I start this with a disclaimer – please don’t confuse this blog with a book review – to do that I’d have to obtain a copy of Harry’s book and actually read it – thereby helping support the lavish lifestyles of millionaire royals. On the other hand, was there anything in his book that wasn’t already revealed through endless media ‘leaks’ prior to the launch date and the now growing list of ‘why did he write this’ reviews?
That out of the way, if anyone needs evidence about the popularity of the British Monarchy, you could look to Ex-Prince Harry’s latest attention grab – an autobiography, reputedly ghost written, called ‘Spare’. According to news articles, it had initial sales that were compared to the peak releases of the later Harry Potter books.
So, is Harry’s life so full of heroic exploits, inspiring actions or trend setting ideas as to be worthy of our attention via a biography? Here’s a guy that’s now 38 years old and his chief claim to fame, aside from being too far down the pecking order to ever become monarch, was his decision to become a ‘non-working’ royal while reserving the right to trash most of his family in the media. According to Harry, racist comments from his royal relations and hostility from the British press made life in England for a couple in a mixed-race royal marriage intolerable. So he chose to move to that bastion of black love, America.
Unprepared for being weaned from the public dole caused a momentary panic as Harry wondered how he could possibly live on the paltry few millions left in his bank account. Hence an American debut on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which provided manna from Heaven – the bounty of royal tittle-tattle. Now this ultra-priviledged royal sadsack has gifted the world with a book devoted to his whining.
So, let’s see if I have this right.
Poor little rich royal’s beloved mummy is eaten by a pack of ravening paparazzi – an event that causes the young royal to lose his stiff upper lip and eventually, according to his book, contributed to his getting a rather different appendage on his body frozen. Benighted King Daddy To Be falls under the spell of the witch Cruella Camilla, who soon becomes his wicked step-mother. The next thing Harry knows, he’s forced to polish up the handles on the big front door at the palace – with gold toothbrushes. Awash in misery when he’s told his life can’t be a ball, the beautiful fairy Megana appears and provides him with a golden coach driven by four bodyguards turned into mice. Leaving more than a whiff of his dirty sock on the floor of the palace, they flee to America. He hopes to sells his tragic story to Hollywood – even dreaming that he will be given the starring role in the film. If it wasn’t for Jerry Lewis, the movie could be called Cinderfella.
With 1.4 million copies sold on the first day and the local library system reporting it already has well over 400 readers on its waiting list, it seems the public is addicted to things royal, especially if they’re served with a fresh dollop of gossip – juicy, jaded or otherwise.
A few blogs ago I reviewed Wayne Johnstone’s latest book, ‘The Mystery of Right and Wrong’. Johnstone is a writer of considerable talent and his book is a slightly fictionalized rendering of the sexual abuse suffered by his wife and her two sisters at the hands of their father – a serial pedophile who was also a strong suspect in the murder of a young woman who had been sexually assaulted, stangled and her body left to freeze by the roadside during a snow storm. Johnstone used this real life monster to ponder the nature and effects of evil. When you consider that such a remarkable and powerful book will likely sell a few thousand copies over its life time, it’s kind of sad to hear about the boggling book sales and massive media hype/interest in Harry’s ‘they forced me to eat vegetables’ type royal revelations.
TL:DR – Perhaps the title ‘Spare Me’ would be more appropriate.