Prince Harry’s much-hyped autobiography Spare arrived with a bang, translated simultaneously into 15 languages. In Spain, where it went on sale five days ahead of the publication date in error, it is En La Sombra (In the Shade), the French title is Le Suppleant (Substitute), while in Italy it is subtitled Il Minore (The Minor or The Younger). Sweden’s version is Den Andre (The Second or The Other); the Dutch, Romanian and German titles translate as Reserve.
Previously the publishers had released a statement saying Harry ‘wishes to support British charities with donations from his proceeds from Spare and has already donated $1,500,000 to the charity Sentebale which he started with Prince Seeiso to help children in Lesotho affected by HIV/AIDS. He will also donate £300,000 to WellChild, of which he has been royal patron for 15 years.’
The prince received $20 million for the deal that the Sussexes struck with Penguin Random House, understood to be for four books and potentially including a Meghan memoir. It is not the first time that a member of the royal family has written an autobiography but it is the first to focus on a litany of complaints against the institution of monarchy, without which Harry would not be able to reap his enormous financial rewards.
The feeling of some people is one of sadness. Sad that Harry felt angry enough to express his sentiments in print, a medium that unlike television will always be tangible. And sadness for a man who appears to have everything and yet still seems intent on revenge.
Over Christmas the Prince and Princess of Wales posted a delightful painting of a reindeer surrounded by snowflakes on their social media platforms with an emoji of an artist’s palette and a simple ‘by George’ (see page 64). Prince George comes from a long line of talented artists, notably his great-grandfather Prince Philip and his grandfather, the King. William showed early promise as an artist, as did Catherine, who in 2021 revealed her sketch of the University of St Andrews, where she and her husband met. George’s grandmother Diana also produced some charming sketches, including one of little Harry on board HMY Britannia during a summer trip around the Western Isles of Scotland.
King Charles and Queen Camilla have a busy year ahead of them with the coronation on 6 May and a series of tours around the country. The monarch’s first Christmas broadcast, carried by more channels than ever, drew a combined audience of 10.7 million viewers. In it, the King paid a moving tribute to his late mother and acknowledged the difficulties of the global conflicts and financial challenges facing many people. His message spoke not only of churches but of mosques, synagogues, temples and gurdwaras too. He also focused on the Commonwealth and the good works done by the royal family in the past year.
Charles has developed his timing and delivery over many years of public speaking and the message was sincere. The choice of venue – the quire of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle – was also a tribute to her late Majesty who with the Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest nearby. The old and the new in perfect harmony, a concept the King has always held close to his heart.