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Spare

Win a free print copy of this book!

7 days and 22:31:18

50 copies available
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Rate 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.

410 pages, Hardcover

First published January 10, 2023

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About the author

Prince Harry

4 books1,791 followers
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is a husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. He resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his family and three dogs.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,952 reviews
February 6, 2023
This is the most difficult review I’ve ever written. So much so I had 4 attempts at writing it, and in the end scaled back much of what I wanted to say (including 17 of my most important themes and issues), to just a core few. Unlike Harry I deliberately tried to moderate what I have to say, which is incredibly challenging when reviewing this memoir. It is also especially challenging but important to keep your review concentrated on what is actually written in this book (including its publicity) and for that reason, I have made great efforts to set aside what I know and what I'm hearing, because to review this honestly it is important to ignore the rumour mill and the other news stories, and set aside your own perceptions. So my comments are based on what Harry has written and in part his media circus surrounding this book.

The reality is this. I too can highlight the many holes and inaccuracies in Harry’s stories, dates, and his own conflicting verbiage. I too can lash out at his many frivolous and insulting remarks that were so unnecessary and excruciatingly petty. I too can argue that many of Harry’s claims are based on his perception and personal choice and do not come with a fact base or credible evidence. However, my dislike of this fictional story goes much deeper, is much more fundamental and gets to the heart of someone’s character, their motives, and principles or lack of. Now you can see why I struggled with this so much, yet much of my own personal views will remain private.

Regardless of which side you take on this, everyone that cares enough will find this all very sad. I am sure there are lessons to be learned on all sides in this family saga, and no shortage of regrets. Yet one thing I know for sure, we will never get to the real truth because one side will not resort to the petty and sometimes damaging allegations made by Harry, in this book. So William is nothing but an easy open target because he is part of an establishment that “never complains and never explains”, even when his wife is subjected to abuse from the media (much more than Meghan over the years).

The themes and core issues

Whose privacy rules and standards do we follow and when? By writing this book Harry has sought worldwide media attention. He has signed a multiple book deal, featured in the Netflix series and engaged in a number of nonchallenging interviews, which is completely contrary to what he espouses which is privacy. And by doing so he has denied the Royal Family the privacy he supposedly craves. He has broken the privacy rules with regards to the late Queen, the now King, the future King, his stepmother, his sister-in-law, his friends, wider family, and his army colleagues - just about everyone really and that I find incredibly hypocritical. He even has the audacity to complain about his mother’s former butler, Paul Burrell, in the book when he is doing much worse- in his book. This is sheer hypocrisy on a monumental scale.

Whose safety do you really care about? The second issue I have is that Harry left the UK to allegedly keep his family safe. I say allegedly because the narrative keeps changing. Even after reading the book, I am still unclear what the current version of events are and what his story is today. At what point will he be or was he telling the truth?

Here is my deep concern. By publishing a kill count of 25 Taliban fighter’s aka chess pieces (in his own words) he has increased the risk to himself, his family, and many others in military service. I find this abhorrent and immoral, because every death is someone’s child, father, brother, or friend, and even in war we should respect that. What prudent person publishes a tally? My GR friends may recall, I recently read Diamond Eye, where the MC was a female sniper and whilst a heroine in the eyes of many, she actually kept a body count of her kills which did not sit well with me, for the same reason. Respect. Who does that? Yet once again Harry takes no responsibility and has since tried to change the narrative by blaming the press for manipulating his words despite the fact that this sordid comment is written by him in his own memoir.

Diana had two sons, remember that when reading this story. I for one will always remember the heart-breaking image of Diana’s two sons walk behind their mother’s coffin. A life changing event for the boys she loved, which caused mental health issues for BOTH sons growing up, something they jointly opened up about and campaign for. Yet Harry does this publicly to William.

Whilst the pain is evident in Harry's story, I ask myself, what mother, and particularly Diana, would be pleased and supportive of a son who has consciously and deliberately set out on a campaign to work against the other. By writing a book that will be forever in print and with allegations that don’t stack up in my opinion, Harry has created this impossible situation for Diana’s eldest son, knowing that William won’t or can’t respond. Does Harry believe that the mother he refers to often in the book would be proud?. William is a soft open target for Harry, which is why I have lost so much respect for Harry having taken this course of action. It would appear he is emotionally obtuse or ill advised or both. Either way someone is on the receiving end and its Diana's eldest son who she was very protective off as the future King. A life she knew would be dedicated to 'service' and 'duty' while Harry had much less restrictions and more freedom. See here is the different lens to 'Spare'.

Have you ever tried to warn a family member against their choice? It is not easy but what does a loving sibling do when you have deep concerns? You do what William did - voice your reservations, but unfortunately, this seems to be what sits behind much of this sorry affair. Harry doesn’t want to hear or accept it. From what Harry has shared it would appear these conversations did not go well, and neither son comes out blameless, particularly the one when William allegedly grips Harry’s shirt. A lesson I hope all will learn from. Time will tell who was right though.

There was one point in this whole saga that had me seething and sad and its when Harry claims that William recently says …I love you, Harry, on our mothers life I love you… God you can hear the anguish felt by William in those words. Yet Harry admits to throwing it back in William’s face, and then this guy claims he wants a reconciliation. Sorry Harry, as was your response - I don’t believe you and bleep bleep to the rest of what you said here. Disgraceful.

I’m in a minority here on GR, by rating this a ‘1’ because most people I know who have a problem with Harry’s behaviour, integrity, and motives for writing this book have chosen not to waste their money or time on it. Which potentially provides a distorted view of UK public opinion, in particular.

Comments about the book’s writing style and structure

Had Harry thought about what he wanted to achieve from the book, he might have structured the book differently and placed greater emphasis on what was important for us to hear and what was important for the narrative he wanted to share. Instead this came across as an emotional download and mental dump of Harry’s lifelong grievances, and aimed at anyone who had an opposing view. This does not make him a victim, instead the pendulum swung the other way and this overload for the reader just painted him as vengeful and spoilt in my eyes. Yet we do know from our own history that Harry had some genuine issues with the press for example (the press also managed his image during his years of alcohol and drug abuse -which he admits to in the book) but all this was lost amongst so much needless complaints and insults directed towards others, and I just reached saturation point, with little accountability accepted or owned by Harry.

Let me explain what I mean about having an objective. For example, if you wanted reconciliation then share the wrongs in a considered and constructive way and explain what it is you hope to fix and then let your actions support that. If you want the world to know you are at peace with yourself, then remove these rantings, because this book has achieved the opposite. If this story was to expose the media as part of your unwinnable war against the press, then why attack William the way you have?. By trying so hard to paint himself as victim, he created too many so called ‘enemies’ that in the end you could see why some people like me could conclude that the common problem here is in fact …. Harry. I am deliberately leaving Meghan out of this review.

