I’ll kick off my review of Spare by saying that I am not well versed in the British Royals. I am not educated in British history, I rarely open the tabloids, and I’ve never watched the Crown. So my take on this topic will be solely based on this book and from watching a couple episodes of the Netflix documentary. Which leads me to my next point. As I was reading Prince Harry’s book, I wondered if readers are getting the full story. With one side comes another. He said she said. After all, the royal family refuses to directly address anything with a splash of controversy. So I have no clue on the accuracy of this narrative. Nevertheless, I was on the edge of my seat the whole story through.
In the introduction, Harry insinuates that this entire book will be about how he was wronged by his family. While he does drop some major truth bombs, in my opinion, 75% of this book is actually a memoir.
Right away, it is evident that Prince Harry had a very unique childhood. Besides the obvious fact that he grew up as a royal, his childhood differed from most when he lost his mother at the age of 10. His grieving process was on display for the world as he coped with real loss. He holds nothing back as he recaps moments with the British press and the abuse of their tactics. How he felt that he could never properly grieve in private. This part of the book stood out to me as we learn what really planted the seed of his departure. Most assume it started when he met Meghan, but I personally think it started much much earlier.
In addition, Harry weaves in moments of humor and shares quirky stories about his upbringing. Right away I wondered, Wow, is Prince Harry… funny? I concur. For someone with a tough past, his writing demeanor doesn’t hint at any pain. I enjoyed his dad jokes and his “tell it like it is” approach.
Harry also shares a lot about his trips to Africa and his time served in the military. It seems that both offered escapes from the media and constant reminders of his mother. He stresses how hard it was being a teenager with nowhere to hide. Like most young adults, Harry caused some trouble and liked to party. Except everything he did was printed on the cover of a magazine. So having these passion projects and duties fulfilled him. He mentions several times he is the “Spare to the Heir” and I think serving others was how he found purpose.
The remaining quarter of Spare is about Meghan. How they met, how they survived the media, and what ultimately led to their exit from the Royal Family. If you’re wondering whether there is overlap with Meghan and Harry, I can conclude that there is minimal. But it is certainly not a retelling. With how atrociously racist people were to Meghan, I understand the necessity to repeat how wrong these situations played out. So if you watched the show and are ready to dive into this book, I say go for it. Prince Harry is definitely spilling the tea in the final chapters.
If there is one recurring theme in Spare, I say it’s the media. It’s obvious the Royals have a love/hate relationship with the press. They’re constantly scheming about what they will disclose to the public. Their drama is petty as hell and I’m shocked at the lack of unity this family posseses. It’s all a game and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to tap out. Whether we believe his stories or not, Prince Harry sure gives us a lot to think about.