Spare by Prince Harry was one of the most sought after books in early 2023, and rightly so, given his status as a UK royal, and the centre of much recent royal controversy.
His biography is very revealing, and there’s just as much to be said about what he did say, as what he didn’t say.
I guess I should begin with my impression of Prince Harry before reading his book. I didn’t really know a lot about him, and I’m not an ardent royalist, but I found him very likeable and charming.
I will also add that although I believe the remarks made by Harry and Meghan, you’ve to admit that Harry should have known that the press, rightly or wrongly, would take that as describing the royal family as racist.
Anyway, to the book. I continued to find Prince Harry likeable and endearing. He has principles and ideals, is loyal and patriotic, and generally strives to do what’s for the best.
As a prince, Harry got to travel the world, and one of my main thoughts as I read this book was that Harry seemed to have more adventures than Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn put together!
The book captures everything in his life from school through to present day. In particular, it talks about the passing of his mother, the much loved Princess Diana.
Harry found the sudden death difficult to believe and seemed to drift through his early life hoping that it was a roux, and that she’d simply gone into hiding somewhere. He couldn’t accept that she had gone.
He ought to have received grief counselling from the get-go, but he struggled to find a therapist who understood that he wasn’t ready to let go of the pain, which didn’t happen until well over a decade after the passing.
He admits that he struggled in school, but for anything endeavour that truly mattered to him, he really applied himself. He worked in the army, and his experience there was all laid out in the book.
He took direction very well and got frustrated whenever he wasn’t able to help out as much as he wanted to.
His being in the army was seen as a great boon for recruitment in the Queen’s forces, but he was also one of their greatest liabilities. Not because of his performance, I hasten to add, but rather because he was seen as such a valuable target to the enemy. He really hated this, he was desperate to go out there and do what he’d trained to do.
He disclosed a lot about the royal family that may come as a shock to many. The main one being the physical altercation with his brother.
It was also very revealing in terms of the royal family’s courtiers and advisers, and the power they seem to wield over the members of the royal family. Harry himself, despite all the other revelations in the book, fails to identify them by name, referring to them by insider nicknames such as “bee” and “wasp”. He even describes how some of them are treated better than Harry.
There was a long section dedicated to the love of his life, as you may imagine. And this may be a main draw for the book for some people.
Anyway, back to Diana. Since Harry was in such disbelief about his mother’s death, you’d think he may have mentioned looking to conspiracy theories about this, but he makes no mention of this whatsoever.
Instead, it couldn’t be clearer that he held the British press responsible for his mother’s death. And he also blames them for a lot of other things besides, such as the difficulties he’s had in his relationships, and in particular how royal correspondents contributed to Meghan’s suicidal feelings.
And while Meghan may be a lot happier now than she once was, it is clear that Harry has the distinct impression that his family have not fully taken on board all the suffering that Meghan has gone through.
I feel that Harry’s words are true and genuine, which is why it saddens me to learn that when Prince William swore, on their mother’s life, that he loves Harry, Harry just didn’t buy it. And that’s the real blow.
My opinion of Prince Harry now that I’ve read the entire book, is still very positive on the whole…
However, I also feel that there were too many references to drug taking. I don’t so much object to royals taking drugs as much as taking objection to his glamourising of it, making it sound like it’s a good idea to take all kinds of drugs and not worry about the consequences.
What’s more, it also seems like Meghan knew all about it, and if she did object to it, there’s no mention of it in the book. Which is just as bad.
From reading the book, I conclude that Prince Harry is not perfect but is generally well intentioned.
It is my hope that King Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Princess Kate, can learn from this expose and show the compassion that Harry and Meghan deserve, and make amends for the wrong-doing of their offices.
Harry certainly picked a good ghost writer for his biography, it is well written. And although the book comes to more than 400 pages long, most of the individual chapters are only three pages long. And this helps make it a quick book to read.
Whether you’re a royalist, anti-royalist, journalist, truth seeker, or are just nosy when it comes to celebrities, this book is a good read, and really shows the depth of feeling concerning what Prince Harry, and to a lesser extent, Meghan, have gone through.