Reading Time: 6 minutes
We delve into the heart of Prince Harry’s story as he shares his experiences growing up in the public eye, his struggles with mental health, and his relationship with his family. Keep reading to discover five fascinating insights in this memoir’s book review of Spare by Prince Harry.
Spare by Prince Harry: A Memoir Filled with Explosive Anecdotes and Intimate Confessions
This memoir by Prince Harry is a telling book that mixes incensed philippic fragments with intimate confessions, bitter diatribes with tender recollections of Prince Diana, and direct references to a frozen penis, alcohol and drugs.
Spare is an explosive text in which Prince Harry has two main objectives: one is to try to come clean with himself regarding his own story, and the other is to design an image for his new life away from the Monarchy. Part therapy and part effort on personal branding, the book is an easy and interesting read.
Prince Harry’s Struggles with Family
Filled with anecdotes, Harry presents himself as a member of a broken family and appeals to his mother’s memory to end the feud between himself, his brother, Prince William, and his father, King Charles III: “I knew how desperately she would want–no, did want–peace between her boys, and between us two and Pa.” Moments later Harry sets up the stage, explaining that the Windsors had been at each other for months.
The Press, Paparazzi, and Media Maneuvering
One aspect that runs throughout the book and as a cause for Harry’s bitterness is the press. By telling the readers how the tabloids cover and write about the royal family, Harry is acquainted with the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of paparazzi, newspapers, and the press offices of the different members of the royal family.
Why is this important? Because it is evident that Harry uses that knowledge to craft his message and put it out there. Besides, Prince Harry’s ghostwriter, J.R. Moehringer, has been a journalist and helped write Andre Agassi’s memoir, Open. This means we should not only approach the book as a candid confession from a troubled aristocrat.
Five Questions Answered after Reading Spare
Does Prince Harry work?
Yes, Prince Harry does work and has participated in various causes over the years. Although he is a member of the royal family, he has always been passionate about using his position to bring positive change to the world. Prince Harry has been involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. In addition, he has been a vocal advocate for various causes, including mental health and veterans’ advocacy.
While Prince Harry’s salary is not publicly disclosed, it is known that he and his wife, Meghan Markle, have stepped back from their duties as senior members of the royal family and are currently pursuing financial independence. Maybe that is the reason for the Netflix series and the book? It is known, however, that before leaving his official duties, Harry received 10,000,000 USD from his mother’s inheritance.
How is the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William?
The relationship between Prince Harry and his brother William is currently at a standstill. As explained in the book, the reason is that William disagrees with Harry’s new life away from the Crown. Two years older than Harry, William holds the official title of Prince of Wales and is the first in line to the British throne.
In the book, the differences between the brothers are presented from the first pages, when Harry recounts that their shared room at Balmoral, the nursery, was divided into two parts and that the more significant part was for William. Harry also says that Willy didn’t like the idea of them being considered a “package deal.” Perhaps one of the best examples of their rivalry is when Harry organizes the Invictus Games, and William, instead of congratulating him, accuses him of using funds from the Crown.
How is Prince Harry’s Mental Health?
Mental health is one of the central themes of the book. Harry recounts that in August 2013, he approached his father and said, “Pa, I’m really struggling with panic attacks and anxiety.” Another ailment the prince has suffered from is post-traumatic stress, caused by the actions he had to carry out as a soldier. Harry’s mental health began to deteriorate, as the book suggests, after the death of his mother when he was 12 years old. Another aspect that has influenced his mental health has been the perpetual persecution he has suffered at the hands of the media throughout his life.
Was Prince Harry in the military?
Almost the entire second part of Prince Harry’s book deals with Prince Harry’s military background. He is proud to recount his experiences as an active member of the British Armed Forces for over a decade. Serving in Afghanistan, he tells the reader that he has been on the frontline and witnessed war’s effects.
He narrates how his time in the military has exposed him to the challenges of post-traumatic stress and the need for adequate mental health support for veterans. His training as a helicopter pilot has also given him valuable skills that he has been able to utilize in his philanthropic work, such as supporting disaster relief efforts across the globe.
Harry talks about the number of enemy combatants he has killed: “So, my number: Twenty-five. It wasn’t a number that gave me any satisfaction. But neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed”.
What is the connection between Prince Harry and Africa?
Prince Harry’s love for Africa is evident throughout the book. Since his first trip to South Africa with his father, he gets excited every time he talks about his deep connection with the continent, where he has spent significant time over the years. His travels have taken him to several African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, and Lesotho, to name a few.
During his trips, he has been involved in several charitable initiatives, including conservation efforts, wildlife protection, and HIV/AIDS awareness. His passion for Africa is shared by his wife, Meghan Markle, who has accompanied him on some of his trips to the continent. It was during a trip to Botswana that the couple fell in love.
Prince Harry has described Africa as his “second home,” and it’s clear that the continent holds a special place in his heart. In the book, Prince Harry emphasizes the impact his trips to Africa have had on his life, describing how they have given him a different perspective on the world and helped him appreciate life’s beauty.
Meghan Markle and Racism
Now, we cannot ignore Meghan Markle, Harry’s wife. According to his narrative, Harry discovered that Meghan was the one during a trip to Botswana: “She’s perfect, she’s perfect, she’s perfect,” he writes at some point.
Despite the remarkable connection between Harry and Markel, there was a cold distance between her and some members of the royal family due to her mixed racial background: her father is white while her mother is African American. Harry talks about racism in the third section of the book, where he states that he wasn’t ready for the “vulgar, in-your-face racism” employed by the media to talk about their relationship.
The Netflix Series and Prince Harry’s Memoir: An Orchestrated Effort or Genuine Storytelling?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to produce a Netflix series and publish a memoir around the same time has caused some to question the authenticity of their storytelling. One thing both products share, for instance, is the messaging alignment between Harry and Meghan regarding breaking free from the British Royal family and how they work together to present the couple’s narrative.
That is why we need to read the book against the backdrop of the Netflix series Harry and Meghan. In general, the tone and the information provided by both products are almost the same. As a result, the series and the book constitute an orchestrated public relations effort by the couple in what looks like a perfect example of cascade branding.
In conclusion, Prince Harry’s book is a powerful and personal memoir that gives readers a unique look into the life of a royal family member. Through his honest stories, Harry gives us a front-row seat to his struggles with his mental health, his relationship with his family, and his new life away from the British Crown.
As a reviewer, I liked how engaging and conversational this book was because it provides valuable insights into the world of royalty.