Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ aims to create change without a plan


Courtesy of Variety

Prince Harry’s new memoir, “Spare,” was released on Jan. 10 and contains many detailed descriptions of Harry’s life. The book sold 1.4 million copies on the first day of its release.

Royal lifestyles, dangerous habits and finding meaning in new roles are the focal points of Prince Harry’s new book “Spare.” The memoir was released on Jan. 10 and contains many detailed descriptions of Harry’s life that the public has heard about from everyone but him. 

The Duke of Sussex is not the first royal to release a memoir, but they have never strayed away from the “institutions” ideas. Harry takes control over his own narrative, detailing growing up in the palace and immediately falling into the spare role. The book follows the timeline of his life, but with every little problem he brings up, it breaks down the impact of the larger issues that he wanted to highlight. Even briefly mentioning the fact that Prince William had a bigger room than he did should not be discussed in the same book that he talks about racism in the media. 

Following Princess Diana’s death, Harry was under the spotlight as one of her two sons. He explains through the book that due to the way the royal family was run, he never received the necessary help he needed to grieve. Harry’s explanation of this in the book paints a clear picture of the trauma he went through that led to many of his future behaviors. Harry’s writing does a good job of expressing this, and it is one phase of the book that definitely achieves its purpose. 

While Harry was in the military for 10 years, he describes much of his time in Afghanistan, which is unnecessary for the everyday reader. His involvement with veterans and the military remains prevalent in his life today, but it would increase his audience appeal if he focused more on what it taught him rather than the details that are hard for civilians to understand. 

The introduction of Meghan Markle to Harry’s life was a major modern-day turning point for him. He was no longer just the prince who liked to party, but instead someone who was about to start a family. Harry discusses once again the struggles that he and Meghan went through when the relationship was made public, but his complaints seem to be just that. He has spent so much time talking about how badly she was treated and that they had to get away, but it seems like he doesn’t take much other action to get things done in his life. This makes Harry appear whiny instead of strong. 

To wrap up the book, Harry talks about his quiet life in California with his children and his hopes of repairing his relationship with his family. The book itself doesn’t seem to take any steps toward doing that. Instead, it describes the fights he has had with his brother and father and the deep issues the royal family has. While he points out the issues within the family, he doesn’t recognize many of the deeper flaws of the institution. 

The writing itself was not bad, I would consider it slightly formal for a memoir, which is expected when a Prince is writing. Overall, “Spare” is worth the read if you follow the royal family closely, but it is definitely not for everyone. 

Rating: B-