Bert's Books, an independent bookstore in Swindon, England went viral for a hilariously shady window display for the new memoir by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
Spare was a highly anticipated release because of the many personal revelations within its pages, many of them regarding Prince Harry's courtship and marriage to actor Meghan Markle and the couple's subsequent stepping back from their royal roles.
The bookstore decided to place copies of Spare—which has received mixed reviews from critics—alongside Bella Mackie’s novel How to Kill Your Family, which follows a woman's account of her decision to murder her entire family and claim their fortune.
The bookstore accompanied a photograph of the display with the following caption:
"Anyway, we do have some spare copies of Spare if you want one."
You can see the bookstore's tweet below.
\u201cAnyway, we do have some spare copies of Spare if you want one\u201d— Bert\u2019s Books (@Bert\u2019s Books) 1673340549
After publishing the cheeky tweet, the bookstore noted it did indeed have spare copies of Spare and encouraged its followers to order some.
\u201cSeriously, we had to buy then in a box of 12 to fulfil a couple of pre-orders, so if you do want a copy, you can order it here\n\nhttps://t.co/rJiX3yvhaG\u201d— Bert\u2019s Books (@Bert\u2019s Books) 1673340549
Many thought the bookstore's display was hilarious.
\u201cThe bookstore owner has a great sense of humor. \ud83d\ude02\u201d— Langley2\ud83d\ude37 (@Langley2\ud83d\ude37) 1673418160
\u201cThe genius that is @bertsbooks.\nThis deserves to go viral!!!\nPlus... you can order from Bert's, so check it out.\nIf you fancy, of course.\u201d— Black Country Book Girl (@Black Country Book Girl) 1673386703
\u201cBrilliant placement!!! \ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffb\ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffb\u201d— HarrysGreySuit (@HarrysGreySuit) 1673378446
\u201cThis is why I want my own bookshop. I'd have so much fun!\u201d— Bruges Briscoe (@Bruges Briscoe) 1673366077
\u201cA very british sense of humour and irony \ud83e\udd23\ud83d\udc47\ud83c\udffc\u201d— \u05d3\u05d5\u05d3 David Preiss (@\u05d3\u05d5\u05d3 David Preiss) 1673366163
\u201cThis window display is GENIUS!\u201d— Paul Burston \ud83d\udcda\ud83c\udfa9\u26a1\ufe0f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Paul Burston \ud83d\udcda\ud83c\udfa9\u26a1\ufe0f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1673385831
Alex Call, the owner of Bert's Books, said How to Kill Your Family was already on display in the shop window because it was the shop's bestselling book of 2022, adding he and the staff "thought it would be quite funny to put it next to Spare and would be quite light-hearted and make a few people smile.”
Call also used the shop's Twitter account to address those who "have projected some very different meanings" onto the picture of the shop display.
He said he doesn't "really have strong opinions" on Prince Harry, his memoir, or the royal family despite comments from people who've suggested the display is a sign he supports Harry and others who've said otherwise.
\u201cIt's been interesting today how people have projected some very different meanings onto this picture.\n\nSome have thought I'm supporting Harry, others think I'm doing the opposite. \n\nI don't really have strong opinions either way, tbh.\u201d— Bert\u2019s Books (@Bert\u2019s Books) 1673366910
The romance between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has long been the subject of heated debate in the United Kingdom, especially since the two decided to step down as senior members of the royal family and move to Markle's native Southern California.
Markle—who spoke openly about the racism and microaggressions she experienced as a mixed-race British royal during a much publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021—says she wasn't "treated as a Black woman" until she started dating the prince.
Prince Harry has addressed the controversy in his book and written at length about his relationship with his brother William, Prince of Wales and his father, King Charles III; as well as his reaction to the death of his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Spare has been the subject of multiple polarizing reviews, including one by the BBC's Sean Coughlan, who specializes in coverage of the royal family and referred to the book as "the longest angry drunk text ever sent."