Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Audio Book Review: Spare by Prince Harry

Genre: Autobiography/Audio Book
Pub. Date: January 10, 2023
Publisher: Random House Audio
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."


How do I even write a review of this memoir? I am not sure, but I will do my best. I am still blown away by various aspects of this memoir and processing it all. It was A LOT; in fact, Harry did MENTION IT ALL. Truly. It starts with his childhood, the untimely death of his mother, his formative years, boarding school, his troubled teens and young adulthood, the military, and of course, his time with Meghan. Although the Meghan chapters are very small compared to the rest of the novel, so it's very clear that this is HIS story.  This is his version of the truth. I think it's important to remember that when going into it. There are two sides to every story and while Harry is sharing his, we will never know William or Charles's despite the fact that he believes they speak through the media. Nonetheless, Harry does make some damning points and some accusations that the Royal Family, in my opinion, won't recover from. Spare by Prince Harry is a mind-blowing memoir that Royal watchers most definitely don't want to miss.

What was most telling to me was how for years Harry thought his mother disappeared. She couldn't possibly be dead, right? She must be hiding from the paparazzi and she will come and get them when she's ready. How heartbreaking is that? And this facade went on for years and postponed him actually dealing with his grief. I felt gutted. Harry endured so much trauma. He clearly needed therapy sooner in life and would have most definitely benefited from it. 

I am going to own the fact that I haven't always been Harry and Meghan's biggest supporters. I think I may have, at some level, fallen prey to the British media's antics. I am glad Harry came out and set the record straight regarding a few things, especially with how he carried out his exit from the Royal Family. I did appreciate his take and could sympathize with him 100% when it came to the paparazzi. Just like he saw his mother set the record straight, he is doing the same thing. I get it and I did appreciate most of it. It must be beyond frustrating to deal with the British media and I could see why he wanted to leave it all behind.

However, I can't help but feel like Harry wanted his story out at all costs. Burn down the Royal Family, burn down the paparazzi, burn down the lies and the false narratives, etc. Listen, I am here for burning down the horrible and racist British media, which is at fault for so much. But it's the parts that really throw his father and his brother under the bus; this would ultimately make his grandmother so extremely sad. Sometimes it's best to just deal with it privately in therapy and don't air your dirty laundry, because to what end? It won't certainly bring Harry peace and it only hurts his kids, William's kids, their legacy, etc. So, while I think aspects of Harry's story had to be said, I am not sure he needed to burn every damn bridge in the process.  

Spare left me with such deep sadness. Sadness for the British Royal family, sadness for Diana who most definitely wouldn't want to see her sons estranged, and sadness because I think Harry put it all out there and there will be no peace going forward. He didn't really own his part in many of the conflicts. It takes two to tango and I think holding himself accountable for some of the things would have been better for him instead of always playing the victim card. Also, I don't think you can come back from all that he said in the memoir. I don't think Charles and William will forgive him and quite frankly, I am not sure I would either. It was A LOT. So, my wish for Harry and Meghan is to find the peace that they so desperately want. Stop rehashing things. Spare got his point across as did the Netflix documentary and let it go in order to move on; otherwise, I am not sure they will ever be living the peaceful life they so desperately want. They must let it go now.

I listened to Spare and it was 100% effective in conjuring up emotions from me. Hearing Harry read it was brilliant. His ghost writer is also amazing and did a great job telling Harry's story in such an memorable and potent way. If you haven't read Spare yet and want to, I urge you to listen to the audio version.

So, if you enjoy a Royal family tell-all, this is the mother of all tell-alls. Harry literally tells us it all, even down to an unfortunate incident where his penis is frostbitten. Did we need to know this? Nope, but it's in there. Have you read Spare? Are you a fan of the Royal family? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. Well, Christina, I haven't read this, but will probably have to, to give a fair opinion. As you say, this only covers one side of the story, but from a British perspective, the media may have been intrusive, but they were not racist. There were some comments where Megan broke protocol (ie, talking during the national anthem, walking in front of the Queen, etc), but this was put down to inexperience, not race. There was a warm welcome for Megan, and we hoped this would be a great match for Harry, and heal the trauma he suffered after his mother's death. I understood their desire for more privacy, and wished them well, but they lost my support during their interview with Oprah - Megan claimed the Archbishop of Canterbury carried out an illegal marriage by marrying them in a field, and that their child was not called Prince because of racism, when none of their children at that time would have been entitled to the title. Harry would have known all this even if Megan didn't, but have they explained these falsehoods and apologised for them? It makes me doubt everything else they say. Their version of privacy seems to be destroying other people's privacy, far more viciously and intrusively than the media has ever done. The kindest thing to say about them is that they live in fantasy world of victimhood, but they seem to be doing untold harm to themselves, their families and their children.

    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, Michelle. I appreciate it. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Meghan and Harry aren't my favorite Royals and I have been pretty tough on them and how they handled things. However, after reading the memoir, Harry has proved some valid points and I am reconsidering my stance on a few issues. I would have to disagree with you regarding the British media, esp the paparazzi. I think many of them are racist and have written some racist things about Meghan. For example, a BBC host compared their baby to a chimpanzee. While not all articles have been racists, there have been many with racial undertones, not to mention the double standards. Kate eats an avocado and they applaud her. Meghan does it and she is condemned, etc.
      I do agree with you regarding H&M acting like a victim and throwing their family under the bus. I also agree with you regarding Meghan's inconsistencies in many of her statements esp. with Arch. Canterbury. Completely agree. I am not the biggest fan of H&M but I can sympathize with their situation. I do loathe the British Media though. They are at fault here in my opinion. Anyway, I urge you to read Spare though. I think it may open your eyes on a few topics! Thanks for visiting!

    2. I checked out the chimpanzee comment. It was made by a BBC employee on his private twitter account. He was instantly sacked by the BBC. There are the odd obnoxious racists, but if Harry in any way implied that this comment was sanctioned by the BBC, it would be a distortion of the truth.

    3. He didn't say it was sanctioned by the BBC. It's just my example of some of the racist comments they have endured. A BBC employee should know better than to tweet something so horrific. There are PLENTY more examples. I won't support Harry's playing the victim card or any of his other whining that really isn't warranted, but I can say that they endured a lot of racism and racist undertones from the media. The British media has referred to her how she was "(almost) straight outta Compton" which is entirely untrue and her "exotic" DNA. I am not even a fan of MM, but as an American looking in, that's what it looks like to me. The Daily Mail and other paparazzi/news outlets are really gross. Definitely read the book and report back your thoughts! I'd love to hear them! Thanks again for visiting. I always appreciate any thoughtful discussions.

  2. I, too, have not been a big fan of Harry and Meghan over the years. With the Oprah interview, the Netflix documentary, and now this book, I feel like it's too much. While I agree that Harry getting his side of the story out can be a good thing, I still have to keep in mind that it is his opinions and recollections and as we've seen in the past, he and Meghan are not always very "truthful." From the excerpts I've seen, he does seem to take little accountability for anything, which is sad, and he definitely tells some stories that were unnecessary (like, why mention your brother's balding?).

    1. Yes! A little accountability would go a long way for sure. The memoir did help me see things in a different way and there's definitely some truth in what he says, especially regarding the press. Some of his revelations regarding Camilla were absolutely eye-opening. You should check it out! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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