In terms of writing style, the book felt as though it was written by many different authors. Clipped sentences were replaced with more descriptive prose and much longer sentences, which seemed at odds with a book that had so many chapters. However, it was a stroke of genius to narrate your own story. A very clever marketing accomplishment that no doubt will have lured people and captured the sympathy of many readers. Even I was moved in the early chapters when I relived Diana’s death in particular, but when the venom kicked in and the objectivity was notably missing. Harry lost me.

Had a level of sensitivity and maturity been applied to this story I might have responded differently. Had he shown some restraint and not made such unnecessary and insulting remarks about other people, I might have had some sympathy for the unsavoury press coverage he receives. Had I not believed in my heart that this was financially motivated, then I would have reacted differently. Had I not found the level of hypocrisy so distasteful, then I would have appraised this differently altogether. Had I not read Harry’s own words then I might never have been aware that this was in some part or largely driven out of revenge or jealousy, for his older brother and an accident of birth that he was born second. And finally, had Harry applied some level of objectivity then I might have respected some of what he was saying. For example the royal family have chosen a different approach to dealing with the press instead of Harry’s unwinnable war. They want to rise above it and often ignore it and advised Harry to do the same. Not only does he disagree with them, but he actually accuses them of planting the petty stories, he refers to in his book. Really - just sit back and think about it!!!

There was something to be said about the mystery and speculation surrounding the RF which allowed people like me to keep an open mind, because I thought there was more to it than what we were being told. Harry has dispelled any of those doubts. There is nothing of substance and no significant revelations that would go any way to justifying and explaining Harry’s betrayal of his family and their privacy.

In summary

Harry claims to have secured his personal peace, but at what cost? The cost of betraying his family, army colleagues, friends, and the institution of the monarchy whilst at the same time compromising the privacy and potentially the security of others, including his family. Publishing his body count was immoral and insensitive to those impacted and his military colleagues. The way he has attacked William, feels disproportionate to anything William might have done and if there was something else then I’m sure Harry would have told us. So all of this has exacerbated an already strenuous relationship and makes any kind of reconciliation unlikely, but certainly more difficult.

In my view, his gripe over being a ‘spare’ is disrespectful to the institution and the tax payers who support it, Many of us who have witnessed Harry's indulgent and privileged lifestyle over the years, when he was 3rd in line to the throne, will find this discourteous. Harry has had life handed to him on a silver plate, had the best of everything, and lived in some stunning homes. Yet he is that out of touch with the 'public mood' in the UK and so blinkered he would hope you would see him as a 'victim' and justified in ripping his family apart because he has had disagreements with his family, he was born second and had a smaller bedroom in Balmoral castle for example. Enough. Please, no more.

Some readers will feel empathy for Harry’s statement that the RF will someday regret not being there for him during the second most difficult period of his life because they failed to defend him publicly. Yet they DO NOT defend themselves, their wives, and the wider family because it is their motto to ‘never complain, never explain’. Not some elaborate plan to oust a couple that could have offered so much. Not a case of treating couples differently as they would have you believe. Perhaps the RF need to reevaluate this motto they live by. Perhaps not because by in large it has prevented them from being embroiled in petty skirmishes with the media, that Harry himself seems intent on having when he’s not using them to support his book or to his own ends. Instead, they have risen above it and not challenged the stories, and if Harry really believes the RF would invest time in sharing stories with the press over lipgloss, a flower girls dress or whether a prince should wear a beard - then I fear for him. So, by publishing this bitter book that is heavily weighted against and critical of William, Harry has likely created the second most difficult time in Williams life and this course of action was deliberate and venomous. You are right, there will be regrets someday and it will be for writing this book. Hopefully you have now exhausted your bile. Now ‘spare’ us any more of this!!!

And to remove any notions of bias, as a pro royalist. I am not a Royalist or in favour of keeping a large royal family. Some maybe because of the charity work they do and the causes they champion like William's 'Earthshot' programme, which is the stuff we really should be focused on. I also have issues with the lives of some of the RF but I am not here to comment on those. I am here to respond to Harry's book, his one-sided oxymoronic story and his unverified allegations.

So please ‘spare’ us anymore of this. Please enjoy your life in America. I sincerely wish you do something meaningful with your life, instead of swapping financial support from the RF with money gleaned from attacking the Royal Family. Having listened to Harry’s story, I have come out of this believing the real victim here is William. Diana’s beautiful, classy, and measured son, who conducts himself so well publicly, but is restricted by protocol. If only he could tell his story!!

And no more memoirs for me. I found this too challenging but I stand by my considered views that I deliberated over for a long time, although it has still pained me to express them, because Harry was once my favourite Royal.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,573 reviews156 followers
January 11, 2023
I really enjoyed this on audio!! Over 15 hours in length, it's a big time commitment but listening to Harry share his story in his own words is totally worth it in my opinion!!

Heartfelt and vulnerable, he shares stories from his childhood, about his mother, about life as a Royal, his military career and charitable work, meeting and falling in love with Meghan and their struggles being part of the Family and ultimately deciding to leave for their own safety and sanity.

My respect for this couple is huge and I wish them nothing but the best! I'm sure he made a killing on this book deal but he has donated a significant amount to charities. If you are a fan of Harry or Meghan you definitely don't want to miss this!
Profile Image for Marie.
196 reviews30 followers
January 11, 2023
3.5 ⭐⭐⭐ I listened to Prince Harry reading this on audible and I was surprised at how quickly I got through it (then again, I have the ability to listen to audiobooks at a ridiculous speed and still understand what's going on). As someone who is British and has been raised by a family that are very Royal Family orientated, it was kind of a no-brainer that I read this. I may not have been born when Princess Diana died, it is an event that to this day my family still talk about and feel; but no-one could feel as deeply as Prince Harry himself. Whilst I am not going to weigh in on the whole Harry and Meghan debate that everyone seems to be having, I will say that I understand why Harry and Meghan made the decision that they did. That being said, I think some of the things they did could have been done differently. That aside, this was actually an interesting book, but like many, I feel that there are probably a few details he could have spared us...
Profile Image for Eric Anderson.
642 reviews3,127 followers
January 27, 2023
My curiosity got the better of me and I read Prince Harry's memoir “Spare”. In the opening section he describes meeting with his father and William who state they don't know why he's done what he's done so he begins by saying “Pa, Willy, World... Here you go.” And I think the main point of his justification is stated later in the book when he says: “My problem has never been with the monarchy, or the concept of monarchy. It's been with the press and the sick relationship that's evolved between it and the Palace. I love my Mother Country, and I love my family, and I always will. I just wish, at the second-darkest moment of my life, they'd both been there for me. And I believe they'll look back one day and wish they had too.” Throughout the memoir he recounts the events of his entire life and states his case against the press and his family's failure to act on his and his wife's behalf.

