Concern, comedy, and confusion – Prince Harry’s upcoming book has generated different reactions across the US, his adopted home country.
Excerpts from the autobiography Spare were leaked last week with bombshell revelations, including an alleged physical assault by his brother William; the brothers requesting that their father, now King Charles, not marry Camilla; and Harry’s apparent killing of 25 Taliban soldiers while serving in the British army in Afghanistan.
All of which prompted the New York Times to call Spare potentially one of “the most anticipated and divisive celebrity memoirs of all time” – despite industry hand-wringing over whether the interest may wane by the time the book is released, given that much of it has leaked in advance.
The View co-host Sunny Hostin claimed in a clip released on Friday that any anxiety the royal family might feel about the tell-all has to do with being “outshined [sic] by Meghan and Harry, and they wanted to be the shining face”.
“[William] was supposed to be the heir, and Harry is supposed to be the spare,” she said, in reference to the story behind the name of the book, a term used to refer to the younger royal son born after the heir.
The US comedian Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at the brothers’ fight with a dig at Florida – and America overall.
“Two brothers who are the result of generations of inbreeding got in a fight?” he quipped. “The only surprise to me is it didn’t happen in Florida.”
“They got into a fight after William insulted Meghan Markle,” Kimmel said, according to another excerpt. “Harry claims William called Meghan ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’ … he probably could have saved time and just said she’s American.”
In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS 60 Minutes, to be aired on Sunday, Harry said he was “probably bigoted” before he married Meghan.
When Cooper asked further, Harry said: “I don’t know. Put it this way, I didn’t see what I now see.”
The TV personality Meghan McCain suggested Americans could tire of Harry and Meghan continuing to publicly air their grievances.
“We’re set for another round,” McCain tweeted. “Thanks for giving us a few days off for the holidays, your highness.”
Harry told 60 Minutes he chose to tell his story despite wanting to be out of the limelight.
“Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife,” he said.
“There comes a point when silence is betrayal,” he added, alleging that the royal PR machine has refused to put out statements to protect him and Meghan, but did so for others in the family.
The revelations have created enough stir that bookstores have stocked up millions of copies in the US alone.