Spare- Prince Harry
Before anything, this is the review of a journalist.
As any person who has been mildly interested in the drama and workings of the British Royal Family, I knew of Prince Harry, his relatives, and his wife. I don't only work in the media, I follow the media, while staying impartial, as my job requires. Not everyone knows, but a journalist's job is to be unbiased and report on the news fairly, based on information verified from at least two sources.
This is a memoir like any other. It's neither stellar nor awful. Obviously professionally edited, just like any other high-profile memoir, Prince Harry's story is mostly well-laid out, with occasional ramblings and pointless information, a bit of fluff here and there, and some descriptions of events and feelings that are way over the top. They might be used to enhance credibility. It's impossible to know. There are some things that shouldn't have been made public, such as, for example, the detailed description of (then) Prince Charles on his head, with legs up on the wall, dressed only in boxers, and shouting through the door. Why? Harry also talked a lot about his penis. I know, frostbite and all, but it could have been left out. It didn't impact the story.
However, the information presented is a one-of-a-kind point of view of a child who loved his mother and went through the most terrible thing: losing her. We've all seen him walk behind Diana's casket, but nobody knew the behind-the-scenes feelings and discussions until now. Harry shares every detail of the way he dealt (or not really) with his mother's passing. The first part of the book deals almost entirely with the aftermath of the tragedy in August 1997. Harry discusses how Prince Phillip was a big fan of Diana, and he was the reason the two boys, the heir and the spare were born. He talked about the differences between the two brothers from the moment they were born, but also about funny stories in their childhood.
One thing is clear. Harry loved his grandmother, the Queen, dearly. He loved (and still loves) most of his family, but he doesn't shy away from talking about the actions and words that hurt him. Anyone familiar with the way things are done by royal correspondents knows they take sides, and that the Royal Family leaks information to the press on purpose. They're not as mystical as they want us to see them.
It's also important to know the difference between the members of the Royal Family and the Institution. They're not one and the same, and Harry makes that clear from the beginning.
The senior royals are a jealous bunch. That has never been a secret. Prince Charles was quite jealous of Diana's popularity, and Camilla, always available to make Charles happy, seems to have influenced the tabloid press quite a lot according to Harry.
The British tabloid press is disgusting, and that word doesn't cover it. Long before Harry's book was even an idea, they had been making things up for clout. That's not a secret. It never was. Racism and derogatory articles have always been in their blood. The tabloid press and classic journalism are not one and the same thing. The latter is a respected institution with its own rotten apples, of course. Everything Harry mentioned in his book related to the media can be verified. It did happen.
Harry talks in detail about his military career and this part showed me the true meaning of "double standards". As soon as his book was announced people started talking about him killing people., wondering if he would talk about it. Everyone else in the army is awarded a "thank you for your service", however, Harry is a murderer.
"Double standards" was the phrase that stayed in my mind for most of the time while reading Spare.
He shouldn't write a book, but William should leak info to the press.
People should talk about their mental health, but Harry is looking for attention.
Diana was hounded and killed by the media, but Meghan deserves it because she likes it.
Women should have equal rights, but Meghan is a disgusting feminist.
...and much more...
The book left a bitter taste in my mouth, but not because Harry decided to publish it.