Book 2: Spare by Prince Harry
About this Book
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.
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i think i should start with the obvious in that, this book is a profound and overarching recollection of grief of a young boy who lost his mother. i think it would be a disservice to not acknowledge how profoundly her death has impacted and informed so much of who Prince Harry is, at his very core.
the majority of the book feels like a therapist's journaling exercise in which he is asked to confront his feelings while the undertone of the rest of the book seems to cover all the juicy topics highlighted in the press throughout his life.
listening to his story, i was extremely conflicted. on the one hand, i sympathize with the child in him who needed compassion and understanding; but there are moments throughout the book that make me question his lack of self awareness and the position he has in this world. it makes sense he is unaware of the impact of racism when living within a structure and family which created it. does that make him intentionally ignorant? at what point does he become aware of it? are we to assume he has always been shielded from it or is it only important now that it affects people he loves? it's hard to say because how else will the impact be great if when he is greatly impacted. at the same time, is he to be held to a higher standard of awareness because of his position in society? are these purposes mutually exclusive?
when friends asked what i thought of the book, i commented that i thought it would be a good study of the affects of the monarchy for those within it. there are several moments where i wonder if the relationship between him and his brother are more volatile than he is willing to admit; both aloud and to himself.
in the end, while it was a good listen, it really didn't expand too much outside of what has already been previously shared in interviews and in the documentary they did on netflix.