EXCLUSIVE: Prince Harry’s new memoir has made headlines across the world, however it appears to have made less of a splash in the Sussexes’ hometown.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, locals described chance encounters with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – though said these were few and far between as the private couple “may as well live in Iowa”.
Spare hit shelves on January 10, selling 1.43 million in the US, UK and Canada on the first day – but it appears to have made less of an impact where they live in California.
Mike Moore, 83, is the owner of Book Den bookshop in sandy Santa Barbara, located six miles from their town, Montecito.
He says Spare is on sale in his store for $36 (£29) – which is “sort of high” for a biography generally retailing at $28-$32.
He said: “We have it, we’ve had it since opening day. Our sales are decent with it but they’re not exceptional.”
Prince Harry’s book made waves, however laid-back Montecito seems not to have noticed.
Few residents have seen the Sussexes out and about.
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Prince Harry’s explosive memoir has been described as a “vicious piece of work” by Nile Gardiner, the former aide to Margaret Thatcher. Speaking to Dan Wootton on GB News, Nile Gardiner said: “I think the British public have turned Harry really into a pariah, as a result of this very nasty book.”
The long-time Santa Barbara resident noted how local bookstores haven’t discounted the autobiography – like Amazon or larger chain bookstores – which may have made a difference in sales.
“We did decent sales the first week or so but now it has slowed down quite a bit,” Mr Moore added.
When asked about Meghan and Harry living just down the road he said that locals “didn’t notice it much”.
“They’re in an exclusive part of town, they’ve never – to my knowledge – been seen in town. They might as well live in Iowa,” he quipped.
Meghan and Harry are raising their children in California after breaking with the Firm.
Spare sold 1.43 million copies on the first day of its release.
He also offered an indifferent tone when asked about headlines that come with the couple, saying he wished it would “die down”, though did speak fondly of Princess Diana’s “good work”.
“[My partner] saw them across the street on their bicycles resting for a minute but that’s when [Meghan] was pregnant,” long-term resident Jerry recalled.
He added that he ran into a man with a British accent with a woman who had “dark hair and dark eyes” but he couldn’t be sure it was the Duke and Duchess as they had face masks on.
Meghan and Harry live in their mansion in sleepy Montecito.
The Montecito resident of 70 years echoed Mr Moore’s comments about the Sussexes being very private, describing them as “not accessible”.
She told Express.co.uk people are coming in to buy the book in part because “people are interested in just how people in the United Kingdom live”.
Ms Sheldon has never seen the couple, despite living “less than half a mile” from their gated $14.7 million mansion.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK