March 22, 2023
The media got Prince Harry's memoir wrong - here's the real truth about 'Spare'

The media got Prince Harry’s memoir wrong – here’s the real truth about ‘Spare’

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir is called ‘Spare’. (Ramona Rosales / Penguin Random House)

For a word frequently used to describe Prince Harry by the British royal family and media since his birth 38 years ago, it’s ironic that the same two groups were most outraged by the Duke of Sussex’s decision to name his next SPARE memories.

‘Royal sources’ (i.e. anonymous palace aides), media pundits and newspapers wasted no time in sharing their breathless outrage after publisher Penguin Random House revealed the tome’s title, steel-faced cover, and January 10 release date. “Malevolent”, “cruel”, “playing the victim again” and, what a surprise, “everything Meghan does”, were just some of the angry reactions.

Of course, calling the book SPARE — a decision Prince Harry made early in the process — shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise. It’s a hard-hitting choice, but for a word that has followed the prince like a shadow, being the stand-in was one of the most defining aspects of his royal existence. Relying on the derogatory nickname for a title, Harry finally owns the term after a lifetime of calling it.

For the family business, Harry’s position as heir in reserve saw him take on the obligatory role of act of royal support at an early age. With no real defined job, The Firm needed one thing most of all from him: to support his most important older brother, Prince William. It’s a bizarre and somewhat cruel existence – the result of a system based on hereditary privilege. And in many cases, it is also a curse. Princess Margaret’s life as the Queen’s substitute was riddled with drug and alcohol addiction, and Prince Andrew’s life…well, the less said about it the better.

DUBBO, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day autumn tour of cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.  (Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan pictured in Australia in 2017 before stepping down from the Royal Family. (Getty Pictures)

A spare also serves a purpose rarely recognized by a royal or palace official – the resident scapegoat to protect the Crown and higher-ranking family members. Collateral damage when blame or distraction is needed. For those who have followed the royal beat quite closely, the coincident timing of certain Harry reveals or stories has already highlighted this. It will be interesting to see how SPARE – which does not shy away from this specific burden – describes these moments.

So far, only the smallest official details about the 416-page book have been released by the publisher. They describe SPARE as a title written with “raw, unflinching honesty,” a book filled with “insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-earned wisdom.” I would expect nothing less from the prolific ghostwriter JR Moehringer, who is famous for encouraging his subjects to turn on the lights in the darkest parts of their history.

Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) with her sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria, March 30, 1993. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Dealing with the grief of losing a parent will be covered by Harry. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Among those who have already seen the manuscript of the book, Harry’s journey as a replacement, as well as this difficult decision to change his fate and start a new life elsewhere, constitute important parts of the book. Filled with the prince’s characteristic sassiness, these memoirs also tell a surprisingly relatable life story. Of course, its opulent royal backdrop is far beyond a world any of us will ever know, but the themes explored in SPARE should resonate with readers of all backgrounds.

Coping with grief and the tragic loss of a parent, struggles to accept each other, sibling rivalry, and falling in love with someone your family doesn’t accept are part of the Duke’s very human story.

Although overlooked in coverage, SPARE devotes its larger sections to other key elements of the Duke’s life. Readers will hear moving anecdotes from the front lines of Afghanistan and his time in the military, as well as honest insights into Harry’s quest for purpose and why he chose to commit to a life of service. . A spokesperson for the book – which will be released a month after the release of the Sussexes’ upcoming Netflix docuseries – adds that the intimate memoir “will also share the joy he found in being husband and father”.

Britain's Prince Harry sits on his cot January 02, 2008, in his accommodation at FOB Delhi (forward operating base), in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.  Prince Harry, the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, fought the Taliban on the front line in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense in London said on Thursday.  The 23-year-old, an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment, has spent the past 10 weeks secretly serving in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where most British troops are based.  AFP PHOTO/John Stillwell/PA POOL (Photo by JOHN STILLWELL/POOL/AFP) (Photo by JOHN STILLWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Harry will cover his time in Afghanistan in the book. (Getty)

For all the tabloid reports of Harry supposedly “trashing” his family (spoiler alert: he doesn’t), the book actually offers a more sympathetic look at the realities of their nearly impossible existence. Nor were there any last-minute rewrites or edits after the Queen’s death. The SPARE manuscript was completed nearly five months before the monarch’s death, a detail that will be acknowledged in a note at the beginning of the book.

No matter how carefully Harry shares the parts of his story involving other people, there is always a very real risk of serious backlash from the institution and the family. Palace aides recently told me of the “genuine fear” among senior staff that this book is causing irrevocable damage to reputations and relationships. But, for Harry, the larger intent of SPARE seems to make the risk worth it. “My hope is that by telling my story – the ups and downs, the mistakes, the lessons learned – I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think,” did he declare.

Hundreds of journalists, myself included, have written versions and fragments of the Duke’s story over the years. It’s a story that as a working member of the royal family, he has long been unable to tell himself. Now, having created an independent life for himself far from the confines of the royal institution, Harry finally has the chance to put some often inaccurate records straight. Freedom of speech. And no matter what you think of the man, it’s hard not to agree that he should be entitled to that.

Prince Harry's book will be released on January 10.  (Random house)

Prince Harry’s book will be released on January 10. (Random house)

#media #Prince #Harrys #memoir #wrong #heres #real #truth #Spare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *