Book Review: Spare by Prince Harry

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 Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling-and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.

Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness-and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight. At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love.

Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . . For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.


As predicted, the juicy parts of this book were already covered in the media. However, they weren’t actually that juicy in the context of the entire book. Still, it wasn’t a bad read.

I see Spare as a three-parter. The first part deals with Harry’s trauma following the death of his mother. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Harry the child, and Harry the adult who is still processing the lack of support he received around this time. For me, this was the section we see him the most juxtaposition between him as a royal and as someone the same as the rest of us.

The next part follows his military career. This was the hardest part for me to read. I come from a non-military country and there were many opinions here I simple didn’t agree with.

The third part is the Meghan era, the era I’m sure most people are interested. I’m glad Harry has found someone who he seems very happy with. They have gone through a lot together, things that nobody should ever have to endure. You can see he is a good person who is trying his best to protect his family. I appreciate his honesty regarding everything re his family, however, I hope he doesn’t come to regret it all. It’s hard to know whether the best decision was to speak out or would they have been better off mouths shut, head down and carrying on with life (but not as working members of the royal family).

Harry seems like a decent man, although his reading style is monotone and there will always be a sense of privilege from him. Worth a read if you are interested, but you won’t find much new that wasn’t already reported online.

You can pick up a copy of Spare here.


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