‘Spare’ by Prince Harry details relatable experiences throughout his life

Prince Harry recounts his experiences with his mother’s death, aggressive paparazzi, opinionated tabloids and more in his new memoir “Spare.”

Alix Glickman '23

Prince Harry recounts his experiences with his mother’s death, aggressive paparazzi, opinionated tabloids and more in his new memoir “Spare.”

The Royal Family has been a highly controversial topic of conversation for several years now. Prince Harry’s decision to exit The Royal Family has received merciless coverage from tabloids, newspapers, journalists and even social media users. But for the first time Prince Harry addresses his life story on his own terms. He did so in his highly anticipated memoir titled, “Spare” published on Jan. 10.

It was not until I was aimlessly scrolling on Tik Tok when I stumbled upon clips from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s docuseries that I became interested in this whole fiasco. After loving the short television series about their time with The Royal Family, I was excited to get my hands on Harry’s book, “Spare.” The internet has turned this situation into a public debate with extreme supporters who either agree with or hate their choice to leave the Royal Family. 

The book focuses on Harry calling out some of his family members for being cold hearted, and a leading theme in his memoir is how he really did not process his mother’s death.  He claims his inability to fully mourn was partially due to his father who lacked tenderness and emotion.For instance, Harry recalls the moment he heard about his mother’s death.

“Pa didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis?” Prince Harry wrote.

It was not until later when he was influenced by his spouse, Meghan Markle, to try therapy that he was able to process his repressed emotions.  

“I always thought Cressida had performed a miracle, opening me up, releasing suppressed emotions. But she’d only start the miracle, and now the therapist brought it to completion,” Prince Harry wrote.

Beyond the title of a prince, Harry’s book is surprisingly relatable to adolescents. Teens can easily empathize with his depression and his  abuse of substances such as alcohol and weed. I found it admirable for him to be so open about the mental struggles, and the effects of constantly being in the public eye.

“Of course… I had been doing cocaine around this time,” Prince Harry wrote. “It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me particularly happy, as it seemed to make everyone around me, but it did make me feel different, and that was the main goal. Feel. Different. I was a deeply unhappy seventeen-year-old boy willing to try almost anything that would alter the status quo.” 

I enjoyed getting to read about the growth of his and Meghan’s relationship and their progression as a family. I think that their values regarding service and helping others is impressive because many people with such privilege ignore their ability to generate positive change such as bringing awareness to the stigma surrounding AIDS in other countries.

— Alix Glickman ’23

The only part that I felt dragged on for too long was Harry’s narration about his time serving in the military. I commend his bravery and courage for all that he went through, however, I found it to be more of a slow read and at times repetitive.

Upon completing the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt like I knew him better as a person. Harry does a good job expressing his thoughts in words that make for an easy read, but there is also his  audiobook version that he reads himself, if audiences would prefer to hear his story told. Even if you are not the biggest fan of Prince Harry or The Royal Family in general, I still think it is a well-written and interesting read that puts into perspective a lot of common misconceptions about Prince Harry’s life.