

On Monday, Harry appeared on “Good Morning America” ​​with another appearance already scheduled with “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

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The father of two has defended the memoir, describing it as his effort to “own my story” after years of “spin and distortion” by others. In an interview with Anderson Cooper on “60 Minutes,” Harry said his book was not intended to hurt his family. Harry admitted that he hasn’t spoken to his father or older brother in a while, but he remains hopeful about making peace with them.

Prince Harry on 60 minutes

Prince Harry sat down with Anderson Cooper for a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night. The Duke of Sussex spoke about his childhood, the loss of his mother and his rift with the royal family.

Fordwich suspects that Harry’s popularity will continue to nosedive as he attempts to gain sympathy from the public, one that he feels has been misled by the British press.

“My prediction is that he’ll continue to sink in popularity, continuing his plummet in the polls,” said Fordwich. “His timing is ghastly as the UK is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, somewhat of a winter of discontent where many are having to make the challenging choice of eating or heating all while he whines about his life of privilege. And we all know he is being paid multi-millions to do so.”

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Prince Harry speaking with Anderson Cooper

In addition to his interview with Anderson Cooper (pictured here), Prince Harry also spoke to ITV’s Tom Bradby.

“He keeps stating he wants a reconciliation, yet interviewers have rightly asked why anyone should trust him to keep private conversations,” Richard Fitzwilliams told Fox News Digital. “Why indeed?”

“Harry’s popularity is at a new low among Britons,” he said. “A YouGov survey in January reveals that only 26 percent have a positive or fair opinion [positive] view of him and 64 percent have a negative one. Only 23 percent hold a positive view of Meghan and 65 percent a negative one. The Sussexes’ main aim is undoubtedly to appeal to the United States and the wider world. … Harry has repeatedly charged the royal family with colluding with the press, which he claims drove him and his family out of Britain. He has, however, produced no proof of this.”

NBC’s chief international correspondent Keir Simmons told Hoda Kotb on TODAY that the royal family isn’t out of the woods when it comes to public perception either. He said, with Harry’s claims in his interviews and memoirs, that this is “a real test of the king’s reign. And there is polling this morning…that suggests that the popularity, the favorability of the royal family is falling among all this.”

King Charles III in Scotland

King Charles III’s coronation is taking place on May 6. It is unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be in attendance.

Like a dark cloud, the release of “Spare” has loomed over the king’s upcoming coronation in May. Harry’s father became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 8. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was 96.

Royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital that the royal family is said to be “quite angry” with Harry’s latest actions. He noted that Charles’ response was clear when he recently changed the proceedings in his coronation.

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“This means that if Harry is invited and does attend, he will be doing so as a family member, but not as a formal participant, and may well be given very little prominence,” Sacerdoti said. “I expect that he may be invited because I think that the king is unlikely to want to make a bold statement by not inviting him. Perhaps behind the scenes, there will be discussions about whether he is genuinely expected to attend.”

Prince Harry headlines

Journalists in the UK were able to obtain leaked excerpts or copies of “Spare” that accidentally went on sale early in Spain.

“Even if Harry and Meghan are invited, one would expect that they would find a polite way not to attend after all the trouble they have caused,” he said. “But one can never quite predict their behavior. … [The royals] have to act carefully. … By not reacting publicly, they are at least leaving open the possibility that things can calm down. This allows the possibility of conversations to take place in the future, which might allow some form of reconciliation.”

“Despite Harry’s claims he wants any conversations they have to remain private, it seems almost impossible that anyone can trust him,” Sacerdoti continued. “[Especially] after he revealed so many private, secret conversations and events in his book and interviews. Who would feel safe discussing things privately after an Oprah interview, a six-part Netflix reality show and [now a] book?”

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Critically acclaimed author Christopher Andersen, who has recently written a book about the king, told Fox News Digital that he admires “Harry’s candor” because there’s “no other member of the royal family who has ever come close to baring his soul in this fashion.” ” But in exposing what goes on behind the palace doors, Harry is “leveling a devastating attack on his family and the monarchy.”

William, Prince of Wales released a statement on Queen Elizabeth's death

Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales, is said to be infuriated with Prince Harry’s explosive claims, several royal experts claimed.

“King Charles and Prince William can only feel a deep sense of dismay and betrayal,” said Andersen. “… As I’ve said many times before, the king and the Prince of Wales have hair-trigger tempers. They both must be in full temper-tantrum mode. Charles is almost certainly being counseled to retaliate because to do anything less is to excuse a kind of insubordination within the Windsor ranks that could seriously undermine the king’s credibility.”

Andersen also wondered if Charles would punish his son by stripping him of his HRH title. He pointed out that the queen allowed Diana to remain Princess of Wales but formally stripped her of her HRH status. Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalized in 1996, a year before her passing at age 36.

Maintaining faithful to the royal motto of “never complain, never explain,” is not enough this time around, he said.

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A poster advertising the launch of Prince Harry's memoir

Following the publication of “Spare,” royal experts believe that a reconciliation between Prince Harry and the British royal family is unlikely.

“Harry says he wants his father and brother back, but he has a peculiar way of going about it,” said Andersen. “… It’s impossible to imagine that the royal family will simply remain silent. And if they do, that in itself will be a mistake because it’s clear Harry is determined to keep telling his side of the story until he gets a rise out of them. The bottom line is that this all constitutes a huge public relations disaster for the king at a time when he can least afford it.”

Harry told ITV that he wants reconciliation with the royal family, but “the ball is in their court.”

“They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile,” he said.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex live in California with their two children.

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