Most of us have probably seen some of the shocking revelations and statements that Harry and Meghan have made lately in interviews and through their documentary series. This couple have been everywhere! Many are aware of the horrific abuse they've received by some of the press and public, the bickering between Harry and his family leading up to a physical fight with William (which is detailed in the book), the testy relationship between Meghan and Kate – all of which lead Harry to officially break away from the Royal family. I think it's been well covered already how Harry openly talks in this book about his drinking and drug use, losing his virginity and what were probably his biggest public gaffs of wearing a nazi outfit to a fancy dress party and using a racial slur when talking about a friend because he “wasn't thinking” and because of a “failure of self education” which he humbly admits he needs to improve. However, there were several things I read in “Spare” which I found surprising and I discuss them in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdsfxXzWwI

There's no doubt Harry has undergone an extreme amount of physical and mental hardship and he's shown great resilience. He's clearly a talented and dedicated soldier (and it's a shame he wasn't able to continue in service because of risks to him and his colleagues). He's in some ways an ordinary guy who shops at TK Max, eats Nandos (bizarrely he places an order for this during the birth of his first child while sucking down laughing gas to help calm himself) and binge watches Friends – but he's also obviously in an extraordinarily privileged position. As one example, he labels himself a Chandler and later physically stays at Courtney Cox's house. So there's this odd mixture of the mundane with the extraordinary throughout the book which I guess is the thing that really makes us so fascinated by the Royals and what Harry calls his “fancy captivity”.

I felt a limited amount of sympathy towards him after reading this book and I think it's effective in showing his point of view but I don't know if I'm convinced he's right and those he's speaking out against are wrong. Or that anyone in this situation can be completely right or wrong. Many claims are made about leaks from within the Royal House to the press and how the Queen's close aides were basically manipulating her before her death. However, most of this comes across as conjecture and paranoia with little evidence apart from his word - though it's not at all surprising Harry would be highly suspicious given all the backstabbing and dirty deals that apparently go on in these circles.

How much should we trust his word? He states early in the memoir that he has an extraordinary memory for spaces but not dialogue from the past. There are many conversations recounted throughout the book in which he comes across as supremely reasonable while others sound irate. Should we trust that these were the things actually said? They might be roughly true but it feels like they mostly emphasise the fact that this is a one-sided account. Overall, I'm just left feeling the entire Royal mess is in a sad state of affairs. I'm not sure if this book will work positively towards fixing things or just fuel the fire which he seems so desperately to want to put out. But it makes sense that he'd put this book out there and it seems remarkable that we now have such a candid account from someone in the inner circle. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a keen interest in the Royals and are really intrigued by such a personal account. However, if you do read it don't expect any clear answers.
Profile Image for Mielejt.
17 reviews1 follower
January 14, 2023
So, I have always “liked” Harry. This memoir made me sad and sympathetic in parts, rather bored, but also somewhat interested; I did enjoy special moments about Diana, found an interesting new take on my original thoughts on King Charles, and confirmed my personal distaste for Camilla and Meghan. Unfortunately, I feel like he hypocritically is turning into the tabloid people he loathes and despises, turning family drama into a money source. In the end, he comes across like a grown man child throwing a tantrum and my eyes could not roll enough when she entered the picture. I am not condoning the paparazzi nonsense nor the rigid authority control of the monarchy, however if this is what you loathe, it is time to move on. Out of the limelight. No Oprah talks or other such bs. Move to your favorite place on Earth (Botswana) and make your way without the Crown. The end.
Profile Image for Stephanie  Hames.
24 reviews7 followers
January 12, 2023
30 pages in and it’s heart breaking. 100 pages in and it’s raw. The most you read, the more you can’t put it down.
Harry shows the world with his book that he’s taking ownership of his story, in his own words.

He comes off incredibly down to earth, accepting his faults, and humbling himself in a way unseen from a royal. I’d have a beer with him.
Profile Image for Susan Tunis.
721 reviews156 followers
January 11, 2023
2.5 stars. Very long, very boring. How can a guy who's lived this life be so boring!?

I listened to the author read the nearly 16 hour audiobook, and let's just say he's not a dynamic reader. Nor does he appear to have much sense of humor. Mostly, he just comes across as a really messed up kid. And, yes, there are very concrete reasons why this kid is messed up.

But in the end, it's a little hard to feel sorry for him. There's just too much airing of dirty laundry, too much "woe is me" as he throws every member of his family under the bus. It's undignified. Time after time he exhibits extraordinarily poor judgement. Nazi costumes? Strip pool? Years of substance abuse (about which he's very candid, if that's what you want to read about). And he's so out of touch with reality.

But, mostly, he just seems pretty dull. Highlight: His years of military service, which reflect well on him. Lowlight: Excessive discussion of his frost-bitten penis. 'Nuff said.
Profile Image for Aggie Black.
10 reviews6 followers
January 13, 2023
I wanted to like this book.

"Time, as the doctor said, would heal my todger. But would it heal my heart?"

The language volleys between eloquent and juvenile. Referring to his penis multiple times (euphemistically), this book can at times be reminiscent of a love scene from 50 Shades of Grey (see: "holy cow!") in its immaturity, but then, immaturity radiates the majority of this book.

Immense detail is given to several, seemingly unimportant events. The appearance of rooms, for example, are described wonderfully (much as Harry said they would be, given how his memory works). Quite unfortunately, this measured and careful writing does not extend to some of the more sensitive topics.

Harry's military service is discussed, and at first reading, it might even appear thoroughly so. However, the majority of that writing feels less about service, his tours, and his fellow soldiers, and more about how these people have served him. You might fancy the point of a book like this is to do just that, but it has come across as horribly rushed and botched. The end result was insensitive, and portrayed both Harry and the military as nearly animalistic.

Although, what else could be expected from a man who described his once almost father in law as an "alpha" in the very same book?

Harry's former girlfriends (and, indeed, his wife) are given bland, two dimensional descriptions. All of them are described not by who they are or what they stand for, but by what they have offeres Harry. Yes, he does say they are smart or funny, but their entire personalities are boiled down to syrup.

Even their suffering is written as a misfortune to Harry. The detail of what those women have lost, what cost they have paid, and their (potentially? the book is unclear) continued harassment is lost to the reader, as it simply has not been included beyond what serves the author.

All in all, there is too much to write. This book is nothing special, nor is it terrible. It is simply dull.

Harry is neither intelligent nor unintelligent. He would not be out of place at the local pub. He is, in all honesty, just Some Guy who happens to be royal, and sadly, it does not make him interesting. If anything, it makes what appears to be a shocking lack of outside-himself thinking to be all the worse.

