People are pointing out the inconsistencies in Harry's book

  • Prince Harry's new memoir Spare has been heavily scrutinised since its release this week

  • From where he was when he found out the Queen Mother had died, to whether he really shopped at TK Maxx, people have been quick to point out any mistakes they appear to have found

  • Harry has made it clear one of his intentions in writing the book was that he wanted telling his own version of his life

  • Read more below to find out what claims have been questioned

Copies of
Spare sold 1.4 million copies in the U.S., U.K. and Canada on its first day of sales. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry's record-breaking new memoir Spare has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its release last week.

Harry has said the book is his version of his life story and that he wants people to know who he is in his own words, particularly in relation to what he has described as the "toxic" relationship between the press and royal family.

But as the memoir is picked through with a fine-toothed comb, some have pointed out apparent inconsistencies in his memory.

Harry reiterates many times in Spare that his memories are fallible and yet to him it is significant to share them through the book because it is his "truth".

"Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts. Things like chronology and cause-and-effect are often just fables we tell ourselves about the past."

And while some of them are not exactly earth-shattering, the problem facing Harry is that anything he says that is inaccurate can potentially tarnish how readers of his book view the rest of what he has written

Yahoo News UK has picked through some of his claims.


Sunday January 8th at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX 

Pictured: (l-r) Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex interviewed by Tom Bradby in California.

ITV will show an exclusive interview with Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, next Sunday in which he will talk in-depth to Tom Bradby, journalist and ITV News at Ten presenter, covering a range of subjects including his personal relationships, never-before-heard details surrounding the death of his mother, Diana, and a look ahead at his future. 

The 90 minute programme, produced by ITN Productions for ITV, will be broadcast two days before Prince Harry’s autobiography ‘Spare’ is published on 10 January, by Transworld.

The book has been billed by publisher Penguin Random House as “a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief”.

Filmed in California, where Harry now lives, Harry: The Interview, sees the Prince go into unprecedented depth and detail on life in and out of the Royal Family.

Speaking to Tom Bradby, who he has known for more than 20 years, Prince Harry shares his personal story, in his own words.

Michael Jermey, ITV Director of News and Current Affairs, said: “It is extremely rare for a member of the Royal Family to speak so openly about their experience at the heart of the institution. 

“Tom Bradby’s interview with Prince Harry will be a programme that everyone with an informed opinion on the monarchy should want to watch.
Prince Harry undertook a series of promotional interview for Spare, including one with ITV's Tom Bradby. (Getty Images)

For instance, the duke described an incident in which Meghan booked a flight for her father Thomas, to allow him to escape press intrusion in his Mexican home. Harry recalled the flight being booked with Air New Zealand in first class, but the airline has confirmed they don't operate flights between Mexico and the UK, or have first class seats on their planes.

Another was pointed out by royal commentator Dickie Arbiter, who once worked as a press secretary for the Queen.

Spare sees Harry discuss in one passage a Daily Mail article about Meghan and Harry's exit from royal life in 2020, in which the headline read that the couple "should expect 'no mercy'" and that it was "insult" they no longer wanted to remain working royals.

"Make no mistake, it’s an insult," cried the Daily Mail, which convened a "Fleet Street jury" to consider our "crimes". Among them was the Queen’s ex-press secretary, who concluded, with his fellow jurors, that we should hereafter “expect no mercy”, Harry wrote.

"I shook my head. No mercy. The language of war? Clearly this was more than simple anger. These men and women saw me as an existential threat. If our leaving posed a threat to the monarchy, as some were saying, then it posed a threat to all those covering the monarchy for a living."

CIRENCESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01:  Dickie Arbiter, Press Secretary For The Prince And Princess Of Wales, Talks With Journalists And Tv Crews At Cirencester Hospital After Prince Charles Sustained A Polo Injury.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Dickie Arbiter worked in communications for the palace from 1988-2000 and has since worked prolifically as a royal commentor. (Getty Images)

Arbiter complained on Twitter about this passage because while he was quoted saying their exit was an "insult" to the Queen in the article in question, it was Trevor Philips of The Times who said the couple should see "no mercy".

"What are [Penguin Random House] going to do about correcting this allegation against me - I never said anything of the sort. How about a public apology pdq?" Arbiter wrote.

However, the phrase "with this fellow jurors" clearly indicates that Harry was referring to the message of the article as a whole, and that he was not singling out Arbiter.

Retailer TK Maxx have also joined the fray, and pointed out that Harry was inaccurate in saying that he enjoyed shopping their "once-a-year sale", and instead they have discounts "year round".

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. The 100th birthday of the RAF, which was founded on on 1 April 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new Queen's Colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Harry's fraught relationship with his elder brother William features heavily in Spare. (Getty Images)

"Whilst we're delighted Prince Harry is a big fan, we thought we should explain we don't actually do sales. Instead, we offer great value, style, and savings all year round," the retailer told The Express.

Yahoo UK's executive royal editor — Omid Scobie — noted this was incorrect on Twitter, sharing promotional images of the retailers regular summer clearance sale.

Harry also incorrectly claimed that he was at Eton when he got the news that his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother had died in 2002. However, he was in Klosters, Switzerland on a skiing trip with his father and brother when he found out.

The duke also recalled the outfit Meghan wore for their first date at Soho House, which is at odds with Meghan's own earlier admission.

Harry described her as wearing "a black sweater, jeans, heels", but Meghan has previously said that she wore a blue dress on their first date, a segment of which was later sewn into her wedding dress as her "something blue".

Another inaccuracy that has been pointed out was that his mother, Diana, bought him an Xbox in 1997, four years before the game console was released.

However, the full extract of the passage reads: "It was an Xbox. I was pleased. I loved video games. That’s the story, anyway. It’s appeared in many accounts of my life, as gospel, and I have no idea if it’s true."

Harry goes on to directly address the difficulties he has had with his memory — something that is can occur after a traumatic event, or when someone is suffering from anxiety and depression.

(L to R) The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales, 06 September. Hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Central London to watch the funeral procession. The Princess died last week in a car crash in Paris. (Photo credit should read JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry was only 12 years old when his mother Diana died, and has said many of his early memories feel as though they are behind an "unscalable" wall. (Getty Images)

"Pa said Mummy hurt her head, but perhaps I was the one with brain damage?" the section continued. "As a defence mechanism, most likely, my memory was no longer recording things quite as it once did."

The Duke of Sussex also noted in Spare that many memories he has of his mother lie behind an "unscalable" wall.

"Alas, the memory lies, with a million others, on the other side of a high mental wall. Such a horrid, tantalizing feeling, to know they’re over there, just on the other side, mere inches away – but the wall is always too high, too thick. Unscalable."

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