Published On: Thu, Jan 5th, 2023

Prince Harry cuts a sad, self-indulgent and naive figure in his memoir Spare | UK News


His publishers had promised a book full of “revelations”, “wisdom” and “raw, unflinching honesty” and, readers of the Duke of Sussex’s memoir will find it peppered with just enough scandal to keep them going through the hefty 550+ page read.

Of course the physical altercations with his brother William, Harry’s use of drugs and how he learned of his mother’s death are all headline makers – but taking a look at the book as a whole, it is a sad, self-indulgent and naive figure that the Duke cuts.

There’s little that feels empowering in the amount of “truth” shared, the minutiae of “he said, she said” getting fairly tiresome towards the end.

Are we supposed to relate to how disrespectful it was for one of the Queen’s private secretaries to park next to his window and block out his bedroom light? I struggle.

Then there are the obvious contradictions.

His understandable anger at how the press have hacked family phones and tracked cars – whilst in the same book he willingly over-shares a level of personal detail that, quite frankly, we didn’t need to know. (For reference, see the section where he reveals whether he’s circumcised, then later why people make fun of how he lost his virginity.)

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His story is, of course, terribly sad.

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The impact of Prince Harry’s memoir

There are moments where your heart breaks when he talks of desperately wanting to be hugged. The loneliness. The PTSD. Desperately searching for signs that his mother is reaching out to him after her death. How at his father and his brother’s weddings his thoughts were that he was losing those closest to him forever.

But it is presented alongside petulant musings on how William selfishly ignored him at school – please can someone get a message to him that this is standard practice between all siblings?

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Harry’s memoir: What you need to know

And there is the immature bragging about trying magic mushroom chocolates at a party at Friends star Courtney Cox’s house, as well as the catty explanations of how he came to wear a Nazi uniform as fancy dress – spoiler alert, William and Kate should also take some blame as he asked them if he should do it.

It is a little hard to stay on his side.

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Somehow the memoir simultaneously straddles being both tender and bizarrely unrelatable.

Am I glad I read it?

Mostly I’m left feeling a little bit guilty that someone clearly so troubled has felt compelled to share so much.

Who is this helping?



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