An author says that coming up with a title for an autobiography is the most difficult part of the publishing process.
You spend months searching for the perfect word or phrase, a title that captures your essence. The editors then decide they want something more snappy, something more dramatic, controversial, and sellable.
But I have the impression that there was no such disagreement between the Duke of Sussex and Penguin Random House. Because the title of Harry’s long-awaited memoir perfectly describes the petulant, paranoid Prince. And the publishers are well aware that the controversial cover will make him and their fortune.
Spare is a provocative reference to Harry’s status as the future monarch’s second son.
William is the heir, so he’s the backup, and as a kid, he clearly thought he’d gotten the better deal.
All the benefits, none of the drawbacks. If he was ever irritated, Harry would joke, “I’m the spare, I don’t have to behave, I can do whatever I want.”
And he did it. Cheeky Harry got away with it all: booze, drugs, girls, Vegas pool parties, shady fancy dress.
In fact, we enjoyed seeing him having a good time…
Overcoming the tragedy of his mother’s death when he was only 12 years old we saw him become a soldier, serve on the front lines, establish charities, and establish the Invictus Games. And we thought he’d found his happily ever after marrying Meghan and becoming a father.
But Harry changed his mind about being the spare somewhere along the way. It no longer represents freedom and opportunity. It simply meant that his elder brother was the main attraction and he was the supporting act. And with an aspirant actress wife on his arm, that would never be enough.
Spare now meant second best, underdog, the redundant, victim – and his family was to blame for everything.