Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir hits record sales becoming the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time

In a long succession of royal biographies, no other has received as much attention as Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir, ‘Spare’. On its first day of publication today, the biography reaches record sale figures of 400,000 copies so far across hardback, ebook and audio formats, according to Penguin Random House. As public discourse surrounding its content dominates media headlines, Rutger Bruining, CEO and founder of the UK’s leading biography-writing service, StoryTerrace, comments on the vulnerabilities associated with the process of sharing one’s truth, with a detailed focus on how holding a significant space in the public’s eye can alter how personal and sensitive information is received.

In an intensely intimate attempt to offload and address the many rumours shared about his life, the Duke of Sussex opted for the medium of a memoir as a way to make peace with his past and attempt to set the record straight to the public. Bringing to the fore the intricacies and the confessional nature of memoir-writing, biography expert, Rutger Bruining, says there is value in being vulnerable through sharing your story, especially when one is of a high-brow background where maintaining control over your own narrative becomes challenging.

The practice of writing one’s memoir is rarely linear, but instead a continual process with a series of emotional hurdles along the way. Bruining has seen how thousands of people have benefited from embarking upon this journey, but comments on the added challenges that come with being in the public eye. He says:

“Based on what I’ve read so far, it really seems like Harry has gone for broke in terms of what he’s decided to reveal, without taking into consideration how this might impact his family…or rather, he’s made a conscious decision not to hold back, regardless of how his brother and others might feel. Harry clearly feels aggrieved and is using this book as his forum to tell the world what he believes is his truth.

“One would hope that anything published in a memoir (especially one as huge as Harry’s) would be accurate and not slanderous, but as I said earlier, everyone sees their life through their own unique lens. Their perspectives and interpretations of things are coloured by their own experiences and emotions. Harry has obviously written this book with a lot of emotion and perhaps repressed feelings he’s wanted to get off his chest for years. Whether or not a very public memoir is the appropriate forum for such an airing of grievances is really not for me or for any of us to decide.”