“It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow – and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling – and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.”
Anyone that has read my blog for any length of time knows that I devour anything about the royal family. Ever since Charles and Diana got engaged when I was 7 years old, I’ve been hooked on the real-life soap opera. I have conflicting feelings about the monarchy as an adult, but still find myself eagerly devouring any information I can get my hands on about the House of Windsor. Could there be any doubt that I would pick up Spare by Prince Harry? (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible) (AbeBooks) I mean, Hello! I had a Queen Elizabeth Christmas tree this year! (Click here to get a closer look in case you missed it) I chose the audio version to get the book into my hands as soon as possible, even though the Duke of Sussex narrates it himself and I’ve always found him to be kind of a mush mouth when he speaks.
Due to the 60 Minutes interview as well as the appearance on Good Morning America, as well as leaked reports from Spain where the book was released early, I wasn’t expecting any more revelations than what I’d already heard: the he and “Willy” got into a physical fight, that he spent years thinking his mother had just orchestrated her escape from the media and would any day contact him and his brother to reunite, that he accepted Camilla because she made his father happy, but it’s clear he really doesn’t like her.
What also appears in Spare is a lengthy section of the Duke of Sussex’s time in the military and Afghanistan. I wasn’t expecting so much, then thought about it and realized it took up ten years, a quarter of his life, so why wouldn’t it take up a lot of time in the book. I generally don’t like reading about war and try to avoid it, however, this first-hand account of his time in a war for which I have done no reading was enlightening. Harry served his country with honor. I was always kind of cheesed that his grandmother took away all his military appointments when he left the royal family.
Harry talks about his PTSD surrounding his mother’s death and subsequent outpouring of grief by the whole world. I, too, was deeply affected by Princess Diana’s death, but I didn’t collectively lose my mind like so many people did. Looking back at the sea of flowers and people sobbing around Great Britain like they’d lost their own parent. And Harry addresses that. He and William had to do a walkabout and talk to people, who were showing more grief than they were, hands wet with tears, unable to put into words how much his mother meant to them.
I tried to listen closely while working, but I didn’t hear Harry call out who exactly speculated what color his children would be if he married Meghan Markle, but have always suspected it was Camilla. Harry doesn’t give glowing reviews to his step-mother, I think as a sign that he doesn’t want to piss “Pa” off irrevocably, but he clearly still holds her responsible for the break in his parents’ marriage. He tolerates her, and actually blames her for some of the leaks he says were detrimental to him and his wife while they were working members of the royal family.
Spare was definitely worth the listen if you’re a royal follower, but I didn’t come away with anymore great insights, other than what anyone with a brain already knows: Harry has suffered from PTSD for years, first, from the death of the Princess of Wales, and second, from his time as an Apache helicopter pilot during the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
When the whole Mexit thing was happening, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve always believed Harry was always looking for his own way to step away from the royal life, especially after the death of his mother. He leads with his heart, not his head, and being overly emotional in the royal family is just a big no-no. Of course he fell for Meghan, an American, who could whisk him away from the palace and start a new life with a great excuse of wanting to get away from the press. However, Harry and Meghan have learned to use the press to their advantage, as can be seen by the Oprah interview, the Netflix series, the podcasts, and the above-mentioned interviews. The overriding question is whether or not this clearing of the air, as Harry calls it, will do irreparable damage to his relationship with his brother and father. Time will tell.
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I was hoping you’d listen to this!
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