If this book had some direction or message, if it had focused more on service and personal experiences unique to a Royal, it would have been a riveting read. As it stands, it reads more like an ever-changing stream of consciousness and whatever message (beyond "fuck the media") it held has been lost. It is little better than Prince Andrew's infamous interview, given the continued air of superiority (something the subject himself likely does not realise) and the lack of tangible explanation.

His family and the media are pretty shit, too.
Profile Image for Liv.
455 reviews5 followers
January 11, 2023
It’s hard to separate the writing of the memoir Spare and the choice of content, but the writing was intimate—at times funny, at times biting—and took the reader on an emotional journey.

In every corner of Harry’s life is the shadow of his mother’s death and the grief that still hasn’t fully been processed. It is the very through-line of his story. That little boy behind the coffin is never far away from the reader’s mind.

There are moments when your heart breaks for Harry, like when as boy, he was convinced his mother hadn’t been killed, but that it was a public hoax so that she could start her life over somewhere. Or, when as a young man, he felt the need to go repeatedly through the tunnel in Paris at the same speed that killed Princess Diana.

There are moments of such sweetness in his memoir: his overwhelming love and respect for his grandpa, his final tender memories of his grandmother, his adoration of Africa, and his awe of being a father. Harry also takes us on a journey as he falls in love with Meghan. We feel his true excitement that he could finally have a person. There are also times when we learn more about his “todger” than we needed to know, though he points out that even the New York Times ran a piece speculating about his penis as a child (and whether he was circumcised). So, not even the privacy of his own body parts belonged to him. Still, it’s a bit much.

But, the majority of the book covers his impressive public work and his military career, both aspects of his life endangered by being hounded by the press. It is a pattern in his life that those close to him have their lives threatened either by or because of paparazzi presence—once endangering a whole unit in Iran—meaning that few are willing to get too close or stay that way. It’s understandable that he would want to tell his story himself. Only, maybe we could do with less of his “todger.”

Through the first third of the book, I felt that advanced leaks from the memoir were taken out of context and that his love of his father and brother shine through. By the end, it is clear that love is still there and strong, despite the gloves being off, but that Harry is choosing to protect his own family (his wife and children) in a way that he was never chosen and protected. (These warm fuzzies do *not* extend all the way to Camilla.)

It’s apparent in this memoir that Prince Harry let down his walls and that he was willing to be vulnerable. He paints a very clear picture of why he had to step down from his role and move to protect his family and his own well-being, but the future of his relationship with his natal family is considerably murkier.
Profile Image for Maryse.
148 reviews30 followers
January 12, 2023
If this had been fiction, I might have given it 4 stars. It’s actually very well written, and it reads almost like a villain’s origin story, which is always interesting. But since this is a memoir, I got annoyed by how bratty Harry is throughout it. He complains about everything and uses his oh-so-tragic upbringing as excuse to be horrid. He keeps using “the spare” as a crutch, as though being “the spare” should entitle him to something because life had handed him such a bad fate. At one point he even complains that he’s only 3rd to the throne. If I didn’t hate him before, I would now.

The amount of entitlement in this book is so vile that I could not stomach to finish it. Barf
Profile Image for Kristo.
10 reviews
January 13, 2023
Royal family gossip is not really of any importance, so here are the parts of the book which actually matter (and I don't consider these spoilers because they have been all over the news):

- Harry reveals he murdered 25 people in Afghanistan.
- He compares murdering people to playing video games.
- The victims "were just chess pieces" instead of actual people.

Some have defended Harry by saying "at least it's good that he owns up to it" and "he seems to have learned from it".
I, however, stronly disagree. Here are just a couple reasons why;

- Harry implies he was "only doing what he was told". Not only is this a hideously bad excuse, it's also one that less privileged people wouldn't be allowed get away with.
- He says the otherization of Muslims was part of military education. While without a doubt true, this is also another convenient way to downplay personal responsibility.
- The rest of the book is basically Harry implying he's somehow now "better" than the rest of the cruel, racist, corrupt, criminal, bloodthirsty royal institution he used to be a part of (and in reality still is).

What makes memoirs enjoyable is when the subject is truly willing to accept their own wrong-doings and take responsibility.
Harry, clearly, is not.
Nor will he ever face the consequences of his actions.

Hence, this book shouldn't have been written at all.
In its current state it's nothing but yet another slap in the face to those "others" to whom he, the Royals, the UK, and the rest of the Western war-criminals have caused immense pain and suffering with impunity.


EDIT.
Just to drive my point across, I'd like to share a particularly horrible section from the book:



Okay, a few comments on this:

- It's 2023, and he is still trying to paint the invasion of Afghanistan as somehow moral and justified.
- Notice how he uses the words "take" and "remove" instead of "kill" or "murder" when describing his own actions. Contrastingly, he has no problem referring to the people he shot as "killers".
- Harry seeks compassion and understanding from everyone, but did he (or will he) show any to the people whose lives he destroyed? Of course not; they are, after all, just "bad people" doing "bad things".

What a charming fellow.
Profile Image for Lauren.
14 reviews2 followers
January 12, 2023
Edit/Update (1/12/2023)

After processing with a couple of friends this week, I wanted to add a few things.

The familial dysfunction that Harry writes about is something many can relate to. And, often it takes self-work and therapy to improve how you show up in relationships and the boundaries you are able to set as a result.

Harry’s experience as a young child/person show the struggles he had with sharing his feelings and that as he matured and started that self-work, he was able to change how he showed up in relationships, how he showed up in his work. I saw a recent headline that was something to the effect of “Harry caught in cult of psychotherapy.” Harry obviously believes in therapy, believe in improving oneself and learning (as I believe there is evidence of), and if other members of their families do not or do on a surface level, then it is easy to see/understand how the rifts have continued to grow.

While many of Harry’s experiences are obviously unique, what strikes me about Harry and his writing is how relatable he is. Of course I’m not royal, I haven’t had a significant loss, I haven’t served in the military. I have experienced toxic and challenging relationships, I have experienced feeling misunderstood, invalidated, and unheard.

In one of his interviews Harry expressed that one of his goals in sharing some of the details he shared was to remind people that “you are not alone.” Talking about all of this helps reduce stigma on so many levels.

There are some funny slightly awkward stories he included that made me laugh and I loved that because we see that playful nerdy side of Harry in his interviews as well.

There will always be critics but I enjoyed reading Spare.


Original review (1/11/2023): I felt as though I was reading a long letter from a friend. Harry shares his life, experiences, thoughts and feelings openly and compassionately. He tells it like it is—doesn’t sugarcoat and yet consistently expresses his wish for things to be different than they are. He calls out familial poor behavior as kindly and compassionately as possible while being firm and extending more grace than what is likely deserved.

