The explosive revelations of Prince Harry’s “Spare” have managed to grab the entire world’s attention, both because of their controversial nature and the fact that the 33-year-old Prince is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth and third in line for the British throne. The memoir released on January 10 throws light on the trials and tribulations Harry faced in his early years, starting from his schooldays to the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and the time he served in Afghanistan.
Penguin Random House will issue this 416-page book on January 10, 2023. J. R. Moehringer contributed as the book’s ghostwriter. The book is offered in all formats, including print, eBook, and hardback. Additionally, 15 different languages have versions of it. The book casts a shadow on the seemingly ideal lifestyle of a royal. But is it worth reading? Here’s all you need to know about the memoir. Read along.
A Quick Overview of Spare
Spare, as the name implies, is the one who is left out. It is all about the royal drama and how Prince Harry is the third heir apparent. In this situation, Prince Harry is the “spare” to his older brother William’s position as heir.
The Spare Memoir is a unique yet dull book that offers readers a perspective on the life of Prince Harry. It’s an intimate portrait of someone whose birth into royalty meant a lifetime of being in the spotlight. He talks about everything, from Princess Diana to his courtship with Meghan Markle. The book seems a little too detailed from the beginning, and we cannot help but wonder if the prince is oversharing. Certain parts of the memoir are quite bizarre, and the reader is often confused about whether to laugh or cry.
The memoir, which has become the magnet of extreme polemic, is divided into three segments: his early life and the military service stories, which are a bit of a slog. Lastly, he focuses deeply on his courtship with American actress Meghan Markle.
Background of Spare
This segment begins with his life with his father and his brother, Prince William, following Princess Diana’s death. On August 31st, 1997, Prince Charles broke the news about Princess Diana to Harry. Princess Diana was divorced a year earlier and had died in a car accident in Paris. Even at the young age of 12, Prince Harry had to handle the difficult news of his mother’s death. Given the deep bond shared by the mother and sons, the news of her death was indeed a shocking blow.
Harry writes, “He was standing by the side of the bed, staring down,” when he heard of the loss that would change his life and radically alter his character. Using an unexpected analogy to describe his father’s appearance, he says his white dressing robe made him look like a ghost in a play.
The whole book rests on the word “supposedly.” For example, the statements made by Prince Charles about the day Prince Harry was born are mentioned with quotes. I must say that it’s ironic and delusory.
The book places emphasis on so many members of his family, especially King Charles. Harry mentions early on that his father used to make remarks about him not being his legitimate child.
How he was offered a smaller room in a mansion and bathed until the age of 13. Although these parts are written with what seems like the “supposed” aim of generating sympathy for the poor prince, the effect is the opposite.
To put it simply, he was subjected to an inescapable, bleakly empty, puppet-like existence as a result of his unusual upbringing and degrading position in the Royal family. That might be the gist of the segment, but it is impossible to overlook the thick frame of privilege, something that the royal is clearly oblivious to. We all prefer a self-aware royal to a cribbing royal, don’t we? While we cannot invalidate the hardships the royal might have been subjected to, the memoir would have been more relatable if he had tried to maintain a certain sensible balance.
He goes on to reveal that he flew on six missions that killed 25 Taliban members, who seemed to him more like chess pieces than humans. The callousness of the statement is unnerving and exasperating. And there are several chapters about his military recollections that have no reflection or progress in the book. (You can skip this.)
Relationship With Family
Throughout the book, he claims to have a bad memory (talk about clever disclaimers to evade blame). But he goes on to share specific details about a lot of things (apparently, Prince Harry is a man of contradictions). He brings up his family’s evil deeds and attempts to gain sympathy for being a drug addict. He overshares a lot of things, like the crushes he had in school. He justifies hating his brother. One of the most troubling aspects of Prince Harry’s book is the revelation of Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla. Although the affair was no secret, the prince’s narration adds an extra shade of bitterness.
In the third part, we learn more about how he and his wife interact. Harry and Meghan: A Royal Documentary has shown us this and more. This segment is quite similar to the show. After a month of high-profile TV appearances and a Netflix documentary, Harry and Meghan have finally spoken up about their new life in California after they stepped away from royal responsibilities in 2020. His stepmother, Camilla, and other members of the royal family, he says, leaked things to the media to boost their own reputations and were cruel to his bride, Meghan. At this point, any sane reader would be quite conflicted about taking sides. Because the memoir has managed to create an ambiguous labyrinth.
The book was more of a publicity stunt than a memoir. The book is full of claims and has a narcissistic style of telling stories. He chose to ignore the privilege he was afforded, and his bad decisions led him down a destructive path. Now he is trying to glorify his acts with his book.
In general, the memoir sounds more like the story of a spoiled brat who believes his life has been the worst it can be. In simple words, the book is quite expressive, but for all the wrong reasons.