Prince Harry hits out at press over reports of Afghan killings in book


LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) Britain’s Prince Harry has hit back at “hurtful” responses to his record-selling memoir, saying he was particularly upset by the “lie” he had boasted that he had killed 25 people in Afghanistan when serving as a military helicopter pilot.

In his book “Spare”, King Charles’s younger son recounts his two tours of Afghanistan, first as a forward air controller in 2007/08 and again in 2012, when he was a co-pilot gunner in Apache attack helicopters, and the number of people he had killed.

British newspapers, heavily criticized in the book, and some senior former British military figures have attacked his decision to make public the figure of those he had killed, saying it could put him and others at risk of reprisals.

“Without doubt the most dangerous lie that they have told is that I somehow boasted about the number of people that I killed in Afghanistan,” he said.

“I made a choice to share it because having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and be able to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame.”

On Tuesday, the publisher of Harry’s book said it had become the UK’s fastest selling non-fiction book ever and its intimate personal revelations about his life and other royals, and his accusations about how they had worked with a hostile press, have dominated the British media for days. The English version of Spare sold over 1.43 million copies on its first day of release in all formats and editions in the US, Canada and the UK.

“I’m not going to lie. The last few days have been hurtful and challenging,” said Harry.

Moreover, orders for the French edition of Prince Harry’s memoir have surged, prompting Paris-based publisher Fayard to print an additional 130,000 copies just two days after the book’s release, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

“This is in addition to his 210,000 copies originally printed,” said a spokesperson, adding that more may be printed depending on the order.

A spokesman said the new order for “Le Saprian,” the French translation of “Spare,” is from Volume 1 of the memoirs of former US President Barack Obama, a global blockbuster released in 2020. 20% more at the moment. In the book, Harry reveals that he asked his father not to marry his second wife, Camilla (now Queen). defeated him during a heated argument.

International publisher Penguin Random House earlier this week said the memoir had the highest first day sales of any non-fiction book ever published, with more than 1.4 million copies sold in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Britain’s Prince Charles and Prince William made their first public appearance since their book was published on Thursday. They never publicly mentioned the saga. A spokesperson for Munich’s Penguin Random House said it has also started printing additional German editions on publication day.