British media are ruthless, cunning, and incredibly heartless, focused on headlines and money. No one could or should have to live with the frequent almost daily vitriol that is spewed at and about him, Meghan, and their family.

This is a very well-written book and I hope others will have more understanding and compassion for him and Meghan after reading—I wish them peace and happiness.
Profile Image for Tagseen Samsodien.
Author 1 book13 followers
January 11, 2023
I went into this book with an open mind. I am not particularly invested in the British monarchy, but it's been pretty hard to exist over the past few years and not be aware of the way Harry and Meghan have made headlines around the world - the effects of which have been polarising.

In choosing the format in which to consume this book, I decided on the audiobook because I wanted to hear Harry tell his own story. And honestly, I enjoyed every second of his telling of it. Not because it was particularly juicy or salacious, but I felt there was a genuine openness and honesty about him sharing some of the intimate details of his childhood, his life, and family dynamics that were, at times, incredibly sad and heartbreaking. The actual content of the book wasn't even about "spilling tea" - yes, he shared some personal moments that I felt provided a lot of clarity and context, but nothing that I thought was necessarily disrespectful to anyone. Enlightening, certainly, but not ill-intentioned. At least I didn't think so. He also didn't shy away from addressing his own mistakes and errors in judgement. He speaks about them frankly and his remorse felt genuine.

I'm not here to make the case that Harry is not a privileged man, or that he hasn't had the world at his feet from the moment he was born. That's obvious. But to be fair to Harry, he's not making that argument either. However, having privilege doesn't make someone unworthy of empathy. What Harry is saying is that there are loads of lies about him and his wife that have been smeared across tabloids for years - some instigated by his own family - and instead of remaining silent and allowing others to dictate his narrative, he wants to tell his own story, from his perspective. The idea that he should just turn a blind eye to falsehoods that are constantly circulated about him for clicks is absurd - would any of us continue to remain loyal to an institution that continuously lies about who we are and remains silent when unfair attacks and vicious racist rhetoric is bandied about for sport? I think not.

And honestly, I'm not interested in listening to the opinions of 1 star reviewers who read an excerpt out of context and now think they're qualified to share their misinformed opinions. Or people who out of spite rated a book poorly purely because they hate someone for merely breathing. To those people, check your priorities. 

No one has to like Harry or Meghan, nor does everyone have to agree with the decisions they've made. But the levels of hate directed at them for simply wanting to set the record straight is mind boggling to me. They have the right to share what their experiences have been like, and after 5.5 hours of listening, I can confidently say, I get it.
Profile Image for Laura.
33 reviews3 followers
January 12, 2023
poorly written. the most florid prose i’ve read since i went through a bodice ripper phase when i was twelve!

i finished it but i was left feeling like i’d wasted my money and my time.

i wanted to believe harry, but the more i read, the less i trusted him. there were some things i’m proficient in that have nothing to do with royalty that harry just flat out lied about - after that i wasn’t sure if i could believe him about anything.

it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

wait till you can get it from the library if you must read it, don’t waste your money!
Profile Image for Krista (Mrs K Book Reviews).
776 reviews77 followers
January 11, 2023
Trauma..it is the major theme that affects Harry - long past childhood, it ensnares him even as an adult.

What can i say but this book is exceptionally well written...while I was reading I could feel Prince Harry pouring every emotion and you feel as though your there with him on every personal and private journey because he gives such detailed and clear descriptions.

This book needed to be written to set it straight what is in Harry's mind. Remember the media hounded Diana and eventually had a part in her death by driving her like an animal they were in hunt for.he gives examples of what the British media has said about him and his family as well. His hatred of the British media and paps are well justified.

I recommend this book to anyone who has had sibling rivalries, trauma, dysfunctional families and if you want to know what it's like living as a Spare in a Royal Monarchy
Profile Image for zainab khan.
176 reviews4 followers
January 11, 2023
this was a very long book but I still managed to finish it within a day because I really just wanted it to be over. Prince Harry has a weird narrative voice, almost comparable to the protagonist of a romance book?? I think the structure of this was good but overall this was kinda boring?? I feel like the media definitely played this up to be more than it was because I was mostly underwhelmed.
Profile Image for Lois .
1,653 reviews449 followers
January 12, 2023
Whew, there's a lot in this memoir. It was divided into 3 parts: childhood, soldiering & Meghan.

I believe utterly that this is Harry's view of what happened. I believe just as fully both his brother & father would have many corrections to this narrative.

I think we do hear from the family in the press, especially his Dad (Pa) & Camilla, indirectly, which is cowardly.
I believe 100% that William made the comment about the color of Archie's skin, though the memoir never addresses it.

One of the largest surprises was that William and Harry basically have had a nonexistent relationship since before Diana died.
Long before Will met Kate and Harry met Meghan. Their fractured relationship really has nothing to do with either wife.

The 2nd largest surprise was the sheer level of animosity William appears to have harbored for Harry, which is suggested to have begun in their childhood. Maybe sibling rivalry exacerbated by trauma? It comes off as incredibly petty given how much more money and power William has.

William is an incredible bully. He never ever defends Harry but does call on him for help when he's being bullied by mutual friends of theirs.

Harry longs for a deeper connection to his big brother, but Will honestly wants nothing to do with him.
Their relationship is so distant that Harry & Will go on tour or engagement in Lesotho together after Will has become engaged privately to Kate. Will never even mentioned it to Harry. Harry finds out when it's published in the papers with the rest of the world.

Also the family is so fucking cold that Harry's never hugged his own grandparents. It's implied he's never hugged his father's siblings either.
Like you could melt ice on the asses of these cold hearted folks.
I don't even understand this kinda relationship. Bizarre and unhealthy.

That weird story in the press about Harry inheriting his mom's engagement ring and Wills having to ask for it to pop the question to Kate are all lies.
The brothers also weren't each others best men at their respective weddings, just more lies for the press.

I was surprised that Meghan's TV show had to have her scenes and dialogue approved by the palace before filming.
Meghan was a fiance, not a wife, and already, her entire life was pretty much dictated by royal advisors at a palace she didn't even receive support from.

Both Harry and the late Queen seemed surprised that Harry needed permission to marry Meghan. This felt odd to me as I fucking know this. How do actual family members not? The Queen didn't know which family members needed her permission to marry?

Charles III does indeed suggest that he has no money to support Meghan after years of speaking about a 'slimmed down monarchy including his son's and their families'. This is shortly after setting up a trustfund for his Stepkids, Camilla’s children from her first marriage.

The leaking between the palaces was harrowing. The Queen leaks against her family. Charles leaks against his sons. William leaks against Harry. Harry goes public with private family knowledge in puzzling and unnecessary detail.

This entire family is a fucking mess.

