The Royal Family Are Not “Terrified” But Rather “Wearied” About the Release of ‘Spare,’ Royal Expert Says

Through the tumult, the family remains “united.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

The countdown is on: 11 days until the release of Spare, Prince Harry’s forthcoming memoir that remains less than two weeks to its publication as shrouded in mystery as it ever was. What we do know is this—it was ghostwritten with the help of veteran biographer J.R. Moehringer, is 416 pages in length, and will be discussed in two interviews, one with ITV’s Tom Bradby, and another on January 8 with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

The royal family—as seems to be a common theme these days—is in brace position, awaiting the third punch of the one-two-three punch of The Crown season five’s release in November, the debut of Harry & Meghan in December, and, now Spare's January drop. Fresh off of their Christmas together—sans Harry and Meghan Markle, who remained with their children Archie and Lilibet in the U.S. for the holiday—the royal family is, according to OK, “wearied” but not “terrified” of the upcoming book, says royal expert Katie Nicholl.

“A lot has been left on a cliffhanger and there is a £35 million book deal here, so don’t underestimate the couple or their capacity to surprise and throw in a few more bombs just when you thought there were no more,” she says. “I don’t think the royal family are terrified by anything, least of all of what is going to come next in Harry’s autobiography. But concerned, apprehensive? Yes. Ready to respond? Quite possibly. Wearied by all of this? Absolutely.”

Of the book, Harry said in a July 2021 statement “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become. I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story—the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned—I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.” He concluded his statement “I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.”

Of the royal family, longtime royal photographer Arthur Edwards—who has taken photos of the family since 1977—tells Page Six that Harry can say whatever he likes in his book, but “it’s not going to change anything” for the family, adding that they are standing together and remain “united.”

Edwards attended this month’s “Royal Carols: Together at Christmas” concert at Westminster Abbey, where the family—specifically King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—walked down the aisle together, many clad in the same color theme. “Them walking united down the aisle together, both families just gave all the message to anybody they want to know: This family is united,” he says.

Edwards adds, of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, “I was taken in by Meghan. [I] must be honest. I thought she was a rock star. I thought she was going to really take off because we covered that first 18 months, and it was a whirlwind…and she was sensational.” Of Harry, “he was just a really special type of guy. You know, he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed at school. But, I mean, he went on to achieve an awful lot, did two tours of duty in Afghanistan, which is pretty impressive. And I liked him a lot and I loved working with him.”

But Edwards says the friendly relationship Harry had with photographers—including taking them out for drinks at the end of royal trips—abruptly stopped when he married Meghan. “And then Meghan came along and suddenly went, stopped. She didn’t want to meet us. We asked three times. She didn’t want to know. And now I suspect she had an agenda and that was always the plan,” he says.

Edwards says he “loved working” with Harry and will “miss him so much,” but is disappointed by Harry & Meghan and the upcoming Spare, saying the book “will probably have some not-very-nice-stories about the royal family in it. But he can’t keep doing that. You can’t keep attacking the family. You know, there’s got to be something else…Why doesn’t he use that platform to promote his charities? He’s got some amazing charities that he sponsors. The Invictus Games and the Sentebale Aid is helping kids in Africa find schools and [learning] to read and write.” He adds “so I can’t feel bad towards Harry. I look for the good in people, not the bad, and he is basically a very good person.”

Still, Edwards is disappointed that Harry is publicizing his “family rows,” he says. “You keep it in the family. That’s what he should have done. If you have an argument, you keep it in the family and you sort it out. [To] put it out on the world stage on his film, just for money—I think it’s wrong.”

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.