The controversial title for Prince Harry’s autobiography was his own choice and he has not changed the manuscript since the death of the Queen, according to his wife Meghan Markle’s friend Omid Scobie.
The Duke of Sussex’s book, titled Spare, is set to be published by Penguin Random House on January 10 – which will be more than four months since the death of Her Majesty on September 8.
Writing in his column for Yahoo, Mr Scobie, who is known as a cheerleader for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said that the ‘punchy’ choice of title for his book was ‘made by Prince Harry early on in the process’.
He also claimed that there were ‘no last-minute rewrites or edits’ after the Queen died, with the Duke instead completing the book’s manuscript ‘almost five months before the monarch’s passing’.
Prince Harry will however ‘acknowledge’ his grandmother’s death at the start of his book, which is being ghost-written by novelist J. R. Moehringer.
However, Harry is publishing the book despite the risk of ‘very serious blowback from the institution and family’ remaining a ‘very real risk’, he said. Palace aides are said to fear that the book could cause ‘irrevocable damage’ to both ‘reputations and relations’.
According to Scobie’s timeline, Harry’s memoir was completed in around April this year – the same month that he and Meghan made a flying visit to the UK to see the Queen after stopping off in the UK en route to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.
The couple had not previously been back to the UK together since so-called Megxit in 2020, when they acrimoniously quit as working royals. Harry had visited on his own in July last year to unveil the statue of his late mother at Kensington Palace.
Harry and Meghan are said to have held ‘clear the air’ talks with Her Majesty and King Charles, who was then the Prince of Wales.
The previous month, the couple had failed to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey – as Harry pursued a legal challenge against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US.
Harry and Meghan did come to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June but made only a single public appearance and did not join other senior royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
However, Harry and Meghan are believed to have introduced their daughter Lilibet to the Queen for the first time during the visit.
They were then both in the UK in September preparing to attend a charity event when the Queen passed away.
The controversial title for Prince Harry’s autobiography was his own choice and the Duke of Sussex has not changed the manuscript since the death of the Queen, according to his wife Meghan Markle’s friend Omid Scobie
Prince Harry’s ghostwriter is Pulitzer-winning journalist
J.R. Moehringer is a Pulitzer-winning journalist
J.R. Moehringer is a Pulitzer-winning journalist and writer who previously worked with Andre Agassi and Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, on their own money-spinning memoirs.
For tennis great Agassi’s book, Open, Moehringer spent more than 250 hours with his subject and even moved to Las Vegas to be near him.
He looked so extensively into Agassi and his background that the former player compared it to being on a psychiatrist’s couch for days at a time.
His own memoir, The Tender Bar, is being made into a film by George Clooney, who will direct.
Moehringer has not commented on the partnership with Harry and it’s unclear how it came about.
He lives in Berkley, California, around 300 miles from Harry and Meghan’s Montecito compound.
Before ghost-writing, Moehringer worked as a reporter for The New York Times and L.A. Times.
He describes his ‘big break’ as an article in 1997 for the Times about the 1950s boxer Bob ‘Bombardier’ Satterfield, who he’d discovered was sleeping on benches in L.A.
The article he wrote – Resurrecting The Champ – became a movie later starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Moehringer’s own memoir told the story of his New York upbringing and how he spent it in a bar.
He was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his story on Satterfield and he was awarded the prize for his story on Gee’s Bend, a river town in Alabama.
The story also appeared in The Los Angeles Times.
Mr Scobie said that Harry’s choice of the title ‘Spare’ reflected how he is ‘finally owning the term after a lifetime of being called it.’
He said the purpose of the ‘spare’ is to be the ‘resident scapegoat to protect the Crown and higher ranking family members’, adding that it will be ‘interesting’ to see how Prince Harry’s memoir covers such alleged moments.
The book is also set to be filled with Harry’s ‘trademark cheekiness’, whilst his life story will be ‘surprisingly relatable’.
Harry has had to cope with the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997 as well as ‘the struggles of accepting oneself, sibling rivalry and falling in love with a person your family doesn’t accept’, Mr Scobie added.
But the royal commentator insisted Harry will not be ‘trashing’ his family, with his book instead allegedly offering a ‘more sympathetic look at the realities of their [the Royal Family’s] near-impossible existence’.
Addressing Mr Scobie’s comments, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that palace concern over Harry’s memoir will ‘not have been lessened’ by the intervention of his and Meghan’s ‘unofficial spokesman’.
He said: ‘It is not a question as to whether Harry has a right to release his memoir, it is whether it is helpful to the royal family which he is part of and also, surely, whether it will benefit the Sussexes in their desire for a philanthropic image.