Harry is relatable with all his cannabis consumption, psychedlic and recreational drug use, drinking etc.
He even used a tank of laughing gas when Meghan was in labor with Archie which I felt was a bit unacceptable.

He talks about his penis, the todger, more than I'd like.

Camilla suggested to Meg that Harry become the Governor General of Bermuda as they're having trouble with press when their relationship first goes public. This is before they're even engaged. So, the plan was always for them to scuttle off out of the limelight.

Meg and Charles seem to get along well. Wills is put off Meg hugged him and didn't bow. Kate is unbalanced by Meg's Americanness.
It's mostly manufactured nonsense.

The ludicrous disagreements between Kate & Meghan are very high school mean girl- esque. I don't understand why Kate can't speak up if she's upset about the hormone cooment? It's weird on multiple levels to call a meeting and demand an apology months later. Just weird.
Wills gets confrontational with Meghan and she tells him politely to get his finger out of her face; suddenly Will hates Meg.

Wills struggles to control his temper in much of this narrative. He's petty, mean, bullying and fragile as spun glass.

The so-called 'Sandringham Summitt' was a joke. Before the meeting started the Queen's office had already drafted a press release saying Harry & Meghan were leaving.
So the 5 options offered were never real options.
Harry was effectively kicked out of the family.
He was promised security and continued financial support for a year.
It turns out that too was a lie.
Security was removed suddenly and without advance warning.
His own father wouldn't even take his calls regarding this.
Then they moved to Tyler Perry's house but quickly needed to get their own set up and right then Charles cuts off financial help.

It's clear the family was trying to bully them back to the palace.
See, removing security is what got Diana killed, no two ways about it. Her security detail would've never allowed what happened to her to happen.
Charles knew that and William knew that. Not to mention his own Grandmother, the Queen.
I'm shocked they gave so few fucks.
Like whoa.
Harry & Meghan's threat level was equal to the Queens. Higher than any other member of the family and still his own father didn't fight his loss of security or pay to replace it.

The base toxicity in misusing power so oppressively. Then the epic level gaslighting to back it up.
Shit with family like this, who needs enemies?

I see why the couple is doing TV shows and writing books. Their security costs are outrageous, Harry has no marketable skills and little education. Meghan was basically a cable actress and only on 1 show at that.

I would assume Meghan could get tons of work, but Harry is uncomfortable with her romantic scenes. I also think it is a class issue with their current titles and roles.

So they sell access to their experiences, and honestly, I'm not mad at them. I think they are desperately trying to secure enough resources to raise their kids safely. They are also continuing philanthropic work which isn't as helpful as most think but can be noble I guess. Philanthropy is largely a tax haven but I digress.

At the same time, even after comparing his family to a death cult, Harry doesn't denounce monarchy.
He gives a couple 'lip service' passages to the evils of colonialism, but overall, he's a proud Brit and a monarchist.
I didn't expect anything less, and that's truthfully why I pirated this book. The Royals are OG colonists. I'm never willingly giving them money.

I wish Harry & Meghan and their little family the best. Meghan's the best thing that ever happened to Harry. They're a great couple and a happy family.
They would've been a huge asset to Charles III and I do think in time their experiences will have a detrimental impact on the monarchy as an institution.
The racism is obvious and epic. It will continue to echo through The Commonwealth.
Ah may it all end soon:)

I'd give this a 3.75 probably rounded to a 4 but given the racists have been bombing the reviews I feel.honor bound to counteract that with a 5 star rating.
Profile Image for DeeLynn Onne.
2 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2023
This is just a continuation of Diana's story.
A powerful highly dysfunctional family uses the media to discredit one another with lies.
It's such a sad story... its about a family living in a type of emotional poverty they can't even understand.
Harry broke free enough to see there might be a better tho not as luxurious way to live. I'm happy for him..that he has some clarity.
Profile Image for Will Lloyd-Regan.
84 reviews4 followers
January 11, 2023
This was a disappointing read that left me feeling decidedly worse about the toxicity of the royal family and bleak about any hopes of improvement. It might be worth a read for someone interested in the 'drama' of the royals, but anyone hoping for a decent piece of writing should look elsewhere.

In the final chapters Harry does have some decent reflections on the absence of choice for this ‘unending Truman show’. It seems to me that ‘Spare’ is a very unaware rant about the hardships of life in the spotlight. These complaints are entirely valid, things like wanting security for personal protection seems eminently reasonable, until one is told of the insistence to not use inheritance from Dianne as it’s seen as rightfully ‘his children’s’ blunts some of my sympathy. The children of the rich and famous don’t strike me as especially needy…

This is where the book falls short – what he and his family faces is truly monstrous, something I would wish on no one. But many of us face hardship, and we do not have a ‘Tyler Perry’ billionaire we can call to rescue us, free of charge. I appreciate this is not his fault, but he remains pretty tone deaf to this privilege. By his early 20s his lack of awareness that a Nazi uniform might be offensive, or that ‘Paki’ was a racist term, seem curious to me. He is very apologetic for this mistakes and I do not think one should be barred from growth. He argues it is our personal responsibility to educate ourselves – to look more outwardly and understand discrimination. True, but it seems to me that he does not reflect on why he did not know this. Was it the moulding of the palace? Or the locker-school-boy environment of Eton? He needs to take more ownership of these and imply less universality. Reflecting on a nice Ernest Henley poem he writes that ‘Every Brit knew that poem. Many had the first line by heart’ and then ‘what schoolboy or schoolgirl didn’t encounter at least once those sonorous final lines?’ The answer is simple, one that did not go through a privileged educational system.

Despite this missed opportunity to reflect, my main issue with the book is one of length and overarching message. It’s ghost-written very well, in such a way that style or flair is sacrificed for ease of consumption.

The best autobiographies shape narratives and themes across their pages. This seems more like a rambling letter of hate, a spirited censure of scorn. Harry Windsor has evidently been plagued by the press and deeply mistreated by his family. This book, if nothing else, should be a call for the British public to reflect on the lunatic state of the monarchy, the press that ensnares them, and our own interest that feeds this frenzy. Halving the length of the book and concentrating on some key themes, perhaps even media frenzy, might have made for a better piece of writing or work. He might have chosen excerpts of his life to recount of this frenzy and found ways of narratively tying them together. Thinking about other autobiographies I’ve enjoyed, Michelle Obama’s central theme of ‘swerving’ seems both robust and easy for the reader to take with them.

Beyond this, it is the story of a man born with a silver spoon who might well have preferred a rusty fork. In the closing chapters he reminds the reader that he did not opt into this life, and that it has its own measures of hardship. I know I certainly would not want it, so why do we keep it? Why not shrink the monarchy and reform the press? Stop clicking the links, following the headlines, and let our obsession with this family die. So long as there’s some lingering interest, the media will continue to torment.
Profile Image for Laura.
778 reviews31 followers
January 14, 2023
I can't abide people who think they're blameless. This whole book is all 'poor Harry'. He doesn't blame himself for anything. He's been spoilt as a child and spoilt as an adult. Moaning when Charles cut him off and wondering how they would manage yet he still lives in a big house. Oh poor, poor Harry.

