Prince Harry is telling his side of the story, and people are certainly keen to read it.
The British royal’s memoir, Spare, has flown off the shelves, selling more than 1.4 million copies upon its publication date in the US, Canada and the UK on Tuesday. Publisher Penguin Random House says the much-anticipated tome has set the record for the largest first-day sales total of any nonfiction book it has ever released.
The figure includes preorders, print and digital copies as well as audiobooks, according to the company. Penguin Random House had printed 2 million hardcover copies of the memoir for the US market, and the brand has now decided to produce even more editions to meet the high demand.
And that existing demand only skyrocketed after copies of Prince Harry’s book mistakenly went on sale in Spain last week, and the contents were subsequently leaked to a British newspaper. The memoir has since been part of a whirlwind of discussions on social media, with talks circling around the Duke of Sussex’s strained relationship with his brother, Prince William, and the treatment Harry received once he introduced his wife, Meghan Markle, to the British royal family. Harry has also documented his anguish toward the British media regarding its treatment of Meghan, in addition to the damage he saw it do to his mother, Princess Diana.
Barnes & Noble expects the book to be one of the biggest releases of 2023, crediting those unveiled excerpts for generating so much buzz. “The leaking of extracts has only heightened the frenzy,” Shannon DeVito, the retailer’s director of books, told The Wall Street Journal. The memoir is currently ranked No. 1 on the bestseller list for Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s online sales.
The memoir is the latest installment in the public, tension-filled saga between the Duke of Sussex and the British royal family. Harry and Meghan, who decided to step away from their royal duties in 2020, have aired their grievances in a 2021 Oprah interview and their 2022 Netflix documentary, which invited viewers into the couple’s relationship amid the monarchy. The series became one of the top 10 shows on the streaming platform the week it was released and has since garnered over 80 million views. Harry’s recent revealing 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, meanwhile, raked up an impressive 11.2 million viewers—the best this season, according to CBS.