In Prince Harry’s Book ‘Spare,’ the King “Comes Out of It Better Than Expected,” Source Says

Yet Charles “could face scrutiny next year if Meghan decides to tell her story.”

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty)

Much like in the six-part Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, Prince Harry’s forthcoming tell-all Spare—which hits shelves January 10—goes rather easy on King Charles. (As Marie Claire reported, Prince William does not fare as well, in the book or in the docuseries.)

A source familiar with Harry’s book tells The Sunday Times “generally, I think the book [will be] worse for them than the royal family is expecting. Everything is laid bare. Charles comes out of it better than I had expected, but it’s tough on William in particular.”

Of course, with Charles, there is a lot at stake: he is, after all, the monarch and wields a considerable amount of authority, and, as Marie Claire previously reported, he holds the power as to whether or not to give permanent HRH stylings to Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s children Archie and Lilibet. (He is reportedly waiting to make his final decision until after the release of Spare.) He also holds the key to Harry and Meghan potential return to the Firm as part-time royals or not, which could factor into the couple’s decision to go easier on him in Harry & Meghan or Spare than others in the royal family. But, according to The Sunday Times source, as for relations with Harry’s older brother William? “I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this,” the source says.

Charles might not totally be off the hook, though: according to The Sun, though Harry “shied away from criticizing his dad King Charles too much” the King “could face scrutiny next year if Meghan decides to tell her story.” The outlet reports Meghan is said to be “contemplating getting entirely candid about her time in the royal limelight” in her own memoir, with a source telling OK “she fully intends to write this book and leave no stone unturned. It’s just a question of timing, and how long she wishes to hold out in order to preserve what’s left of her and Harry’s relationship with King Charles.”

The source continues “the feeling at this point is there’s little to lose, and she may as well go ahead. The process is already quietly underway.”

On the heels of Harry & Meghan, Spare, and Meghan’s potential tell-all, a senior Hollywood executive tells The Daily Mail that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might risk overexposure: “We’ve had the Oprah Winfrey interview, then the Netflix series, and now we’ve got Harry’s book,” the executive says. “You have to ask if the world really needs to hear Meghan’s story right now? If I was advising her, I would caution against releasing a book too quickly, because there is a very real danger that people will start experiencing ‘Sussex fatigue.’”

The source continues “there comes a point where people might feel they’ve heard the same stories too many times. They have to change the narrative at some stage and focus on the future rather than past transgressions.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.