Prince Harry's Spare has become fastest-selling non-fiction book ever

Publishers claim Prince Harry’s scathing memoir Spare has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever after selling 750,000 copies in the UK

  • Figures from Nielsen BookData showed it sold 467,183 print copies in first week
  • Spare is the only non-fiction book to make it into the top 10 fastest-selling books
  • JK Rowling has dominated the chart, with four Harry Potter novels sitting at top

Prince Harry’s scathing memoir has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began in 1998.

The Duke of Sussex’s headline-grabbing autobiography has sold 750,000 copies across all formats – hardback, audio and e-book – in the UK since its publication on January 10.

This makes it the biggest selling memoir ever in its first week of publication, according to publishers Transworld, the UK division of Penguin Random House.

Official figures from Nielsen BookData showed the book, which was written with celebrity ghostwriter JR Moehringer, sold 467,183 print copies in its first week.

Prince Harry’s scathing memoir has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began in 1998. Pictured: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Prince Harry

It has sold 750,000 copies across all formats – hardback, audio and e-book – in the UK since its publication on January 10

The memoir includes claims that the Prince of Wales physically attacked him and teased him about his panic attacks, and that the King put his own interests above Harry’s and was jealous of the Duchess of Sussex and the Princess of Wales.

The data released by Nielsen shows that the book has broken the previous record of 210,506 set by the first Pinch Of Nom cookbook – written by Kay Allinson – in 2019.

Fastest-selling books in the UK since January 1998

Source: Nielsen BookData 

The Nielsen BookData does not include e-books or audiobooks and refers only to the sale of physical copies.

Spare is the only non-fiction book to make it into the top 10 fastest-selling books in the UK since records began.

Since January 1998 JK Rowling has dominated the chart, with four of her Harry Potter novels sitting at the top, while Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol claims the fifth spot ahead of Spare at number six.

To claim number one on the chart, which looks at the first week of sales only, Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows sold 2.63million copies in its first week in 2007.

Despite the memoir hitting shelves in Spain ahead of the official publication date, and a number of extracts leaking in the lead-up to the book’s UK release, Nielsen’s data suggest sales were not negatively affected.

In a US broadcast promoting the work, Harry branded the Duchess of Cornwall the ‘villain’ and ‘dangerous’, accusing her of rehabilitating her image at the expense of his.

As the duke continued a run of high-profile promotional interviews, he said he ‘would like nothing more’ than for his children to have relationships with the royal family.

His remarks about his son and daughter came despite the criticism he has levelled at his brother William, father Charles and stepmother Camilla.

He also described his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, as his ‘guardian angel’ and said she is with him ‘all the time’.

It comes as a slim majority of Britons believe Prince Harry has done more damage to the Royal Family than Andrew.

Most Britons think Harry has done more damage to the Royal Family than Harry but their opinions differ dramatically by age – according to a new survey 

The survey by Delta Poll found 42 per cent of respondents named the Duke of Sussex compared to 41 per cent for his uncle, the Duke of York. 

For over-65s the corresponding figures were 56% to 32%, and 57% to 27% for those aged 55 to 64. 

But younger generations took the opposite view, with half of people aged 35 to 54 saying Andrew had caused more damage compared to 35% for Harry. For 18 to 24-year-olds the breakdown was 38% to 22%.

The survey was based on a sample of just over 1,000 UK adults polled between January 12 and 16. 

Harry, 38, has dominated the headlines in recent weeks after personally attacking his family in his autobiography, Spare, and a string of promotional interviews. 

He also became the first royal to publicly criticise Andrew, 62, labelling the Jeffrey Epstein affair ‘a shameful scandal’.

No one in ‘The Firm’ had spoken about claims the Duke of York twice sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she was trafficked by Epstein.

Harry, 38, has dominated the headlines in recent weeks after personally attacking his family in his autobiography, Spare, and a string of promotional interviews 

The Duke of York has been accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she was trafficked by Epstein. He has vigorously denied the claims

Andrew settled her lawsuit last year, accepting no liability, and has always denied any wrongdoing. But Harry brings up the affair in his book Spare.

When his wife Meghan asks if the Royal Family might cut their security after they left for America, he says there is ‘no way’, considering his uncle still gets protection.

Harry told her there was an ‘obligation’ and an ‘implicit promise’ to protect them. 

Pushed by Meghan if it would ever be removed, he said: ‘Never. Not in this climate of hate. And not after what happened to my mother.’

The Duke of Sussex adds: ‘Also, not in the wake of my Uncle Andrew.

‘Despite being embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of sexually assaulting a young girl, no one had even suggested removing his security.

‘People have had plenty of reasons to complain about us, sex crimes weren’t one of them.’

Today’s poll follows a YouGov survey which found Harry’s favourability has dropped to an all-time low, while Princess Anne is now the most popular royal  

Prince Andrew has always denied the accusation.  

Today’s poll follows a YouGov survey which found Harry’s favourability has dropped to an all-time low, while Princess Anne is now the most popular royal. 

The YouGov survey found almost seven in ten people (68 per cent) held a negative view of the Duke of Sussex, with less than a quarter seeing him in a positive light.

Anne, who has not been embroiled in the furore over Harry’s book Spare, was the most popular royal.

Harry recorded his lowest ever favourability rating of -44, down from -38 the previous week, according to the polling organisation. 

He and his wife Meghan fared even worse among older Brits, who were more likely to hold a ‘very negative’ view of the couple than they were of scandal-hit Andrew.


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