‘Since the they derive their work from being royals, shouldn’t they be supportive? If there has been no rewriting after the Queen’s death, perhaps there should have been.
‘Why write a “raw” and “unflinchingly honest” memoir now, so early in his father’s reign, if not for commercial gain?’
He added that Mr Scobie had betrayed ‘no hint’ that Harry’s book will provide ‘a positive side to the monarchy which dates back continuously, bar Cromwell’s Protectorate, over 1,000 years.’
The Duke and his wife Meghan have been living at their $14million home in Montecito, California with their two children Archie and Lilibet since they chose to step away from royal duties in 2020.
Publishers Penguin Random House say Harry’s book is written with ‘raw unflinching honesty’ and is expected to contain explosive new material addressing Harry’s childhood and his rift with ‘The Firm’ after meeting Meghan.
Reports claimed Harry may fly to Britain in the New Year to promote his book and explain his ‘intent’ in writing it. The publication is set to cast a shadow over the Royal Family’s Christmas – the first since the Queen died.
Senior royals are said to be bracing themselves’ for the publication of the 416-page title. Biographer Tom Bower has warned the memoir’s reception will be a make or break moment for the Sussexes.
‘Put it this way, it’s not going to make for a relaxing family Christmas,’ a source told the Mail on Sunday.
The Royal Family’s lawyers are said to be on standby for Prince Harr’s memoir, over fears it is ‘critical of everyone and everything’.
Family members had not been informed of the title before its release date was announced on October 27.
Harry will allegedly not shy away from sensitive subjects, such as his family’s decision to encourage him and his brother to walk behind their mother Diana’s coffin as thousands of members of the public looked on.
The Daily Mail has been told that the duke – who has personally recorded the audio book version – did not tell his family about the title of in advance and that it will be seen as both ‘controversial’ and ‘provocative’ in royal circles.
‘That title is loaded and it does not bode well,’ a source said.
He could also reveal which member of the monarchy he claims made a racist comment about the potential skin colour of his then unborn son Archie, or shine a light on his strained relationship with his father and troubled times with William.
It has also been claimed that Prince Harry had to submit his book more than once before it was accepted by publishers, sparking fears that it was ‘sexed up’ with revelations about the Royal Family.
A source told The Sun: ‘The book has been back and forth between Harry and [ghost writer] JR Moehringer and the publishers a few times.
‘They wanted more than was in the first draft, and then Harry wanted to refine things after the Queen passed away.
‘But there has been extra toing and froing that people don’t know about. This is because the publishers wanted more areas covered and more detail on some things that were already included.
The prince’s book (left), titled Spare, is set to be published by Penguin Random House on January 10 – which will be more than four months since the death of Her Majesty on September 8. Writing in his column for Yahoo, Mr Scobie (right), who is known as a cheerleader for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said that the ‘punchy’ choice of title for his book was ‘made by Prince Harry early on in the process’
Where was Harry when he ‘finished his book five months ago’?
According to Mr Scobie’s timeline, Harry’s memoir was completed in around April this year – the same month he and Meghan made a flying visit to see the Queen:
March 2022: Harry and Meghan are the only senior royals not to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey – as the Duke of Sussex pursued a legal challenge against the Home Office in row over security.
April 2022: Harry and Meghan come to the UK for the first time together since Megxit, when they acrimoniously quit as working royals.
June 2022: Harry and Meghan come to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations but make only a single public appearance before flying back to the US.
September 2022: Harry and Meghan are in the UK for the WellChild Awards when the Queen dies.
‘There is a real concern that that means Harry has had to sex up the book and include revelations that even he might not even be that comfortable with.’
In his statement paying tribute to his grandmother shortly after her death, Harry praised her ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’ and called her a ‘guiding compass’ through her commitment to service and duty.
Released on September 12, 2022, his remarks also referred to his ‘darling wife’ Meghan Markle; said he was grateful that the Queen had hugged her ‘beloved great-grandchildren’; and spoke of how he ‘cherished’ the times spent with the 96-year-old.
He said: ‘In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen – and in mourning her loss – we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty.
‘She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy.
‘Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.’
‘Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.
‘I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.
‘Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile.
‘We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.’
Harry and Meghan, 41, were in the UK for charity events when Queen Elizabeth died. The couple stayed in Britain to attend ceremonies honouring Her Majesty, including her state funeral and committal service on September 19.
Prince Harry will acknowledge his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s death in his upcoming memoir, according to PEOPLE. Pictured, Harry and the Queen in 2018
Royal commentators said the release of Prince Harry’s book would be ‘unhelpful’ to King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort
Prince Harry pictured with Prince William, King Charles and the Princess Royal during the Queen’s funeral in September