A charity boss queued outside WHSmith since midnight to buy a copy of Prince Harry’s book because he was “extremely curious” to find out why the royal left “the country he loved”.
Professor Chris Imafidon arrived at London Victoria station at 9.30pm last night before leading the queue at midnight. He bought three copies because he wants to hear the story “from (the) horse’s mouth”.
The book, called Spare, contains a flood of bombshell revelations and private details about Harry’s life and family.
Public opinion around Harry, 38, is said to have declined since snippets of the book emerged last week.
But Prof Imafidon, chairman of the Excellence in Education charity, wanted to discover “why the young man would leave the country he loved”.
The shopper, from Epping, Essex, said: “I really want to know from (the) horse’s mouth.
“I really want to know why the young man would leave the country he loved, he lived in and was ready to die for, because he went to war.”
Prof Imafidon, though, conceded he was “dazed” by reports of how much detail the duke has gone into about private family moments.
He added: “Why? Why? You don’t need that to sell. You would sell a book if you’re Diana’s hat or Diana’s dog or Diana’s… if you’re linked to Diana you will still sell. Why would you go to that distance?
“The royal family have done more work for me and my charity than any political office holder.”
Versions of the memoirs were leaked in the US last week, where media reaction has largely been negative.
One publication called the book a “whine tour” while another said it was the “final nail in the coffin” for his relationship with the royal family.
Nevertheless, Sasha Pursell, 27, also queued for the book outside the WHSmith at Victoria Station. The bartender, who has moved to London from Melbourne, Australia, said: “I’m just intrigued. I’ve heard so much press about the book and it’s also just a bit exciting – I’ve never been to a midnight release.
“I just thought: ‘You know what, I’ve just finished work. It will be a bit of fun to go over and buy the book that I want to read.”
Asked about the criticism surrounding the book, she said: “Yes it can be seen as a betrayal to the royal family but at the same time, I feel like a lot of lies have been spewed about him.
“It can go both ways. I don’t think either party is in the right or the wrong.”
Sarah Nakana, 46, a surveyor from Dulwich, south London, said she had already downloaded the audiobook as she picked up a copy, saying she wanted to try to “get ahead of the British press and their narratives”.
“It will just be the public getting whipped into a frenzy of anti-Harry and Meghan-ness because that’s what sells – hate sells – they’re monetising hate,” she said.
“I was just like: ‘No I just need to cut the noise here, read it and be like: ‘Fine, I can move on now.”‘