As everyone knows Harry lost his mother when he was young. Yet so did his brother William. It is quite clear throughout Harry's storytelling that William cares about him a great deal and is worried about him and wanting to get him help. William can obviously see he is going the same way as his mother did (paranoid).

The book does not have a male voice. It reads like a woman wrote it. Very flowery prose that had me laughing out loud a lot but mostly cringing! Harry is clearly besotted with Meghan but he thinks everyone else should be too so woe betide anyone who isn't...namely the British press, William & Kate. At first Charles loved Meghan but when he found out she was giving up her job and he'd have to pay for her it seems in Harry's eyes he went off her! The Queen loved Meghan instantly and it was even she who suggested Meghan write the famous letter to her father!

The British press left Meghan sobbing and suicidal (she's always sobbing). Harry stated 'I'll get you help but first I need to go to this function this evening but you stay here'. 'No' cried Meghan 'I'll go with you'. There is then no further mention of her suicidal tendencies or no mention of getting her help. Harry himself though has a Therapist and turns to her a lot. At the end of the book he thanks a whole host of Therapists, so not sure why he didn't get one of them to help Meghan?!

There is a distinct lack of Meghan's opinions throughout the book, so I can only assume she's writing one next and we'll get her side of the boring story. I can hardly wait..(rolls eyes).

It left me feeling very sorry for William and Kate. Harry has a lot of digs at them both. I expect they had to just wash their hands of him in the end as William tried that many times to help him but Harry's sees it a different way. It was clear to me as the reader that William was very worried about him.

Harry admits to taking drugs and still smokes weed. I think it's addled his brain. He clearly can't remember things correctly. He writes of the Queen as if she was on his side and states they had a secret special relationship (rolls eyes). Even after the Queen died he believes she appeared as a Hummingbird in his home in America! He's clearly away with the fairies!

Hopefully he has his happy life in America (making money out of his fairy stories) and stays away from the UK for good.
Profile Image for Emily.
180 reviews
January 11, 2023
In the opening pages of this, Prince Harry says that shortly before his mother’s death in 1997, she had bought him an Xbox for his birthday.

The first Xbox came out in 2001.

That’s the level of attention that’s been paid to this book. And I loved every second of it.
4 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2023
Well, not being a "royal watcher" or a fan of the "prejudiced press", and having been a psychotherapist for well over 40 years, I watched Harry's interviews with interest. What I saw was a man who had something to say.
On Harry and Megan's tour of Australia their demeanour and kindness to fans was good to see. I wanted to know more.
As soon as I was able I picked up a copy and started reading—albeit too late at night to get more than the introduction read.
It's very well written, the story so far is more than just interesting, it's compelling, and I can't wait to get deeper into the book as soon as I can make the time. I'm impressed, and that's not easy to do.
18 reviews3 followers
January 11, 2023
I have thoughts...
To start, this book is readable, though wordy, and Harry shares a great deal of his personal life. The first section held my attention most, where he describes his childhood and then the loss of his mother. Very moving, and I teared up a few times. The rest of the book is a bit wandering, covering his time in the military and his eventual relationship with Meghan.
The main issue I have that led me to give a 2 star rating is this. Imagine if your sibling wrote a book that was a detailed list of perceived infractions you'd committed against them for your entire lives. Most of us wouldn't come off looking great. I don't doubt Harry feels everything he's written is true, and it may be. Who can say, when reading about private family issues?
I hope he's gotten everything off his chest, but I don't know how he can still seek reconciliation with his family when he's basically airing their business to the world.
Profile Image for Annabel.
79 reviews
January 11, 2023
Putting my own personal thoughts on the monarchy aside, (and the fact that I'm nosy), Prince Harry's "controversial" and "highly anticipated" memoir, Spare, portrays himself as a person, who is breaking generational trauma and a toxic family dynamic (because they should "never complain, never explain").

As a lover of history, none of what Harry describes shocked me, because he grew up in an institution that has - historically - been racist, oppressive and imperialist. Centuries worth of history is really shining through in twenty-first century Britain.

Spare bared the similarities to the famous Burn Book from Mean Girls, because the amount of names and gossip that Harry exposes... It is quite unbelievable how much of this great gossip comes from ugly and uncovered truths.

Throughout Spare, loss and trauma play a dominant role. His poignant memories of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and finding that "mummy’s been in a car crash... They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it", were completely heartbreaking to read, particularly because I am someone who never got to experience the life of Diana when she was alive. The paparazzi slander in relation to Diana was intense, it is only right to feel anger when public figures are horrifically violated against having their own privacy. When Harry particularly writes that "they can’t break me, I thought. Is it, I wondered, because I’m already broken?", this highlighted the greater impact of the paparazzi on his mental health as a child.

Unfortunately, Harry doesn’t write very well, which made the memoir feel poorly executed and ill thought - if anything, there were certain details that, I felt, caused more damage than good, as it gave a glimpse of Harry's taste for drama.

For me, his memories of Diana were undermined by petty point-scoring in William and Harry's sibling rivalry. In several startling confessions of their physical rifts, it proved that this picture perfect family was crumbling behind the scenes. But as "Willy and I would turn on each other", I couldn't stop thinking about how William was constantly being presented as the arch nemesis, whilst Harry is the victim. Even when Harry discusses his brother's appearance in the prologue - the "alarming baldness... His famous resemblance to Mummy, which was fading with time" - it felt quite childish and petty, given that Harry mentioned in his recent interview with Tom Bradby that he hoped for reconciliation (not sure that will happen now though, Harry).

He spared (haha sorry) us no details on his very intimate moments - from losing his virginity, to having a frostbitten penis, even doing mushrooms at Courteney Cox's house - all of which were... Odd to read, but I suppose since Harry had been silenced for so long, everything had to be spewed out.

Harry admits that he killed 25 Taliban members during his time as a soldier in Afghanistan, which can be seen as victorious for some, however, this can be hugely damaging, not only to the Royal Family, but to veterans and current soldiers.

