Great Britain’s “spare” heir is taking to U.S. TV to tell his tales and grind his axe.
In what looks to be developing as a triumph for Prince Harry and Random House, the prince’s highly anticipated tell-all tome -- titled sparingly, “Spare” -- is already being hailed as a bestseller in advance of its release tomorrow (January 10).
Alongside the release, Prince Harry is promoting his book with at least three high-profile TV appearances on consecutive days this week.
First in line was last night’s “60 Minutes,” in which Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, was seen getting up close and personal with Anderson Cooper.
Second is a one-on-one interview with Michael Strahan Monday morning (January 9) on “Good Morning America” on ABC. A teaser segment taken from the interview aired on Friday’s “GMA.”
For his third appearance, Harry is booked for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on CBS Tuesday night (January 10).
The three shows each took different approaches to their pre-Harry promotion strategies.
CBS News publicity promoted the “60 Minutes” interview by singling out what Harry said on the subject of bigotry in the royal family and the British press, complete with quotes from the interview.
In this highlighted portion of the interview, Harry averred that the press scrutiny his wife endured in England as their relationship took shape was different than the attention paid to other royal women such as Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles.
As he has insisted many times before -- particularly in “Harry & Meghan,” the runaway hit docuseries on Netflix -- much of the coverage focused on Meghan’s race. Her father is white and her mother is African-American. Meghan identifies as “mixed race.”
“But then you add in the race element, which was what the … British press jumped on straight away,” he told Cooper. “I went into this incredibly naïve. I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan.”
“You think you were bigoted before the relationship with Meghan?” Cooper asked.
“I don’t know,” Harry said. “Put it this way, I didn’t see what I now see.”
Not for the first time, Harry accused unnamed members of the royal family of cooperating with the press by strategically leaking stories to news outlets.
“They will feed or have a conversation with the correspondent,” Harry explained on “60 Minutes.” “And that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story.
“And at the bottom of [the story] they will say that they’ve reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting. So, when [he and Meghan are] being told for the last six years, ‘We can’t put a statement out to protect you’… But you do it for other members of the family. There becomes [sic] a point when silence is betrayal.”
“GMA” was more vague when it came to the subjects Harry and Strahan covered in their interview. On Friday, a press release came from “GMA” with a photo of the two, an indication that the interview was taped in advance of Monday’s show and will not be seen live.
“On the eve of his memoir’s publication, Prince Harry discusses his relationship with Prince William and King Charles, how Princess Diana would feel about the rift between her sons, whether he wants to reconcile with the family, the pressure of the U.K. tabloids, finding his purpose in the military, processing the grief over his mother’s death and more,” the press release promised.
As for the Colbert show, a press release from CBS gave no clue about what the show’s segment with Prince Harry will be like. Comedic? Serious? Who knows?
The title of Prince Harry’s book, “Spare,” is a play on the phrase “an heir and a spare.” It is a term used by some to deride the way British royals ensure the continuation of their bloodlines.
As the second-born son to Diana, Harry is the “spare,” while his older brother William is the “heir.”
So powerful is the word “spare” in Prince Harry’s story that his book has no subtitle -- just its one-word title. The rest of the cover has only his face and his name, Prince Harry.
On the book’s landing page on BarnesandNoble.com last Friday, it was listed as the site’s No. 1 top-selling book based solely on preorders.