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Prince Harry Sets the Record Straight in his memoir, ‘Spare’

Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ could be many things if you just take the word of any tabloid or recent pop culture headline: Scathing; a full-throated rebuke of the royals still at court; another heap of media fodder to expand upon the already near decade long shelf life of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s tumultuous relationship with the spotlight, AND the royal court.  

However, Spare, in Harry’s own words, is more of a chance to finally control his own narrative.  Despite his railing against the media for its constant jockeying for a peek into his private life (remarking once, in an interview, “The level of planting and leaking from other members of the family means that in my mind they have written countless books—certainly, millions of words have been dedicated to trying to trash my wife and myself to the point of where I had to leave my country…”) Prince Harry takes us further into his life than any journalist has ever been.  Haunting and embarrassing personal stories about coming of age; the lost details surrounding the death of his mother, Princess Diana; the unflattering characterizations of his brother, his brother’s wife, and King Charles; etc.  

One reviewer describes the memoir as “unflinching,”; and this may be the only other one-word adjective that could compete with the title.  

Together with ghostwriter/memoirist J.R Moehringer, Prince Harry aims to find a way to make his story a little more relatable and accessibly human.  And in doing so, he hopes the memoir provides a service to humanity 

Initial reviews have been split, as is par for the course when celebrity meets public discourse.  

Some have seen the Prince’s memoir as a plea for self-pity and further spotlight (not to mention possibly an attempt at self-promotion leading up to another round of tv interviews, one of which is the recent conversation/therapy session with author/trauma specialist Gabor Mate).  

Some reviews seem to connect with Prince Harry’s intention: empowerment via the healing of trauma and reframing of events, themes that have been front and center in the self-love/self-care/self-help lexicon of the mainstream and social media.  

No matter the perception, Prince Harry’s memoir lays this wayward royal bare and vulnerable; and invites the reader to do the same.


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