There will always be controversy over his decision to publish this memoir. When reading, a part of me felt like he needed more intense therapy sessions, rather than spilling all his trauma onto a 400+ page book, but another part of me cannot help but think how liberating this was for Harry. With every page turned in Spare, you cannot help but feel as though your heart breaks for him. I am glad he got to tell his story (as a memoir, but I think he released far too many podcasts, Netflix documentaries and interviews that pretty much say the same stuff), regardless, I still highly recommend.
Profile Image for Saims.
78 reviews22 followers
January 10, 2023
his ghostwriter is goood, it’s a very scathing book especially towards the press and Charles and camilla and William and all these newspaper headlines have taken a lot of out context .
Having said that it’s interesting to read his events of things - makes me wonder if they all keep a journal lol.

but there’s a lot that wasn’t understood properly I think - and that apparently he said in the interviews too about racism and unconscious bias. The book was more about his redemption arc and him v the powers
Profile Image for Sailakshmi Deepak.
3 reviews8 followers
January 11, 2023
Just a long long whinge. And some of the seemingly profound stuff, made me roll my eyes saying “how dramatic, grow up and get on with it!” But looking at the sales today and the curiosity with which people like me are going for it, seems like the best laid plan for retirement. 🙄

Profile Image for Luv.
200 reviews
January 11, 2023
I can't understand why so many are hating on this book. I found it fascinating. If for nothing else, it gives first person insight into an insular (and quite drafty) institution. I found Prince Harry to be quite caring and insightful. Yes, I realize it's his story told by him via professionals who are hired to portray him in the best light. But, who can possibly imagine a lifetime under such scrutiny. He was born into a life he didn't ask for, doesn't want, and a life he can never truly escape.

The little insights were truly interesting and just written as if everyone is bathed by other people, we all walk by our father's room as he's being dressed by his valet, or bagpipes are played at the request of our grandmother. Such a different life!

I think living away from the royal life will be healthy. His smile seems more genuine in the interviews promoting the book than when he was forced before "the wall".

I do hope they scale back more and more and live a more common life. Photo opportunities where an entire village come out to dance and perform for them is one thing. Living a more humble life is another.

Profile Image for Jackie Sunday.
350 reviews13 followers
January 12, 2023
After reading this book, I feel like I know Prince Harry inside and out from some of his deep inner thoughts and his perspectives on life.

There are three parts of the book. It starts with his childhood growing up in private schools and then feeling the pain and shock when “Mummy” died. It took years before he could accept that she was actually killed in an accident.

The second part is about how proud he was to be an important part of the British Army. He finally felt like he was able to contribute toward helping his country and soldiers.

And finally, the last 100 or so pages are about his love for Meghan Markle. I don’t know why he included her last name as everyone knows who she is.

Throughout the pages, he includes thoughts on grief, racism and psychological pressures of being stalked by the press. He shares his relationship with his grandmother, the Queen, his father, now the King, his brother Willy and his Aunt Margaret. He said she was also a “spare.”

“Even my father reminds me that unfortunately Willy and I can’t be normal…in which normal events were treated as abnormal, and the abnormal was routinely normalized.”

Every reader will have an opinion about Harry and the Royals after reading this book. The Press was constantly following him as lazy, a drug addict, single with no prospects and actually comparing him to Bridget Jones…really? They talked about his ratty shoes and mismatched outfits.

Later, his girlfriends were followed by the press and then there was his life with Meghan when he was finally happy. He was told that it will be difficult for her. Yet, the press wanted him to be married. Most of us know he ended up leaving his beloved country to find a better life.

To live without freedom from the press made him want to expose every secret so there could be nothing left except a man with his wife and children wanting peace.
Profile Image for Emma.
127 reviews17 followers
January 14, 2023
Edited to clarify my thoughts on January 13, 2023

This book was revealing, but also frustrating. Harry spares no punches rightfully pointing out where others have done wrong. However, he fails to consistently apply this same critical eye to his own actions. While he sounds like he feels bad for his missteps, he attributes them entirely to his upbringing with little interrogation. For example:
1. Making a big deal of Will and Kate laughing at the Nazi costume. It was wrong of them to laugh and encourage him; however, it was more wrong of him to choose and wear the costume.
2.He lets himself off the hook for his Pakistani slur because he grew up sheltered and his one Pakistani friend forgave him.
3. He physically attacks his bodyguard while drunk.
4. One passage that really struck me was “Meg said something I took the wrong way. It was partly a cultural difference, partly an language barrier, but I was overly sensitive that night. I thought: why is she having a go at me? I snapped at her-spoke to her harshly-cruelly…” Harry alludes to saying something awful to Megan, but never says what it was. Could it have something to do with his prior comments about her at the beginning of their relationship, which were quite judgmental for somehow who is sick of being judged by others.

Next to Harry, Prince Andrew gets the kindest treatment of the royals, being referred to only as "embarrassing"(he sounds more upset about Kate asking Meg to apologize for the baby brain comment). I didn't expect something earthshattering, particularly given his friendship with Eugenie, but I think Andrew's actions merit a bit of a harsher adjective than "embarrassing"

Some more petty thoughts:
I still don't believe WIlliam and Kate were huge Suits fans. The show is not that good.
2 I still don't believe Meghan never googled the Royals. She is an intelligent woman and that is literally the most basic thing you do for anyone.
3.I never want to hear about a frostbitten "todger" again.

If this book accomplishes is to stop the belief that Meghan is a diabolical, controlling mastermind because no one looks good in this book, so I doubt she had any hand in it (she's far too PR savvy in a good way for that). This is all Harry (and his ghostwriter).

One stylistic gripe: there were far too many chapters. The book was split into 3 parts, each with about 50-90 chapters. In a book under 500 pages. To me, this detracted from Harry and his GW's ability to actually write a compelling, cohesive narrative. Overall, this was fun, but would have been better with more self reflection. 3.5/5
Profile Image for Alexis Taft.
77 reviews
January 10, 2023
How would you feel being born as a back up or a Spare?

Love him or hate him, Believe him or not, We all have are own throughs and view on him and these ones are mine.

Ive never been a big fan of the Royals but ive always liked Prince Harry as i feel like he is the only one who is true and real so reading Spare just made me believe this more and have more respect for him.

Yes hes a Prince but hes a human too he makes mistakes just like us all and in this book he tells us of them. There also some interesting (sometimes funny) stories about love, loss, life, duties, family, time served and mental health.

I enjoyed this book so much was so nice to hear about his life from him with his vouce and words, not via the press who lie and will pull this book apart and changing the words around to suit them So why shouldnt Harry tell his story his way its his.
This book is extremely well written, beautifully and richly detailed. The Audible is also well read by Prince Harry.

Its heartbreaking to hear him talk about the lost of his Mother, the fall outs with his family but what respect i have for him to stand up for himself, Meghan and Kids to feel safe.

I stronging believe that William hates the fact that he cant be more free as hes next in line for king. Also i believe that Kate didnt like that Meghan came into the picture and she had to share the lime light with this successful, independent woman in her own right 
and this made them turn on Harry.

Highly recommend you read this book.
Phenomenal and Refreshingly honest

So i ask you again
How would you feel being born as a back up or a Spare?
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